According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), only 29% of books about African/African American people were by Black authors/illustrators. Tracy Ann Simmonds looks to add to those statistics with the release of her coloring book The Vision Project. She is the C.E.O. of Innovative Arts Photography, an enthusiastic Wedding, Portrait and Event Photographer in South Florida. Her artistic background spreads the gamut from Professional Dance and Performing Arts Educator to Jewelry Designer and Painter while also authoring Miami Culture Maven, a cultural fashion and lifestyle blog highlighting talented people & organizations who are following their dreams.
The coloring pages are drawings of Black girls and women with mandalas included as well as African symbolism to activate pride in the culture of the African Diaspora. The book’s goals include instilling self-esteem and self-efficacy in Black girls and women. Custom portraits are available on a commission basis by Tracy Ann.
“I believe an undoubtedly important aspect, with regards to healing women of color, is to provide vivid visuals by designing iconic images that embrace natural Afrocentric beauty,” said Simmonds.
Her love and appreciation for fine art mediums as well as visual communication lead her to think outside of the box when it comes to creating products.
The writing (introduction, acknowledgments, foreword) in this coloring book came from her constant search inward and continuous desire to justify her creative process. Tracy Ann is a tactile writer, and so daily journaling helps her to iron out her thoughts. The drawings in this book were created over 2 years, and each page contains not only a drawing of a Black woman and mandala designs but also the woman’s vision for the betterment of themselves or the world around them.
Tracy Ann Simmonds’ coloring book is available for purchase at www.miamiculturemaven.com