Davian Chester

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Davian Chester
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Born (1993-05-27) May 27, 1993 (age 28)
Columbus
NationalityAfrican-American
Other namesJuneteenth Guy
CitizenshipUnited States of America
EducationVisual Communications and Graphic Design from Chattahoochee Valley Community College
Occupation
  • Graphic designer
  • artist
  • illustrator

Davian Chester (born May 27, 1993) also known as the Juneteenth Guy, is a Georgia-based freelance graphic designer, artist, and illustrator. In 2019, he garnered national attention for his Juneteenth Google Doodle—an homage art piece that went viral after the Google failed to create its own doodle in honor of Juneteenth. Known for his Real Toons illustrations depicting issues in the Black community, Chester's work has been featured by various Internet news media and shared widely on social media. He is currently a regular contributor to The Miami Times.[1]

Biography

Chester was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, where he still resides. He is African-American. He holds an associate's degree in Visual Communications and Graphic Design from Chattahoochee Valley Community College.[2]

Career

Chester developed a largely African-American fanbase on social media with his Real Toons cartoons, in his own words, "illustrating the Black Experience." His cartoons typically address topical issues like police brutality, along with provocative questions to encourage lively debate.[3]

On June 19, 2019, upon realizing Google had not done anything to honor the anniversary date of Juneteenth, he posted his own alternative doodle. It went viral in a matter of hours and he became an instant news story with major news outlets reporting on what he had done.[4][5][6] This introduced the rest of the world to his work and to a holiday that until then was primarily only celebrated by African-Americans. It also led Google to reach out and express interest in hiring him, though he never received a written offer from the company.[6][7]

The following year, on June 19, 2020, the company created its first Google Doodle to honor the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth,[8] observed by several news sources that also cited Chester's role the preceding year.[9][10] That same year, Chester also created a serious and perhaps more timely Juneteenth art piece comparing African-Americans' relationship to the police immediately after slavery ended with their relationship to the police today. It was featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, solidifying his status as the "Juneteenth Guy."[11][12]

Chester's artwork has graced several magazine covers, children's books, and albums, and has been shared on social media by numerous celebrities and influencers. His artwork has also been featured by BuzzFeed,[13] Blavity,[14] and other Internet media.

In August, he became a regular contributor to The Miami Times.[1]

Awards & Exhibits

  • 2019 Graphic Designer of the Year & Special Honoree, Tri-City Entertainment Awards.[2]
  • 2018 "How Social Media Works," Embracing Our Differences Exhibit, Sarasota, Florida.[15]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Real Toons Comes to the Miami Times
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Artist's Resume".
  3. "Artist's Instagram account".
  4. "This Columbus artist's viral Juneteenth doodle might have landed him a job with Google". Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. July 3, 2019.
  5. Parker, Najja (June 21, 2019). "Twitter praises Georgia artist for creating doodle when Google didn't". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Downey, Maureen (June 21, 2019). "When Google overlooked Juneteenth, Georgia artist filled the blank". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  7. Klein, Allison (July 9, 2019). "An Artist Shamed Google with his doodle. Then Google called about a Job". The Washington Post.
  8. "155th Anniversary of Juneteenth". June 18, 2020.
  9. "Google, NFL latest to call for Juneteenth Commemorations". June 12, 2020.
  10. "Google Doodle marks 155th anniversary of Juneteenth". CNET. June 18, 2020.
  11. Poole, Shelia (June 19, 2020). "AJC Exclusive: Columbus illustrator unveils new artwork for Juneteenth". Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  12. "Columbus Artist Recognized for Juneteenth Illustration". WTVM News. June 19, 2020.
  13. Watson, Shyla (February 5, 2019). "This Artist Reimagined Disney Princesses As Black Women And The Images Are Incredible".
  14. Jackson, Dominique (January 18, 2019). "This Artist Reimagined Our Favorite Princesses as Black Women".
  15. "How Social Media Works".

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