Josh Comeau
Issue 003
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I've spent the last few days watching as cities across the world stood up against police brutality and systemic racism. The cops have handled it so much worse than I was expecting (and I had pretty low expectations).

Instead of talking about tech-stuff, I wanted to take the opportunity this week to share a little bit about what I've been doing. There are many ways to help, and I don't pretend to have all the answers, but if you're feeling frustrated like I am, hopefully this can help give you some ideas. Here's what I've been doing:

  • Taking some time to feel uncomfortable about my role as a white guy in western society. Listening to what Black people are saying, and amplifying those voices.
  • Donating to worthy causes. My employer, Gatsby, is matching community donations to a handful of charitable organizations that are fighting for Black rights and liberties. Protip: If you're outside of the US like me, Black Visions Collective accepts donations from around the world.
  • Educating myself. I recently read So You Want To Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, and it was eye-opening. I've just started reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
  • Broadening my Twitter bubble by following more people of color, and unfollowing people that look like me (I cut the # of people I was following by ~10%; I'm sorry if you were one of them!).

I know that many of y'all live very far from the US, and I apologize for such a "western-centric" monologue! I know you didn't subscribe to hear me talk about police brutality and systemic racism. It just felt irresponsible to not talk about it this week.

In other news…

A couple weeks back, I hurt my wrist/elbow/shoulder/neck. More specifically, I injured my ulnar nerve. It means I can only type for a few minutes at a time. Fortunately, this is not a long-term / chronic problem, and I should be back to 100% soon enough.

I was originally going to share a sneak preview of an upcoming post in this issue, but it doesn't feel right this week.


I am not an illustrator, a fact I am constantly annoyed by when I need to build a landing page.

Over the past few months, many amazing resources have popped up to fill this gap, letting developers like me build beautiful pages with wonderful illustrations. I thought today I'd share some of my favourites.

All of the resources below allow you to use the illustrations for both personal and commercial projects, without attribution. Also, none of these collections are white-by-default.


An illustration of a Black man and woman in a coffee shop

I discovered BlackIllustrations this week, and I love it. Beautifully illustrated (those gradients!), and a solid set of practical and functional situations.

There are 40+ images across two packs: Office/Life, and Medical.

Open Peeps

An illustration of a man, with annotations showing how it's constructed out of individual parts (head, accessories, facial expression, etc)

OpenPeeps is a really clever idea: It's a library of modular illustrations. You can mix and match heads, clothes, facial expressions, accessories… It's incredibly flexible, and allows you to build truly one-of-a-kind illustrations.

I especially like that they're inclusive of folks with disabilities.


Illustration of two men looking at a list of items, one holding a clipboard

Undraw was launched in 2017, and over the years they've continued to add illustrations; it's now an incredibly rich and extensive library. Focused primarily on people performing tasks, across many industries. They've done a good job ensuring that characters are diverse.

Do you have any other resources for high-quality royalty-free illustrations? Reply to this email and let me know!

Take care of yourself

This week has been a particularly stressful one for folks in the Western world, but this has been a hard year regardless of where you live. Please remember to take care of yourself; unclench your jaw, have a bath, do something kind for a stranger.

Until next time,