In our latest interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Edie, the founder of @weareartisticgroup, a community that provides resources and shares information for anyone who appreciates art! We discussed navigating the online art space as a disability advocate and their passion for graphic design.
1. It’s lovely to speak with you, Edie! As the founder of We Are Artistic, a community that provides resources and shares information for anyone who appreciates art, what inspired you to create this initiative? What are your earliest memories of art?
What inspired me to start this was that I wanted to make a space where every kind of artist could interact and get support in a healthy environment. Because support for artists can go a long way and make artists happy, but yet so many places charge, and often artists get judged and have to deal with uninformed people asking for free art and other requests. In our community, artists don't have to worry about that because we take the time to explain, for example, why asking for free art is problematic. Within We Are Artistic it is easy to get support and connect with other artists for free.
My earliest memories of art are of doing a lot of performance art/theater in elementary school because I really enjoyed drama class with Ms. Maria. She made it fun and the shows were interesting. She would let us put on our own plays and involve us in the behind-the-scenes of the plays as well. In middle school, I would do a lot of visual art.
2. You mentioned a passion for graphic design. Is this your main medium of expression or do you dabble in many mediums?
Graphic design is one of my main art mediums, but I also do a lot of digital art and photography.
3. What are some of your biggest accomplishments on We Are Artistic? What are your goals for the future of this initiative?
One big accomplishment is getting an event director because I don’t have to worry about all the behind-the-scenes event planning! I was happy to recently get a booth at a farmers market because I never thought a farmers market would accept us, and one goal I have is to hopefully grow our organization so we can get more help and more members!
4. Who are your personal icons?
My personal icons are my current school social worker, my old drama teacher Ms Maria, and Mx Aidan.
5. As you are also a disability advocate, how has navigating the online art space been and is there enough intersectionality?
Navigating the online art community as a disabled person has been going pretty well because I don’t really need screen readers. Still, I have noticed many people don’t make their posts accessible so I hope more people will start doing that by describing images and capitalizing words in hashtags. It’s very simple and can make a disabled person feel appreciated. It's also important because people don't take disabled women seriously. I think we have some intersectionality in We Are Artistic but want more. We are a diverse group with people from all over the world and with a lot of neurodiversity but want everyone to feel represented.
6. Who is your support system?
My support system is my friends, family, and school team.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share before we wrap up? I’d love to thank you for your enlightenment!
Nope! Thank you for the opportunity.