My name is Rae and I'm a 20-year-old self-taught visual artist based in the UK who primarily uses watercolour paints. I began learning to paint at age 14 and have been in love with the craft ever since. At the centre of my work are black faces and themes to shine a spotlight on the beauty of black culture, history and identity. My belief is that instead of categorising black art as an isolated genre, we should just have art that features black people and such art should be inspiring and empowering to viewers of all identities.

I knew I wanted to make black people the focus of my art pieces when I had my first gallery exhibition in Walthamstow and a little black girl was staring at my painting. This particular painting featured a little girl with natural hair protesting against the negative black stereotypes written behind her. Her father came over and explained that her melanin made her beautiful, and she looked so happy to see herself. It made me think about how rare it is for black people to see ourselves in media, especially art. Since then, I recognised the important value of black representation in all forms of media and want to continue to highlight the beauty that is blackness in my work.

As well as showcasing the beauty of blackness, I love to use bright and vibrant colours within my work to bring a joyful and playful element of life to the surroundings in which my art resides. My bedroom walls are full of light and colour and I firmly believe that colourful paintings can turn any rooms into a safe and cozy space that reflects your personality. These paintings have transformed my bedroom from four blank walls into my favourite and most comfortable space - I hope my work can do the same for you.