In May at the 2015 Montréal Anarchist Book Fair, I picked up some beautifully made stickers that carry a punch called Feminist Sailor Moon Set by Starchild Stela. I tracked down the artist recently to ask if she’d send me an artist’s statement to add to my blog. Check it out!
I’m a queer graffiti artist who does work relating to my personal experiences. My work is aesthetically bound in the super femme realm, I like soft colors, bows and delicate details. I don’t see what I do as extremely political, but I do situate my experiences in a larger framework of interlocking systems of oppression. I love to add captions to my illustrations that reflect my on-going thoughts and conversations I have with friends. For me, art making is one of the way I chose to cope with daily micro-aggressions as a trauma survivor; it’s simply a form of self-care that works for me.
I mostly do graffiti with spray paint, but I also have been making stickers for years. I love to put them outside on postal boxes… I used to only draw them by hand. I started to print some when people started asking to buy them – it was a period of my life where I had no income, so I tried it out. Printing stickers is great, although I still prefer to make handmade ones for the streets. But I love the process, I still hand draw the illustration that goes on the printed stickers, and still cut them myself to reduce cost.
You asked me about my sailor moon sticker set – basically, last year, I wanted to do a zine about Sailor Moon, one of my greatest inspirations as a kid. I was rediscovering it at the moment, preparing myself to watch the reboot (Sailor Moon Crystal). I did tons of drawings that fit within my queer feminist interpretation of the books (and the show). I think there are incredibly powerful, magic queer and feminist subtexts in this series. I titled my zine “Destroy Rape Culture”, and all the slogans in the zine and sticker set are related to this mission. It’s about fighting and surviving oppression the best we can by supporting each other. My Sailor Moon zine is really centered around my process of recovery and was made with survivors in mind. Some of the subjects I touch in this project are healing, reclaiming our strength and power, consent, rape culture, street harassment, friendships and talking back. It was overall a very positive experience for me to create these pieces, and I received really great feedback.
I used some of the illustrations to create a sticker set; I love to put them outside. I also did larger paste-ups of some of my favorite illustrations. People are really receptive – I think it’s because the Sailor Moon fandom is filled with awesome, critical thinking folks, and because there is a need for artwork that reflects our experiences dealing with patriarchal oppression.
You can find images through my Fb page (Starchild Stela), tumblr (femme-crimes) and instagram (@littlestarchild).