I know it’s been a minute since I launched my series, Indie Artist Showcase, but I’m back with another installment for you kind-hearted readers who hung in there. I’ve been on a strange kookie journey since the first showcase, and I’ve discovered a lot of amazing artists out there on the street and interwebz. One of those talented dreamers is Tall N Curly, graphic designer, author and illustrator of the delightful comic, TallnCurly.
Although Tall N Curly (that’s the only name she gives us) seems to have been drawing and developing her quirky characters for a few years now – it’s based on her life after all, she only made the cartoon available online at her official website in November 2012. In that short period of time, she has garnered a strong, but steady flow of attention, praise and demand for more.
Let me rewind. TallnCurly (the comic) is an ongoing illustration about the life of a young, multi-ethnic woman with hair as big as Diana Ross and legs as long as Charlize Theron. In her backstory (aka her About page), she shares her growing pains and rollercoaster ride to accepting her height and her hair. As a result, this self-described “giraffe” has been embraced all over the web by fellow Amazons and naturally curly-hair sufferers lovers alike. And her fandom base is only growing.
What I enjoy most about Tall N Curly’s comic is how well her signature drawing style, animated storyteller’s voice and positive message of acceptance come together perfectly. It’s true her tale may hit a little close to home for me (I’m 5’10” and now rock my natural Esperanza curls too), but I think anyone who’s ever felt ostracized by the modern standards of beauty – for males and females – will be able to relate to TallnCurly.
I’m sure it must warm Tall N Curly’s heart to read comments like this on her blog:
I just discovered your blog, and all I can say is YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER.
I’m in my early teens, tall and very curly. I’m the only mixed-race girl in my class and I never wear my hair out in it’s natural afro state because I know I’m just going to have a bunch of hobbits sticking their hands in my hair -.-.
Reading your blog has really helped me; In fact I am building up my confidence and who knows, I might just wear it out someday ;).Again Thank you so much, you help me get through my day (and school especially).
Heck, it almost made me cry too. In response, Tall N Curly reaffirms her belief that learning to love what makes you unique is a process. And even after you accept what makes you special, you still have to deal with the daunting task of finding the right product. That’s not a euphemism, folks. Finding the right product for your hair can be like the search for the Holy Grail for us naturally curly tops.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the comic’s success is how quickly it’s growing. Word of mouth has garnered Tall N Curly a lot of attention for someone who’s illustrations has only officially been online for 6 months. She has fans spreading the good news as far as South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad, Nigeria and France. NaturallyCurly.com, a popular website for those seeking the Holy Grail and sharing stories of hits and misses, has also heaped kudos on Tall N Curly’s comical adventures.
I’m not sure what Tall N Curly’s ultimate goal is with her creation. I’d love to see her work syndicated in a print publication or perhaps expanded into a book, like similar online comic heavyweights The Oatmeal and Hyperbole And A Half. Of course, the path she chooses will ideally suit her vision for her work. No matter what lies ahead, it’s a pleasure to discover an artistic voice you can not only relate to, but can watch find success and grow.