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.”
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
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