"Unfortunately, a lot of women, especially women of color don't get the opportunity to see themselves as role models in the tech world. I want to change this narrative! Consequently, in my coloring book, I've also highlighted the stories and included impactful quotes from 15 inspiring Black women STEM pioneers." - Nia Asemota
Here, we catch up with Nia, the artist behind Black Girls CODE’s newest coloring and activity book, and find out more about her work and the inspiration behind the coloring book.
How are you doing? How would you describe your life right now in just six words? I feel incredibly blessed that my vision is coming to fruition. I’m experiencing a huge change at the moment and it feels so unreal.
How long have you been an artist? We see you are self-taught. That’s amazing. What was your process on perfecting your skills as an artist? I like to joke around and say that I’ve been creating art ever since I could hold a crayon. I’ve always been a very expressive person, and growing up you would always find me doing arts & crafts, painting, or filling multiple sketchbooks with my drawings and ideas. I picked up digital illustration at the beginning of the pandemic as an outlet to relieve stress and I’ve fallen in love. I try to draw every day to become more versed on the digital platform, refine my skills, and try out different techniques. Recently, I’ve been trying to learn how to do animations and absolutely love the process.
We see that you illustrated a coloring book. Tell us more about it. What was your inspiration behind it? Where can we find it? For the past 2 years, I've been working closely with the global non-profit, Black Girls CODE, as a technical instructor introducing girls as young as 7 to computer science, robotics, AR/VR, etc. This month, I've partnered with them to highlight influential Black STEM pioneers through my digital illustrations. By way of Twitter and Instagram, we've shared vibrant images of these inspiring figures who have paved the path for our students and the next generation of innovators.
I'm so excited and beyond grateful to share the launch of my 'Black Girls CODE the Future' coloring and activity book! With it, my goal is to empower young women of color through illustrations where they can see themselves reflected. Unfortunately, a lot of women, especially women of color don't get the opportunity to see themselves as role models in the tech world. I want to change this narrative! Consequently, in my coloring book, I've also highlighted the stories and included impactful quotes from 15 inspiring Black women STEM pioneers.
For myself, growing up — and especially now — there were a lot of issues surrounding representation. I dreamed of creating a platform where the girls can color the world as they see it. I wanted to showcase the future game-changers they’re going to be. I hope that this coloring book inspires them to continue rising, taking action, and chasing their dreams!
To learn more about me and my inspiration for this coloring book please click HERE.
Click HERE to check out the coloring book. I hope you enjoy it!
Do you think it is important for kids to see themselves in their toys, books, media, etc? How important is diversity and inclusion in your eyes? Representation is everything. When I was younger, I would color the princesses and other figures with my brown crayons and markers. Although the skin tone may have matched, it was obvious that the characters reflected in these images weren’t meant to look like me. With my coloring book, I wanted to take an active stance and provide girls of all ages with a platform where they can express themselves and feel empowered with images that they can see themselves reflected. I plan to make a coloring book series so that all children, black and brown, can feel inspired and color the world as they see it.
It is so important for kids to see themselves in their toys, books, and especially the media. Having inclusive mediums allows these kids to feel supported in their endeavors and is a huge confidence booster. My mother always tells me the story of her challenge finding me a black doll amongst the sea of homogenous-looking dolls upon the shelf. It shouldn’t be a challenge to find inclusive kids’ toys.
What was your favorite toy as a child and why? As a child my favorite toy was my Hannah Montana doll, I would bring it anywhere I went! I’ve always been a huge puzzle person, I absolutely love solving them! When I was younger I remember turning my drawings or pictures into simple puzzles to solve and share. I was also really into playing with barbies and legos.
If you were a kid now, what would your favorite toy be? The puzzles from Puzzle & Bloom of course and the Barbie Fashionista Dolls.
What was the best advice you have received about life, courage, love, business, anything you would like to share? Live in your purpose, everyone has their own path and what’s meant for you will come to you if you allow it to.
What advice do you have for other artists, creators and entrepreneurs? Don’t let anyone’s opinion of your work stop you from doing what you are so driven to do. The work will evolve.
How can we find you online? What is your website, social media links, etc? Please share.
Thank you again!