-//-Bhakti Fawn-//-

Lately I have been most passionate about feminist artwork; drawing and painting yonis but also writing feminist poetry. I also enjoy embroidery which I’ve focused on feminine images as well. 

From the inception of an idea to being able to step away from a piece, what is the process like for you?
I think generally, I'm inspired by women around me. The shame that a lot of women feel really compels me to create something that will change the relationship that women have with their bodies. I am inspired by nature as well so I'll take images from nature, from flowers and plants and use them as inspiration to juxtapose the beauty of nature and women’s bodies.

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How long do you usually sit with a project?
It really varies. Sometimes I'll create something within ten minutes and fall in love with it and other times I'll start something, put it away, come back to it and do a little bit more and never really feel like it’s finished.

I'm trying to get things done faster and be less of a perfectionist so that I can get my artwork out. At least to be producing things on a regular basis so that I can constantly be improving what it is I'm doing instead of investing too much time in one piece.

Is sharing with other people and important part of the art process?
I personally think that art is meant to be shared. Without an audience it’s kind of masturbatory. Getting feedback from people is really vital to my process. Because most of my artwork is a statement, it requires the audience, it requires women to view it and to have some kind of emotion towards it and hopefully change people’s point of view regarding women’s bodies and feminism in general.

What gives you hope?
I'm connecting with so many people that aren’t in my immediate community that are like-minded and are striving for the same future that I am, through their art or just through their way of being in life. Connecting to so many powerful women has really given me hope for the future and that what I'm doing is affecting some kind of change.

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What is that future you are striving for?
I personally see it as a place that’s safer for women and that honors our individuality. A place where we’re able to express ourselves in exactly the way we desire to and we’re honored and respected for that.

What do you find humbling about art?
Every time I create I am pushing myself to create something better. I can see the gap between where I am and where I'd like to be and that humbles me every time.

What kind of dialogue are you trying to create with an audience?
I'm trying to make a statement of what it is to be body-positive and sex-positive. Kind of posing the question of what makes you feel sexy, what makes you feel empowered, what makes you feel liberated. When it comes to my yoni art, some people find it incredibly beautiful but some men are offended by it. Some women too.

My poetry and my visual art can be kind of abrasive for some people. I love that it creates a dialogue. I do think that it makes them question why it is that they feel that way.

What do you think the role of art in the world is?
I think to evoke emotion. I think art is meant to be interacted with. It’s effective if it stirs anything, if it poses any questions, if it brings up new ideas. That’s the goal. 

Both individually and societally does creating art help you work through problems?
I would say that I have had a lot of trauma in the past with my experience as a woman in the world and through poetry I've been able to release a lot of those emotions. I’ve also been able to connect with other people who have experienced similar things and that’s extremely cathartic.

Can you describe what it feels like to create?
When I'm creating my yoni art it’s really meditative because I'm focusing on natural beauty. It’s almost mandala-like. When I'm writing poetry it’s like pulling teeth sometimes. Finding the perfect phrasing, the perfect word takes a lot of repetition in my mind. Writing poetry can come very fluidly at times if I'm feeling especially creative but I don’t feel like that every day. It can be exhausting.

Lately using my body to create art has been like the easiest way to express myself and the most cathartic so far.

What is the best and the worst thing that creating art has done for you?
The best thing is connected me to people who have similar experiences and I think changing the conversation surrounding female bodies and surrounding shame. It’s made me feel more empowered and liberated and I definitely feel like I've come into myself and become a stronger woman because of it. And really found my voice. 

The worst thing it’s done… well, my family doesn’t necessarily approve of what it is I'm doing. It’s made the gap in our ideals very apparent. It is hard for me to accept how they may perceive me because the art that I create, though it’s not sexualized, it is of a sexual nature at times.

They don’t really respect things that are erotic and they can’t separate pornography from what is erotic. And I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with pornography either I mean I've been a sex-worker too. It’s hard revealing parts of myself to people who are not accepting of it.

Is beauty still relevant?
Yes but I think it means something different. Not to be cliche but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we can look at something that may not be what is typically considered beautiful but is beautiful in its rawness in its realness, in its vulnerability and transparency. I think people are starting to realize that what is real, what is life is the most beautiful and incredible thing that we can really express and witness.

- Bhakti Fawn