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Black Lives Matter // Lexy Portrait and Freebie Wallpaper

Black Lives Matters // Watercolour illustration of a young pink-haired black woman, Lexy, with fist raised, wearing a t-shirt saying 'Black Lives Matter'

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll probably know by now that I'm quite political. As in a bit of a rabid advocate for equality and all that other good stuff. In the current political climate where right-wing authoritarianism and populist politics (Brexit, cheeto Hitler) seem to be winning the day, I thought it was time to create a few pieces of work aimed against that political ilk and supporting the progressive politics I fiercely believe in.

I've always been a massive feminist; a number of my products are geared around feminism. But another one of my political passions is fighting against racism. I may not have had the most privileged background, but I am white, so I know I have it easier than so many others (basically everyone darker than I am).

So to start off on what I hope will be a series of politically motivated work, I wanted to create an illustration which supported the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. Institutional racism is rife throughout America, and over here in the UK. And with how things are politically, the Black Lives Matter movement has even more work to do than ever, despite the fact the aims are something every right-minded individual should be in support of. Surely fighting to remove institutional racism within the police force is a show of support for the police? An attempt to make the institution a greater force for good in society? To remove the bad seeds that are dirtying the name of those who should be protectors of the people?

I haven't worked on a portrait for quite a while, more focused on creating illustrations for stickers, pocket mirrors and badges. So I felt that this piece should be a portrait project, and a portrait of a strong, independent black woman was the only way to go. But as is normal for me, she had to have pink hair! I've named her Lexy; this name is short for Alexandra, which means "defender". Sounds about right for a young woman who's often seen at equality marches and protests, no?

I've been trying to improve my lettering work (I'll never be a letterer, but I always use text to add an extra element to my work), and decided that a simple design for the movement's name would be the perfect addition to her t-shirt. I sketched this type of B on a notebook a while back and though it would be perfect to set off this piece.

I haven't quite decided what to do with this portrait piece. It will go into the portfolio I'm currently building, but other than that ... Should I put it up for sale as an art print? What do you guys think?

Until I decide on that, I decided to take the lettering and turn it into a freebie wallpaper for all of you to enjoy. Or if you want to use it at any protest, march or whatever, please feel free to do so.

Black Lives Matter // Black and White Lettering/Calligraphy Freebie Wallpaper

(All freebies offered are for personal use only. Do not share these wallpapers directly; instead please link to this post. Do not remove the watermark / URL. All ownership rights and copyrights belong to Karen Murray of A Rose Cast.)

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