In celebration of Pride Month, we asked seven Society6 artists how the LGBTQ+ community has supported them, inspired them or compelled them to create. Here’s what they had to say:
“The first time someone gave me the opportunity as an illustrator to show my work in a massive way was for an LGBTQ+ event in my city, which helped me to reach more people and connect with them. For me, to illustrate is to open your heart and let others see that, in the end, feelings are universal no matter who you love or who you are.” | @enriquelarios
“My interest in exploring gender in photography came about in 2012, shortly after coming out myself. I feel like when I discovered queer art it’s like I woke up for the first time in my life. My work looks at gender identity as a fluid, non-static force. I am interested in exploring western understandings of masculinity and femininity, and how those inform our perception of gender, visually. Moreover, I am fascinated by how femininity and masculinity can co-exist in one body. My work is also marked by a dedication to seeing the people I love evolve through time and documenting the changes that occur in this process. I want to create art that is rooted in care for the queer and trans community that I am a part of.
Society is currently at a turning point in understanding how gendered norms inform our identity and how we relate to one another as gendered beings. In that context, as a transgender artist sharing my personal experiences, I am making work both for my own community and for the greater public to gain an understanding of what it (can) mean to be a transgender person in America in the 21st century. I think it’s really important to document this moment in time as a queer artist, so that’s what compels me to create.” | @laurencephilomene
“Ever since I started creating and designing professionally, I’ve found that the projects that thrill me the most are always the ones that convey messages that I believe in and am passionate about. This is why I truly love and enjoy collaborating with organizations targeting the less fortunate, charities for young girls and WomenX and LGBTQ+ related groups. This work allows me to use my skills and creative voice to bring more attention to causes and communities that are often misrepresented or overlooked. When it comes to the LGBTQ+ community in particular, I feel truly inspired by its diversity and emphasis on fluidity. There’s something fundamentally organic and beautiful about all these spectrums cohabiting amongst us, and I love celebrating that through my illustrations.” | @maidafadd
“The community has helped me feel legitimate as an LGBTQ+ artist and designer thanks to its presence and visibility in the field. I’m particularly inspired by my fellow artists who create in mediums and aesthetics that are not “gender-appropriate” (which is a ridiculous concept to begin with). This inspired and emboldened me to work in a fairly ornamental, floral style and with mediums like cross-stitch.” | @nickmisani
“I believe that the LGBT+ community forms a new family, whose philosophy speaks and behaves with foundations of love, inclusion, freedom of expression and respect. It’s a family where you can feel free, supported and loved. I think that love should be the engine that makes the world spin and that it should start with oneself and then be projected unto others. I do what I do because of the love and unconditional support I receive. I think the world be better if we embrace that philosophy.” | @albablazquezyo
“The LGBTQ+ community is more about feelings to me. Today, I’m free to speak about it and to assume what I am, thanks to many fights for gay rights, and it’s important to never forget that. I hope that more and more people will accept the queer community. We have a long way to go, but I’m optimistic. I think it’s important to speak about it because if you can touch just one person and change their mind, it makes a big difference.
In my illustrations, I just want to express love, whether it’s gay or heterosexual–we should all be equal. “Love is all!” The last illustration I made was a cover for the senior magazine Romeo et Huguette. It was about sexuality–I drew a woman and her older boyfriend kissing each other, but if you really look at it, you don’t know if it’s a guy or a girl. This, too, is a commitment I have in my work. Gender–that’s the question I wish we didn’t have to give pause to.” | @j.m.lola
“Being apart of the LGBTQIA+ community has been majorly supportive because it’s become extremely important to me to share narratives and perspectives from the experiences that I share along with others around me! By normalizing same-sex relationships or other forms of relationships in media, it creates a space for us to be seen!” | @loveiswiseillu