Love, A Thousand Times More Love / Celebrate the LGBTQ+ Community
In honour of Pride Month, we asked a few of our illustrators to share what being a member and ally of the LGBTQ+ community personally means to them and how it shapes their artistic practice.
“After years of questioning and research, identifying as asexual and panromantic has brought me so much comfort. At first, I felt embarrassed and invalidated because asexuality is still fairly new and people didn’t see aces as queer. I was reluctant to consider myself as such because I didn’t want to be disrespectful. Now my work is more loving and confident. My older work showcased my questioning, my need for validation, and finding my place. I can take on projects now and feel like I belong. My biggest dream for the community is to cease having to validate our existence, that we get to triumph over fear and embrace self-expression. We are all struggling to grasp how to exist in this world and how to co-exist with other. Our human lives are rare, so why focus on trying to deplete that grace?”
“Freedom of expression is behind everything I create. My art is thoughtful. I like to support fair causes, human rights, diversity, care for the earth, and peace. I come from a humble town in Havana, a neighbourhood of fishermen. I learned to love and support my community. My family taught me to be a good human being and life has made me put those teachings into practice. Looking back, I would tell my younger self, ‘Don’t cry.’ I cried a lot. ‘Love more, trust more.’ My biggest dream for the LGBTQ+ community is love, a thousand times more love.”
Marella Moon Albanese
“Being queer, you never really stop coming out for the rest of your life. I identify as bisexual and non-binary. I’ve felt kind of in-between male and female my whole life, and I never understood why men could do some things women couldn’t, and vice versa. My views on gender and sexuality are reflected in how I draw people and their experiences. Much of my work puts people in situations that are not considered gender-conforming. What I worry about most for the LGBTQ+ community is backtracking; I want to keep moving forward in our acceptance, but I fear, especially here in the US, that there have been a lot of steps backwards. I just want us to be able to exist in peace without having to fight for that.”
“I identify as a queer, androgynous person with a fluid, gender-bending persona. My coming out was never a moment; it was always how I was and how I wanted to be, and the people who chose to accept my lifestyle. I never felt the need to tell someone who I am. Being queer in the field gives me a lot of pride, but also some weight on my shoulders to not let down the community. I always try to incorporate queer life in my works, to make our world seen. Most of my work is inspired by cultural and creative moments I’ve experienced while travelling or during day-to-day interactions. But I must admit that depression, creative block, anxiety and fear of judgment all helped me get stronger and fuelled the most powerful illustrations I’ve done. Looking back, I’d tell my teenage self, ‘Trust yourself more. Please be loud. Do what you love. People will love you more for what you really are. And experiment with more colour palettes!’ I dream of a world where I can illustrate a couple holding hands and not receive hate comments because it’s not clear that it’s a boy and girl.”
This month, Anna Goodson Illustration Agency celebrates Pride Month and diversity in all its forms. Stay tuned for more featured stories and follow along on Instagram & Facebook. #Illustration