Art Equality and body positivity in the illustrations by Melissa Koby
Artillustration

Equality and body positivity in the illustrations by Melissa Koby

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Giulia Guido

Art, especially in the last 150 years, has played a fundamental role in society. Inequalities, injustices, changes and struggles have become the subjects of many works, from paintings to sculptures. Today, it continues to play an important role, thanks to artists and creatives who use their talents to describe uncomfortable realities and events that are difficult to digest. One such artist is Melissa Koby, a Jamaican artist who now lives in Tampa and produces illustrations dealing with issues such as equality between men and women, racial discrimination and body positivity. 

She says she fell in love with drawing when her mother gave her a set of paints and an easel when she was four years old. Since then she has never stopped creating, managing to develop her own style.

Melissa Koby’s works are a mix of watercolour and digital illustration, and the recurring subjects include young black women, but not only that, they are all faceless. In this way, the artist wants to invite the viewer to imagine the best expression and choose the best interpretation. 

For Melissa, her works are a means of communicating what she feels and how she feels. 

For example, during the first period of the lockdown she started to make a series of illustrations with a quarantine theme, showing young women trying to find their inner peace in their own homes, meditating or reading a book. 

Then, overwhelmed like everyone else by the protests following the murder of George Floyd, her work began to address the issue of racial discrimination. With her work, she was able to translate the feelings of thousands of people into images. One example is the work entitled Change is coming, which went viral in no time. 

Today Melissa Koby is followed on Instagram by almost 140,000 people and continues to fight her battles with colours and brushstrokes, follow her so you don’t miss her next works. 

Melissa Koby
Melissa Koby
Melissa Koby
Melissa Koby
Melissa Koby
Melissa Koby
Artillustration
Written by Giulia Guido
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