The Artistic Diversity Challenge - Come and join!

In light of current events occurring all across the United States, Canada, and other countries around the world, I came to the realization that almost all of my artistic connections are whiter than Gavin Verhey's pasty derriere. Were you to ask me who my favorite black artist was, I wouldn't have even been able to list one. As an artist myself, this is both embarrassing and sickening. The fact that Wizards of the Coast has only employed black artists four times during Magic's lifespan, amidst thousands of commissions each year, certainly doesn't help.

I understand that I will always have racist biases whether I want them or not. I also understand that the best way to fight these racist biases is to become aware of them and make a conscious effort to reject them. To recognize black and colored artists, every day for 30 days I will discover a new black or colored artist and design a card based around their artwork. I invite you to join this challenge with me so we can fight our ignorance together. Just because this challenge is only a month long does not mean support for black and colored artists ends then. We all need to support black and colored artists now and forever. 

Everyone is welcome to start anytime and share their cards/artist discoveries. You're welcome to use a previously mentioned artist's work, but it's way cooler if you find one that hasn't been mentioned yet. If you need any other reason to participate in this challenge, I guess I can shower your cards with internet points too. And please spread the word and invite your friends! (cough cough @Faiths_Guide @sorinjace @murkletins @Gelectrode ;@MemoryHead)

Good luck everyone and stay safe. Let's all meet someone new today.


  • Day 1: Featuring the artwork of Kelley Harris!

    Ursula Naayyyyy
  • I might join, but I'm struggling with staying up to date, with theater and the new puppy, but good idea @Temurzoa!
  • @Temurzoa UOrsuolla lowkey looks like a powerful selkie. I like.
  • Ordain (When you cast this spell you may tap a
    creature you control that shares a color with it. If
    you do, this spell becomes ordained.)
    By @Rayne_Lord, check out his set!

    Art by
  • Glad you could join @LordTachanka123! Keep up the good work
  • I'm actually quite glad with the card, although I just noticed that it wouldn't be transforming into a token. I got a very Jekyll and Hyde feel from the art, thanks for the challenge!
  • Here's one!

    The art is done by Odera Igbokwe!

  • @shadow123 sweet design! I love the callback to Thirst For Knowledge-esque cards.
  • Hey there, @Temurzoa! Your card "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was one of the Top Three cards in my Symphony of Cardsmiths Contest! You've earned 5 favorites from me to any cards of your choice (the cards you choose can be made by other cardsmiths.)

    Link to the contest:
  • How would we know the skin color of online artists? I use ArtStation and most people's profile pictures are just their favorite or most recent piece.
  • Now THIS is an awesome idea. I already dropped a few cards today, but darn it I am going to go and seek out something for this right now. I am sure I will find something really sweet.
  • edited June 24
    My first entry:

    Featuring the artwork of: Manasseh Johnson, Sr. (His caricatures of celebrities are awesome btw.)

    TChalla King of Wakanda
  • @Temurzoa Thanks! I'll try to post another one today if possible.
  • My 2nd entry:

    Featuring the artwork of Walter Lobyn Hamilton

    Life Mind Tutor

    This piece is actually comprised of broken vinyl records. I actually thought it was really cool, and it got me thinking of tutors for some reason, so this is what I came up with.
  • @Ilmarinen thanks for the reminder! Can you just favorite cards in this thread?

    @sorinjace glad you can join! Those are some awesome artists you've picked out, I'll need to check them out.

    Day 2: Featuring the artwork of Olajide Ajayi!

  • edited June 24
    @Temurzoa thanks for pnging me about it!

    With Life Mind Tutor I went with flavor for the drawback since the artist is 'revealing' his love for music, so I thought he would want to reveal his library, get it? Hehe. Plus it makes for a wacky but possibly useful (or dangerous) drawback. Such is the price of playing at instant tutor speed.
  • Day 3: Featuring the artwork of Hasani Claxton!

    Faerie Derriereiy
  • Day 4: Featuring the artwork of Geneva Bee!

    Alliance 1
  • @Temurzoa - I love these artists!
  • edited June 28
    @Corwinnn, aren't they awesome? Wizards are seriously missing out on working with some great artists.

    And speaking of which (Day 5), let's feature the artwork of Odera Igbokwe!

    At Her Majestys Behest
  • Day 6: Featuring the artwork of Joshua Mays!

  • Day 7: Featuring the artwork of Komi Olafimihan!

    At Her Majestys Behest
  • edited June 29
    You know, that sounds pretty stupid by forcing companies to hire black people just because for the sake of 'diversity'. It could be that most of the artists who really wanted and got hired to work at WoTC were just being white.

    That's just like forcing a black person to change the role of the famous non-black person such as Jesus Christ to be black just because of the 'diversity'.
  • edited June 29
    @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos, you have a good point. Tokenism is indeed harmful and causes just as many problems as outright exclusion. That being said, it's important to note that acts of tokenism is merely symbolic. As you can see above, black artists have so much to offer to MTG. Having Joshua Mays and Odera Igbokwe illustrating for MTG for example would be a breath of fresh air to the game with their unique and engaging styles. It's significantly different than just checking someone's name in a box.

    Speaking of which, by purposefully hiring minority applicants, WotC can end toxic precedents and start new ones. Having only four black artists in the history of MTG is pretty intimidating for up-and-coming artists for good reason. It may seem forced at first, but by adding more minority artists to MTG, it can allow the hiring process to be more organic over time once the precedent of there-are-only-four-black-artists is done for.

    Also, you're right about a lot of artists working at WotC just because they're white. When an art director is looking for artists to illustrate the new set, they often pick people they know, which is reasonable. The problem is that all MTG art directors are white, so the people that first come to mind are also white. Think of how many black artists would illustrate for MTG if WotC only would hire a black art director. And considering how well WotC pays their artists, as well as the status of illustrating for such a prestigious game, I think many black artists would love to illustrate for the game given the change. It's not an issue about race, it's an issue about ignorance, and I don't think anyone can use ignorance as an excuse anymore considering what's happening in the states.

    And I hate to say this, but Jesus Christ was most likely black. Research on ancient skeletons in Israel suggests that Judeans of the time were biologically closer to Iraqi Jews than any other contemporary population, which means that Jesus Christ would have dark olive skin. Sorry.

  • edited June 29
    @Temurzoa Great arguments, boss. Can't deny that people should not be picky towards skin colors then it seems.

    Also, yeah, but Jesus wasn't an african descent (a.k.a. like the afro-american people who feel to be 'oppressed') because the history between the Middle-East and American people is different from the enslavement of the black people that happened in the past.
  • @Fallen_Lord_Vulganos - They have to hire for diversity because, left to their own devices, a lot of these old school "That's how we've always done it" companies don't look for the best person for the job, or even look to give someone a chance to succeed if they don't fit the mold of the "ideal" candidate. The dream is that one day, we view each other as equals, but I fear the only way some people will ever understand that is when a spaceship lands on the planet and a bug species pops out and tries to eradicate the human population, but I fear even that may not change some folks minds.

  • edited June 30
    Day 8: Featuring the artwork of The Highwaymen, particularly Alfred Hair!
  • this is a super cool idea @Temurzoa!
    here's my entry (expect more)

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