Affirm Black Women Feature

Vertical wall grouping of six black and white watercolor and ink portraits in neon lime green frames against a light pink wall with a rubber plant in the bottom right corner. Portraits are of Anita Hill, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Shirley Chisholm, Nina Simone, and Harriet Tubman.

The Affirm Black Women portrait series has been honored with an online feature at Fat Canary Journal!

It’s easy for me to downplay this feature. Creative brains are especially good at this. It’s called Imposter Syndrome and no matter how much you accomplish there’s a fear that you’re a fake and you are terrified everyone will find out. But this is a really special opportunity that I could have not imagined last October when I began the series.

As I shared with one of the women whose portrait I painted:

It’s thrilling to see this series resonate with people. There are SO many incredible voices that need to be heard and even more for me to learn. Sending this work out into the world also means a lot to me personally. I have bipolar disorder and I started this series when I was in a suicidal depression last October. The goal was to try and paint a little every day no matter how I felt. And I wanted to contribute to “bending the arc towards justice” even though I could hardly leave my apartment. I didn’t know the paintings would become a series and that people would one day want to buy them. Even more powerful though has been the conversations I’ve had with friends, family, and strangers about Black women, white supremacy, and our country’s history.

A big THANK YOU to the editors at Fat Canary for giving this work a wider audience!

You can read the feature here - September 2019 Fat Canary Journal Featuring Lydia Makepeace