FightSong! HeroesFightSong! Team

Aisha Powell

FS! Hero

The FS! Creative team sat down with John Berry, Kansas City illustrator and creator of our FightSong! Heroes to chat about the incredible characters he created for us, his inspiration and what they bring to the FightSong universe.

Aisha's dress is a little more formal-- she wants to become a teacher and she takes herself very seriously. "Aisha comes from the girls and women that were a part of my life and that I haven’t had a chance to see a lot of."

John was inspired by the strong overachieving women in his life like his mother and grandmother.
Activists like Jaime Broadnex, founder of BlackGirlNerds, also fall into that category.

 Inspiration for Aisha Powell

John drew his inspiration for Aisha from his family. "In my life, I grew up surrounded by black women." He explained that "until the last few years I haven’t seen black women represented in positive ways. The hyperfocused overachieving black girl nerd was something fun I wanted to explore."

Aisha became her own hero with FightSong!

Aisha always self-identified as an "overachieving nerd" but it wasn't until high school that the pressure she'd put on herself academically really started to impact her. She began to get really bad anxiety during things she used to enjoy, like timed essay prompts. During an AP US History test (not the final, just a normal test) her anxiety got so bad that it became a full blown anxiety attack. At that moment she knew that she needed help and she decided to DM her school counselor using FightSong to get support and context for what was happening to her. 

Her counselor messaged back and offered Aisha an in-office visit, which she declined-- (too busy, had to study), but was able to provide Aisha a place to just talk and safely communicate her stress in a way she just couldn't anywhere else. Her counselor also provided her some links on how to best manage academic stress and connected her with study groups so she could multitask-- socialize and study.

Name: Aisha Powell
Age: 15
Pronouns: She/Her
Height: 5'3
Likes: Bullet journals, fresh index cards and fruit gum.
Dislikes: Felt tip pens, blue ink, rock music
Favorite Food: Chicken Caesar Salad with no croutons and dressing on the side
Favorite Color: Blue
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown

About the Artist

John Berry is an Animator, Illustrator and Teacher currently living and working in Kansas City, MO. He received a B.F.A. Degree in animation in 2012 from the Kansas City Art Institute. Since graduation he has worked as an Animator, Illustrator, Concept Artist, and a Graphic Designer. He has also been a teacher in KCAI’s Continuing Education department as an Animation Instructor since 2014 and joined the BFA program as an Animation Lecturer in 2018.  

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