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Meet Brittany Harris

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Harris.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to study apparel management at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. This is where I got my first introduction to graphic design. Once I graduated, I started creating logos for friends and family to make some extra cash while working as a wardrobe stylist. At the time, I felt like I wanted to use my knowledge and skills to impact people on a deeper level, so I began to teach art at after school programs across L.A. I didn’t know how to draw, but I used this moment to teach myself the basics. After realizing I had a passion for youth and education, I briefly moved away in 2017 to attend grad school at New York University where I studied educational leadership, policy, and advocacy. I worked at several non-profits during this time in areas ranging from public policy to curriculum development. Although I still had a passion for the arts, it was not my primary focus. It wasn’t until Black History Month of 2019 that digital illustration took off for me. After having some traction with a Black History design I created in 2017, I decided to do an entire series of designs in 2019 that featured bold colors and expressive Black women. To my surprise, the designs gained attention quickly and I had no choice but to keep going. Now I’m working full-time as a digital illustrator and only after a year of doing this work, I’ve had the opportunity to create for some of the world’s leading brands including Tampax, Mizani, and NPR. I still think it’s important to be a social advocate and now instead of being in the classroom or at a non-profit, I allow my art to be the voice.

Has it been a smooth road?
Although I’ve had more positive than negative experiences, it has definitely not been an easy road. Being a creator and deciding to share those creations with the world can be very scary, especially when you’re first starting out. Not only am I my own worst critic, but at the beginning (and sometimes now), I feared judgment from other people. My anxiety was so bad, I would literally cry or delete all my social media apps every time I made a post so that I didn’t have to see other people’s reactions. Those first several months of me putting my work out there definitely helped me to gain confidence and to appreciate my work regardless of how other people respond. In addition to that, working as a full-time freelancer has its ups and downs. I love having a free and flexible schedule, but making sure I have consistent income is a real hustle.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Bee Harris the digital illustrator uses bold colors, abstract shapes, and expressive characters to share different aspects of the Black Diaspora. I believe I’m known as the artist who is not just an artist. My background as an educator and social advocate informs everything I do, and that’s the legacy I want to leave behind. I made a promise to myself that I would never get so caught up in creating beautiful designs that I forget about real-life issues that matter. For me, making art solely for money or for the sake of it does not bring me joy. My life mission is to use my skills to educate and to transform people and communities. This is why through my art, I shed light on my experiences as a Black woman and I empower other women to walk boldly in who they are. Often times, Black women are expected to tone down and to not fully express themselves physically, intellectually, and emotionally. I use my art to let women like me know that it’s okay to be bold and to voice life’s pleasures and frustrations freely. I think this is what sets me apart from others.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
My life mission is not to be a digital illustrator. Although I do see myself continuing to grow as an artist and continuing to work with amazing brands, this is not where my story ends. My mission in life is to use all of my experiences to change lives and communities. Continuing with the trend of women empowerment, I’ll be announcing the launch of my company RootedSol during Women’s History Month (March). RootedSol is changing the way women manage their menstrual pain with hemp products that go straight to the source. After ten years of dealing with debilitating menstrual pain, I was finally diagnosed with endometriosis and uterine fibroids in November. During this time, I struggled to find over the counter options to reduce my symptoms and was met with resistance from doctors when I requested an in-depth look into my medical needs. This forced me to take my health into my own hands by creating products that work for me. Studies show that about 80% of women struggle with painful cycles and on average it takes ten years to find the root of the cause. Through RootedSol, I hope to educate, inform, and to empower women to take control of their reproductive wellness.

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Image Credit:

Phylicia J. Photography

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