Em Hotep my friends! My given name is Emily but I often go by Jawn or SaintJawn as that is my chosen name and the name of my personal design studio － SaintJawn Official. I am a young female black designer that lives and grew up in Oregon, and despite the struggles of my reality I choose to stay committed to my spirituality and ways of positive affirmations. Most of my work centers around afro-centricity and challenging the status quo of Euro-centric beliefs and aesthetics. It is important to me to use my art as a tool for communication, advocacy, representation, and spreading knowledge. The intention of my art is to create discussion, provoke thought, and to cultivate social justice reform. My goals for the future include working for a small or medium sized design firm, continuing to do freelance work for individual clients in the Black community and start my own design firm within ten years that works to create a more inclusive and representational design community and rivals super firms like Wieden + Kennedy. As Anderson-Paak once said "They don't know we're black, young, gifted and amazing" but I'm to make sure they will. Àṣẹ.
FREE HUEY was a zine I created in response to the false narratives often spread about Black civil rights leaders through the media and often even our government. This piece is meant to educate and re-educate readers that have some to no knowledge about Huey Newton, Bobby Seale and the Black Panther Party. Much of the information that has been distributed about the BPP, Sale and Newton has been a demonization constructed by the US government and journalistic agencies. Prior the FBI successfully infiltrated and tore apart the Black Panthers from the inside, the government labeled them as violent, disruptive, and aggressive and continued this lie for decades. This is why many students never learn in school that their free lunch program was created by the BPP and was eventually implemented all over the country with no credit given. They had many social services that they created to help black, poor and minority communities and they actively patrolled areas that were disproportionally harassed by police in order to protect black folks from unjust treatment and harm. This little zine is only the tip of the iceberg though, and encourages readers to look deeper and do their own reading by offering a 'further reading' page that features the works of Huey Newton. Hopefully by reading this zine, folks can begin uncovering the truth about the Black Panther Party, what they stood for, and the brothers and sisters that founded it.
YONI is a feminine care brand that I designed for women that not only want products that are organic, cruelty free and non-toxic, but also represent them as grown women in a mature and beautiful way. Most Feminine hygiene brands treat women like children with bright colors, sparkles, scented things that are meant to go inside your body, and language that does not speak to them as adults. Until recently, most brands wouldn't even use the color red in their branding, mostly because it was visually displeasing to men and even though these products are not meant for them, they still chose to appease men over women. Kotex recently broke this anti-red barrier during their most recent rebrand that features pops of red on mostly white packaging. The branding for YONI is inspired by such risk takers as Kotex, SheThinx, and CORRA that have pushed the boundaries on what has been deemed "acceptable" branding and images that feminine care products can use. YONI is meant to uplift and honor the divine feminine body as it is necessary to honor ourselves and our bodies as women and those that identify as women.
This is an illustrative series I made during Women's History Month to honor Black Women and our massive contribution to American culture, social "trends", language, and structure as a whole. Black women are often overlooked and under appreciated so I made these illustrations -- all 3 of which can be viewed on my website -- in order to draw attention to this issue and give space for love and appreciation for all we have done for our communities and country. The other two illustrations demand that the viewer "Protect Black Women" and "Respect Black Women" as a reminder to honor those of us who have struggled the most, but also work the hardest to get only half of what others are born with.
AFRO-ART: A Collection Of Works By Phenomenal Black Females, is a celebration of black female artists, that are often overlooked. Their work ranges from photography to paintings to fashion. When black visitors see this exhibit they will feel represented, important and appreciated. The intention for this exhibit is to show young black girls that they are capable of being artists and worthy of being art. Many young girls do not see themselves when looking at tradition European art which creates a disconnect between viewer and art. This exhibit is meant to correct this issue by displaying the artists and the art together to show their equal importance to the culture. The artworks and artists chosen for this curation were picked based on their talent, uniqueness, originality, voice, and Afro-centric aesthetics. The exhibit pieces, along with the interior space of the exhibit, are intentionally non-Euro-centric and move away from European aesthetics and design principles. Color is used without containment, the brightness and intensity create a loud visual that reflects the attitudes and confidence of the artists featured within the AFRO-ART exhibit. This exhibit is exclusive to the Philadelphia Museum of ART, because of its closeness to a thriving black creative community and their dedication over the years to featuring black art in their spaces and educating guests about black history.