The world is filled with beautiful artwork. However, artist Nicholle Kobi decided that the world was filled with beautiful artworks, but not enough that displayed black women in a positive light. The French-Congolese artist became determined to display the beauty and intellect of black women through her online illustrations.
NICHOLE KOBI’S INSPIRATION
Kobi was born in Kinshaha, Congo, but was raised in France. Her experience in life went from being an ordinary child in Congo to being a small group in a white country. Kobi soon discovered that the world she lived in did not always show black women positively. It did not encourage black woman to take pride in their heritage enough. Black women were made fun of by comedians and put-down by the media. In artistic images she saw black women being sexualised and wanted to display another side to black women shown by the media.
MESSAGES IN HER WORK
Her illustrations show black successful women in cities all over the world. She also uses the images to share messages of self love and loving other black women. She also creates pieces which push for social change. One image she created shows two women wearing t-shirts with the words ‘Don’t shoot’ across them as a protest against unfair treatment from the police.
HER ARTISTIC BACKGROUND
Kobi was passionate about art from a young age and drew clothes on models in her step-mother’s old magazines. She grew up determined to study art in school and did so. However, she was rejected from one of the most famous art schools in Paris. This did not stop her dreams, she moved to Paris anyway and studied modelling, art history and fashion design.
Like many artists, she was told that the arts were not as practical as other subjects so she changed and studied insurance and banking. She returned to the arts when she was pregnant and needed a way to de-stress. She rediscovered her passion and set up her own website.
Nicholle Kobi’s work is an example of empowering black women and bringing to light important issues facing black people who are in the minority. She is a woman who believes strongly in black women forming strong friendships and supporting each other.