Welcome back to the Diversity in Design series, here on Envato Tuts+—a collection of inspiring artists, designers, and creatives, each from different disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds.
We all have a unique perspective, and, particularly as creatives, there can be such value in observing and celebrating the unique, creative voice of our peers. Join me in observing these inspiring works and comments from these inspiring creatives.
4 Artists You Should Know: Diversity in Design
Let’s take a look at this month’s featured artists—their inspirations, their perspective, and their creative vision.
Melissa is one of the creative folks behind “Falconhyrste”, a young adult LGBT+ fantasy comic. Check out their colorful, expressive, illustrative works!
I’m a comic artist and illustrator who focuses on content featuring women who love women, and general LGBTQ+ representation. My comics are usually supernatural- or magical-themed, and have colorful characters. I enjoy focusing on expressions, effects, and colors, and I try to communicate a specific emotion that I wish to evoke in my audience.
My goal is to convey diversity and inclusiveness in my work. My favorite thing about creating is when someone comments or messages me and thanks me for including their identity, race, or body type. I want to make everyone feel like they, too, deserve to exist in a magical world because it’s not seen very often in popular media.
If you want to draw the opposite of what your peers or art teachers want you to, do what you want. I felt lost in art school trying to follow the examples my professors were setting, and it took me a few years to realize that that wasn’t right for me. I started to enjoy creating again when I went from broody, realistic artwork to cartoony, sparkly, and colorful artwork. Follow your guts!
My webcomic, “Falconhyrste” is a project that’s very special to me, and my co-author and I have been working on it for five years. The first 168 pages are going to be collected in a graphic novel and we’re super excited to move onto this next step. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a large collection of comic pages that I helped create become a physical book!
You can check out more of Melissa’s work at:
Geneva is a game developer and 2D artist—they illustrate, program, and design their indie games as a one person team—and that’s awesome! Take a look at some of Geneva’s inspiring work.
My name’s Geneva and I’m a game developer currently attending New York University’s Game Center. I’ve been drawing for a long time, but I only started making games a few years ago and I absolutely love it! Currently, I’m working hard on a roller derby rhythm game dating sim called Skate & Date.
Skate & Date follows the story of a high schooler named Maggie who’s trying to do well on her roller derby team and impress a girl on the other team. It’s a mix of a visual novel and rhythm game, but the twist is what you do in the rhythm game affects the dialogue choices in the story.
I hope to create art that people can see themselves in and maybe even inspire them in some way. Growing up without a lot of diverse and inclusive things to watch or play was kind of a bummer for me, so I’d love to change that.
I feel glad that it’s becoming easier for people to make games whether it’s using Twine, or RPGMaker or Ren’py and there’s just so many cool LGBT+ creators that inspire me to make games. I feel grateful to have cool interactive experiences shared with me and I just want to share what I have with others too. Honestly, I just want more happy, sapphic stories so that people don’t forget we can be happy too.
When creating Skate & Date’s original prototype I first figured out how I wanted the characters to look like and then focused on programming the rhythm game. Nowadays, I usually create mockups in Photoshop before starting on the code so I can tweak things and get feedback from others before implementing everything.
You can check out more of Geneva’s work at:
Aerial_Knight is a 3D artist and game developer, working on an artful indie project titled “Never Yield”. Check out some of his inspiring work!
I grew up loving and playing games like most everyone who has chased this dream. I never really seen myself becoming anything other than a game dev.
For the first few years, I spent most of my time trying my best to work at AAA studios applying and getting rejected over and over again in a never-ending cycle that lead me to depression. I ended up landing some really cool app development work and spent a lot of time at different studios around Detroit. Working at smaller studios and on small projects really changed my whole career and mindset. I really love being able to work on small personal projects that can be done with a small team or an individual.
The most inspirational thing that has stuck with me over the years happened to be something my high school gym teacher, Coach Jones would say all the time. “Things don’t change they remain the same unless YOU change them” and it really applies to any and everything.
My creative process is rather simple. I think of something; could be anything. A character, art I’ve made, even a poem. Then I ask myself, how can I make this into a game? If I cant think of anything right that moment I just add it to my idea book and add onto it later. The project I’m working on now “Aerial_Knights NeverYield” was based on the idea me waking up late and running to the bus stop.
You can check out more of Aerial_Knight’s work at:
Emma—aka Moodypidge—is an artist using her art as a means of expressing and exploring mental health and self care. Take a look at her adorable pigeon characters and her mission, in creating “Crumbs”.
My name is Emma Friel and I’m currently working on my creative self-care project Crumbs under the name Moodypidge.
I’ve drawn pigeon characters for years but only started exploring my mental health and self-care through art in 2019, when I created characters based off of moods and symptoms that I wanted to explore.
Then when Inktober came around, I decided to create art exploring messages and lessons I’d learnt throughout my life and my sessions that stayed with me. I’d upload a piece every day and get lots of feedback from people saying how the art helped them. After Inktober was over, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to keep doing. This is what Crumbs is today.
Initially, Crumbs was a personal project to help me remember things I’d learned to break unhealthy thought processes in myself, while avoiding toxic positivity by denying myself the opportunity to explore painful emotions. But by sharing my own lessons and my own experiences, I got to hear about how others could relate or how what I shared helped someone. It’s something small, I know. But the small things can help make the big things happen. And if it can help me, maybe in a small way, those little birds can help someone else.
My advice to anyone wanting to create is the first wisdom I ever did for Crumbs; progress, not perfection. You’ll always want to do your best, who doesn’t? But your best can be different every day and sometimes it just isn’t going to happen. For years, I’d never share anything because I’d never be proud of anything long enough to actually show it to anyone. But by learning that ‘finished’ is sometimes the best we can do, I’ve actually managed to create work and really explore my ideas!
Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way.
You can check out more of Moodypidge’s work at:
Send us your Favorite Artists!
I’d like to extend a big thank you and warm wishes to Geneva, Aerial_Knight, Moodypidge, and Melissa for sharing their work and their thoughts with us! Again, you can check out more of their work, right here:
Know an artist that you think we should feature? Feel free to leave a comment below, or use the hashtags #artforall and #tutsplusdesign on Twitter and Instagram!
Enjoying this series? Check the previous entries: