Mixed-Media artist based out of Chicago with a focus on Portraiture.
Hi! I'm Michelle West.
I'm a Illustrator & Visual Artist based out of Chicago. In my traditional art, I focus on Afrocentricity as well as portraiture. I draw focus to my past experiences of viewing art when I was younger, and noticing that there wasn't a lot of representation fo black people, especially black women within artwork that I was viewing. I wanted to change that, but I also wanted to combine my love of other elements like graffiti and graphic design within my work.
In my traditional work, initially start out with the background being in spray paint, i throw paint around so that it makes a really bold pattern. with my traditional paintings i start working on the image that i want to portray in oil paint. Oil paint is a medium that I always loved to use when other artists usually don’t. Oil paints are notoriously take longer to dry instead of acrylic paints. Through all the different avenues of my work, I’ve always portrayed black faces or black figures, and the main reason because of that is the fact that I feel like black women can be misrepresented in media, and also sometimes in art. Being a black woman myself I wanted to change the social stereotypes that I had heard.
The direction in my work is to always challenge the narrative of black people, and more specifically, black women. I'm also drawn to color in my work, and always making figures as bright and as colorful as possible. I also am drawn to graphic design, and like representing patterns, and elements of that in my work.