From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Demarcus Johnson
On December 25, Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” will introduce the world to Joe Gardner. In celebration of the release of the film, Disney and Pixar collaborated with multicultural powerhouse HUE Unlimited to bring Joe and company to life through a curated collection of wearable art pieces inspired by the film.
From its community incubator of cultural creatives and leaders, TONL, HUE Unlimited tapped four emerging Black artists and led their creative direction in crafting original inspired-by artwork. The collection features artwork designed by cultural creatives Bee Harris, Bianca Pastel, Arrington Porter and Cory Van Lew. Each artist took to the canvas to capture the soul of the film and its heartfelt story of music, family, friendship and self-discovery through their own unique lens, life story and experience as diverse creatives.
“We’re proud to work on this meaningful collection inspired by “Soul” and to be able to have each artist’s unique vision shine through,” says Michael Watson II of HUE Unlimited. “As a part of the next generation of creatives, we deeply understand that authenticity is incredibly important to audiences — so being able to curate a collection of products that represents Black voices overall is a dream come true.”
Get to know each artist featured in the new collection!
Bee Harris, a visual artist and activist focused on reflecting the multi-faceted aspects of the Black Diaspora, social movements and community through art, shares the inspiration behind her piece “The Village:”
“Working on this collection was a dream come true! It was an honor to highlight the four Black women in Joe’s village. These women represent the strong-willed, supportive women in my life who have helped me discover and walk in my purpose. I walked away with a deeper understanding of myself and my capabilities as an artist. It was both challenging and inspiring to create something so unique to things I’ve done in the past.”
Bianca Pastel, a pop artist known for recreating nostalgic moments and leaders in Black culture through over-expressive imagery and pastel elements, speaks to how Joe and company inspired her piece “Joe & His Fro:”
“Throughout the film, Joe learns some very valuable lessons on his journey, so I wanted to express the connection between colors, characters and stories in every detail. My favorite part of this process was choosing color palettes because, for me, it’s like picking a feeling. How I want a piece to feel depends on the colors I create with. Throughout the process, I realized I could create authentically, be myself with my process and have fun with my art – which is exactly what I did.”
Arrington Porter, an eclectic musician and painter visualizing the richness of Black culture, music, film and people with celestial exaggeration, created “Joe’s World:”
“Creating artwork for this collection was an awesome experience! As an artist, I found myself connected to the film, relating back to a familiar place within my own love for music and being in constant pursuit of my dreams. Outside of being a visual artist, I too am a pianist – so I related to Joe’s character on a more personal level.”
Corey Van Lew, a new-age artist known to reimagine real-world elements of the Black experience into unique multi-dimensional art, took to the canvas for “The Great Gardner:”
“This was an amazing opportunity for us as artists to tap into our version of “The Zone” and create a visual representation of what this moment means to us! The parallel worlds in the movie go hand-in-hand with the parallel universe I depict in my paintings. Down to the digitally-made background paired with the hand-painted characters, I aimed to immerse people in an alternate realm of my own.”
Starting today, kids, families and the next generation of artists and creatives can shop the entire collection featured on the Pixar “Soul” Shop on Amazon. Fans can also stretch their own creativity by designing personalized products from t-shirts and hoodies to accessories and home goods using their favorite piece of artwork from the collection.
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