the world needs more body positivity in art

I've noticed a pattern with myself. Whenever I'm feeling particularly bad or gross about myself, I take that feeling and turn it into a piece of art meant to uplift others out there who might be feeling the same as me. Sadly there are far too many people with a constantly-negative inner dialogue, and mine has been particularly nasty lately. Not just crapping on my soft, lumpy body, but on my inability to adult and my inadequacy as an artist, too! 

When I'm feeling this way and creating these sorts of body positive pieces, it often serves double duty in making other people feel good, which in turn helps me to realize that my body image hangups are not unique, and therefore not interesting, so I shouldn't worry too much about them. It's that whole, talk-to-yourself-like-you-would-talk-to-your-best-friend thing. I'm trying to shut down my negative self-talk by spreading a little positivity. 

  A painting of a girl in a bathing suit that I painted in my sketchbook with Posca paint markers.

A painting of a girl in a bathing suit that I painted in my sketchbook with Posca paint markers.

Actually, when I started this piece I wasn't feeling particularly bad about myself, I was just struck by the beauty of the photo posted by Nettle's Tale Swimwear on their Instagram. You should definitely check them out! And then for some reason, as this week went on I felt like I was on an emotional downward spiral.

I think I hit the bottom last yesterday, though. I'm generally a really happy and positive person, but yesterday the only two things that made me genuinely smile were a sweet text message from a friend (thank you again <3) and the song Roar by Katy Perry, which I listened to many times after that to try and pull myself up.

I'm feeling a little better going into this long weekend, which I extended by adding days off at the start and the end. I needed time away from my day job to work on my various projects related to my art business, as well as just get some space away from people for a while. I'm sure some of you know how that is. 

Side note: I'm really into Posca paint pens right now. Expect to see a lot of work done with these babies. 

Well, this turned out a little more ranty than I had planned. Let's move on. :) Here are a couple of other pieces that came from me feeling shitty about myself, which both ended up being very well-received on Instagram. 

  Illustrated lettering that I created in Procreate on my iPad pro.   I was feeling really horrible when I made this. It was hot, I couldn't wear a skirt without spanks because my thighs would be on fire in no time, and I was feeling really uncomfortable in my clothes. I also wasn't taking the best care of my skin so I was broken out. I was hiding my body from my boyfriend. It was a bad time!

Illustrated lettering that I created in Procreate on my iPad pro.

I was feeling really horrible when I made this. It was hot, I couldn't wear a skirt without spanks because my thighs would be on fire in no time, and I was feeling really uncomfortable in my clothes. I also wasn't taking the best care of my skin so I was broken out. I was hiding my body from my boyfriend. It was a bad time!

  Lettering and illustrations created in Procreate on my iPad pro. This piece started with the legs. When I was practicing figure drawing the poses were so short that when I looked down I had a page full of legs and was inspired.   Again, this one came from heat. It was way too hot to wear pants, but I was way too busy to waste time shaving my legs. Eventually I got over it and just had exposed leg hair! And truth be told I don't think anyone even noticed.

Lettering and illustrations created in Procreate on my iPad pro. This piece started with the legs. When I was practicing figure drawing the poses were so short that when I looked down I had a page full of legs and was inspired.

Again, this one came from heat. It was way too hot to wear pants, but I was way too busy to waste time shaving my legs. Eventually I got over it and just had exposed leg hair! And truth be told I don't think anyone even noticed.

I've been wanting to draw more humans. It's something that terrifies me because humans are complicated and so, so diverse. But I'm still trying to push myself out of my comfort zone each day, so I'm incorporating more human figures into my art. And I vow to base my sketches on real people. People like me and people not like me. My style is not super realistic at all, but that doesn't mean I can't base my illustrations on natural bodies. We are much more interesting than what society wants us to be, and art is so much more interesting when it's diverse. <3