Five illustrators who will bring more fat representation to your life.
Early versions of the home page layout for issue six included a section that would require a handful of small drawings or photos. Michelle’s stick figures weren’t really fitting the bill, so instead, we approached fat illustrators and licensed our favorite pieces of their work — the issue would get the artwork it needed, more fat creators would get paid to be a part of it, and we’d help bring their work to new audiences.
As the home page developed and morphed, we ended up changing the bit of the page that required the drawings… but that’s no reason not to share them with you! Here are five pieces of art you didn’t get to see, and five great fat artists and activists to support.
Illustrator Chiara Meloni launched Chiaralascura in 2010 with a small collection of vegan-themed t-shirts. A lifelong feminist, she now incorporates feminism, fat acceptance and liberation, and body positivity into her work, and in 2018 co-founded Belle di Faccia (“Such a Pretty Face”), an activist movement spreading awareness of fatphobia and advancing fat acceptance in Italy.
We licensed her “Fat Liberation” drawing, which is available on Chiaralascura as a print. We also love her always-useful “Punch a Nazi” and “Fuck Toxic Positivity” stickers.
Shelby is a Minnesota illustrator who’s all about color, pattern, and detail. As a fat person herself, much of her work features larger and underrepresented bodies. She’s also one of the founders of the excellent Fat Craft Zine, a treasure trove of fat representation whose proceeds go to support NOLOSE (an organization dedicated to cultivating a vibrant fat queer culture that you may have read about in Fresh Roberson’s essay in issue ssix, “We Care a Lot.”)
We licensed “The Sculptor,” one in a great series of fat people engaging in everyday activities — you can pick up a print at her online shop, Shelberries. She also does beautiful, textural work with cut paper that we covet for our apartments.
Sarah Bird is a UK singer/songwriter from the UK. Between performances and recording an original soul/R&B album, she creates the art that stocks her Etsy shop, RetroBirdHouse.
We licensed the straightforward and timeless “Fat Bitch” tattoo-style heart drawing, but it was a tough call between that and her excellent portrait-from-behind of two fat people watering their plants.
Andie Scott is a fat, disabled, nonbinary artist whose digital art focuses on body positivity and fatness — we love that she’s creating fantasy and fan art that includes all kinds of bodies. You can pick up her art on Redbubble and her original zines on Gumroad.
We chose her sketch of this delightfully be-caned person for the representation of a larger, disabled body, but we can’t lie: it was hard not to go for one of the badass fat mermaids.
The MylkiTea Etsy shop is the creation of Bunny, a UK-based illustrator who makes “witchy home goods” that are fat-positive.
We asked to license her “Bikini Bodies” drawing, which she sells as either a print or a set of stickers, for the issue. We may be getting her “Red Hot” print for ourselves.
One of the best ways to normalize fat bodies? Look at more fat bodies. Look at them until they’re just another kind of body. That means seeking out photos, artwork, movies, and television shows that feature fat people as human beings, not punchlines, before photos, or sad cat people. These five artists are a great place to start and are the talented, colorful tip of a much larger iceberg.
Pipe Wrench no. 6, Spring 2022, aka The Fat Issue, is out now! With a feature story on medical fatphobia from Marquisele Mercedes, and contributions from a range of brilliant fat scholars, activists, writers, and more.