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This Artist Started An Important Hashtag So Black Artists Can Get The Recognition They Deserve

"We need more inclusivity in the art world," Annabelle Hayford told BuzzFeed News.

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This is 19-year-old Annabelle Hayford, who is currently based in Baltimore. They always had a passion for illustration and has been drawing from the age of 4, and they're currently studying art at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Here's are some of Hayford's epic illustrations.

They told BuzzFeed News that they focus on drawing people of colour as they are not represented so much.

"I've always loved drawing, from the age of 4. I think watching a lot of animation really inspired me but I didn't see enough black characters on my screen," Hayford said, adding that there are not a lot of black artists either.

In an attempt to change this, they created a hashtag to encourage black artists to share their work.

Starting a hashtag event to celebrate and appreciate black artists this weekend !🙌🏿✊🏾👌🏽💫 RTs are greatly appreciat…

Hayford kicked off #DrawingWhileBlack, showcasing their own illustrations. The tweet gained over 22,000 likes and 8,000 retweets. "We need more inclusivity in the art world," they said, adding that they hoped those in a position to hire artists would see the hashtag.

hi my name is Annabelle✨I'm a first generation Ghanaian American animator and illustrator! I'm also the organizer o…

Many black artists from all over the world participated in #DrawingWhileBlack, which made it trend a few days ago.

My name is Ricardo Edwards, Jamaican visual artist. Create or DIE #drawingwhileblack

Hi! My name is Cerena, I'm 16 years old I've been drawing since I was 6 #drawingwhileblack

There were artists from Ghana:

Name's Benjamin Kwashie from Ghana. I draw with ballpoint pen. #drawingwhileblack

Eddy here, 3D Artist from Ghana. Haven't killed 2D in a long time but I think my CG is getting tight.…

There were artists from Nigeria:

Hi, my name is Nnadi ikechukwu from Nigeria🇳🇬. I make realistic and idealistic paintings. #drawingwhileblack

Artists from the US:

Hi I'm a Jamaican American freelance illustrator! I live in Texas and I draw cute stuff and sometimes horror…

I thought this was a wonderful tag! Hello! My name is Nina I am a half black half Japanese artist from New York Cit…

Artists based in Tokyo:

Hey! I'm Sade and I'm mixed Black/Latina-Hispanic/white and I draw whatever moves me. Currently settled in Tokyo…

And a load from the UK:

hi I'm Rochelle I'm 16 and I'm always late! I'm from the UK but most of my family are from 🇯🇲 i love yall and this…

(Jumpin on the wagon) Hiya! I'm Clàudia T.Lopes. aka "lilasoul" #London based Game Artist @runawayplay 💖Xo…

Some more. Kenyan 🇰🇪🌈 artist, 20, in the UK #drawingwhileblack

Hi my name is Ashley Straker, I'm a freelance digital artist and Illustrator based in London 🇬🇧 #drawingwhileblack

"I just want the black artist[s] to know that they are just as worthy. Black artist[s] have to work twice as hard as their white peers just to be seen," Hayford said.

Hayford said they are so grateful for everyone who participated in the hashtag: "I feel warm inside. People were sharing their experiences under the hashtag. It's nice to know that I am not alone, and I love the sense of togetherness that the hashtag has created."

Victoria Sanusi is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Victoria Sanusi at

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