16th July 2021
Starting with 12 portraits, illustrator Dizzy Lou was asked by Meena Kumari from The H.O.P.E Digital Art Project to create an impactful and accessible way for Black and Brown women in the domestic abuse sector to be seen and recognised for their work and story.
Please tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
So, my name is Daisy, I’m 28 and I’m a self taught artist and illustrator, based in the North West. I graduated in 2020 with a first class honours degree in Psychology and took to illustrating as a way of giving myself a creative outlet from the stress of completing a degree in the middle of a pandemic. I am passionate about inclusivity and creating space for anyone who wants it, and I try and represent this in my artwork. I currently work solely in a digital medium as I find this the most accessible and love the idea of art being for everyone.
How did you get involved with Project HOPE and what’s the story behind it and your Black Women in DA project?
The H.O.P.E Digital Art Project is the brain child of Meena Kumari of H.O.P.E Training and Consultancy. She had seen some of my work on social media and reached out to me via Twitter to see if I would be interested into creating 12 portraits of Black and Brown women working in the Domestic Abuse sector. As a domestic abuser survivor myself, and someone who wanted to combine elements of her psychology degree with her art, a project that gave a visual and national platform to marginalised voices facing complex cultural barriers every single day, was something I felt honoured to be involved in. Meena’s aim was to give the women an impactful way to be seen that was accessible to all and recognised the individual contribution and power of each woman’s story.
I have learnt so much through this project, through Meena and through the incredible women involved. It has been the blueprint for what inclusivity, intersectionality and accessibility should look like. The network built by this incredible project has connected so many professionals and survivors already, and we plan to get the project to 100 women by the end of the year.
What inspires you as an artist?
I took my inspiration from many places. I am a big fan of people watching, picking out little details and interactions. I love creating art that tells a story and I love drawing all different kinds of women bodies. It is important for me that my art reflects the world around me and means that anyone should be able to identify with at least one piece of mine. Art holds so much power to move us, shape us and guide us. I believe that is an experience everyone should be able to have.
Is there anything you would like to say to SATEDA’s audience?
All I would say is, reach out and don’t stop until you get the support you need. You are worthy of love and you are capable of all things.
Can you recommend any services which focus of helping and empowering black, Asian and minority ethnic women?
My best advice would be to look at the H.O.P.E Digital Art Project. Not only does it represent women from all Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds, but it also acts as a support network. Each portrait contains details of the women’s organisations/charities and the quotes they share give you an idea of how passionate they are about what they do, you will find someone that reflects your needs and wants to help you.
Follow Dizzy Lou on Instagram here
Follow Meena Kumari on Twitter here