Four young artists reveal how they express their unique voice – in pictures | Your Voice. Your Way

‘We need a more diverse understanding of the world’
“I use my art to celebrate the lips, noses, hair and skin colour of women from black and mixed-race communities who have become stigmatised and criticised by society,” says illustrator Vicki Jones. “I believe everyone is beautiful and worthy of greater acceptance. I want other black and mixed-race people to see someone who looks like them, and for our white allies to see people who aren’t like them. It gives us all a more diverse understanding of how the world is.”

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We have to question body image issues’
“I had a problematic relationship with food and body image, and so did most of my friends,” says photographer Fanny Beckman. “Did you know that more lives are lost to eating disorders than any other mental health condition? Women of My Generation is a multimedia project which combines photography and a podcast to question beauty standards, and dismantle our body image issues. I want to prove that it is, beyond doubt, possible to feel confident regardless of body size, sexuality, ethnicity or socioeconomic background.”

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‘Look closer, and a new level opens up’
“My illustration style is lowbrow, cartoony, so it might not strike you that there’s meaning beyond the skateboarding-style graphics,” says illustrator Chris Martin. “But I’m hoping to communicate bigger issues in my drawing. As with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there are unseen forces at work. Forces we don’t see straight away, but which create a deeper tension. There’s always another level to what we first think we see.”

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This is what confidence looks like
“I use my voice to empower women and celebrate the diversity I see in my home city, London,” says photographer Milli Ahern. “I use bright saturated colours to project strength and confidence – a confidence that I didn’t feel myself, growing up. I was bullied about my appearance as a teenager. But that experience actually gave me strength as it led to me learning about photography, which allowed me to find my voice and highlight the beauty in diversity. Everyone needs to be seen and heard.”

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At the heart of the Your Voice. Your Way campaign is a zine, paid for by Levi’s, celebrating voices outside the mainstream. Created jointly by the four incredible artists showcased here and four talented writers, it proves the power of expressing yourself.

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