I know I know! I promised and this is so late, so please forgive me.

Here is my sketch for Bilili. It’s a preliminary sketch and it’s not even near complete, but I think this one shows a lot of detail for her hair. (and yes that is ALL her hair).

This is the initial sketch of Bilili. (Medium: Pencil)
I didn’t want to show her breasts so I sketched down to the bottom of my sketchbook
Ears: Bilili has tunnel piercings. Igbo women do not normally have tunnel piercings (they have regular piercings) but Bilili is a larger than life character because of her job.
Everything about her has to draw attention and be exaggerated so where a regular woman would have a simple piercing, Bilili has tunnels.
Also, tunnel piercings ARE common among regular women among our direct neighbours on the Eastern side, the Bamum women in Cameroon, so it would classify as a foreign fashion borrowed from a neighbouring country.
The lizard like thing in her hair is supposed to be a Lizard Comb
You know those combs that we all have that come in loads of diff styles depending on whether it’s from Naij or Senegal or Ghana.
Like so:
The horns of her hair are wrapped in wide strips of ankara/random fabric
There is a ring in either horn of her hair attached to a fabric cord attached to gold weights that go down her back to weigh her hair down just enough so that it stays in place even on windy days.
The things sticking out of her hair are hair pins.
The other things are Peacock feathers.
Yes Bilili likes drama.
The thing on her forehead is a traditional gold forehead ornament.
I just made her’s smaller.
Like so:
Yay cultural and historical references!!
(Okay I know I stole this particular one from Baule women but they’re CUTE!!)

This is a darkened version of my drawing.
I just wanted you to get a feel of what it would look like in an actual comic book (i.e. I’m trying to decide whether to make this a graphic novel because there’s just so much more visual historic detail I can put into it as opposed to just writing)
The Ndebe script next to her reads “Bilili”

Medium: My friend’s blue biro. (All my pens are BLACK)
This is a random drawing I did this evening on a friend’s notebook.
It’s supposed to be the kind of thing a teenaged girl might wear in the time period.
I drew her hair loose because I was too lazy to draw a proper Igbo hairstyle
I know her hands look hideous.
I’m very lazy with hands.
I must practice drawing hands.
I also didn’t finish the design on her nabi out of laziness.
Nabi means wrapper.
Ignore the bra – I didn’t want my friend to complain that I was drawing porn again.
Ignore the stick figures also – my friend drew them.

There are 9 comments

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  1. Blaque35

    First time commenter here; Suga, I love your blog, and I usually find myself nodding emphatically in agreement whenever I read your posts. Bilili makes me think of Beyawnce btw lol.

  2. leggy

    bras?i think you should change that to something simpler cos young women left their breasts open in those days and covered only the lower region.i think you should give her a firm boob and bare it.nice drawing btw.

  3. Miss Fizzy

    Girl number 2 can get it. I kid, but seriously I’ve always dreamed of having that exact hip to waist ratio. I like the detail you put in, but I think her hair looks more wavy than kinky. In it’s natural state, wouldn’t it be more likely to stand up than fall around her ears like that? I’m assuming she should have hair like mine, but I could be wrong. I’ve met Igbo girls with loosely curled textures so I dunno…

    You should finish the design of the nabi if you have the time, it looks like it would be beautiful.

  4. sugabelly

    @Myne Whitman: Yay! I knew you’d like it. I think the second girl looks rather thin because I didn’t finish the detail of the nabi. It produces a weird effect.

    @Leggy: I drew a bra because I was drawing on my friend’s notebook and if I had drawn bare breasts she would have accused me of drawing porn again.

    @Miss Fizzy: Girl 2’s hair isn’t complete. The first stage of drawing natural hair, at least for me, always looks like that. When I fill it in with a dark pen it begins to look more like kinky hair.

    @everyone: yay!! thanks!!

    I’ll put up the next character once I’ve finished her. 😀

  5. Yimi

    For some wierd off the chart reason, the second girl reminds mi of Kechi in High Skol….of course if u tell her I said so I shall forever deny it….lol
    As for Billi, she is freaky, but I lyk the fierce look….lol


    I am in love with Bilili already! How adorning,and the pictures are very pretty and detailed!

    Sugabelly, I would like to read whatever comes out of this eventually!

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