June 28, 2018 2:37 pm
Today I am creating a blog for my website, where I will cement, in writing, the concepts that I think are important to art, society, graffiti, the graffiti community, the art world and the world in general. I consider myself to be an intersectional feminist. I am deeply passionate and equally concerned about all the contributing factors that create the human condition, which all converge to find us here on earth at this time in history.
I am grateful to be sharing this place and time with all of you and hope that my thoughts can spark new conversations for how we can all be more connected to each other and to the many places and (human and non human) people we call home.
This blog will not be a place for public comment, but I encourage you to communicate with me and to communicate with each other. We need to. Communication is so often taken for granted but lets truly appreciate the ability we have in this moment in history to physically communicate with so many people (known and new). Thank you for taking the time to read what I’ve written and what I will continue to write. Thank you for indulging the curiosity that led you here, it led me here too.
June 28, 2018 2:51pm
Why this is important to me:
The world doesn’t need more self-aggrandizing artists or entertainers who seek to distract in an endless cycle of media consumption, products and time tokens (money). The world needs more idea liberators, more intellects willing to discuss the real reasons why we’re here, more open hearts ready to accept the ebb and flow without needing to possess.
In short, I felt I would better serve my greater purpose on earth by sharing my principles, thoughts and ideas than to solely project these notions in art imagery. My artwork relates to so much of what I will share on this blog, but much of it is raveled in riddles far too personal to explain. This blog will help unravel those threads for anyone curious enough to explore.
June 29, 2018 3:15pm
No longer putting new, exclusive content on Instagram and why you should too:
So many of us artists produce free content for other people to consume on social media nearly every day. Some of us use social media to promote ourselves as best we can, planning that the work we do will make the right connection, and promote sales, and some how allow us to make more work and to support our lives and families and pets and dinners and hopes and dreams. Some of us work double time, allowing our artwork and passion projects to suffer in order to make sure we can pay bills or losing sleep/compromising health in order to get it all done.
Facebook owns Instagram, and a bunch of investors (a grip of people I never met) own Facebook, they technically own the content I post and they monetize the content that I produce. They get paid for it every single day but I don’t. I allow them to sell my passion with their advertising and I’m probably addicted to it, but I’m not benefiting from it.
The other day my razor-sharp smart bae Tabby put me onto Patreon – its a platform where artists, musicians and creators can publicize their projects directly to fans and patrons who pay a monthly membership (at a tier of their choice) to join artists on the journey as they create new work.
I looked into it and decided this would be a great way to take ownership of the daily content that I produce. I felt that a Patreon account would help filter the caliber of people who have access to me and my artwork via social media. By reserving my posts and process strictly for those who are willing to pay a meager $1 a month (less than 4 pennies a day), it allows me to limit needless online interactions with people who aren’t interested in my artwork. Beyond that, it helps me maintain ownership of the content I create. This is my way out of being a revenue source for someone else and being a revenue source for myself.
I invite you all to join me. Make your own Patreon page. I have no shame in paying $1 a month to subscribe to an artist I like in exchange for access to their daily content, creativity and vibes. This is our way of endorsing each other in a practical way – way more tangible and legit than a like or a repost.
Thanks for taking the time to read my position. Hope I see you there! —> Patreon.com/EmeraldArtStudio
July 23, 2018 10:27pm
Answers to open questions. Thank you to those who submitted:
1. In general, I don’t like to isolate women from the rest of graffiti. For me, it is very important for women to be perceived on the same “playing field” as anyone else who performs whatever task. We need to be judged as a whole for our talent, not for our sex or gender. Being clever and creative and talent in making letters and applying spray paint to a surface has nothing to do with a persons gender or sex as far as I’m concerned. That said – I am enthusiastic about dope graffiti writers who happen to be women. For instance, Miss 17 has been the king of New York City street bombing for a long time, Utah has painted circles around probably every clean train painter on the planet, and Musa has outpainted everyone on nearly every wall she’s been on for as long as I can remember. The primary reason they stand out is because their work speaks for itself.
The one thing about women who are graffiti artists – all of us, regardless of how we approach what we do – we’ve all had a similar experience of being harassed by men in graffiti because of our gender. In that regard, that is one thing that does separate us, and one thing that a lot of my work is a reaction to. Women in graffiti are objectified, harassed, bullied, stalked, subject of and subject to lies and gossip, name-calling, and the list goes on. Stuff that men in graffiti do not do to other men. In this regard, we are different, and we are often on our own. In my experience, the Neverland boys club of men in graffiti don’t often defend their female peers. That is something I think we should pay more attention to. Not the fact that women paint graffiti, but the fact that majority of women who paint graffiti deal with sexual harassment in silence.
2. I got into veganism on accident, and into animal rights unintentionally. I had been vegetarian since 2009 after reading the book “Eating Animals.” After I adopted my first pitbull, I was constantly watching dog programs and animal shows – initially to do more research on dogs and then because it was entertaining and eventually stuff just autoplayed on Hulu. One day a farm vet reality show autoplayed on Hulu, and what they did to the pregnant cow to HELP her made her collapse in pain. I dropped the slice of pizza in my hand and threw away the rest of the pie and haven’t eaten dairy ever since. Beyond that, a friend of mine, Chris Alas, has been vegan for a long time and he’s involved in animal rights and liberation. I saw one of his stories of a vigil with Los Angeles Animal Save and I felt compelled to go. When I saw the pigs being trucked to slaughter and gave them water, I couldn’t help but see the resemblance between those pigs and my dogs – their ears literally look the same shape. I cried and cried and ever since have not been able to stop speaking out.
I’ve identified as a feminist for as long as I can remember. In growing up with older brothers, I never understood any kind of difference between my desires in life and theirs. I always felt I was equal and on the same “playing field” as them. Even as a kid, I felt the desire to be competitively better than the guys for as long as I can remember. Because of my brothers and befriending their friends I’ve always had an easy time befriending males, and always had groups of guy friends growing up, even before I got into graffiti. Until I was sexually assaulted for the first time, I hadn’t ever seen a difference between a mans abilities and mine. As I got older and took more classes in school, I was able to define that original attitude I always had as feminism. After the first sexual assault on the street in public at age 19, I experienced first-hand the biological difference between men and women. While we may be biologically different, I don’t think that difference should make our rights and opportunities any different in life.
To that extent, feminism includes all beings for me. Human and animal rights are important to me. We are different but we are the same. We all have souls and we all want to live. Sadly, humans are the only species that is known to commit suicide, all other animals (especially the ones that are eaten as food) want to live. I believe they deserve that right.
100 years ago it was socially acceptable to own slaves. And 50 years ago it was acceptable to deny women social rights. 25 years ago it was acceptable to deny rights to members of the LGBTQ community. It is not so outlandish to think that eventually it will no longer be socially acceptable to rape, enslave and eat animals. My only regret is that I didn’t make the connection sooner. I’m still in the process of getting vintage leather pieces out of my home and placed into the least wasteful, in-vain situation.
Above the animal rights, what eating animals does to peoples bodies, emotions and souls is not good. I feel healthier, lighter and more connected to myself than ever before. I have less anxiety, stress and pain. It’s probably because I’m not eating the dead body or secreted hormones of a stressed out anxious animal that is in pain… Right? Right. Xo
February 21, 2019
More than meets the eye.
I grew up mostly as a tomboy, friends with boys who would talk about girls in a way I never wanted anyone to talk about me. I purposely didn’t make efforts (and sometimes still don’t) to make myself look attractive. I have always had a fear of ending up with someone who is only with me for the way I look, knowing how little respect most men have for attractive women despite how much they value them as sex objects.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized more and more how women in society are most often valued by the way they look. If I dress nice and blow dry my hair and put on a little makeup, people (total strangers, men and women) are significantly nicer to me in public – holding doors, paying for food, paying my tolls, going out of their way to make things happen for me. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how far that concept extends. Women are valued for the way they look, but not much else. A pretty woman in great shape is expected to be a model or an actress – because the notion that she could have talent, intelligence, skills or passion doesn’t supersede her appearance. In most cases, the better a woman looks the better her value is in society, yet she won’t be taken seriously for anything else -she’s a pretty face and when you look at her that is all you see.
I realized recently, that despite being aware of this my whole life, I was guilty of the same exact line of thinking in some ways. I’m getting older and I’ve caught myself saying that I don’t care because I still look young – as if that is what matters about getting old. I’ve caught myself looking at tall, thin women and wondering why they were working in an office and not modeling – as if that’s a more suitable job for her and whatever skill set she has isn’t as valuable.
I realized these concepts have been engrained into me since I was a kid, my mom is one of those kind of women – the type who are taught to value themselves based on their appearance, the type who project those same attitudes onto their daughters – a product of patriarchy.
My goal in addressing this is to bring awareness to it. Maybe others do the same thing but are not aware of it? How can we ever be socially equal if women are subject to these attitudes and stigmas? Women hold value in society regardless of their looks. Women are unique, intelligent, talented, skilled, clever, funny, inventive, entrepreneurial, trendsetting, record-breaking, hardworking, innovative and contribute more to society than the way we look, the way we dress or who we date.
If we want a better world, we need to deconstruct the parts of the existing one that are not working. I challenge you: the next time you see a woman, don’t assess her attractiveness or her appearance, ask yourself what kind of passions she has or what her goals are. It makes a world of difference.