It’s just this amazing feeling of yeah this guy is some kind of mythological being that’s gonna make everything ok
Heather created a bespoke piece for our launch issue using the theme ‘myth’. This piece is of her friend, and fellow Bi Pride UK volunteer, Simon.
“The one I’ve done for you is of Simon. It just felt right to put it in Bi colours because I met Simon at the Pre-Pride Bi Brunch (special event run by Leeds Bi Group). He’s just such a lovely fella.”
Q – Heather, how did you incorporate the theme ‘myth’ in your piece?
The photo I used for reference is of Simon standing in front of neon angel wings and a halo. I’ve given him the wings and just left this beautiful expression on his face and he looks like the angel of Bi positivity, and joy, and just kicking everybody’s ass!
Q – What do you want people to take away from your work?
I want joy and looking at all the rolls and dimples and bumps and going oh I have those, this person is beautiful. I have the same things that they’ve got. Does that mean I’m beautiful too? YES it does awesome, I’m beautiful!
Because I’ve spent years getting rid of that self judgment voice that judges me 1000 times harder than I would judge anybody else..
Let your freak flag fly!
Q – How important do you feel queerness in arts & culture is?
I think my art would be a lot more mainstream if I hadn’t been in a community where stepping out the box is not just ok, but it’s encouraged. We’re very much as a community, let your freak flag fly, be weird, do your thing. I have been weird, I have done my thing and people seem to like it!
Q – How important is it to be able to have a space that you can express yourself as a Queer artist?
Huge. Absolutely huge! As soon as I figured out oh, people actually want to see this, I posted a couple things on my Facebook and suddenly people were going ‘Can I share this? Can I show people? ’. I was like oh people like this?! Then it all kinda snowballed from there. It gets reactions from people that I don’t know. People that I don’t know message me and say ‘This really helps thank you’ ‘ This made me cry’ ‘This helped me because…’ It’s not just something I’m doing to get stuff out of my head now, it’s helping other people too.
It’s weird and amazing that I can do stuff like this and the magazine is going to be even more amazing because it’s so specifically Bi that I can go ‘right, these are my people!’
Q – If you had one piece of advice for your younger self (looking back now) what would it be and why?
Other than, you’re not straight moron! It doesn’t matter what they think.
Q – If you had to sum up the wonder that is the bi community in one sentence, what would it be?
Welcoming, diverse, loving they’re just a glorious bunch of people.
She / Her | They / Them | Leeds | Illustrator
Heather is a body/fat/people positive illustrator who found art as an outlet and form of therapy when hospitalised with their chronic illness. What started as a holistic approach for chronic pain, soon turned into a creative calling and Heather found love in creating their illustration series ‘colourful people’. ‘Colourful people’ focuses on representing the people who inspire Heather through their own body positivity and stories. The pieces centre around self love and showcase people living their best lives and tells their narrative through bold lines and colours.