Karee is a New York-based Graphic Designer. She graduated from the BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration course at London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) in 2013. Since then she has gone on to work as a graphic designer and editor for consultancy and design firms, working on many diverse projects with a variety of clients.
Over the last few months, her passion and concern for racial equality have led her to create the 'Kids 4 Black Lives: Coloring Book', her first, self-published book under her company 'Luna Bound'.
How the 'Kids 4 Black Lives: Coloring Book' came about
In early 2020, the world was pushed into a standstill due to COVID-19, I was laid off from my job. As we all slowed down we were front row to the racial killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
As the silence was quickly replaced by streets full of protests, I was enveloped by a renewed anxiety - a desperate juggle of taking pandemic precautions and the overwhelming urge to stand for social justice by protesting, as I had previously done before. I felt stuck and terrified for the 'at-risk' populations; I desperately wanted to be a part of this important movement but wasn't quite sure how.
The moment I saw a photo of a young boy upon his mother’s shoulders with a sign that read 'don’t kill me' on Instagram, I realised more of our younger generation must be included in the conversation on race, equality, and peaceful protesting; but what tools did we have to involve them?
There is a lot at stake for children of colour and I felt the need to honour our younger generation who were taking a stand against racism. Unable to finance my vision due to the COVID lay-off, I reached out to friends to begin this project and we opened a Kickstarter for what was to become 'Kids 4 Black Lives: The Coloring Book'.
Background and time at UAL
My UAL education started with LCF's foundation course. Determined at the start to do women's wear, I soon realised my true passion was less in the construction of a garment but rather illustrating beautiful concepts, portraying stories, and bringing passion to paper. Getting into the Fashion Illustration undergraduate course was a dream I never knew I wanted but was so glad I found.
The skills I obtained in my Fashion Illustration course plus the numerous extra classes I was able to take at both Central Saint Martins (CSM) and London College of Communication (LCC), all guided me into more of a graphic arena. First working with a Fashion Forecasting company, Fashion Snoops, in their Youth and Culture sections; I went on to take courses in User Experience Design/User Interface Design (UX/UI), before working for a children's accessory company, designing for Nickelodeon, Disney, MGA, and other Fortune-500 companies.
Images and drawing style
The colouring book is a representation of the US first amendment to stand up for a cause. Every colouring page is accompanied by an encouraging, uplifting quote from influential leaders such as Michelle Obama, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Kofi Annan, and many more.
My illustration style is based on the 'line'. Whether it’s the grouping of spirals to portray a texture of hair or the boldness of a line to indicate depth, I've always found something beautiful in the balance of a line's confidence and the space in between.
The passionate line drawings allow kids to visualise themselves as powerful in this movement for change. No matter their age, height, race, or gender, their voices, every single one of them is needed!
Future of ‘Kids 4 Black Lives: Coloring Book’
Since being unemployed due to COVID-19, I decided to bring 'Kids 4 Black Lives: Coloring Book' to Kickstarter, where I believed the community would encourage a positive and much needed project such as this one. With the concept of 'all or nothing' on Kickstarter, I have the task of raising at least $US 5,000; but the more raised, the more I will be able to give to charity!
I have the task of raising funds to self-publish the colouring book, but I have also teamed up with Brooklyn based Charter School, Ivy Hill Prep (501c3 charitable organisation) to donate books and other necessities.
With help, ‘Kids 4 Black Lives: Coloring Book’ can gift the students of Ivy Hill Prep, and assist with nurturing the next generation of leaders not only at their school, but around the world if you help us share!
December 2020 update: Karee's Kickstarter campaign exceeded her $US 5,000 target; she raised a total of $US 7,030!
- Find out more on kids4blacklives.com
- Sign-up to the UAL Alumni of Colour Association, our supportive community of people of colour in the creative industries
- Find out more about the UAL Enterprising Alumni Association, our network of creative entrepreneurs and industry leaders
- UAL Careers and Employability organise free advice and events to all UAL graduates