The beauty of art can be expressed in countless ways, and can often prove uplifting. Kelia Smith is a digital artist whose art does that – it uplifts women of color.  

Last Saturday at the JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival in the 18th and Vine Jazz District, Smith was selling her digitally created art designed to uplift, heal and empower women of color. 

She takes the images, which she draws digitally on a tablet, and prints them on greeting cards, tote bags, stickers, and canvases.

Her work includes assorted drawings of Brown and Black women with hairstyles of various lengths, from curly fros to braids. Her cards cover special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and she has cards celebrating most holidays. 

No matter what, you can count on the cards to have a powerful message to help get anyone through a tough day.  

Smith launched her business CRWND Illustrations in 2016 during a dark time in her life. 

“Things were kind of spiraling out of control. The only thing I wanted to do that excited me at the time was to sit down and literally create it [art],” she said.

Smith originally did not have starting a business in mind, but created the art as an personal outlet of relief. 

Smith wants to pull women of color out of the dark space through her art, and remind them they are beautiful and phenomenal. They have a purpose and shouldn’t let anybody tell them differently.

“Don’t become stagnant– don’t lose that fire in your life, we all have something that we are called to do,” Smith said.

For more information and inquiries, please contact Smith here.

Simone Garza was a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....