So, you are currently studying Graphic Design at Birmingham University. How did you first become interested in studying graphic design?
I’ve always been somewhat creative, especially when I was younger. I think secondary school and college really kicked it off for me, especially when I saw the impact product design and advertising can have on an audience. I went to an all girl’s school and the majority of the girls in my year were tempted into doing catering and textiles, I just never thought that was the right skillset for me to have. That really kicked off my love for design I think.
How have you developed your visual style throughout your studies and do you have any pivotal moments?
I would say that I definitely focus more on collage now, which is something I dropped for quite a few years. Being at university has given me the freedom to experiment with areas of design that I enjoy, and I’m definitely encouraged to work with what I’m good at. I would say my pivotal moment would have to be when I directed my own brief around sexual assault in the U.K and created this abstract-looking newspaper that had loads of fake advertisements in it.
A lot of your work is focused around feminism and sexism; how did this style come about? When did you become so passionate about the issue?
I think a lot of it came from being fed up and annoyed with sexist remarks I was hearing and seeing online, especially in regards to female contraception and abortion. As soon as I was old enough to have social media and internet access, I realised just how heavily sexism and misogyny are plastered everywhere. I’ll never understand the desire to be so controlling over a woman’s body and thoughts, and I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember. It's pretty much how I was raised to think. There’s only so much arguing you can do with a man through Facebook comments in regards to anti-abortion posts etc, so I decided to let my work speak for itself, in the hopes it would educate men and inspire Women. Collage plays a massive part in bringing my narratives to life, feminist themes and collage go hand in hand for me.
Being at university has given me the freedom to experiment with areas of design that I enjoy, and I’m definitely encouraged to work with what I’m good at.
As soon as I was old enough to have social media and internet access, I realised just how heavily sexism and misogyny are plastered everywhere. I’ll never understand the desire to be so controlling over a woman’s body and thoughts, and I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember.
Where do you get inspiration from and how do you approach new projects?
My inspiration usually comes from everyday life and past experiences, which is probably quite generic to say. Sarah Everard’s murder really hit home for me and probably millions of other Women too. In turn, though, it inspired my Blind Eye newspaper, because I wanted Men to see the world we live in as Women. I’m quite slow in regards to starting new projects, I usually just speak about it quite a bit to different people, I usually generate ideas that way. I do like to see if I can use that project to educate, so I have to spend some time digging a bit deeper into the brief and looking for those links.
What is your favourite project that you have worked on and why is it so important to you?
My favourite project is probably the Blind Eye newspaper or even my Art Of Abortion editorial. They both focus on topics I’m super passionate about, and they can both be used for educational purposes, which is important to me. I like to think that Blind Eye has made people feel better about themselves and that it’s also made people stop and think about what they say and do. Blind Eye actually taught me quite a lot about design and how sexist advertising and print has been in the past. It definitely opened my eyes and has only encouraged me to fight for change even more.
Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?
Unfortunately no, I’m in my last year of education and my head is in dissertation mode. However, I am designing a Vagina Bible for my last year of Uni, as well as focusing my dissertation on how design has been used to normalise menstruation. I plan on branding and forming my own female design agency, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Has being female impacted your career so far?
I would say so. I feel like an inconvenience sometimes, especially because of the topics I tackle. I’ve said to my tutors before, that I do worry I won’t find industry work when I leave education because of what I work on. I’ve also had some really stinky messages from male designer’s through designer’s league on facebook. I think female designers are seen as quite vulnerable and easy to walk over, unless your face fits. To contrast that though, I’ve had amazing opportunities handed to me by fellow female designer’s, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Are there any books/podcasts or platforms that inspire you?
I love following @BerlinBoudoir on Instagram, she is a Berlin-based designer who has a lot of period/feminist positive content. I don’t look at many designer’s for inspiration usually, but she is super down to earth and has cool content.
What is a motto/saying that you live by?
Never beg for a seat when you can build your own table.