Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DIVA Magazine

None Upon Thars - DIVA

I recently created an illustration for UK based lesbian magazine DIVA. This art is for an article called "Gold Star Girls," that interviews 4 women on the notion of the "gold star."

So... what's a gold star girl? I had never even heard of the term until this article came along. Simply put, a "gold star" is a lesbian who has never had sex with a man. There's often a tendency to view a gold star as being the best kind of lesbian, and that they are somehow more special.

My brain couldn't help but make a connection to my favorite Dr Suess story "The Sneetches." Here are the opening lines to the story:

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

It shouldn't matter at all. Though a certain amount of awe is easy to understand. After all, who wouldn't want to be sure and confident in life and sexuality right from the get go? But, the impression I got was that the "Gold Star" is just another form of branding. Just another way to judge someone. What I love about the article is that it throws that label to the curb and gives it a good trample. (I make it sound harsh, but it seems Lulu Belliveau and the interviewees are more eloquent than I.) Each woman, coming from her own experience, made it clear that there wasn't anything wrong with being either or. We shouldn't put anyone on a pedestal because of their sexual behavior or experience. So forget about stars and whether you have one, or none, upon... yars.

My hope is that this illustration appears as confident, accepting and non-judgmental as the ladies in the article.

A fun technical aspect of making this illustration was composing it to fit in the unusual space that was predetermined by the designers at DIVA. Hurray for creative problem solving skillz.
I also played a lot with color before I came to the "not pink" conclusion. BUT IT WAS SO HARD. Cause, in pink, this girl looks truly-truly-truly outrageous.

Big thanks to Luciane Pisani for contacting me for this!

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