ArtBlack Futures

Young Black Illustrators You Should Know

September 30, 2023

Black imagination is powerful and has realized some of the best things about our world today, inspiring action, creativity, freedom and love which are all crucial aspects of our existence to nurture. That coupled with my years long love of art, design and illustration has made me obsessed with finding talented visual artists, each with their own styles, perspectives and abilities. 

This love possibly comes from growing up with 80’s & 90’s animation but maybe it all started in the 5th grade.I remember being super frustrated that I wasn’t a natural at drawing but I also didn’t have the patience to learn. Frustration flew by because I quickly made friends with a classmate who could illustrate beautifully and with either money, sweets or other barters, I paid her to help me realize my visions. Cherishing our sessions between classes as I passionately described the scenes, characters or fashions in my mind for her to draw. 

Since then I always stumble on illustrators of color, enjoying the vastness and variety of their art. They share their imagination, lived experiences, identities, and conceptual points of view in such vivid and distinct ways and this mini-curation spans the African diaspora from; Chicago, Nigeria, Venezuela to Brussels and Bahia.Sub communities thrive on Twitter (now X), so I gravitated to this diverse bunch pretty easily and was excited to find fellow queer folk and become this emoji “🥹” personified. The expansiveness of this medium is made so real by queer artists using their space online to imagine us joyful, loved, powerful or just in the everyday.

Here are some incredible, talented, imaginative Black illustrators and character designers. Follow them, support their work tangibly and tell them AFROPUNK sent you.


Tolu Ayoka | IG | Twitter





Solala | IG Twitter 

Mad Solar | Lulu & Niawu


Mad Solar | Tears


PhilHeal | IG | Twitter 

God Hand




Vitoli | IG | Twitter





AnjolaDave | IG | Twitter

Mirror Of The Self. [2022]

“Can You Hear The Music?….” 2023

Adésęwà. (The Crown Makes Beauty) ✦ 2023


Mihael | IG | Twitter 

March 13, 2023

August 25, 2023

June 11, 2023

As soon as I lay eyes on their awe-inspiring work, I want to see their concepts and characters everywhere so everyone can see themselves reflected or be inspired to create. Black Illustrators also have the nuanced gift of drawing us into worlds, ideas and places, making spaces for us to belong, to find liberation and to be empowered.

Thank you to all the featured artists for submitting their work for this editorial.