Beth Goodrich, Librarian
American Craft Council
People of Craft is billed as a “showcase” of creatives of color in the fields of design, illustration, photography, writing, web development and other adjacent fields. The landing page is vibrantly colorful, with each artist represented by a hero image of their own choosing. The simple interface allows users to browse the gallery of artists and provides links to the artist’s website and social media accounts.
This site is not as much a database as a gallery, offering no search capabilities; however, it provides filtering options by artistic field and geographic location. Artists have the option to be tagged in multiple categories, which include artist, creative director, designer, developer, entrepreneur, illustrator, letterer, manager, photographer, strategist, or writer. Website visitors may filter the gallery to specific categories, or they have the option to view all participating creatives. Filters are also available for specific cities from around the world.
Beyond the filtering features, there is very little functionality on the site. This reviewer found that many of the links to artist websites or Instagram accounts were no longer functioning, leading one to believe the site is largely self-maintained by the participating artists. Users must be prepared for content that is not up to date. Nevertheless, People of Craft can be a useful tool to increase familiarity with and visibility of the creative work produced by communities of color.
The simplicity of the design of the People of Craft website makes it very easy and intuitive to navigate. The public interface takes place on one page only, with filters visible as a dropdown menu from the webpage header. Contact information for the website managers is also easily accessed from the banner, and this page provides all necessary information for submitting requests, email suggestions, and connecting to the People of Craft Instagram and Twitter accounts. The functionality of the site is maintained and easy to use when accessing from a smartphone. There is no paywall or requirement to sign up for an account to use the site, nor is there a fee for creatives to participate in the site.
There are few other examples of databases featuring artists and creatives of color. Inclusion in Art (https://inclusioninart.com) has a page featuring artists of color in the state of Oklahoma, which, like the People of Craft site, offers only browsing with filtering. Cartoonists of Color Database (https://cartoonistsofcolor.com), created and maintained by cartoonist MariNaomi, has a more sophisticated interface, including search features by name, geography, gender, genre, and roles. While People of Craft may be lacking in functionality, it recognizes a broader artistic and geographic representation.
For those looking to become more familiar with creatives of color in a particular field or location, this site can be a useful tool. This site may also be of interest to artists wanting to join an online community of creatives of color. Participants have a good deal of agency in how they are represented on the site, and the barriers for inclusion appear to be minimal. Participating artists may nominate themselves to be included on the site, or they may be nominated by others. Nominations for inclusion are submitted through a simple Google form that screens for artists who self-identify as people of color. Requests for updates or removal from the site may also be submitted through Google forms.
People of Craft is a project of Amélie Lamont and Timothy Goodman, with design assistance by Twisha Patni and Madelyn Hinojosa. The website is coded by Eric Jacobsen.