Black artist from Minnesota receives $ 55,000 TikTok grant to build new app


Having found success through the creation of innovative and inclusive graphic design tools, Vegalia Jean-Pierre received over $ 50,000 from TikTok to build an upcoming app.

Jean-Pierre started building a strong following on the popular social networking platform by posting cartoons showcasing people of color, with braids and curls, Source of hometown reports. When designing her cartoons, the former Iowa State, who went to college on a full scholarship, realized how difficult and time-consuming it was to create the braided and curly hairstyles that she and others who look like him often wear.

As a result, the product design graduate has created her own set of digital brushes that easily replicate black hairstyles, including braids, curls, strands, twists, and more. The innovative design became an instant hit, garnering views from Jean-Pierre and thousands of sales from all over the world.

His company, by.Vegalia, has over 50 digital brushes for natural hairstyles on Clip Studio Paint, Photoshop, and Procreate, priced from $ 8 to $ 20. Due to her success on TikTok, the young Minnesota-based designer was invited to participate in the TikTok for Black Creatives incubator program.

The three-month program provided Jean-Pierre with resources that helped her grow her number of subscribers on the platform to over 500,000 subscribers.

“It was a big advantage for me,” said Jean-Pierre.

She was also offered a grant of $ 50,000 after pitching an idea for an app she is creating.

“Our goal is to ensure that black creators and artists have the resources they need to reach new heights in their careers and spearhead innovation in their respective industries,” said Kudzi Chikumbu, director of the designer community at TikTok.

In addition to her upcoming app which will provide space for various artists to feel represented, Jean-Pierre has also released the Melanin Magic coloring book that she created with 14 other black artists and features 35 original magical characters in color, including including mermaids, fairies, and magical girls.


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