Sharing

Chronic Ink Stands with Black Lives Matter

Chronic Ink Tattoo – and the tattoo industry at large – are underrepresented by black tattoo artists and tattoo artists of colour. We need to do a better job to let black artists and artists of colour know they are welcome and give them the training and tools to introduce them to the life and industry where we have been so fortunate to be a part. To help rectify this, we’ve started an annual scholarship fund. Every year, we will be offering four scholarships of one thousand dollars each, for black artists and artists of colour that are students pursuing an art-based education.

For our initial round of scholarships, we had an astounding number of applicants. We reviewed each application carefully. Below you can find some examples of their artwork and a short autobiography on each of our chosen 2020 scholarship holders.

Ornella Mutonji – @shekilledart
Carel Kabamba – @carel.art
Damien Ajavon – @damien.a.a
Logan Frances – @blacktelfarbag

Ornella Mutonji

I’m Ornella Mutonji, an aspiring filmmaker who also dabbles in sketching and painting. I’m currently studying media production at Ryerson in hopes of creating more stories centered around black love and joy, rather than focusing on our trauma. I value artistic expression because I grew up in an environment where the only way I could truly express myself was through art. I am heavily influenced by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jackson Pollock, because I enjoy how they use abstract expressionism for their pieces. Don’t think, just do, let the art create itself. With my art, I like rawness. The messiness, the lack of realism, it all makes it very honest. I hope to touch people through my oeuvres, but I also just want a safe space to be me.

Ornella Mutonji Artwork

Ornella Mutonji Artwork

Carel Kabamba

I am Carel Kabamba, a young Congolese artist based in Toronto. I create traditional art, digital art, as well as doing some short documentaries. I enjoy creating art with black figures it is important to me because I realized black artists are a minority, so I would rather represent my people. Whenever I showcase black figures in my art, I am showing how beautiful natural black features are, which, advocates for self-love because black looks good in all shades, sizes, and hair types. You can see more of my work and merchandise on my website (www.misskabamba.com), and Instagram page (@carel.art).

Carel Kabamba Artwork

Carel Kabamba Artwork

Damien Ajavon

I am an artisan and an artist, from Paris with half Senegalese and half Togolese roots.

I started studying garment and textile design back in 2012.

I do weaving, knitting, dyeing, embroideries…

In my work I often return to the motif of hands, and explore the different ways textile fibres can be knotted, braided, tangled, and woven. I am interested in garments and accessories not only as a source of style and cultural expression, but also as a source of warmth or protection – layers that can protect our bodies from the harsh environments of the world.

As a young, Black, queer artist living in Montreal, weaving and making textiles, and as I continuing to practice textile design, I hope to give back to my community by helping create more space for Black artists in the textile world, which right now is very white.

The textile forms that I create are very much influenced by my background – being French African with immigrant parents, and growing up in a Western country with a Western education, while also learning my Senegalese culture and language at home. Growing up in France, my mother was adamant that my sibling and I stay connected to our African culture. Though French was my first language, Wolof (a language of Senegal, Gambia and Mauritania) was my second, and English my third.

Since then I have worked in different workshops, including doing apprenticeships at Mazzanti Piume in Florence (feather-based designs for high fashion) in 2016, at Museo della canapa in Umbria Italy (weaving hemp) in 2015, and in Gaspesie, QC (learning felting, making hats and accessories) in 2016.

Most recently, I did an apprenticeship in 2019, working as a knitwear assistant for the fashion label Gauntlett Cheng in New York. I also presented my first art piece last summer at the 2019 Linen Biennale in Quebec.

Damien Ajavon Artwork

Damien Ajavon Artwork

Logan Frances

Logan frances is a dj, designer, and writer from new orleans, currently based in brooklyn. After doing painting and sculpture for years, her work has shifted in the past two years to performance and text-based work. Conceptually, logan’s work centers physics, history, technology, and intimacy; she often treats her work as a science experiment to explore social theory and relationships.

Logan Frances Artwork

Logan Frances Artwork

Everyone at Chronic Ink is looking forward to seeing all of the incredible applications we receive for the 2021 Chronic Ink Scholarship fund.