Bianca Pastel


Bianca Pastel is a Chicago-based visual artist who employs playful, nostalgic imagery to express the complexities of the Black female experience. Pastel’s vibrant, whimsical visual language is influenced by cartoons and animation. One of her most widely recognized characters is Bianca, a young Black girl who inhabits a colorful, dreamlike realm where reality and the imagination coexist. Rooted in the joy and complexity of childhood memories, the worlds in Pastel’s paintings clearly carry the potential for joy and fun, though her characters are frequently in tension with their surroundings—as if they are fighting to make the best of an uncanny situation despite being perturbed and confused by a reality that seems not to have been made for them. Pastel studied art and design at Columbia College with a concentration on digital art mediums, before working alongside her then boss and current mentor, Hebru Brantley. Her paintings and prints have been featured on album covers, children’s illustrations, and animation and merchandise for clients such as Nike, Adidas, Disney Pixar, and the NFL.