Event Title

Make Diversity the Standard

Location

FA 203

Department

Art

Abstract

The lack of race representation in visual media is a major issue that not many people talk about or find worth bringing up. Television shows and movies are visual forms of entertainment that people produce to tell a story, and sometimes viewers end up relating to those stories. This kind of experience doesn’t always reach everyone though; it’s harder to see yourself in these fictional worlds when the people living in them don’t share the same skin color as you. It can feel underwhelming at times when the only kind of representation people of color get is either done through racial stereotypes, or underwritten/under-developed side characters. The reason for why this happens in visual media is based around Hollywood’s racism, and colorism, the idea that lighter skin is treated as more favorable over dark skin. Artists and creators should take every chance they get to represent dark complexions in their work and should educate themselves in how people with dark skin should be represented. My project will consist of illustrations of comic book/movie covers, character reference sheets, and comic book spreads, which will all depict my characters of color that I’ve written. This was inspired by growing up with a set of favorite comic books, and realizing later on that their character list consisted of only white people, and so I decided to create my own set of characters that were of color. These characters are the main characters with their own stories that I hope to further develop in the future. People will be able to see and have an idea of the stories based on the movie/comic inspired posters, see more about how the characters dress and express themselves, and have a peak of their lives in the comic book spreads. People of color can be the main characters in their own movies, shows, comic books, and they can have their own stories, and viewers of color should be able to see themselves in all sorts of visual media.

Faculty Sponsor

Lauren Meranda, Northeastern Illinois University

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May 6th, 11:40 AM

Make Diversity the Standard

FA 203

The lack of race representation in visual media is a major issue that not many people talk about or find worth bringing up. Television shows and movies are visual forms of entertainment that people produce to tell a story, and sometimes viewers end up relating to those stories. This kind of experience doesn’t always reach everyone though; it’s harder to see yourself in these fictional worlds when the people living in them don’t share the same skin color as you. It can feel underwhelming at times when the only kind of representation people of color get is either done through racial stereotypes, or underwritten/under-developed side characters. The reason for why this happens in visual media is based around Hollywood’s racism, and colorism, the idea that lighter skin is treated as more favorable over dark skin. Artists and creators should take every chance they get to represent dark complexions in their work and should educate themselves in how people with dark skin should be represented. My project will consist of illustrations of comic book/movie covers, character reference sheets, and comic book spreads, which will all depict my characters of color that I’ve written. This was inspired by growing up with a set of favorite comic books, and realizing later on that their character list consisted of only white people, and so I decided to create my own set of characters that were of color. These characters are the main characters with their own stories that I hope to further develop in the future. People will be able to see and have an idea of the stories based on the movie/comic inspired posters, see more about how the characters dress and express themselves, and have a peak of their lives in the comic book spreads. People of color can be the main characters in their own movies, shows, comic books, and they can have their own stories, and viewers of color should be able to see themselves in all sorts of visual media.