Tell us about the symbolism behind the Heirloom.
The Heirloom is a set of stacked shapes that are fully customizable, forming a friendship bracelet block with infinite combinations. Each shape strengthens the rest, much like how queer, trans and nonbinary people add excellence to our communities.
How do you see the Heirloom evolving over time?
This piece is capable of being renewed as the LGBTQ2S+ community grows: per year, per decade; based on a new flag or an old one. As Canada’s culture enriches and strengthens in the face of adversity, the Heirloom can too.
Tell us a little about your journey into the world of art.
I really feel like art found its way to me, rather than I to it! My mom was very good at encouraging my love of being “crafty” as a kid—beadwork, friendship bracelets, collage, knitting—but I was less interested in illustration; it took patience I didn’t have quite yet. In high school, I was obsessed with photography and media arts, which led me to a college program in graphic design. That really culminated all my interests; I could take all these little bits and bobs I loved growing up and turn them into something beautiful and fun. In that program, I fell in love with illustration and learned how soothing it was to let yourself make things without an agenda.
Where do you draw inspiration for your illustrations from?
I think a lot of my drive to create cool stuff comes from cheering on others; it puts a fire under my butt to try to keep up! Part of being an artist is contributing to the celebration of art itself and using it to fuel your own ideas. It’s a mix of envy and joy. A thrill!
What do you love about being part of the LGBTQ2S+ community in Canada?
I love being queer in Canada because I feel at home no matter where I go. I don’t have to announce who I am and seek acceptance or forgiveness for it. Being queer deepens my relationships and connection with others. I know who I am and no one can question it.
That being said…
I’m a cisgender white woman in a fairly progressive city! That’s a hugely privileged identity as a queer person. There are thousands of LGBTQ2S+ people who don’t have that luxury, and they need our support to feel seen and heard. I think Canada still has a long way to go in terms of LGBTQ2S+ acceptance, but I’ll keep fighting for equity til we’re there.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
My favourite piece of advice is to “never be just one thing”. I think people have so much weight tied to their perceived persona—they’re not to blame, social media is. If someone is an accountant, they worry their whole “thing” is being an accountant. They’re defined by a single thing they do to keep afloat. Sure, if accounting is your passion, that works—but if you have interests outside of your career, cherish and tend to them.
Speaking of passions, what are some of yours?
A lot of my growth in art has been tied to experimentation outside of art! I love to knit, to bake, to curate - these things centre me. By being open to new experiences, you can carry a shocking amount of skills back to what you love most.
What would you tell someone just starting out in the industry?
My best advice is to make art with no expectations of its outcome! A lot of young artists worry about not having a style or enough skill to accomplish the effect they want. Let that fear free you from expectations! Try a whole bunch of styles. Post them all. Draw TV characters or still lifes or nature. Your style comes to you naturally when you iterate until a piece feels “done”. Make a whole pile of work and be proud of growth instead of perfection.
How would you describe your art style?
I’m jokingly referred to as “sweet and spicy” by my partner. I like bright, happy colour palettes and symmetry mashed up with cats, bats, and girls serving side-eye. Create your own harmony!
Who are your favourite LGBTQ2S+ owned brands or artists to follow?
Ooooh, good Q!
Kindred & Hellbound,
Christopher John Rogers,
Official Rebrand, and
are my absolute faves!