Heroes & allies

Pop-up Shop with AIGA KC

At AIGA Kansas City we seek to promote a future that is welcoming and representative for all in our community—particularly when it comes to marginalized groups. Comic books and graphic novels have always been art forms that reflect culture in unique and creative ways.

Join AIGA KC at our Heroes & Allies pop-up shop that will feature comic book artists of color and LGBTQIA backgrounds and will provide a space to celebrate the diversity in comics book and other graphic arts during one of the biggest weeks for the KC design community. 

Outsourced Event 
Heroes & Allies is a special event organized and presented by AIGA KC for KC Design Week!

We have selected each “outsource” event to deliver something new, something cutting-edge, something unforgettable, and something delightful to add to our schedule. KC Design Week appreciates AIGA KC for their enthusiastic participation!

These events are presented FREE of charge, but advance registration is REQUIRED.

Special thanks to Adobe for their generous sponsorship of this event.

Erika Sakata

Erika Sakata is a multi-medium artist largely focused on digital illustration, animation, and photography. Their work revolves around themes of personal identity, race, and sexual orientation. As an individual of Black and Japanese descent, they typically infuse intermingled elements of their culture into their pieces. They seek to combat gender stereotypes and the social pressures of having to adhere to a certain category to move through the world with peace. Sakata strives to convey their narrative as a bi-racial, queer individual through typically bright color palettes and sharp imagery.

Daisy Escamilla

Daisy Escamilla is a Latina artist born and raised in Kansas City, MO. Her interest in art began at a young age through watching anime, cartoons, and most notably, Studio Ghibli films. Her favorite mediums to work in are Procreate (for digital illustration), acrylic paints, and shrinky dinks. She is a frequent vendor at local art pop ups run by Art Garden KC and the Latino Arts Foundation. Daisy is currently working on a wide range of projects for upcoming art events this year, including new sticker designs, prints and earrings. Her greatest accomplishments so far are being able to share her love of making with others and making new friends throughout her art journey!

Emily Alvarez


Emily Alvarez is an artist of Dominican and Cuban descent from the South-Western suburbs of Miami. Now creating in the Kansas City area, Emily seeks to draw a connection between her various areas of interest including design, illustration, storytelling, and themes such as personal and external explorations of mental illness, sociology and folk tales. She primarily enjoys indulging in lively compositions, vivacious color and exaggerated motion in order to instill her work with vigorous energy. This tendency is driven by a desire to depict the capacity of humans themselves for stretching the limits of their imagination. She is currently working on a six-issue comic series with fellow artist Jake Smith.

Baldemar Rivas

Baldemar Rivas is an illustrator from California, born and raised; drawing in his studio is where he spends most of his days. He graduated from the Kansas City Art institute with a BFA in illustration and has been a professional freelance artist since 2016. Baldemar’s art borrows from various comic and graphic influences, which he employs while experimenting in inking with traditional and digital media. His experiences with murals, editorial illustrations, storyboards and sequential storytelling have informed his current occupation of creating interior and cover work for DC Comics.

Reggie Herman

Reggie Herman is an illustrator based in Kansas City creating immersive art books and original comics. His works are characterized by a heavy dose of discovery and exploration, transporting readers to fantastical environments brimming with adventure. In 2014, he graduated from the University of Kansas with a major in Illustration. Reggie's debut book, Through the Invisible World: A Story Path Adventure, was published in 2021. This captivating seek-and-find adventure takes readers on a journey through a unique Story Path style of visual narrative, where they can interact with the storyline and discover hidden elements in the artwork. His second book, Abrax and the Tower of Shadow, is currently in the works and will be a lengthier graphic novel employing the same Story Path concept.

Xavier Gayden

Xavier Gayden is a Kansas City artist that has been creating for 15 years. His art shows varying moods, varying personalities and displays wonder colors and powerful line work with each piece.

Heroes & allies 04.19.23