Black Children’s Books’ Illustrators to Follow and Hire
Representation matters in children’s books. When children see themselves and their communities depicted in the books they read, they feel valued as part of society. When images are not representative of their lived experiences, the opposite is true. Diversity in children’s picture books is vital for communities of color to thrive.
At Anna Goodson Illustration Agency, diversity is in our DNA, not only during Black History Month, but every day of the year. We are proud to represent incredibly talented Black children’s book illustrators like Mia Saine, Rahana Dariah, Oboh Moses and Myles Hi. Their impactful art and advocacy for people of color has the power to empower future generations.
Myles Hi (he/him)
Myles Hi is an illustrator and animator from Detroit, MI. Being from what may be the “Blackest City in America”, his concepts are often inspired by his experiences as a Black father in an urban environment. His work is infused with satirical social commentary as well as themes of parenthood, sports, music, fashion and tech. He loves giving his 2D artwork a sense of spatial depth. Myles identifies with the Black American community and Black communities worldwide. He advocates for Latino and Afro-Latino communities because they share similar struggles. He also advocates for LGBTQ+ communities because love is love.
“When I was a kid, books based on Black Americans seemed to be very rare. You had to dig for these sorts of books, and I had very few of them. Even in school, we rarely read books about Black people that weren’t in relation to racism or slavery. Books seemed less interesting to me because of this lack of representation. I wanted to see Black people in stories where they were valuable, depicted as intelligent, wealthy, or powerful.”
Mia Saine (they/them)
Mia Saine is a non-binary Black illustrator and designer seeking to share a more positive and inclusive narrative to create a better tomorrow. Saine’s colorful, minimal digital illustrations strive to normalize and amplify minorities’ voices and experiences. Saine triumphs the constant cycle of injustice, tropes, and stereotypes by showcasing minorities embracing their self-empowerment and joy.
“Today’s representation impacts what we can look forward to seeing tomorrow. I enjoy being an illustrator because I enjoy reminding people that someone just like them can do and be anything. Sometimes, you need someone to spark the notion, ‘if this person can show up like this, then so can I’.”
Oboh Moses (he/him)
Oboh Moses is a Black digital illustrator living and working in Lagos, Nigeria. His passion for creative expression started at the tender age of seven and Oboh worked tirelessly to develop his own vibrant and uplifting style of illustration.
“Diversity in illustration is important because it lets everyone see themselves in the story. It lets them know that they have a place in the world. When I see people like myself represented in the world, it gives me a sense of belonging.”
Rahana Dariah (she/her)
Rahana Dariah is a London-based Black digital illustrator known for her urban illustration style. Her illustrations are full of world-building and are mainly a narrative of people of color inspired by her own environment and personal relationships.
“We need to bring back the art of cultural storytelling. A wonderful way to bring it back is through diverse picture books.”