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Girls Who Make Art: Interview With A Wayhomie

Quinn Rockliff:

Toronto based female artist who draws moments of self love captured through nudes

There were a lot of interesting humans in the crowd at Wayhome this year (Check out our recap video below to experience it yourself), but one in particular, stood out from the masses. We had a chat with a lovely artist by the name of Quinn Rockliff.

Images by Tiana Smith


MimpMag: How was the festival for you?

Quinn: It was so fun, soo hot. Being a redhead, I was aggressively applying sunscreen every five seconds. I especially loved seeing Frank Ocean and Justice and obviously seeing Jason perform on Saturday. (Quinn’s boyfriend is Jason Couse, lead singer of the Darcy’s).

M: Is there a story behind the gold cast?

Q: He was at my house a few days before the festival and was like ‘i’m going on a bike ride, you can't come because you don't bike fast enough’. Which is an ongoing joke between the two of us. And then I get a text ten minutes later saying ‘I’m coming home’, he's all scratched up. I just put polysporin on his elbow and it turns out that it’s broken.

M: When did you and your boyfriend meet? About two years ago at a puma party, I was just home from University. I was like what do you do (he told me) I went to the bathroom and looked him up and was like ‘oh true’.

How would you describe your relationship? It’s one of my first relationships with another creative.

There’s an element of support for my own art that I haven’t received from other relationships because there was a lack of understanding of the creative process. Sometimes we'll just sit and drink beer and he’ll give me 500 ideas for my next art project. The ability to bounce ideas off each other is so important.

M: How would you describe your support system at home? Q: One thing I struggled with a lot when I was younger was that I based most of my self worth on men and how they treated me, and it wasn't until i was in my last year of highschool and experienced a sexual assault that I was forced to address so much misogyny that women face. I really took that time after to deal with my trauma and use my art to untangle that mess everyday. I’ve definitely had boyfriends in the past who didn't understand how my creative process helps me heal but I find that jason has been so great as always asking if he can ask me about my trauma in order to better understand it. My parents are also the most supportive and creative people.

M: Can you describe your art style? Q: My style was initially pretty realistic. When I started to understand more what the theory behind my art was, I started doing more fluid, one line drawings in order to play with representation and my own expectation of women’s bodies. In the paintings now, someone might be able to see themselves in images of other women.

M: Why did you decide to paint nudes? Q: It’s really hard to understand that your body is your own after being sexually assaulted. I would say that I was obsessed at a time with drawing my own body. I think when I look back at it, I was trying to draw my body enough that it would become my own again.

M: What made you start to share your work on Instagram? Q: A boyfriend threatened to leak by nudes online and I couldn't believe that he would try to use my own body as a weapon against me. That's why I wanted to paint my body and bring the sexual power back into myself. When I shared them online they no longer had the power to use it against me because I had reclaimed it and it was my image, whether it was art or a photo, it was still mine.

M: What message would you offer the women who view your paintings? Q: There’s so much information coming at young women, like ‘you need to be comfortable having casual sex’ but you also ‘need to keep your body only available to yourself’. And ‘if you have too much casual sex, you're more likely to be called a slut and be sexually assaulted’. In reality there's no definition of how a woman should act. It's only when I started being shamelessly myself, wearing and posting what I wanted, that I began to receive positive attention. At the end of the day, whatever you want to do, do it.



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