Creator Spotlight: J’Aaron Merchant

J'Aaron Merchant
Image from J’Aaron Merchant’s official site.

Animator and Illustrator J’Aaron Merchant creates and illustrates stories with themes centering on self-worth, friendship, and more. Her work focuses on diverse representation in children’s media.

Hailing from the Virgin Islands, J’Aaron Merchant holds a bachelor’s degree from Savannah State University and has studied animation and interactive technology at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She’s the illustrator of the children’s books Hazel’s Happy Home, Your Own Kind of Beautiful, True Friendship, Blurry Brown Eyes, and more. J’Aaron Merchant’s clients include Walmart and Amazon. Currently, she’s working on a project with Sesame Street and producing an animated short film that retells a traditional African folktale.

J'Aaron Merchant's Illustration for Your Own Kind of Beautiful
From Your Own Kind of Beautiful (written by Tamara Pray Frazier). Illustration by J’Aaron Merchant.

Her client and original art reflect the cultural and racial diversity among children and families. She strives to create narratives about children and adults from underrepresented backgrounds and different walks of life.

As someone who appreciates animation and visual storytelling, I’m consistently on the lookout for works by underrepresented creators, both indie and mainstream. J’Aaron Merchant’s work brims with potential and deserves recognition and praise. Her art style and storytelling are dynamic and impressive. Unlike most American animators, she works on the east coast instead of California, proof that creative works can be discovered anywhere.

Learn more about J’Aaron Merchant on her website. She is open to commissions and illustrating children’s books. She aims to write and illustrate her own book and also submit her animated short at the Bentonville Film Festival. She’s also seeking a female mentor for her work.

You can find out more about Black creators and their works on The Geekiary here.

Note: I’m taking a hiatus from my creator spotlight posts until January 2022. It’s been a pleasure spotlighting amazing creators from various experiences and backgrounds. Thanks for reading and for your support!

Author: Brahidaliz Martinez

Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. They’re a submissions editor for Uncanny Magazine. Their various areas of interest include intersectionality in apocalyptic and disaster films, Artificial Intelligence, writing for animation, YA SFF, and LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media.

Pronouns: he/they
Location: DC Metro area

Twitter: @brahidaliz


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