For this illustration I wanted to create something beautiful and delicate contrasted with something scratchy and obtrusive, I wanted to create an image of re-growth, but with scars still present from an horrific event.
The font was a really important aspect of this piece, I wanted to create something really jarring against the leafy nude.
I also wanted the text to be black as night, so the contrast is as high as it can go, so the nude doesn’t get lost amid this loud text, I decided to paint a red watercolour streak over the figure, it does look like menstrual blood, and alongside the theme of the poem I feel it’s both beautiful and grotesque. I ramped up the contrast on this too, to make the whole composition really pop.
Finally, I played around with the layout of the text, placing it over and beneath the figure, before deciding that in the white space beneath her leg was best, the text looks almost bark like, like the foundations for this blooming nude.
This piece was inspired by the idea that although there has been much advancement in the discussion of gender theory and non-binary identities in particular, some assumptions still prevail, even within the LGBTQ community. The idea that a girl with a shaved head must be a lesbian, although a laughable concept, still exists. Assumptions build barriers and alienate individuals from the community, the illustration was inspired by Victorian profiles and represents two figures that identify as non-binary, yet have very different ‘aesthetics’, their actual identity differs from the assumptions people carry with them about these figures.
The most progressive thing you can do, is to never assume and we will only reach true liberation when no-one needs to declare anything, because we treat everyone as human, with no assumptions clouding the way.
This piece is featured in the first issue of Spectrum, a feminist queer zine seeking to question and break down barriers of all kinds for all people.