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05 April 2010 @ 03:02 am
Don't Worry, He Paid Good Money For This.  

Ya know, I've often been told that I don't draw like a girl. My first encounter with this is when I was fourteen when a woman, a friend's mother, picked up a drawing of a drooling, disgusting monster (I drew a lot of monsters back then, still do I guess), not knowing who had done it, upon finding out that I had drawn it she exclaimed, "A girl drew this? A GIRL drew this?!"

I wasn't offended by this at all, just a bit confused. How was art by a girl supposed to look? Or on the flip side what makes art "masculine"? Should art have a gender? I've had my art judged differently once the viewer found out it was created by a female, work they deemed sexist suddenly became ironic. Is it possible to separate the artist from their work? Bah, these are question I've been asking my whole life and I'm still no closer to an answer.

Has anybody else out there had a similar experience? Have any ladies out there surprised people with their artistic prowess? Any guys out there suffer from mistaken art-gender identity? I know my husband, Robin, has disappointed a few people when they discovered he wasn't a girl drawing extreme porn.
Darryl Ayo Brathwaitenervousystem on April 5th, 2010 11:19 am (UTC)
People used to assume I was female pretty frequently. I think drawing, like behavior, is pretty gendered. I was looking at a lot of female cartoonists at the time and those artists' aesthetics rubbed off on me.

People were definitely disappointed that I'm some dude.

Oh well.
Robin Bougiebougieman on April 5th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Funny you should mention this, because more than once I've been in the middle of reading your work and thought to myself: "Ayo draws like a girl".

In fact, you defy expectations in more ways than that as well, because I don't think anyone would look at your work and say "This was drawn by a black guy".

I really wish more artists were such aesthetic chemeleons, the way you and Rebecca are.
Darryl Ayo Brathwaitenervousystem on April 5th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Indie comics and black guys don't mix. Most people at shows walk past me without so much as a glance down at my table. They assume that I'm into stuff that they won't be into. It's really frustrating because sometimes I can see them holding comics in the same "neighborhood" as mine and I want to just be like "no, come back, we'd totally be buds!"

I've always been suspicious of and resistent to anyone determining for me what my life should be.

Robin Bougiebougieman on April 5th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Case in point: I can look at a drawing for 30 seconds and go: "This was drawn by a 15 to 23 year old white female with interests pertaining to Anime/Disney/Twilight", and rarely be wrong.

Rebecca Dartr_dart on April 5th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
It would be an interesting experiment to create a cute, young female persona for your work and see how the reaction would differ. There was a great art hoax that happened a few years ago where a couple of newly graduated art students were frustrated by the fine art world, so they created an artist. They had a skater friend of theirs pose as a homeless kid who slept in the zoo and painted crude images of monkeys on pizza boxes. The art world ate it up, and paid big money for those pizza boxes. Sometime it's really the artist people are buying and not the art.
Darryl Ayo Brathwaitenervousystem on April 5th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Funny story--that almost happened.

First time I went to spx, same time I met Robin, I enlisted a friend, Catherine Lee to help me run the table and take breaks and such. Interest in my work spiked whenever went to the bathroom!

Pshhh, at least my mom thinks I'm handsome!