The Introduction of The Rihanna Drawing and Illustrations
The following is the first Rihanna drawing and artwork that I've done of the beauty. It would prove to not be the last because, at the beginning of 2017, I illustrated Rihanna with wings and in golden carnival outfit.
Further down the line, I will discuss the inspiration for the first illustration. As well as this I will discuss the second illustration composed of Rihanna in the middle of 2017. Rihanna is a queen and a goddess she is a representation of strong women and a symbol of boldness.
Rihanna Is Strength and Boldness
From music to acting and from acting to fashion, Rihanna is making her mark in whatever field she taps into. She is growing and expanding beyond what we consider it a megastar. Creating this Rihanna drawing was necessary. The world fell in love with Rihanna and so did I after the Brown incident.
She's been abused and she's had to work for her success. I don't believe you can become as big as a star as she is without sacrifices and without putting in the work. It's evident that she labors diligently and practice her craft in music daily. Rihanna is a symbol strength and boldness for many women.
The Rihanna Drawing and My Dream
Creating this first Rihanna drawing would prove to be worth it in 2011. Rihanna is one of the most profound public figures and real life characters I've ever illustrated. There are so many mysteries about her. I hope to meet her one day and maybe collaborated with her as an illustrator for an album cover or design for her line. I can dream right?
The First Rihanna Drawing and Illustration
The 2011 Rihanna Digital Drawing
In 2011 I created the first illustration of Rihanna with this pencil drawing technique digitally. At the time, this was probably the most I could do with my skill in digital drawing and painting.
Nearly six years later I created the Rihanna drawing to the right of the first artwork. The tremendous difference right? What changed? How did I improve as an artist? Continue reading and you will discover the answers to this within the content.
The First Rihanna Illustration
From The First Rihanna Drawing To The Rihanna Illustration.
Breaking Down The First Rihanna Illustration's Symbolism
The Symbolism in the first Rihanna digital drawing and illustration came from an inspiration I got from a carnival picture I saw of her. She is known to be wild as well as a Carnaval lover. She often travels back home to Barbados to enjoy the festival of street carnivals in her home country. Although she is a star beyond Stars she is humble enough to experience and do the things that she finds to be fun with no restrictions.
Capturing this in the illustration was the primary goal, but I then sketched an Idea which included a lot of symbolic elements.
The Wings In The Rihanna Illustration
The wings in the piece came from the inspiration of the carnival look. The added element of the peacock feathers represents an exotic woman. She is very peculiar and her style as well as personality.
This exotic aspect of the artwork is also symbolism for something wild something uncommon. It is my belief Rihanna is rare and I don't believe this is a secret. So in a way like the Peacock she is wild exotic and truly unique. Peacocks are a symbol of glory, vision, royalty, spirituality, immortality and awakening. These are all treats and ideas I wanted the illustration of Rihanna to convey.
The Fish In The Rihanna Illustration
Within the artwork are also two fish. These two fish are a symbol of her zodiac sign which is a Pisces. If you read about the Pisces you will discover the following character traits in relation to those who are born with this zodiac sign.
Rihanna Is A True Pisces
The Pisces are musical, wise, intuitive, artistic and compassionate. According to Astrology Zodiac Signs the Pisces usually like music, romance, visual media, and spiritual themes. If you have followed Rihanna as a fan over the years, I think you would agree these are all traits she embodies.
Although, I am not 100% believer in zodiac signs or astrology I don't discount them as being somewhat accurate. I don't think they are always accurate when it comes to horoscopes, but it's a scientifically proven thing that people born in certain environments. People who are also born in certain times of the year interact with others in different ways and have certain traits. I think it only makes sense to think that this is factual.
Additional Symbolism In The Illustration
Above illustration is the constellation of her zodiac. This is an additional element that I incorporated into the artwork to make it more appealing. Although it is a small element in the grand scheme of the artworks, it is representational and very relevant to the entire illustration of Rihanna.
The stars background is something that is consistently implemented in all of the pieces that I have created with the style in art direction. Creatively the purpose for this is to show the figures focused on as being among the stars. I've never met a person who said they didn't like the stars in space, in the same manner every person to some extent have a favorite celebrity or a star that they admire in Hollywood.
Rihanna Is A Goddess
Stars are also viewed as idols. Some of their fanatics literally worship them as if they are gods and goddesses. This is another thing that is up for debate, but I do believe that we were born to be kings and queens in this life. I also believe that we were created to govern the stars like gods and goddesses.
Towards the bottom part of the artwork is this triangular platter, which is sort of an altar. On the altar lies two masks. These two masks symbolize culture, African history, heritage, and something magical as well as spiritual. Several tribes in Africa if not all tribes in Africa have a mask that represents the tribes.
Mask and Heritage
Purpose of The Masks In The Rihanna Drawing
These masks have been said to be associated with each of these tribes gods that they worshiped. I found this to be very interesting and appealing as well as the three conceptual idea to incorporate within the artwork.Gold is often related to luxury as well as something Rich. I wanted all the pieces in the series to incorporate gold because I wanted to give the sense of luxury and something divine.
Lastly in the border in the frame surrounding the art piece are different elements of design which represent music as well as organic beauty.The illustration of Rihanna also is part of an extended series I call the royalty art series.
Growing As An Artist
I believe growth is essential and is necessary for every artist to succeed in whatever style or sub-genre they are in pertaining to art.For this reason every year I made it a challenge for myself to grow as an artist and to polish my skill set. From digital art graphic design digital painting and photography, I pushed myself to grow.
A Growing Mentality
This mentality is something I adopted after graduating high school in 2008.I wasn't sure which path I was going to take with my art. I thought of going to college for architecture, interior design, fashion design, and even 3D Animation but this wasn't the path meant for me. I don't know if every artist who created art as a child thought about owning an art business, but I did.
Closer To The Artist's Dream
I dreamed of being able to wake up every day to paint or draw. I dreamed of living life as an artist and I am getting closer and closer to the goal of being an artist who sells his art.
I have sold pieces in the past and have worked with clients, but the dream, which is also my goal is to sell an artwork every day. If not every day at least on a more consistent basis.
Invest In Your Own Skills
I have invested a lot of my personal money and income into buying DVDs books and various training online to grow as an artist. Since 2011 these investments that I made in order to fine-tune my skills have proven to be very beneficial because I've been able to land projects for some book cover art as well as album cover art for musicians. I've worked with a wide range of musicians and creative business owners as clients.It is must for an artist to grow.
Don't Be Stagnant In Skills
If you are stagnant in your skill set it may hinder you from potentially selling your art as well as building a following for your art. Today, building a following/fan base that will become your art collectors and supporters if very crucial. If your art sucks in quality, art direction, and the basic aesthetics than no one will take you seriously.
Growth In Skill Bring Growth In Followers
Your art won't grow and people won't follow if you don't improve your skill level. The biggest critique for your artwork should not be someone else, it should be YOU. Self-analysis and awareness of your level in skills should be clear. As an artist I know I have a lot to learn because it's embedded in my head that I will never stop learning.
Don't Make Art That Sucks
What art is considered as suck? Well, that's a debate in itself. As you grow as an artist you start feeling different about the work you create. You also start to notice the difference between your work between the years visually.
Sometimes I look back at the artwork that I did two years ago and I say to myself "man I could've done this better." or I ask myself "what were you thinking?" I am sure a lot of creative artists that create art every day have experienced the same thoughts and mindset.All in all, if you are not growing as an artist you are hurting yourself.
The Golden Rihanna Illustration
"ANTI Goddess" Symbolism
Creating the following digital painting of Rihanna was an advancement from the Rihanna drawing completed in 2011. "ANTI Goddess" is the name I chose to gave this piece after completing it. Continue reading to find out why I chose this title for the illustration of Rihanna.
I am a huge fan of Rihanna. The first Rihanna drawing that I did was a representation of my skills at that time. I have always been a portrait art enthusiast, but from the period of 2012 10 2017, I saw a growth in the art skills that I have. When I first started digital painting and doing digital drawings I hated it. It did not feel natural and I preferred drawing with a pencil over doing digital art.Over time, I learned to love making digital paintings and illustrations.
The Line Art of The Rihanna Drawing
This next art piece I believe trumps the first one for any reasons. The illustration marks a change in how I would publish my Artwork online moving forward.I started doing speed paintings of the artwork that I created in 2017 but for this piece, I created an animated video of the artwork. The video can be seen on my Instagram page.
Just a note, this is not the first illustration I've done illustrating a public figure completely in gold. The first person I created an association of ankle was Willow Smith in 2016. The artwork was the second piece at a time that I created in the royalty or series followed by an illustration I created of Zoe Kravitz.
An Evolution In The Art Series
Creating Rihanna in gold is innovative to the art series I've been developing. In the past idols and gods and certain cultures were created and cast in gold. Visually I wanted to create this effect and impression and adopted the idea of golden idols. This was incorporate it with this next illustration of Rihanna.I proceeded to create the Egyptian Goddess Isis wings in the illustration inspired from Rihanna's chest tattoo. If you follow me on Instagram and scroll down my account you will find that I have this fascination with the scarab beetle.
Egyptian Art History Inspiration
The Rihanna Drawing Being Colored
The design and my obsession with the beetle were inspired after I studied Greek to Roman Art history, which touched on Egyptian Art History.The stylized look of the wings I illustrated in the artwork I believe sets the illustration apart from all of the other pieces that I've created in the Royalty series. Although I have created three other art pieces in the series completely in gold, this one is truly special.
I've created Willow Smith, FKA twigs, and model Winnie Harlow all in gold. Each one of these ladies have something very distinctive about them which led me to in the street Domingo because they represent so much more for women.
Details In The Rihanna Drawing of The Illustration
Other aspects in this artwork and second and I Rihanna illustration like her birthstone and colors use within the piece where are representative of her. I also focused on many small details from the tattoos on her back tattoo on her ear and on her hand.
A lot of deep thought went into how I composed the artwork as far as structure. I knew that I wanted her to be a centerpiece and I wanted to somewhat make it symmetrical but not a 100%. This is the reason why I composed her looking over the shoulder versus stagnant and straight looking forward.
The Golden Rihanna Art Progression
Documented Art Process
In the past, I never used to document the process of the illustration and digital art I created. I am still not sure what pushed me to save the progress I make in the art I create and even record some of them. Maybe it was the fact that a lot of people don't believe the artworks are actually painted. Digital painting requires knowledge of color blending, shading, drawing, and composition.
A lot of technical skills are needed to actually create these artworks, which I believe is often overlooked and underappreciated.
The Development of the Art
One of my brothers who I talk to nearly every day mentioned to me how important it is to have growth as an artist. Although I know this, it's marveling experiencing it through my own work. I love to see growth and what I do and I consistently strive to push myself and make a better artwork.
You never stop learning or growing as long as you are humble and willing to admit you don't know it all.It is to my belief that the master painters like Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Jean-Michel Basquiat all push themselves to create a better Art piece that their last one. This mindset could even be referenced to in sports like basketball.
What Art and Basketball Have In Common
Basketball is probably one of my favorite sports because of the competitiveness that can be in it in a diverse way. Whether you are an individual player like Michael Jordan who pushed himself to be the best basketball player ever or simply wanted to win a championship. Michael Jordan did not elevate his skills and he was not the best by doing a little practice here and there. It took a lot of time, sacrifice, and commitment to understanding and mastering the game. From his ball handling skills to his shooting to his defense and incomparable will to win, Michael Jordan proved that if you committed yourself to something and to grow, you could achieve it.
I've told myself in the past that I would love to be the Michael Jordan in art. Of course, there have been thousands of great artist before me but I would like to push myself to be known as the best artist in the world. It's humbling to think that there could be such possibilities.
Rihanna's Musical Success
With hits like "SOS", "Pon The Replay", and "Unfaithful" starting out in her career in 2005, Rihanna set her sight on becoming a megastar. Of course, there were a few people behind her birth as a star. Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers were the first people to sign Rihanna and 2005. Who later would sign a multiple album record deal with DEF jam along with Jay-Z.
Looking back at this now, I am sure her and whoever was the core foundation of her team realize they made the best decision they could have it at the time. Rihanna's success didn't stop into thousand five or 2006 over a decade later in 2017 she is a face representing multiple brands and one of the most iconic figures in music.
Rihanna Selling Records
As time gets further and further away to where musicians don't sell millions of records as much as they used to. Rihanna definitely has the backlog to validate her profound history as a musician. Her debut album sold over 2 million copies worldwide music of the sun. Her sophomore album a girl like me would also Top her debut album with over 3.6 million sold all over the world.
Since 2005 and 2006 Rihanna I have released six albums between rest time leading up to 2017. All of which have been very successful projects for her as a musician.As a fan of her music, it's hard to even pick between the albums as she's put out such great music. But if I could pick two out of the eight instead of just one, it would definitely be on Unapologetic and Loud.
Hit Records by Rihanna
There are a wide number of hits in these music projects is simply amazing. The Track listing is insanely full with records like "Diamonds", "Numb" featuring Eminem, "Loveeeeeee Song", "What Now", "Stay", "Nobody's Business", and many more hits. The tracks I just mentioned alone came from the Unapologetic album.
Whether she have an incredible team of songwriters and producers she is accessible doesn't make her great. What makes her great is her ability to deliver and be the star that she is.
A Solid Name In Music History
I draw inspiration from music a lot to create the drawings and digital art that I do. During the process of creating the first digital illustration, I did of Rihanna one of the songs that I played on repeat was "skin" from her Loud album. Another song that was also played frequently as I worked on the Rihanna artwork was "Consideration" which features another very talented musician SZA.
Rihanna is a name that is already etched in history. She has a devout following for both her music and her fashion in just her personality.
"ANTI Goddess" closeup
Rihanna's Awards & Numbers
Awards don't lie. Making achievements is nothing new to Rihanna, from winning a beauty pageant at 16 to winning 8 Grammy Awards and counting.
Can't Compete With Riri
Rihanna have racked up 8 Grammy Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 22 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Bri Awards and solve over 50 million albums worldwide. Rihanna is already one of the most well recognized musicians in the history of music. Oh, I forgot to mention she have over 120 million singles sales. That's a crazy number to think of in terms of supporters. I would say 95% if the number is not hire never even achieve 100,000 single sales for their music in the span of their lifetime.
She have years to go and years to grow. I am always eager to see what she will do next in music and in fashion, which brings me to my next point.
Bridging Art With Music
Fenty Taking Over Fashion
Rihanna is big for bridging art and music. She launched her line with Puma called Fenty Puma in 2017 and she has been working with Manolo Blahnik on shoe concept designs. At this stage of her career, she is more than a musician. Rihanna is a fashion designer. Her line and collections are full of creativity and artistic direction.
As I mentioned earlier regarding her influence in the fashion industry, Rihanna is taking steps of an iconic figure. She is not only building a brand for her music and herself but working on establishing her wealth. At the rate the good girl gone bad is it going, she could very well be a billionaire in the next 10 years. To be honest I would not be shocked if she came out and mentioned that to be One of her goals. I guess it comes down to business deals and her profit from these partnerships as well as projects launched.
Falling In Love With Rihanna
From fashion to music and to acting, Rihanna is growing and expanding beyond what we consider it a megastar. Creating the first Rihanna drawing was necessary to complete in 2011. After her abuse incident in 2009 with her partner at a time Chris Brown, Rihanna stole the world's, heart.
To be real I believe this was the turning point and triggered a shift in her already climbing career. During that period of time the world fell in love with Rihanna and so did I.
Quick Overview of "Man Down"
Rihanna's music is inspiring for many women as well as men because the music she creates speak to the people. She performs music that is more than just love songs, Rihanna makes art, expression, memories and narratives.
Her songs also have sparked controversy. When I think of this one of the songs are standing out is "Man Down" from her album Loud. However, the controversy for her song did not come until after the release of the music video in 2011.
In the beginning of the music video, Rihanna shoots a man who raped her in the video in the backstory. The backstory, in turn, made the entire video. The dark turn of her doing the action that she did in killing this man caused an uproar with some critics.
People saw this as a terrible message to send, but it's an emotion I sure some women have experienced. Being a victim of domestic violence or even rape will push you to do the most extreme thing.
Fashion Trends and Cinema
Rihanna's Fashion Trends
Rihanna In Film
Rihanna's fashion style is also something that always creates a trend. She is a natural trendsetter. Rihanna's social media presence is growing at an exponential rate. Rihanna is one of the few celebrities that can wear an outfit and a red carpet event and actually cause a buzz. Another big name to mention is Lady Gaga when discussing fashion trends. Although she was not initially a fashion designer, she has stepped into the role of being a fashion designer as well as a musician, actress, and so much more.
Why Not Create A Rihanna Drawing
Knowing all of these things why would I not create a drawing of Rihanna? She is the ultimate representation of an idol or model for women in this day and age. Some may disagree and think that she is a negative representation of women, but they cannot deny the fact that she is empowering to many women.
Whether she is truly a good girl gone bad, it really doesn't matter because of the powerful impact that she's had on this generation of many to come. Not to mention Rihanna is still very young and have many years to grace all with the unexpected and insane gifts that she has.
In 2010 Rihanna would begin filming for her debut film Battleship. Although it was not a lead role, she played a significant character and got a lot of screen time. I am certain she will be starring in more roles in the future although fashion seems to be the direction she is directed towards the most other than music.Many years ago musicians didn't have the opportunity to entertain their followers on multiple platforms as much as they do now.
Brand Ambassadors Today
As an Artist, if you made music it would primarily be your focus and that alone. Composing and arranging music in the studio laboring to make the best music ever was your daily goal. Or an artist would be working with their team on how they are going to promote their albums or singles and prepare for touring. In the 2000's musicians have a lot more opportunities once they have established a name for themselves. Most big in major companies whether it is a record label, fashion brand, or consumer based company use brand ambassadors.
However, the majority if not all of these companies have certain guidelines and requirements they use to choose their brand ambassadors.
A Model For Many Artists To Follow
In other words, you truly have to already be successful in established for a major company to even consider investing in you. Big companies are no longer looking to just give out advances or sign contracts in hopes that someone or something will be profitable for them. To be honest I understand this because with all of the tools available such as social media networks the vast majority of free information online about business. If someone is not capable of being an entrepreneur or launching a successful business, then this already filters potential loss for them.
In this case, Rihanna is thriving success after success. Music and cinematography are not it for Rihanna, she is a beast when it comes to working and taking on projects that continue to elevate her brand, identity, legacy, and career.Whoever she have in her team are definitely doing a great job and supporting her and her goals.
Thank You For Reading
If you've made it this far you are a trooper. Thank you for reading my post, I hope you've enjoyed the artwork and appreciate the thought that went into the creation of each artwork. Whether your favorite is the first Rihanna drawing or the last illustration I created of the goddess, feel free to follow me on Instagram.
Sharing Is Caring
I am always posting and sharing artwork on Instagram daily. Also please share this page with a friend or someone you know that will also appreciate the artworks.
- 1. Sylvia Patterson, Singing In the Rain, The Guardian, August 25, 2007
- 2. Margeaux Watson, Caribbean Queen: Rihanna, Entertainment Weekly, June 22, 2007
- 3. Booms Beat, 50 Interesting Facts About Rihanna, January 27, 2014
- 4. James Dinh, "Rihanna Begins Filming 'Battleship' In Hawaii", MTV News, September 02, 2010
- 5. Chioma Nnadi, Fall 2017 Ready-To-Wear Fenty x Puma, Vogue, March 6, 2017
- 6. Cory Baldwin, How To Buy Rihanna's Fenty x Puma Spring 2017 Collection, Racked, March 9, 2017
- 7. Olivia Lidbury, Queen of the carnival: Rihanna turns heads in Barbados, The Telegraph, August 4, 2015
- 8. Avia, Peacock Symbolism and Meaning, Whats Your Sign
- 9. Astrology Zodia Signs, Pisces Zodiac Sign