Picture this, a fully accessible database of comics, video games, animation, studios, geek events and much more from Africa right at your fingertips for free! That’s what we’re building over at database.squidmag.ink. Codenamed “Project Bahari”, the database is us essentially picking up where the Kugali database left off. Bahari is Swahili for the ocean, and as Squids, that’s the turf we swim in.
We’re painstakingly updating the database and hope to launch sometime in December with our target of 500 listings across comic books, animation (shorts, features, music videos, trailers), games, festivals and conventions, game development, animation and comic studios, publishers, collectives and the most herculean task of all, talent.
While we build that out, where do you go to find incredible digital artists from Africa or with ties to the continent in the vast ocean that’s the internet? Social media, blogs like this or portfolio websites like Behance, Dribbble or ArtStation?
Even though these sources are great, there aren’t nearly enough platforms showcasing African talent as we’d like. In fact, we have less than 10 platforms on our radar that feature an extensive collection of the kind of outstanding digital art we love to see (comics, illustration and animation). These are African Digital Art (our biggest muse), Farabale, Lucid Lemons, Between 10 and 5, Design Indaba and Okay Africa.
We’re going to change that. We want to save you the stress of scrolling through tons of artists to find inspiration, therapy or just the right kind of art you’re looking for. Inspired by Jepchumba’s fantastic work with African Digital Art as well as Farabale’s Artbeat and OMGVoice’s succinct posts, we’re starting Bahari Blue.
Bahari Blue is similar to Squid Alley with the goal to highlight as many amazing artists as possible quickly and consistently. Unlike Squid Alley and more in line with some of the posts on African Digital Art, it will have very little text and 10 images showcasing the featured artist’s talent.
Starting tomorrow, August 19 2019, we’ll showcase 2 artists every week on Monday and Friday. Depending on how quickly we’re able to scale this, we might even make it tri-weekly.
Think of Bahari Blue as our personal scrapbook of African artists (this will sometimes include those in the diaspora) we love and are inspired by and believe the whole world needs to know about. Bahari Blue will be curated by Kadi Yao Tay and Kofi Sydney Asare.
Let’s swim, shall we?