Lifted Voices is a celebration of people of power — those who inspire others to live their lives out loud. For Black History Month here at Inkbox, we’re highlighting some of the best artists out there — bold, brilliant, Black creators who make art worth a double take.

This month, meet Doreen, Ziggy, Lo, and Amanda: all artists who thrive and shine in a variety of mediums and radiate creativity. They express themselves effortlessly, and aren’t afraid to make the Black experience a front and center part of their work.

They each have a collection of tattoos out this month, too. For every design sold, the independent artist who created it makes money. So keep your eyes out and share in their pursuit of Black joy with a temporary tattoo of your own.

Dropping new stories every Monday #LiftedVoices
Lifted Voices is a celebration of people of power — those who inspire others to live their lives out loud. For Black History Month here at Inkbox, we’re highlighting some of the best artists out there — bold, brilliant, Black creators who make art worth a double take.

This month, meet Doreen, Ziggy, Lo, and Amanda: all artists who thrive and shine in a variety of mediums and radiate creativity. They express themselves effortlessly, and aren’t afraid to make the Black experience a front and center part of their work.

They each have a collection of tattoos out this month, too. For every design sold, the independent artist who created it makes money. So keep your eyes out and share in their pursuit of Black joy with a temporary tattoo of your own.

Dropping new stories every Monday #LiftedVoices

This week’s person of power is Amanda Smith, a ballet dancer who gives 200 percent in everything she does. “Nothing I do is mediocre. Nothing I do is half of what it needs to be,” she says. Her confidence is intoxicating, and well-earned.

The California native has been dancing since she was a little kid, and now she joined the Harlem Theatre of Dance in 2017, where she can show off every big leap on an even bigger stage.

Quarantine has been her biggest challenge dance-wise in the past three years, but she’s only become a better dancer along the way. “I’ve [been able to] refine my technique, so that when we come out of this, I'm stronger than ever, and I’ve had to just find peace within myself and remind myself why I do this.”

An outspoken supporter of BLM, Amanda wants to inspire other young dancers to believe in themselves, encouraging them to continue reaching for the stars. “Dance is a healing mechanism to the world. It’s a majestic place where people can just dream and imagine and see things differently. That's why we have to continue to keep this art form alive,” she says. For more, check out her profile.

This week’s person of power is Amanda Smith, a ballet dancer who gives 200 percent in everything she does. “Nothing I do is mediocre. Nothing I do is half of what it needs to be,” she says. Her confidence is intoxicating, and well-earned.

The California native has been dancing since she was a little kid, and now she joined the Harlem Theatre of Dance in 2017, where she can show off every big leap on an even bigger stage.

Quarantine has been her biggest challenge dance-wise in the past three years, but she’s only become a better dancer along the way. “I’ve [been able to] refine my technique, so that when we come out of this, I'm stronger than ever, and I’ve had to just find peace within myself and remind myself why I do this.”

An outspoken supporter of BLM, Amanda wants to inspire other young dancers to believe in themselves, encouraging them to continue reaching for the stars. “Dance is a healing mechanism to the world. It’s a majestic place where people can just dream and imagine and see things differently. That's why we have to continue to keep this art form alive,” she says. For more, check out her profile.

This week’s person of power is Lo Harris, a digital artist who specializes in illustration and motion design. The Brooklyn-based artist from Alabama creates vibrant pieces that incorporate mostly Black women.

The characters in her illustrations have deep skin tones, set in colorful backgrounds. The women smirk, big-lipped, and are dressed in fun clothing. Her work is distinctively bright and filled with Black joy.

“I try to create work that is very relational. I want people to be able to find specificities in it, and have a callback to themselves. So that might mean me including culturally specific hairstyles in my work, or different body shapes in my work,” she says.

The BLM movement this past year motivated her to leave her role in the news industry, and dive headfirst into her artwork. Lo is self-taught, but her art is phenomenal, and inspires those who see it to prioritize their own joy.

“At the core of every single one of my illustrations is a seed of hope. The content I create is always rooted in confidence, joy, self-reflection, self-advocacy,” she says. “I include these in my work, because these are lessons that I'm actively trying to work through myself. I'm trying to become the person that I want to be,” she says. Read her full interview for more.

This week’s person of power is Lo Harris, a digital artist who specializes in illustration and motion design. The Brooklyn-based artist from Alabama creates vibrant pieces that incorporate mostly Black women.

The characters in her illustrations have deep skin tones, set in colorful backgrounds. The women smirk, big-lipped, and are dressed in fun clothing. Her work is distinctively bright and filled with Black joy.

“I try to create work that is very relational. I want people to be able to find specificities in it, and have a callback to themselves. So that might mean me including culturally specific hairstyles in my work, or different body shapes in my work,” she says.

The BLM movement this past year motivated her to leave her role in the news industry, and dive headfirst into her artwork. Lo is self-taught, but her art is phenomenal, and inspires those who see it to prioritize their own joy.

“At the core of every single one of my illustrations is a seed of hope. The content I create is always rooted in confidence, joy, self-reflection, self-advocacy,” she says. “I include these in my work, because these are lessons that I'm actively trying to work through myself. I'm trying to become the person that I want to be,” she says. Read her full interview for more.

He’s currently working on an EP and a clothing line, so 2021 is sure to be a busy year for Ziggy. 2020 was kind to him too — although BLM reached a boiling point, Ziggy says it helped put him and other Black designers on the map.

“Especially during this time of Black excellence, I just wake up every morning happy to be Black, happy to create. And I think that's what keeps me pushing, because I know that the generation after mine is going to be looking at my generation. And hopefully, they'll be looking at me for inspiration. Every day, I just try to inspire more and more people to keep creating,” he says. Read his profile here.

This week’s person of power is Ziggy Mack-Johnson. The 24-year-old multi-hyphenate stylist-model-designer-influencer has worked with a variety of fashion brands and celebrities such as SZA, the Clermont Twins, Ebonee Davis, and more.

Ziggy doesn’t like being labeled as just a designer — he’s multifaceted, and loves to embrace his creativity through many different avenues. Why should he settle, when he can thrive in any lane? He also hopes to be the first gay rapper to hit the mainstream. Last year, he released his debut single “BBN,” a celebration of success and self-confidence — Ziggy knows his worth, and it’s high.

This week’s person of power is Ziggy Mack-Johnson. The 24-year-old multi-hyphenate stylist-model-designer-influencer has worked with a variety of fashion brands and celebrities such as SZA, the Clermont Twins, Ebonee Davis, and more.

Ziggy doesn’t like being labeled as just a designer — he’s multifaceted, and loves to embrace his creativity through many different avenues. Why should he settle, when he can thrive in any lane? He also hopes to be the first gay rapper to hit the mainstream. Last year, he released his debut single “BBN,” a celebration of success and self-confidence — Ziggy knows his worth, and it’s high.

He’s currently working on an EP and a clothing line, so 2021 is sure to be a busy year for Ziggy. 2020 was kind to him too — although BLM reached a boiling point, Ziggy says it helped put him and other Black designers on the map.

“Especially during this time of Black excellence, I just wake up every morning happy to be Black, happy to create. And I think that's what keeps me pushing, because I know that the generation after mine is going to be looking at my generation. And hopefully, they'll be looking at me for inspiration. Every day, I just try to inspire more and more people to keep creating,” he says. Read his profile here.

This week’s person of power is Doreen Garner, who can’t help but insert her own image into her tattoos. Taking heavy inspiration from Harriet A. Washington’s book ‘Medical Apartheid’, her art deals with the relationship Black people have to the medical industry and their historical maltreatment. It still affects Black people today.

“There's a community that really wants to see blackness and black history and the black experience expressed through tattoo images. Oftentimes, that hasn't really been seen,” she said in her interview.

She started tattooing in 2017, and has been met with acclaim ever since — she has a waitlist of eager future clients, and almost 30,000 Instagram followers. Her tattoo art often involves a plethora of African imagery and nature, breaking barriers for those who have been told they have to learn to tattoo from a white person, or were told that their skin was too dark to be properly tattooed. Some of her designs even incorporate braid patterns, making daggers out of plaits of hair.

What she wishes most for Black creatives though? That they could just be themselves, and finally come into their own superpowers during this new “Black renaissance” age we’ve entered. Read her profile here.

Author: Melinda Faukuade
Photo: Zabel Castillo
Video: Ben Hype
Creative Director: Becky Brown
Creative Producer: Rasheem Jamar
Senior Designer: Kelsey Cadenas
Casting Director: Jacqueline Rosa

This week’s person of power is Doreen Garner, who can’t help but insert her own image into her tattoos. Taking heavy inspiration from Harriet A. Washington’s book ‘Medical Apartheid’, her art deals with the relationship Black people have to the medical industry and their historical maltreatment. It still affects Black people today.

“There's a community that really wants to see blackness and black history and the black experience expressed through tattoo images. Oftentimes, that hasn't really been seen,” she said in her interview.

She started tattooing in 2017, and has been met with acclaim ever since — she has a waitlist of eager future clients, and almost 30,000 Instagram followers. Her tattoo art often involves a plethora of African imagery and nature, breaking barriers for those who have been told they have to learn to tattoo from a white person, or were told that their skin was too dark to be properly tattooed. Some of her designs even incorporate braid patterns, making daggers out of plaits of hair.

What she wishes most for Black creatives though? That they could just be themselves, and finally come into their own superpowers during this new “Black renaissance” age we’ve entered. Read her profile here.

Author: Melinda Faukuade
Photo: Zabel Castillo
Video: Ben Hype
Creative Director: Becky Brown
Creative Producer: Rasheem Jamar
Senior Designer: Kelsey Cadenas
Casting Director: Jacqueline Rosa