Consider this your toolkit in a lifelong journey of artivism, a term I often use to describe that perfect place where art and activism meet.
My own journey with artivism started with a simple practice: my Sunday Sketch series. At the time many years ago, I was going through a divorce and things felt like they were in personal upheaval, and I found joy and purpose in the act of making something every Sunday and sharing it with the world.
Over time, that practice came to mean more things to me as it encompassed more of my world view. I’d pay attention to what was happening in the world throughout the week, what I was seeing on my feeds and hearing in the news, and every Sunday I would paint a visual reflection of the joys and pains of our society, oftentimes sketching something that spoke directly to those broken bones in it. And then, without fear of judgment, I would post it to social media.
Now, 7 years in, those Sunday Sketches have come to represent so much: from Colin kneeling to Breonna Taylor, from Simone Biles’ victory to the protests against police brutality. Hopefully one day we won’t have so many broken bones to illustrate, but until then, I’ll keep creating.
This toolkit is designed around my process and broken up into four sections. Come along for the journey or jump in wherever you’re at. It’s a cycle, and meant to repeat.
Discover what it means to be a creative activist, and hear from Christopher Griffin (aka Plant Kween) on the power of self care and expression.
Yasmine Cheyenne and Temi Coker curate a podcast playlist and a music playlist respectively, inspired by anti-racism.
I’ll dive into the process behind one of my favorite illustrations, talk about what this movement means for me, and hopefully inspire you to make something of your own.
We’ll discuss how we can all get the word out, and share a few of my favorite artivists for you to follow and share their works. As an added bonus, Skillshare friends Robert Generette III and Sophia Yeshi made coloring pages you can download to put your amplification to action.
I’m excited that you’re here. Let’s create change, and create for change, together.
You Can Win “This Book is Anti-Racist”
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Nikkolas Smith, a native of Houston, Texas, is a Master of Architecture recipient from Hampton University. After designing theme parks at Walt Disney Imagineering for 11 years, he is now a Concept artist, Children’s Books Author and Film Illustrator.
He also creates activist art paintings and Hollywood movie posters (Black Panther, Beale Street, Southside With You, Dear White People, Stranger Fruit). He is a proud 2016 White House Innovators of Color fellow. As an illustrator of color and an Artivist, Nikkolas is focused on creating captivating art that can spark important conversations in today’s world and inspire meaningful change. Many of his viral and globally published sketches are included in his latest book Sunday Sketch: The Art of Nikkolas, a visual journey on life and a collection of more than 100 sketches he has done in the last five years.
He lives in Los Angeles, California.