On Her Art Start
My mom was a dressmaker, so I spent a lot of my childhood in her sewing studio, drawing to pass the time. But when I was 12 and saw Halle Berry in Boomerang—she played an art director—I realized I could be a woman of color and do art for a living. After graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, I worked in graphic design and taught, but I always illustrated on the side. And last year I had a realization: I want to spend all my time drawing! So I quit my full-time teaching job to pursue my personal work, most of which focuses on women of color and natural hair. It's a way to celebrate the people I see in my community—and honor the coils I was born with, too.

Photo: Danielle Finney
On Coloring Outside the Lines
I typically start all my drawings in black ink, and when I saw that adult coloring books were starting to get popular, I knew my work could translate well. But as I started to design my book (aptly titled I Love My Hair), I had to keep in mind what people would actually want to color. I didn't want it to just be page after page of busts of women with different styles, so I tried to create abstract scenes, like a lady with braids that flow into a garden. The book also has hair accessories to color in, typography, a wide range of textures—there's room for people to use their imagination.

Illustration courtesy of Andrea Pippins

On the Bigwigs
There are some iconic looks that I just had to include in the book. My mother is Brazilian, so Carmen Miranda is in there with an intricate headdress. We've got Marie Antoinette—I'd never drawn an elaborate bouffant!—and there was no doubt about Diana Ross. The only question was which period to choose: Motown Diana? Mahogany Diana? I ended up going with her classic 1980s Central Park concert look. I remember staring at her Why Do Fools Fall in Love album cover as a little girl and thinking she was so beautiful—which is a theme in all my work. I want each page to show that every kind of hair can be gorgeous, whether it's straight or an Afro puff.

Marie Antoinette's bouffant
Illustration courtesy of Andrea Pippins
An afro puff
Illustration courtesy of Andrea Pippins


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