To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, founder Anna Goodson sat down for a series of mini video interviews where she shares her thoughts, ideas, and stories about her journey along the way. In this second episode of four, she talks about why cultural diversity is important to her, personally and professionally:
Cultural diversity is huge for me. One, for being a woman, and starting out, the struggle that I went through trying to establish the business. I think being gay is a huge issue for a lot of people. It was something that I didn’t really talk about very often when I launched, but I’ve noticed that with the artist that we represent today: they’re coming out, they’re more open and more vulnerable, and I think it’s very important that we represent all of these people in our group. It’s something that we’ve done for many years. Now, it’s trending because of the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBT communities and other minorities that have never been exposed in the art world, but we’ve been doing that from the very beginning.
I used to comment that there were never enough women in business images. I’d confront the illustrators directly and say, “hey, that was great, but how come there no women running around holding briefcases?” We need to show diversity in the group, and it’s important that we show different cultures. Most used to draw what they see in their immediate entourage, but now, artists are much more conscious.
I think that when a piece about black people is done by black artists, they do it with a sensitivity that only the artist can bring to it. The same goes for gay, queer and artists who are minorities. I think having artists like Queenbe Monyei, Iliana Galvez, My Tien Pham, and Angelo Dolojan – who all come from different cultural backgrounds – it gives them a platform to express themselves. It also gives choices to our clients to really be able to work with people in different communities. It’s absolutely crucial, we’ve always taken that into consideration, because of where I came from. It’s wonderful and meaningful today, that we’re getting these requests to work from clients from different backgrounds looking to work with artists who are diverse in culture and sexuality as well.
More mini-interviews here: