Nicholle Kobi. You’ve probably seen the popular illustrator’s work in a whole array of modern fashion magazines. Like Glamour, Ebony, Essence and Marie Claire. The artist has built a large following on the Instagram platform. Kobi orginially started her Instagram under a fake name, to keep under the radar of friends and family while on bed rest. It was on this extended leave that she returned to her love of drawing. She spent 10 years in the corporate and financial world before her homecoming back to art. Which, has since worked out pretty well for her, after being told in art school that she would never have a career in painting black women.
But that is exactly what she does. Known for portraying black relationships, in singleness, love, friendships and families, Nicholle Kobi felt the need to show these relationships as she knows them. Feeling there was a lack of representation all over, especially where she lived in France. Kobi was born in Kinshasa, Congo in Africa and brought up in Normandy France by her father. She later moved to Paris where the city’s landmarks and lifestyle feature heavily in her work.
Nicholle Kobi not only addresses the lack of representation of black women in illustrations but in colourism too. Reinforcing a positive and an inclusive outlook in all shades of skin and types of hair that celebrates the diversity of black women. Nicholle describes her work as “carefree yet refined”. This is something that definitely comes across in her art. Sighting her inspiration as “coming from my actuality…” and stating “My illustrations reflect who we are.”
You can catch Nicholle doing her dinner art tours in different cities across the world until the end of this year. Her gorgeous art prints and home goods are available on her website. Let me know which are your favourites of Kobi’s work in the comments below!