Thomas Sankara

Thomas Sankara - student project

I really enjoyed this class! This was my first foray into digital art. Adobe illustrator has always had an intimidating and difficult learning curve for me, with a background in traditional media like oils and watercolors. Andrew Pippins has helped to make digital illustration a little more accessible for me. Thank you! 

I recently came back from 3 years of teaching art in Kenya. During my time there I learned about Thomas Sankara, the president of Burkina Faso in the 80s. Political views aside, he made many bold and counter-normative steps that benefited his country, especially women, children, and even the environment. He also lived very humbly during a time when leadership normally lived in lavish excess. In a continent where many of those in power are corrupted and steeped in self-interest, he actively lived his political life with uprightness, clarity, and a real interest to help his country move forward in everything from economics to education. He is at turns a hopeful and tragic figure; he was assassinated when he was only 38, and the president following him undid nearly all of the progress that he made. I hope Africa can raise up more leaders like Sankara, who will put aside self interest, stand up to neo-colonial powers, live humbly, enact real change, address corruption, and do what is truly beneficial for their country, and its people. 


Scanned sketch: 

Thomas Sankara - image 1 - student project


In process:

Thomas Sankara - image 2 - student project