Artwork by Monica Ahanonu

3 Black Illustrators we're crushing on right now

Posted by Charlene Dunbar on

These three artists are making their mark on the design world and beyond, all while telling beautiful new stories about Black women. I'm especially impressed by the steps they took to hone their craft and how they've created distinctive styles. Read on to learn more about how they got started and the inspiration behind their work.

#1 - Monica Ahanonu (@monicaahanonu)

"After graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in 2013, Monica started her career at DreamWorks Animation.   Monica decided to take a leap and become a full-time freelance artist in April 2017, after a few years at DreamWorks Animation." 1


"I taught myself how to use Adobe PhotoshopAdobe Premiere, and would animate gymnastics routines because I was unable to do them at the time. By the time I entered high school, I continued to edit photos and create graphics on my computer in my spare time." - Monica Ahanonu 2

Artwork by Monica Ahanonu via

#2 - Aurelia Durand (@4ur3lia)

"Aurélia Durand is an Ivorian-French graphic artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her upbringing in Réunion Island shaped her interests in representing the power and beauty of multi-culturalism. Her recent works are characterised by Afro-pop culture, in which men and women proudly display Afro hair and braids with colourful African prints and edgy fashion accessories." 3


"When I was 19, I started my first year of art and design classes in Paris. It was from that moment I knew I would be an artist. I like to work on creative projects and to use my imagination to create innovative visuals—it gives me a reason to live. I can’t spend a day without thinking about new creative ideas." - Aurelia Durand 4

Artwork by Aurelia Durand via

#3 - Erin Robinson (@brooklyndolly)

"Creative visionary Erin Robinson is a Fashion Designer by trade but also a trained fine artist from Parsons School of Design and the Corcoran School of Art. Her daydreamy, magical imagination is inspired by travel, color, texture, the feminine shape and the many shades and coifs of Brooklyn. She works in a variety of mediums that include watercolor, ink, markers, charcoal, stencil, collage as well as digital artistry." 5

Source: Erin Robinson via

"I’ve been drawing since I can remember. My parents are both very creative and made sure I had the tools to nurture my animated mind. I went into corporate America as a fashion design VP for children. I found myself stifled after a period of time and felt like I wasn’t really expressing who I truly was inside...what my true artistic capabilities were. I felt like I had climbed the corporate ladder as far as I could go, and after a sabbatical, a lot of thinking and stepping out of fear, and encouragement from a handful of friends, I decided to really share my art world. I was very nervous and had to let go of the perceptions of what others would think of it all. " - Erin Robinson 6

Artwork by Erin Robinson

Source Credit:

1 -

2 -

3 -, by Oyin Olaniyan

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Originally posted on

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  • love this! I just bought some similar items from

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