Queer artist-activists discuss resources they wish they could access in their work
Alessia I wish there were spaces of like creators, across Ontario, where you could just go in and sit in the space with other activists and other artists, creators- whatever they want to call themselves- to just sit and talk and create things. Whether it's an hour or three hours a week or a month or whatever, because I think there's so much to be learned out of just conversing with communities. And to be able to create with them at the same time is so wonderful. This is a space where people can go and talk about this and maybe it's a way of supporting one another, maybe it's just a place of gathering, but definitely just seeing more spaces that allow you to create without expectation. I think that's definitely a resource that doesn't really exist, and that I think should.
Arwyn Artists are not paid enough. We're not valued, and housing is difficult- there's so many pieces of just basic life that are already barriers. I mean it's not a practical thing to say but I really do wish that we lived in a culture that valued art, artists, arts and the artists. Because we are special folks, you know, we are doing something that is exceptional.
Madeline I mean I think the exact same thing people are- creative people are- so undervalued and how am I going to get people to pay me money for my work? I have goals and I have things that I want to accomplish but sometimes it's about the society we're in not valuing art like how, how do you work around that when you know your art is valuable and other creative people know art is valuable, but greater society doesn't. How do we bridge that gap? One of the resources I wish I had- I kind of have now- is a community of like-minded creative people specifically. I have plenty of queer friends, but not all of them are into the same things as I am or practice the same forms of art as I do. I often find being in school and learning but also having my art critiqued by professors and trying to make art that- they essentially act as the clients in a lot of projects. It's difficult because I want to present ideas that are maybe a bit more unconventional-
Arwyn No, I mean it’s- I’m somebody who has left academia and left the education system because of the oppression and the construct-
Madeline Oh my god, yes.
Arwyn It’s not-
Madeline It’s not conducive to learning. I feel like I should be in school and be able to make mistakes, but I feel like I'm penalized for that, which is so frustrating because I just- I felt like every single thing I was doing was being judged and then I just froze, and I was in a creative rut for a while last year and I just couldn't make anything doesn't work.
Arwyn It's so wrong, we have to tear it down!
Madeline I know!
“Some resources I wish I had as an artist starting out (and even now) is a network of creative people with similar ideas. As someone that makes queer content and also fantasy content, it can often be difficult to explain my ideas to people that aren't familiar with these spaces. Sometimes I can feel silly or awkward explaining concepts to people (and still do with some professors). So I think that having a group of people that are familiar with the sort of work I am creating or want to create would be really helpful. I feel like I would be able to explore my ideas better and feel more seen as an artist and person that way. And I think that having someone or a group to bounce ideas off of would be a really valuable resource in coming up with ideas”