Page 1

MISSFITS Because the future is female

Spring 2011


Letter from

the editors

As we wrap up our second issue of Missfits, we can’t help but smile with anticipation and excitement. With the overwhelming support we received in publishing our premiere issue, we knew that the second issue would be a blast to put together. We received an outstanding amount of submissions from such talented artists, writers, photographers, poets, and grrrls like you, and we were happy to include each one. We are so incredibly thankful for the welcome we have received, and we hope future issues can be just as exciting.

This issue in particular is our art issue—we are lucky enough to have the amazingly talented illustrator Gemma Correll as our cover girl, an interview with the famous activists, Guerrilla Girls, a perspective from artist Rebecca Artemisa on riot grrrl inspiration, reader artwork, an interview with Kansas City artist Lisa Lala, and much more. Art, fashion, and feminism so successfully coexist within today’s society, and all encompass in unison what Missfits is all about. We are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing women gracing our pages. With that said, we look forward to hearing your feedback on future issues, and we hope to receive your submissions! Enjoy the spring 2011 issue. Peace out, grrrl scouts,

Maddie Maschger & Courtney King


Table of Contents Reader Outfits……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Page 4 Ask Rosie………...………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Page 5 Musings by Gemma Correll………………………………………………………………………………….. Page 6 60 Acres of Childhood………………………………………………………………………………………….. Page 7 Poem by Cassidy Scanlon……………………………………………………………………………………...Page 8 I Am………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Page 9 Lisa Lala………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...Page 10 Hollywood Seamstress, Interrupted……………………………………………………………………… Page 12 Quite Contrary………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Page 13 An Interview with Guerrilla Girls…………………………………………………………………………..Page 16 Roxanne………………………………………………………………………………………………………………...Page 22 Electric Twist………………………………………………………………………………………………………...Page 24 Cover Girl: Gemma Correll…………………………………………………………………………………...Page 30 Read Me Like a Book……………………………………………………………………………………………...Page 32 I Do: Piece by Rebecca Artemisa…………………………………………………………………………..Page 33 I Believe in Nowhere…………………………………………………………………………………………….. Page 34 Dollar a Dance………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Page 38 The New World……………………………………………………………………………………………………...Page 44 Reader Submitted Artwork…………………………………………………………………………………….Page 45 Born Lovers…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Page 48 Awkward Teenaged Riot Grrrl………………………………………………………………………………..Page 49

The Art Issue


Reader Outfits

Michelle Welsh

Rosee Mussen

Torquay, Victoria

Wellington, Somerset

http://www.loseryeah.tumblr.com/

http://nighttime-sympathize.tumblr.com/

To send your photos to Missfits, simply e-mail them to: missfitsmag@hotmail.com, subject: Reader Outfits!


ASK ROSIE Dear Rosie, I have a problem which I feel has been hindering me and it makes me feel very awkward every time I think about it. My problem lies in accepting compliments. I simply can't do it! I've always been taught to accept compliments, thank the complimenter and then exit the scene politely but I always manage to end up looking a bit like an idiot because I simply refute their compliments as I feel that they're untrue or that I am not worthy of them, a lot of people have been offended because of this and I have a hard time explaining to them why I feel this way. Do I have a problem? How should one handle a compliment? Love, Fatima Fatima, There are a lot of people who have trouble accepting compliments, you are not alone! I used to be the same exact way, actually. It's derived from lack of self-confidence and insecurity. People who doubt themselves or have low self esteem usually find it difficult to accept, and even believe, when someone praises them. The best advice I could give you is to love yourself a little and not be so critical. Embrace your talents, your appearance, or whatever you're being complimented on! Compliments can be a moodbooster and can build your confidences. From personal experience, I used to automatically reject any good things people would say to me or about me. It took a long time for me to relieve that I am worthy of praise and attention. Everybody is worthy, including you my dear! Be open to what other people have to say. If you have any doubt about whether or not people are lying, most people wouldn't go out of their way to compliment you if they were not sincere. Self-acceptance is a long process, but the journey is worth taking. You can start by listening to what people say instead of disregarding it as untrue. At first, you may feel uncomfortable believing someone and that's okay. But it's imperative to just listen and acknowledge. You can also make a list of qualities of yourself that you do like and if someone were to compliment you, you would feel okay accepting. For example, "I am intelligent" or "I am a hard worker" are easier to believe and accept than "I am beautiful". Looks seem to be the most difficult for a lot of people, including myself. Also, compliment yourself on a daily basis. It can just be small things like "My performance on this project/ assignment was really good" or "I'm really proud of myself for getting this grade". And then from there, you can slowly progress into bigger things that may be more difficult. I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck! Remember YOU are worthy of love and attention! Love, Rosie

To submit questions that will be published anonymously, Email missfitsmag@hotmail.com, subject: Ask Rosie!


musings by Gemma Correll


IC TvÜxá Éy V{|Äw{ÉÉw I am from curling smoke winding a path from coffee tables. I am from the birth of mewing kittens in the closet and their death in the fields. I am from tall grass, from pine trees on the outskirts whose cones fill the earth in my absence. I'm from the traditional love of southern belles, from lack of chemistry know-how. I'm from the sons and daughters who never knew their parents. I'm from skeptics and non-believers. I'm from patriarchal genius I'm from 'What did I do with my coffee?' and microwave caverns. I'm from red streaking through my hair, a sign of victory.

Jezebel daisyjazz.tumblr.com

Photo by Nicolette Clara http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicoletteclara/


I liked you better when you were sober and I was younger I liked you better in the summertime When the cicadas would sing And the grasshoppers hum I miss our Sunday picnics We would skip church And eat tuna sandwiches and smoke cigarettes I liked you better in the evening and the afternoon I liked it when you drove me places To thrift stores, the coffee shop, the bookstore In your old Volkswagen with the faded red paint I liked it when you read my poetry You would praise and shower me with compliments I didn’t like that, And now I don’t like you I don’t like you when the flowers die I associate winter with death and ruin You killed every living thing and buried it in now I don’t go outside because everything is you And you are everything I don’t like the quiet But I hate your voice Let me keep your record player I need a friend to keep me company Let me keep your sweater I’m cold at night, and in the morning, and in the afternoon I liked you because I was stupid and you were charming But not I’m older, and now you’re younger Leave me be, I no longer fancy your company

Cassidy Scanlon http://bisousmonamourrevised.blogspot.com/


I AM Maddie Maschger http://sprinkle-diary.blogspot.com/ I am insecure. I am confident. I am uncertain and unprepared. I am excited for the future. Sometimes, I am too loud and I speak out of turn. I get easily agitated, and my desire to be right leads to a lot of pointless bickering. I seem to have an inability to let things go, and for that I am sorry. I am opinionated and politically passionate. Sometimes, I am too argumentative. I will sometimes offend you. People will tell lies about me, and make assumptions. Sometimes, I will be judged on not the content of my character but on things I lack control over. I am not perfect.

I am an artist. I see the world in splashes of color; as photographs through a scratch-covered lens. I feel too deeply and love too strongly. I attach myself to emotions, memories, and people almost immediately. Latching on and craving deep, meaningful connection. I am easily hurt. Lack of control horrifies me.

I probably talk about feminism too much. I am infatuated with certain subjects, and I develop obsessions with the things that inspire me. I spend all of my money on white chocolate mochas and books. I want to work at an antique store. I fall in love with people I barely know who can never love me back. I drive a white car. I don't like soup. Most of the time, I wear brown moccasins with black leggings. One of my best friends lives 2,000 miles away. I have no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I care too much about what others think of me. I depend too much on the opinions of others.

And yet, I am.

I say these things as a reclamation. I am trying to become the best I can be. I am running towards the balance between fitting in and standing out. I am struggling to find myself. And yet, none of my faults, none of my positive traits decide my identity. I don't know who I am, or what that even means.

I simply am.


LISA LALA

Article by Maddie Maschger

“I’m Lisa Lala and I’m an artist. I paint.” We’re sitting in a brightly lit, white studio with walls of windows peering out across the sparkling lake. Stacks of oil paintings and works-in-progress surround us, and we sit across from Kansas City artist Lisa Lala at a paint-splattered table. After several months of working as an intern for Lisa, I had the privilege of her company and her advice as a mentor, and now I have the opportunity to share her talent with you. Lisa Lala is a Kansas City based painter, most famous for her recent exhibition, The List Wall Project. Growing up, both of her parents were artists who heavily influenced her creative growth. She was also inspired by an elementary school teacher that embraced and supported her passion for art by having her turn in drawings and poetry instead of worksheet assignments. After earning her degree in graphic design, she worked as an art director for The Buckle for a few years, but had always dreamed of pursuing a career as a painter. It wasn’t until her husband bought her a large-scale easel for Christmas one year, with no other explanation than the simple words, “You’re supposed to paint, Lisa,” that she was given the push she needed to finally begin painting. After working for a few months in a studio, she noticed that her paintings had been collected throughout her home, invading her living room and kitchen countertops. “Which is just fine, because I don’t cook,” she laughs. Local friend and the owner of the studio she had been working in, Philomine Bennett, encouraged her to show her work. Slowly, Lala began showing her pieces in small shows, each one a roaring success. After her third solo show sold out, she decided to delve into a career as a full time artist. With careful planning and funding that she and her husband Robert had saved for a rainy day, she began her journey. Almost eight years later, Lala is considered one of the top ten artists in Kansas City, with shows across the country— including Atlanta, San Antonio, and future showings in Brooklyn and Laguna Beach. She is currently in contact with the Smithsonian, discussing the option of using her List Wall Project as a permanent installation to serve as a time capsule for this generation. The List Wall is a collection of people’s goal lists and to-do lists. Lala began to realize how important lists were in her life, and developed a fascination with how they affected the lives of those around her. She began researching


The act of living feeds artists--it is not just the conflicts that make you better, but the joys, too. lists online and watched as her paintings began to reflect this interest. She started collecting anonymous lists, and last spring she showcased her progress in a solo show at Blue Gallery. Covering an entire wall, the lists told a story, and they have since taken a life of their own; people can pin their own lists to the wall after viewing the rest of the show. “I think something really neat about artists is the freedom people feel to think and brainstorm around us,” Lala says. She says that though only so many ideas actually take off successfully, it is an honor to be a part of that process. It is about celebrating the possibility—even of failure—and enjoying the ride. Would she consider herself a feminist? Lala says she comes from an age where women could wreak the benefits of the feminists before them, yet a lot of misunderstandings and stereotypes still surrounded the movement. “I’ve always considered myself an artist, not a female artist, which, in a way, I think is an unbiased way to look at the world.” The only gender roles she tends to notice within the art community is the hypocrisy surrounding femininity in art. Men can generally incorporate more feminine qualities into a work, and it will be seen as strong, while women can not necessarily get away with the same thing.

As far as trials along the way, Lala ponders, “The act of living feeds artists—it is not just the conflicts that make you better, but the joys, too.” She says that her success comes from down time and relaxation, bringing the biggest direction shifts. In regards to advice for hopeful young artists? “I think my advice often to young artists is to always have a plan B. It’s very hard to make a living as an artist.” Though, while the pay may not always be glamorous, the life of an artist is rich and rewarding.


Hollywood Seamstress, Interrupted I'm the girl who spends her morning sipping on coffee from a large reindeer mug while carefully applying eye makeup that she will lightly smear before walking out the door. I'm the girl that embraces her obnoxiously curly hair, throwing it up into a messy ponytail, and then back down to reveal a curly jungle. I'm the girl that has a drawer specifically for tights that she wears with just about anything, ignoring the fact that 80% of them are inspired by Edie Sedgwick. I'm also the girl that wears the same ring everyday, but who also pairs it with 2 or 3 more rings, making her fingers sparkle everywhere she goes. I'm the girl that applies lipstick by the hour. Anything from the reddest of reds, to pinks that compliment her skin. Biting her lip when she's nervous. Slowly peeling the lipstick onto the surface of her white teeth. I'm the girl that braids manically, not stopping for loose hairs or clumps falling out. The girl that licks her lips to taste the frosting flavored lip balm she puts on every morning before rushing off to school. I'm the girl that carries a huge black and white purse as her book bag stuffing it full of books on psychology and novels that reveal the secret to happiness. The girl that sits criss-cross-apple sauce in her desk, refusing to put her feet down. The same girl blasts Regina Spektor and Passion Pit to put her in a better mood. I'm the girl that looks up to Marilyn Monroe, wondering how society would feel of her if she were alive today instead of back then. I'm the girl who dreams of having Clara Bow's hair style, loving women that have the courage to chop off their long locks. Waiting for the day to follow in their footsteps. I'm the girl that wishes she was born in a different time period, scared of what the world has become. The girl that cuts her own jean shorts, and sews a few dresses of her own. I'm the girl that wears black almost everyday because bright colors would compete with her choice of lipstick. I'm the girl that walks the streets in sequin dresses, never looking back. The girl that pairs everything with long, dangling earrings. I'm the girl that stands in the rain smiling loving the feeling of the water cleansing her pale skin. I'm the girl who can't sit still and is constantly curling her toes in and out, just to relax herself. The girl that eats tofu in her vegetable stir fry, never dreaming of eating an animal.

I'm the girl who's eyes change colors every couple of hours from bright greens, to light blues, to everything in between. The girl that can't express how she feels through words, and has to explain everything through images, music, or past experiences. The girl who keeps a pocket sized book on feminism to whip out every time someone challenges her beliefs. The one that will occasionally dye a layer of hair electric blue because she gets bored of her dirty blonde locks. I am a Hollywood Seamstress, Interrupted.

Courtney King http://sleepyhead-musings.blogspot.com/


Quite Contrary Photos by Nicolette Clara


An interview with the

GUERRILLA

GIRLS


Hello, grrrls! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with you. Care to introduce yourselves? Hello Missfits! I’m Audrey Hepburn. My name is Aphra Behn. Hi, I’m Edith Evans. And I’m Zora Neale Hurston. Josephine Baker here. And this is Azucena Villaflor. How did Guerrilla Girls On Tour! begin? Aphra: In the mid 80’s a group of women artists founded the Guerrilla Girls to address sexism in the art world. In the mid 90’s one of the founders asked me to join the group and being a theatre artist I began my stint as a Guerrilla Girl by taking a look at sexism in the theatre world. The GG theatre committee, as we were called, started with this sticker that we would put up in the toilet stalls of theatres in New York City that were not producing any plays by women. Edith: Suddenly, the sad statistics about women in theatre (less than 17% of all plays produced in the US are written by women) began to get a lot of press. But there was still no action from within the theatre community. After 4 years of posters, actions and campaigns directed at the theatre world the Guerrilla Girls decided to split up into three new groups. That’s when Guerrilla Girls On Tour! was born. We are known as the “theatre girls” and we create comedies, street theatre and visual works that address the lack of parity for women in theatre, politics and beyond. We use humor as a weapon to get our message across and theatre as genre for proving feminists are funny. What is the significance of the gorilla masks? Aphra: As a Guerrilla Girl I was told that before one of the first press conferences one GG member was given the assignment to go out and get some guerrilla disguises. She was a very bad speller and came back with gorilla masks instead. They were funny and seemed to fit so they became the standard disguise. For what purpose do you take on the names of deceased female artists? Zora: To put the focus on the issues instead of on ourselves. Our anonymity allows us to focus completely on changing the world, one sexist city at a time. Audrey: That way no one can accuse us of doing this just to jump-start our own careers. Josephine: Not that we need to jump-start our careers. Some of us are famous.


How do you view feminism in today’s world? Audrey: To me, feminism means being true to yourself, but also speaking out for the inequalities between men and women that still, sadly exist. It's not about being radical or political; but it is about demanding equality and respect as a woman. Edith: Yet feminism still needs an intentional hand. Zora: I agree. If feminists don't fight for women's rights, who will? Azucena: Now, more than ever, women are feeling comfortable and confident raising their hopeful voices in this journey for gender equality. I truly believe that the definition of feminism today is a direct result of feminists of past generations who have paved the way for women. They have made it possible for women all over the world to take bolder steps. In just the past few years we have seen women running for President and, in some circles, being taken seriously. That said, we have so much more work to do. However, because of the work of past feminists, women today are more educated and better equipped to fight for the change that still eludes us. What are your viewpoints on the connection between femininity and feminism, and do you think that one contradicts the other? Josephine: I do not believe that femininity and feminism contradict one another. As with anything, they don't always go hand in hand, but, it is completely possible to be a feminine feminist. Feminism has gotten this rap that you can not be a feminist unless you let go of being a woman; no one will take what you have to say seriously unless you lose all of your femininity. This may have been true in the past, but now, there is a better understanding of feminism's meaning. A Feminist, simply stated, is a person who believes that women should have the same rights as men. There are feminists of all types.

Azucena: I think that both "femininity" and "feminism" are highly loaded words, riddled with all sorts of negative and positive connotations and stereotypes. When I think of "femininity", I think of the gender norms thrust upon women of how they "should" act. According to the society in which we live, "feminine" women dress, speak and move through space in particular ways. They are the caretakers of our children and homes. Being a "feminine woman" also implies that one does not do certain things. A lady does not curse excessively. She does not sit with her legs widely spread apart. She does not have many sexual partners. Oh, the double standards! In so many ways, feminism is fighting against these gender norms to ask: Who created these "rules"? And, if they are hindering us, why are we still following them? So, yes, I think that the words "femininity" and "feminism" contradict each other greatly. However, to be a feminist, I in no way feel one needs to completely abandon their sense of being feminine. So many aspects of being a woman are beautiful and deserve to be embraced. The gender “rules� that cause women to be regarded as inferior to men should be questioned and challenged.

Zora: I think that feminism and femininity can work together. There is no reason why you should have to adhere to social norms of beauty and sexuality. Femininity does not have to be mutually exclusive with displaying sexuality.


Would you describe the movement as less alive than it was twenty years ago, or more vibrant than ever? Edith: This is difficult for me. I am disappointed. I myself viewed the success of the feminist movement by the passing of the E.R.A. We don't have the E.R.A. We have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I don't know what the difference is and how it will affect women long term. I want our own Amendment. Women as a visible part of the protests in Egypt made me very happy. What tactics do you use, and what exactly are you hoping to accomplish? Audrey: Humor is our number one tactic. Everything we do -- all of our performances, street theatre, posters, we try to make funny. Even when we ideal with serious issues like reproductive rights, body image, violence against women -- we find that if we make people laugh they are more likely to listen to what we have to say. Have you ever been criticized for the use of the word “girl,” or been accused of being an exclusive group? Zora: Sometimes we get accused of reverse sexism. We do an annual networking event for women in theatre and we get letters from men saying they are insulted that they can’t come. Please! Edith: We used to get that question about being called “girls” in the 90’s but not anymore. Women are reclaiming all kinds of words. Azucena: And even inventing new ones. Like feminisming. Someone in a workshop in Greece used that and we like it a lot. Audrey: I’m feminisming right now.


What are your future plans for the movement? Aphra: We have three performances that we tour along with workshops in combining activism and art. This year we’ll be hitting Ohio, Iowa, Texas, Arkansas, Canada and New Hampshire. In the fall we may return to Greece, hit the UK or possibly tour to Turkey. There will be a huge exhibit in June of this year at the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art in New Jersey of all three new Guerrilla Girl groups’ work including some of the original Guerrilla Girl posters. Josephine: And we are currently in negotiations for a reality show. I’m not kidding! What is one piece of advice you would give to young women today? Audrey: To live your life as you wish to live it, not as anyone else tells you to. Azucena: Count yourself as capable, worthy, and entirely created equal. I know that some point the world will come to recognize this fact as a complete truth. Until that day comes, keep your head up and keep fight the good (nonviolent) fight. Zora: This sounds so cliché, but it's so true. Love yourself. Like REALLY love yourself. How does one become a Guerrilla Girl on Tour!? Audrey: First, you have to make it to Hollywood Week on American Idol. Azucena: By doing an a cappella version of the “Banana Boat” song. Josephine: And J Lo has to either sway while you’re singing or snap her fingers to the beat. Aphra: If that happens you automatically become an official member. Audrey: If that’s not an option you can form your own group. Edith: Exactly! You don’t need us. Go out there and protest, make street theatre, make posters about what you think is wrong with the world! And write to us and tell us about it. Who do you consider your inspirations to be? Zora: My mom, my sister, and Oprah Winfrey. Azucena: Any person who reminds me to look more closely at the world around me, to question it's ways of functioning, and to make changes towards improving it for everyone. I draw my inspirations from artists of all kinds, Buddhist philosophers, sociologists, journalists, social workers, and elementary school teachers. My friends, my family, and my mentors. Women and men. Audrey: Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep! She's a woman who acts because she wants to play the role, not for money or anything else. To me, she's one of the few actresses with integrity at the moment. Josephine: My mother.


Some would argue that success in the art world is judged by talent, and that blaming sexism is simply an easy way out. Arguments against this? Josephine: It's a fact that, in the art/theatre world, women and minorities have always had a more difficult time. There was a time when women weren't even allowed on stage! We can have as much talent as the next white man, but as long as that man is the person in charge, we will always have to work harder to prove ourselves. In order to find success, we have had to create our own avenues, and produce our own art. To me, this is the way to go. Self-producing work by women and people of color is the best way to see to it that our voices are heard. How do you feel about the riot grrrl movement, and the idea of reclaiming derogatory terms such as “slut” and “whore” to remove their power? Zora: Fantastic! Aphra: We love those sluts. Anything else you would like to add? Josephine: Yes, please like us. www.facebook.com/GuerrillaGirlsOT Azucena: And help us become whales: www.twitter.com/GuerrillaGsOt Audrey: If you have any cool videos post ‘em. www.guerrillagirlsontour.tumblr.com Audrey: And we love to get love/hate fe-mail! Aphra: Seriously, if you want to be updated on our antics go to www.ggontour.com and sign up for one of the above or our newsletter. ALL: Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!


ROXANNE Photography, Styling, Makeup & Art Direction: Brianne Burnell & Alice Kim Model: Leeann Pallett


Electric Twist Photos by Maisie Cousins


The whimsical and talented

Gemma Correll Hello, Gemma! Would you like to just introduce yourself and tell our readers a little bit about what it is that you do? I'm Gemma Correll. I'm a freelance illustrator, currently based in Germany. I also make products, which I sell online and in shops. I have a pug named Mr. Pickles. Awesome! How did you get started as an artist? I went to college to study Graphic Design and Illustration, although I had been drawing for things like my local church newsletter and school plays, etc. for a long time before that. I graduated in 2006 with a BA (hons) degree and started looking for freelance work after that. Have you been drawing and making art since you were a little kid? Yes. I spent a lot of time drawing as a kid. I used to fill old notepads and schoolbooks with stories that I'd write and illustrate. and anytime there was a school play or fete that needed a poster, I'd be the one to make it. That's so great. Where do you get your inspiration, and what causes you to create the images you do? I can find inspiration anywhere really. A overheard comment, or a line in a song, can spark an idea in my head. Often it's just a conversation that I have with friends. I create the images mostly because I have all these ideas in my head and I need to get them down onto paper. At least in the case of my personal work. I communicate best through writing and drawing. You seem to do a lot of commission work for magazines, etc. Do you enjoy working on commission, or do you hope to be doing something else with your art a few years down the line? I do enjoy it, most of the time. usually I can interpret a brief in my own way, which helps. The more freedom I have with a brief, the better. I think I'll always want to do a certain amount of client work but in a few years, I hope I'll be doing more personal work, using concepts that I've come up with myself.


You've had a lot of trouble with corporate companies stealing your designs.. What is your stance on plagiarism, and how do you suggest that other artists protect themselves against it? Well, I'm quite hard-line on plagiarism really. I've heard people say that it should be expected when you get to a certain level in your career and of course, the "it's flattery" argument. I can understand that in terms of, if it's an individual illustrator or student, who just likes your work. But it doesn't fly with me when it's a big company like Gap. How is it flattering that they've decided to essentially steal from you and profit from your hard work? It isn't. There are some ways that artists can protect themselves, like copyrighting work, using watermarks (not a fan of this) and getting design insurance. But the sad fact is that once your work is online, it's pretty easy for a company to steal it. Right, it's awful. I'm sorry for your bad luck! Your involvement in the blogging community and online environments like flickr and twitter seems to be something you still enjoy, though. What sort of benefits do you think having these online connections have brought? Is it an advantage to be an artist in the internet age? Yes, absolutely. I'm not sure I'd have made a career out of illustration if it wasn't for the internet. I think it's a great tool for self-promotion, especially since I'm not very confident on the phone or in face-to-face meetings. Right! Do you have any suggestions for young artists trying to break into the industry? Be patient and persistent. It doesn't happen straight away. I have only been full-time freelance for just over a year. Before that, I was working a full time job and doing illustration during my evenings and weekends. It was hard work, but I never lost sight of my goal, which was to become a full-time freelancer. It's important to keep your blog and website updated with new work as much as possible. Even if it's personal work (not for clients). It's all worth it eventually. How would you describe your style, both artistically and style-wise? Artistically, I'd say naive and simple. Style-wise, quite simple and clean. I'm a fan of stripes and muted colors. Your daily comics on your life and the shenanigans involved have become pretty popular.. Do you think your fans can relate to the awkward adventures of your characters? I think it's really because my life is fairly normal. I don't do a whole lot beyond going to the coffee shop, hanging out with my friends and walking my dog... and eating. (& work obviously) - I like to notice the funny little occurrences, which are mostly common and basic things. So I guess it's mostly about shared experience. Does this sort of documentation appeal to you more so than say, diaries, or do you keep both? Yes, well I've done something fairly similar since I was a teenager. I have kept entirely written diaries, too. But for me, it's better to keep it light. My written diaries have a tendency to get a bit dark and self pitying, haha. Would you consider yourself a feminist? Yes. Absolutely. I think it's just essential. Not only for ourselves, although there's still a way to go in the west in terms of women's rights. But issues that affect other cultures, such as forced marriage and female circumcision are important to think about too. But on a personal level, illustration is a surprisingly male dominated industry. I recently contacted a graphic novel/comics publication because from four issues, they had NEVER featured a female artist. They were like "Oh, we don't know of any good female comic illustrators,� and I said "Seriously!? Kate Beaton, Lizz Lunney, Linda Barry... Come on!" Yeah, definitely! Have you experienced any hostility as a woman working in the industry? Not hostility as such, but there's a feeling of it being a "boy's club" in certain areas. Especially areas like street art where it started from skateboard/bmx culture. Absolutely. And it's talented artists like you that are beginning to break those stereotypes. Well, hopefully! Thank you, Gemma!


“Read Me Like A Book” by Kayla Schweisberger


I DO. Rebecca Artemisa Urias http://therebeccaartemisa.blogspot.com/

Hello, how are you? My name is Rebecca Artemisa and I am a Mexican American, a painter, a young woman and a feminist. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California by very loving, but very strict parents and grew up in a deeply religious household. This isn't necessarily always terrible thing, but as a girl it can often be very restrictive. It’s a little like being in an emotional corset. I was pretty quiet and considered well behaved until I heard Bikini Kill for the first time. I was 11 and it was summertime. I was in a record store with my friend with the weekly $15 I made from watering plants and tending to the flowers at the local public elementary school. All of a sudden I heard someone yell "HEY, do you believe in anything beyond troll guy reality?! I DO I DO I DO". It was like a voice I had been pushing down came out of hiding. I was absolutely awestruck. I asked the guys running the storefront what the song was called, and much to my 11 year old ears' shock and delight, they told me it was "I like fucking" by a band called Bikini Kill. They told me they didn't carry any of their music but sold me their mix tape (yes, the mix tape) they were playing with them on it for $5. there was a lot of early 80s punk on that tape, but also Bratmobile, Dolly Mixture, Casual Dots, Emily’s Sassy Lime, and Heaven's to Betsy to name a few. I listened to it all the time, and memorized all the words to all the songs. After I memorized the words I started to think about them and what they meant to me, why I felt so pumped and empowered when I listened to their music and what those songs were about. I slowly began to realize I had a voice, and I could use it to fix things, to be brutally honest and even angry if I wanted or needed to be. This didn't happen all at once; it was gradual, over a couple of years. By the time I was 15 I had made a very difficult decision to leave our church due to my deep morality conflicts with what was being taught. I volunteered at LGBTQ events, voiced support for my local women's clinic, and actively spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment, an issue especially close to my heart because I am a survivor. It was really hard to say the least, I was no homecoming queen. My family didn't quite know what to do with their new feisty daughter, I was banned from speaking to my old church going friends, and most of my peers thought I was off my rocker or just hated men. I don't know about the former, but the latter couldn't be farther from the truth. To quote a member of the riot grrrl movement, "I’m not anti-boy, I’m pro-girl". It was a little ostracizing, but I was strangely happy. In a time where I probably should have felt very sad, I actually felt better and stronger than I ever had before. It was when I finally realized that I should never be ashamed of my sexuality, sexual identity, being opinionated; fighting what I know is injustice and striving to be a strong, kind and self reliant woman. This feeling has carried on through my young adult life. It’s carried me through good times and bad, helped me make amazing friends and trickled right down to the paintings I’ve done. They are girls on their own, but fiercely holding their own. I couldn't and wouldn't be who I am today without the riot grrrls message sparking off my mind and heart as that quiet, awestruck 11 year old.


I Believe in Nowhere Photos by Grace Dennis


Editorial by Lauren Poor


The New World Taylor Dyer The world used to be different... beautiful even. What happened? I'll tell you what happened... life. Life is cruel in so many ways. When that cruelty is aimed towards us... our hearts grow cold. Our minds don't rest. Our souls break. We cry ourselves to sleep at night, secretly hoping someone will hear our screams and come save us. No one ever hears. We wake up in the morning and plaster fake, insignificant smiles on our faces and pretend to be someone we're not. That way we're not judged and ridiculed for what we really are.... broken. And to dampen our state of loneliness, we look to others. Sex, drugs, alcohol... whatever the bloody hell they give us! It doesn't matter as long as we feel a tad bit better. But what we don't know is that every time we accept what we are given... we grow weaker and weaker... and no matter how better it makes us feel, THE PAIN ALWAYS COMES BACK! We'll cling on to the little hope we have and turn away from all our problems and all our fears, thinking that one day things will be okay. You know what? The only way things will be okay is if you face your fears and your problems! If you want to feel better... to be a better person, quit waiting for it. Get off your sorry ass and do something about it!... We can cry and scream all we want, but nobody is going to come help us. Even if they did... they wouldn't be able to help. We need to learn to love and let go of everything holding us back. The life you live is not worth living if there's no one to live it with. Open up your heart to the people that care... let them see who you truly are. Love and be loved. Let them in. Only then will the world be as beautiful as it once was.


Painting by Hannah Sroor


Painting by Hannah Sroor


Graphic by Eric Bryant


Born lovers. Courtney King http://sleepyhead-musings.blogspot.com/

I think that fashion is a form of self expression. I think that mascara is meant to run down your cheeks. I think that music is an escape from reality. I think that when it's raining, the sky is crying for all the Earth. I think that women are just as strong as men. I think that you should dream a little bigger. I think that reality is a center for those lacking imagination. I think that perfection is impossible because it's repulsive. I think that you are beautiful. Yes, you. I think that there is nothing wrong with being gay. I think that everyone deserves to smile. I think that thrift stores are better. I think that skipping should replace running. I think that we all think too much. I think that rules are made for people who can't think outside the box. I think that everyone should dance in the rain. I think that photography is art. I think that I might get bangs. I think that stereotypes are cruel. I think that I may just love you.


She wears vintage dresses of every style; rich florals, polka dots, tartan plaids. Her closet floor is filled with cheetah print flats, glitter-covered oxfords, beaded moccasins, and yellow Doc Martins. She wears light-wash denim jackets with rebellious pins + crafty brooches. She collects sequin covered sweaters and rich olive green trench coats. She paints over her pale faced blemishes with china doll colored foundation, then delicately applies her Edie Sedgwick eyelashes. She paints her lips red and dreams of far away cities and girls wearing flower crowns. She fills her bag with used gum wrappers, book store receipts, + a ziploc bag of four-leaf clovers. She spends more money on white chocolate mochas than gasoline, and can almost always be found at the local Starbucks with two of her favorite partners in crime. She writes poetry in math class and tucks her disorderly notes into her purple polka dot backpack. She surrounds herself with people who have a knack for spontaneity. They go out for Chinese food on a Sunday night, ignoring talk of chaotic blizzards. They tie red balloons to strangers’ cars and fill diet + fitness books with empowering sticky notes. She spends her every penny on books-her favorite corner of the bookstore is towards the back, where she pours over gender & women's studies, psychology, philosophy, the metaphysical, astrology, biographies, self help, and inspiration. She spends hours researching Kathleen Hanna and Joan Jett and holds a strong obsession with the 90's. She screams the lyrics of Cherry Bomb as she drives throughout town, then listens, lost in her dreams, to the melodic humming of Ingrid Michaelson. She turns any research paper she's given into an intellectual discussion of beauty culture, sexual expectations, and the stereotypes of women in society. She's stuck in the pastels & rock 'n' roll wonder of the fifties, the revolution & pop art of the sixties, and the raw, artsy girl power of the nineties. She craves a wardrobe of Peter Pan collars and babydoll dresses like that of Courtney Love. She haphazardly cuts her own bangs and her smeared eyeliner never seems to stay in place. She makes almost every social situation awkward & wonders when she lost her elegant social ease. She takes pictures of everything she sees-snap, snap. She hems her own dresses, much to her mother's disdain, and the fraying hemlines that hang in threads around her knees are a bit of a signature touch. She believes in girl power and love, above all else. She possesses a thirst for knowledge. She is hungry with anticipation for the future, yet she is ever conscious of her quickly fading childhood. Her inspiration journal is packed full of pin-up girls, fabric swatches, quirky illustrations, photo booth strips, and offbeat self portraits. She's in love with pop art, feminism, + iced tea. She is an awkward, teenaged riot grrrl.

Awkward Teenaged Riot Grrrl


Missfits Magazine: Issue 2  

The Art Issue. We are the alternative; We are a feminist fashion magazine that focuses not only on haute couture, but empowerment. We are a...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you