How was Ambivalently Yours born?

I created Ambivalently Yours in 2011, when I was studying feminist art while working in the fashion industry, which seemed like a huge contradiction. At work, I became the feminist killjoy every time I raised a concern about the sexist undertones in our campaigns, and in art school I was the fashion girl who many assumed was duped by the patriarchy just because I liked softness and feminine colours. I felt caught somewhere in-between two worlds that I both loved and hated, in other words I felt ambivalent. Eventually, I decided to embrace my contradictions. Ambivalently Yours became my braver alter ego, giving me a way of exploring my feminist questions from this in-between place where things are undefined and pink can be powerful. 

If you had to describe yourself as a person and as an artist, what would you say? What if you had to talk about your art and your style instead?

As a person and as an artist I am a mess of contradictions. I am very sensitive and emotional, and I will share my deepest emotions with whoever wants to hear them, but I am also shy and very secretive about my private life. I usually use humour to express the things I am the most serious about. I often feel more than one feeling at once, and I change my mind constantly. These contradictions are what inspire my work and where my style evolved. I like making things that are tender and pretty but also mutated and slightly grotesque.

Your career begins on Tumblr, answering questions with your own particular designs customized for each of your followers. What role did social media play in your artistic journey?

I didn’t really have an active art career before Tumblr. Social media is where I found a community, where I started to feel less alone, where I found my voice as an artist. Nonetheless, I have mixed feelings about social media. It is highly addictive, and it is structured to entice people to buy things. At its core social media is a tool of capitalism, so it often makes artists feel like they are never producing enough work, which can be really exhausting. But despite all of that, there are still ways to work within these oppressive structures and find communities and create beautiful things.

What does art mean to you? It seems an obvious question, but each of us perceives it differently! This is precisely the beauty of art!

To me art is a form of communication, a way to fill in the gaps of verbal language or other forms of communication. It is where I work through my feelings and find my friends.

Why this choice to remain anonymous?

My desire to remain anonymous online was initially motivated by fear. The Internet can be a volatile place and my work is always inspired by personal experiences, so I found that the only way I could be honest without making myself too vulnerable was to be anonymous. My anonymity was a form of self-preservation, which in turn gave me the courage I needed to be more daring in my art. With anonymity, Ambivalently Yours becomes less of a reflection of my personal self and more of a representation of the ideas behind the work, as I explore ideas of connection through ambiguity and ambivalence.

I see a lot of PINK everywhere! This underlines your connection with feminism. What do you like about the female universe? What do you think of feminism, especially nowadays?

I decided to make all my drawings light pink because people kept telling me not to. The use of pink is my resistance against everyone who told me that pink was not a powerful colour, or that my work was too feminine and not confident or strong enough. I know that girls are brainwashed from a young age to like pink, and maybe part of my affection for it is rooted in that, but I disagree that everything associated with girlhood should automatically be seen as weak and silly. It’s so much more interesting and complicated than that.Feminism is a political movement that’s ultimate goal is gender equality. It has a complicated past with many mistakes, and an even more complicated present. It is a movement, so it moves, it has waves of popularity and it seeps into the mainstream. When political movements reach the mainstream there is always someone who tries to capitalize on them, by boiling them down and making them more palatable to the masses. That’s happening a lot now, and it’s really disheartening. But at the same time, when feminism reaches the mainstream a lot of people who suffer from gender oppression are learning about it, which is great. I think that is how change happens, slowly, in small increments, with several moments of back and forth.

If you had to describe your art with a few words, surely one of the first would be “emotional”, or “introspection”! Is it an introspection of yourself or of those who follow you? Is there an implicit message in each of your works? Do you try to express your emotions through those of others?

My work is a collaboration between my emotions and those that people online share with me. My aim is to create spaces where we can work through our complicated emotions together and help ourselves feel less alone.

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What do you feel when you create something?

Relief. It’s like letting go of something.

Your website is a showcase full of wonderful experiences and works! As an artist, I would love to create my podcast, exhibit my works and work doing what I love! What would you like to recommend to those who, like me, are only at the beginning of their artistic career?

I always try to encourage as many people as I can to make art and do all of the creative things they want to do. There are moments where you are going to feel like it’s not important, or like no one will care, but that’s not true. It is important. Even if it is only important to you, that’s enough. So do it. Try. Fail. Try again. I’ve gotten so many rejections in my life. I got rejected from art school the first time I applied. I still get rejections all the time. It’s hard, but you have to be stubborn and keep going, and find people in your life who are going to root for you. Reach out to other artists, send fan mail to the artists you like, encourage other artists, find a community. 

I’d love to hear a story about your installations, talks and workshops! Emotions, thoughts, travels, encounters, everything beautiful has given you such an experience!

I love creating installations where people can gather and rest and let their emotions out. There is something about painting a room pink and filling it with drawings that adds such magic to a space. There is something really healing about having moments where you can be vulnerable with other people. Even strangers. That’s what I try to create in my installations and workshops. Little magical moments of togetherness, held together with tender feelings.

How did you approach the collaborations you worked on? How did you feel with your collaborators and with the proposed themes?

Collaboration can be wonderful but they can also be very difficult. It is not always easy to work with someone else, not everyone has the same approach, the same way of working. It can cause a lot of friction. But when you do find people who you work well with, where you understand each other and share the same vision, it can be the most magical thing in the world. It takes a lot of patience, understanding and compromise, but it also leads to things that you probably wouldn’t have gotten to on your own. 

 Is there one of your works that you particularly like?

It’s hard to choose. It changes each day. I’m pretty proud of this little film I animated recently!

What is your biggest dream?

I just want to be able to keep making art and friends. That’s all I really want 🙂

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