Meet The Artist

Kennedy Simpson

I am a Graphic Designer currently residing in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I was born and raised. Almost all of my work has been created using Adobe Creative Suite, specifically Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. I find lots inspiration through my experiences as a mixed race person, as I find exploring ideas of racial confusion and the impacts of micro aggressions on people of color extremely important. I strive to visually represent and recreate ideas for multi and mono-racial individuals to understand. Whether or not one of my pieces has a complex or serious message, my goal is to make my viewers feel *something* – the beauty of art is that *something* is always open for interpretation.


White Washed

“…I seemed to run swiftly up an incline and shot forward with sudden acceleration into a wet blast of black emptiness that was somehow a bath of whiteness”
– Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man, Random House, Inc., 1952

The inspiration for this illustration comes from Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”, a novel that analyzes a black man’s efforts to survive in 1950s America. I first read this novel in high school and was instantly gravitated towards the narrator’s emotional struggles, as many of mine resembled his. I enjoy symbolism and used a combination of digital and physical elements to support and bedizen the final piece.

Initial concepting for this illustration was created with Adobe Illustrator in 2019 as a Digital Media Art’s student at Hamline University. Originally, “White Washed” was created as an alternate book cover for an assignment. Supporting details which include framing, screen printing, and painting were added in the spring of 2022.

I Am Not A Crime, Not Target Practice

Your persona as a Black American is established in an instance: you are violent, you are aggressive, you are incoherent, you are an intruder. To be a person of color is to be consistently depreciated by people that do not see you with radiance.

“I AM NOT A CRIME” and “NOT TARGET PRACTICE” were illustrated in 2020 after George Floyd was murdered by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Initial sketches for these illustrations were constructed quickly – after seeing the mass response from communities across Minnesota the United States (and lack there of in others), my grievance and bewilderment was used to create these visuals.

Let Freedom Wring

“Let Freedom Wring” was imagined in 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

Symbols have always been interesting to me – it’s fascinating how simple illustrations and words can be so easily recognized and associated with such strong and varied emotions. I was introduced to the Gadsden Flag during a high school history class where it was presented to me as a symbol for American freedom and pride. My first intent was to exhibit the infamous yellow snake in unison with the Black Power fist until further research and understanding of how many right-wing groups use it to represent their independence.

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