In 2012, when I was 16 years old I completed a project to draw someone in the news of every day of the year. I called it 'Sketch A Day' and I drew a total of 366 images. The sheer scale of the project was at times overwhelming but what held my attention through the year were the amazing stories about individual people and the lives they led. I also learnt about what kind of stories the British media covered and what they ignored.
Two years later, towards the end of 2014, I thought it would be an idea to do a similar project for the whole of 2015 but I knew in some way it had to be different to the 2012 project. I thought deeply about the kind of people I had previously drawn and realised that 2015 should be the year when i used illustration to learn much more about something of which I knew very little.
So 2015 is the year I decided to focus on Africa as I realised I knew almost nothing about the continent and what I knew, was largely based on a steady stream of negative stories about wars, failing states, the spread of disease and the impact of corruption.
I decided that 'Sketch A Day Africa' would feature 365 Africans and that the majority would be people who are talented, innovative, successful, inspirational and brave.
Ideally, by December 31st I would know something about most or all 54 African countries, I would recognise the names of their capitals and most importantly I could actually identify lots of amazing Africans.
To identify who is featured in each of the portraits below:
Click on the image and the caption will appear. If you are viewing the sketches on a smartphone or tablet, click on the image and then click on the white dot that appears (at the bottom on the right) and the caption will appear.