Drum roll please.......
The wonderful and creative VulvaLoveLovely! We are even going to start this blog off right with a full blown interview too! I know Vulva from the Etsy ETC forums where I spend a lot of time messing around, arguing, crying and conversaring with a great group of people from all over the world. Be warned if you venture there... ETC isnt for the faint of heart or thinned of skin! Vulva is known for her love of the female form, specifically for her beautiful artful interpretation of genitalia. Her shop is full of vagina pillows, plushies, pendants, mugs, cloth menstrual pads, 'custom portraits'... you name it! Enough with me gushing over Vulva, I bet you want to hear from Vulva herself!
I live in Boynton Beach near Miami, FL. My dog Nuff Nuff (pronounced noof noof) is my best friend. Im working on applying for graduate school to get my PhD in mental health counseling with a special focus on women's issues. I love watching films. I really want to learn how to scuba dive but I am afraid that I will be eaten by Jaws. My favorite color is purple.
How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?
A really good friend of mine was over to visit and saw that I had pieces all over my house. She is an Etsy addict and suggested I try selling a few things. I signed up as a seller on May 12, 2008.
How would you describe your style?
How long have you been creating?
For as long as I can remember. Even as a child I was always drawing and making things.
What is your favorite medium, because you do such a wide range of work!?
It really depends on my mood. If Im happy I generally like to work with clays, if I am thoughtful or have a problem I like to sew. Something about the drumming of the needle calms my mind. If Im sad or angry I like to take that and put it into my paintbrush.
What inspired you to create what you do? What it is about the female form that you seem to love so much?
My Vagina and I have had a very hard past. As a teen in middle school and high school I was an outcast. From what I could tell sex made you popular. I sought out sex, and found it in all of the wrong places. I was taken advantage of by older men and was used by the boys in school, it was horrible. In keeping the company I did, I was sexually assaulted and abused. I went to a Catholic school where we were taught abstinence only sex ed, so I had no idea how truly easy it was to get STD’s, to become pregnant, and all of the other extra’s that go along with irresponsible sex. All of it hurt. And in the end it didn’t matter. I was still an outcast.
For a long time I didn't think about my Vagina, to avoid feeling all of the things that you feel after all of that. Whenever I thought of my Vagina in any context, I got this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt dirty, I felt useless, I felt ashamed and I felt used, thrown away, I felt like a piece of garbage.
About two years ago I realized that I really needed to come to terms with everything that had happened to me. I have always taken my sadness and turned it into a piece of art. I applied the concept and started to make pieces based on what I had gone through and after a while the pieces started to change.
In trying to re-acquaint myself with my estranged Vagina some things demanded my attention. She tells time, she is a clock. She waxes and wanes like the moon. Every month she is renewed. She brings new life into the world, but not without sacrifice. She holds so much power and so often she is abused and discarded. She is forgiving. I cant think of anything not to love. I think that if women were not afraid to love their bodies they would be as enamored as I am.
To men their penises are a sign of power, and they embrace that. Women's Vaginae are a symbol of life and sacrifice, we should embrace it.
Have you really done ‘custom portraits’?
Yes. Its one of my favorite things to do. I am so honored when women trust me enough to place such responsibility in my hands. Every woman that has ordered a portrait and shared her story with me was one that was trying to reclaim her body, just like I did mine. They have told me of rape, physical abuse, abortion, sexual abuse from family members. To think that women trust me so much really means so much to me.
What is your favorite item you have created?
That is so hard to say. Some of my favorite pieces have been Vulva pendants, but I could never choose just one. Other than that hands down it would be the Utera Maxima. She is huge, soft, and one of my favorite cuddle buddies.
What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces?
The one that stands out the most in my mind happened just months after I opened shop. Someone had purchased a healing Uterus plushie for her cousin who had undergone a hysterectomy at a very young age. She was devastated. She absolutely loved the plushie. She sent me a series of pictures, "A day in the life of Super Uterus". Super Uterus did dishes, cleaned toilets, fought evil cats, played video games on hard and beat them... the last photo was Super Uterus comforting her. In the picture she was holding her plush, laying in bed, crying into it. The sadness on her face was overwhelming. She was holding onto that plush for dear life. I'll never forget that.
Wow! I just want to give a round of applause to Vulva! You are so inspiring and such a wonderful artist. I couldn't think of a better way to start off this blog!
If you are looking for something as playful, inspiring and a little bit different than the norm... check out Vulva's shop and you wont be disappointed!