I don’t know much about astrology, but it can’t be a coincidence that my 2 all-time favorite artists were born under the same sign. Celebrating three legends this month: Stevie Wonder, Janet Jackson and Grace Jones.

Cartoon portrait illustration of Stevie Wonder wearing an iconic blue, brown and beige hat and outfit from an appearance in 1976. Pictured from the chest up, similar to a grecian bust.

Stevie Wonder

Born May 13, 1950

Stevie’s music has been a source of love and inspiration for generations! Through powerful songs that capture the essence of life, love, and the human experience, he also addresses important social issues to promote equality and justice. His legacy as a musician, songwriter, and activist is unmatched. This is just one of many distinctive looks Stevie had through the years.

Fun fact: My surname “Stevland” was inspired by Stevie’s original name, Stevland Hardaway Morris. My wife and I adopted it as a tribute and reminder to live our lives creating more peace and love in the world.

Stevie’s catalog is enormous, so if you need an entry point here are some of my favorites:

Janet Jackson

Born May 16, 1966

Janet Jackson’s remarkable impact on entertainment as a singer, dancer, songwriter, producer, and blueprint for today’s entertainers is undeniable. Despite media erasure after 2004, her influence continues to shape the industry.

This portrait is inspired by a fan favorite, Janet’s first-ever number 1 single, ‘When I Think of You,’ released when she was just 18 years old!

Cheers to Janet and her enduring legacy!

Did you know? I’m the creator of the largest collection of original artwork featuring Janet Jackson. This project, nearly 30 years in the making, started when I was a teenager in the 90s and noticed the lack of positive artistic representation of successful black artists, like Janet Jackson, in mainstream culture publications.

Janet Jackson’s musical journey goes deep, here are some links to explore her catalog:

Cartoon portrait illustration of Grace Jones as she appeared on the album cover to her 1981 release

Grace Jones

Born May 19, 1948

It’s May Day herself! The very definition of a cultural icon, Grace Jones has impacted nearly every facet of our culture and redefined beauty through her art, style, and sound.

My portrait is inspired by the unforgettable album cover for “Nightclubbing” (1981) was photographed by Jean-Paul Goude and features Grace covered in maroon paint, wearing a stylish Armani jacket and signature haircut by renowned stylist Christiaan Houtenbos.

Check out Grace in action!

ARTIST NOTE:

This special portrait series was created to symbolize the nobility and enduring legacy of black cultural icons. If you’re a publisher, editor, art director, etc. who shares my appreciation for these legends, and are seeking illustrations to share their stories, let’s connect and discuss how we can bring their legacies to life!

Head over to my contact form and get in touch today!

 

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