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About the Illustrator

J’Aaron Merchant, is your friendly neighborhood illustrator, and visual development artist with 10+ years of experience within the arts industry. She has illustrated children’s books, created concept art for animated content, and designed products for everyday consumption. Hailing from the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands she is extremely passionate about diverse representation through visual storytelling and digital media. Through her passion for visual storytelling, she earned her BFA in Savannah GA from the illustrious Savannah State University, while also studying animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. 

She is currently a traveling freelancer and has collaborated with various companies such as Disney and Sesame Street. She loves creating characters and stories that are reflective of the world we live in today, and her mission is to provide people all over the world a window into themselves through inspiration, imagination, and illustration. 

 

When she isn't creating whimsical worlds with her characters you can find her being very active within her community. She volunteers at Havenwood, a two-year program designed to help single mothers overcome the barriers in their lives that lead to homelessness while providing transitional housing for them and their children in a supportive environment to help families become economically self-sufficient and transition into permanent housing. 

 

She is also a co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Black Paper Party, a premier destination for Black-focused holiday items like wrapping paper, gift bags, and ornaments. She is also co-founder of Black Owned NWA, an online directory that highlights various Black Owned Businesses, entrepreneurs, and resources located throughout the Northwest Arkansas region. 

 

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