Creating Diversity with Maia Boakye
Written by Ndemazea Fonkem
Published July 6, 2018
You’ve never seen an artist like Maia Boakye. The digital artist has made a name for herself in the ever-growing field, and her unique style truly separates her from the group. In her art lies parts of herself and being able to appreciate her art feels like meeting Boakye in person.
But expressing herself isn’t her only motivation for creating. While wearing all of her artistic hats, Boakye desires to bring images of diverse people into the mainstream, especially people that look like her. “Most of the creative decisions I make in my drawings are based on the selfish desire to see myself in art. It’s especially important for me to bring this kind of work to the mainstream, for instance, when I work on commissions for bigger companies and publications,” she said.
One of the biggest instances of inclusion in Boakye’s work is the emphasis on current issues. On social media, you can see her graphics that help to explain and inform on events around us dispersed in with the rest of her gorgeous feed. Her design background helps to deliver important messages to more people because of its pretty package. Whether it be phone numbers to call or charities to donate to, the young artist utilizes her platform to get others involved. It’s the crossroads between art and activism, and it fares well with her audience.
“I like bringing the issues that affect myself and my community and representing them through my art but I don’t want to limit it to a singular message,” she said.
However, creating diversity was a by-product of Boakye’s digital illustration career, not the catalyst. She became interested in graphics during her first year of university when she had an epiphany and realized she wasn’t creating as much as she used to. That’s when she download some free digital art tools and began to work every day, improving her skills and falling in love with artistry. On her start in the field, Boakye said, “I fell in love with the freedom that digitally made art gave me. I could now create whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted. It wasn’t long until it became my favorite pastime.”
Maia Boakye is growing, and in more ways than one. Her summer, when she’s not drawing, is being spent bouncing between the beach and the woods. She’s exploring the world and exploring her craft, searching for the bounds of creative thought. And she’s just getting started.
Stay up to date with Boakye on their Instagram.
See the rest of the articles from issue three here