FC SPOTLIGHT: Adrian Sandersfeld – Feminist Apparel
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FC SPOTLIGHT: Adrian Sandersfeld

Posted on April 02 2017 || By Feminist Apparel


Name:  Adrian James

Pronouns:  he/him or they/them (my pronouns are not preferred, they are mandatory! please don't ever call pronouns 'preferred')

Location:  Iowa

Age:  19

Preferred Art Medium: As a digital artist, I use Illustrator and Photoshop a lot, but I also enjoy designing with a pen and pencil on paper.

Three Words that Describe Your Current Artistic Style:  Soft, positive, and sweet

What is your favorite Feminist Apparel item currently for sale?

'If It Isn't Intersectional, It Isn't Feminism' and 'Intersectional Rosie' are my favorite pieces on Feminist Apparel because they promote a very important message for feminists to remember. If your feminism doesn't support non-cis and trans folx, the differently-abled, neurodivergent, people of all different races and ethnicities, intersex people, the poor and homeless, and all different religions, then who does your feminism stand for? Intersectionality is the most important thing about feminism. Feminism is not the radical notion that 'women' are people, but that people of all genders are equal. As someone who is disabled, neurodivergent, agender, and an ally to marginalized people, I stand only for intersectional feminism.

All of our favorite superheroes have an origin story, what's yours? 

I was raised by feminist parents, and they instilled in me a lot of notions that I carry with me today. They taught me to adapt my worldview as I learn things in my life, and I wouldn't have learned that I'm agender without that. I'm now an activist and ally to all those who deserve to have their voices heard.

Adrian James and Family Photo

Adrian James (back left) with their family getting reflective at the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago, IL


What do you do for work?

I am a full-time student, and I'm currently pursuing a liberal arts Associate's degree. It's taken me a while to settle on a major for my Bachelor's, and I even sacrificed a year of my life in art school, but I plan on continuing my education to get my Bachelor's degree in cinema and filmmaking.

And perhaps more importantly... what do you like to do for fun?

I have a lot of hobbies... I write, mostly fiction, I draw, I design, illustrate, and I love all kinds of art practices. Art and creative practices have been the center of my free time since I was a child. I also frequent my local State Historical Society to go through their books and their records, and to keep it alive in this new age of anti-intellectualism... and it's one of the only places I know of with a unisex restroom, haha. In all seriousness, I do love going to museums and historical sites for fun, it's another thing I've been doing since my childhood. 

What's your educational background? Are you a self-taught artist or did you go to school for art?

I spend a year at art school before I came to the realization that it wasn't for me. I've taken lessons and classes in art before, of course, but I began as a self-taught artist and improved upon my body of work as I continued to pursue an education in the arts. Now, I've settled on a liberal arts degree and I intend to continue later to get my Bachelor's in filmmaking, but 'drawing', design work and illustration are still a big part of my life. I don't think I'll be giving it up anytime soon.

Pick one of your favorite designs that you are currently selling in Feminist Apparel's store and let us know about the creative process behind it!

I currently only have one piece available on Feminist Apparel, though I plan on proposing new designs soon, and it's my 'Feminist Heart'. I wanted to make something simple, that wasn't inherently 'feminine', that everyone could enjoy in its simplicity. It stands, for me, to show that feminism, activism, and inclusive allyship. The text is a continuous string of letters and it loops all the way around the heart. I wanted for this to almost be like 'infinity', even just subtly. Feminism and the idea of equality for all genders is something I hope stays around forever because the fight for equality is never over.

Do you identify as a Feminist? Why or Why not?

I do, but often I resent the label for the people and groups who have tainted feminism with TERF ideals and 'White Feminism'. I am not afraid to call myself a feminist, but exclusionary feminists will never truly be feminists. I wish more people understood that.

You have the ability and power to create anything you please, why do you design art that has a Feminist message?

I think it's important for people to be able to express their beliefs in gender equality, and not everyone is confident enough in their designing ability to create messages and visual art that reflects these beliefs. I have personally found it comforting to know that other people believe the same things as me, and that you can let people know what you believe with a piece of clothing, with a design.


Adrian James at a Rally in Kansas City

Adrian James (center) at a rally for the awareness of Ryan Stokes' murder by police in downtown Kansas City, MO

Who and/or what inspires your work?

Cartoons have always been a major inspiration. Cartoons and sci-fi. Adventure Time, Steven Universe, almost every film from Studio Ghibli, Star Trek, Star Wars, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... Ideas and styles that make me smile, or just make me feel things, get me to think, etc., are really great.

Dream Dinner Party Guests (and Why) - Go!

I'd invite my own friends, of course, and the 'dream guests' would be Ian Alexander because he's recently become one of the few trans boys on television and I look up to him. Rhiannon McGavin because I have been in love with her YouTube channel for forever and I would love to have a conversation with her (and I'm sure she'd make great conversation with other guests), and one of my film professors, who I'd love to have meet all these great individuals. Sounds all very odd, I'm sure, but I'd look forward to a dinner party like this!

If you could meet anyone associated with Feminism - past or present - who would it be and why?

Pigeon Pagonis and Andrea Gibson! I'd love to meet them both. We could hang out and talk about intersexuality and nonbinary existence together and rant about TERFs. I also feel like every feminist wants to meet Gloria Steinem for one reason or another, but I'd love to meet her and talk to her about my experience as agender and transmasculine... I just want to know what she'd say to me, personally, and what she thinks. I'd just love to pick her brain over trans issues.

What cause/issue has your attention right now? Why is it important to you? And can you please share one action that people may be able to do to help?

Intersex autonomy never seems to be respected... and intersex existence constantly seems ignored and invalidated. I want people to understand that intersex people are not deformed, they don't need to be corrected, and their voices deserve attention. Intersex 'correction' surgery is petty and does so much more harm than good. If you want to learn more, do some research and educate yourself on what it is to be intersex by referring to the ISNA (insa.org) or to YouTube, where plenty of young intersex people are sharing their experiences and their stories.

We'd love to learn more about you and continue supporting your work, how should we go about it? 

While my Twitter and Instagram are private, I do have a Patreon where I post all kinds of stuff that I'm working on; from film to fan-art to sketches and illustration and fiber arts and crafts... and you can find it here: Adrian Sandersfeld on Patreon

Finally, before you go, what is one tip you have for young Feminists who are looking to get involved and make an impact in a meaningful way? *

Listen to the voices of others, especially those who are not as privileged as you are. You are always privileged in one way or another, whether that be your race, your gender, your sexuality or attraction, your ethnicity, your mother tongue, and more... Remember that to be a feminist, you must fight for equality. No longer is there a place for ableism, racism, colorism, misandry, cissexism, classism, xenophobia, or hypocrisy and prejudice in feminism.


Check out Adrian's work on Tumblr here or email her at adrian.sandersfeld [at] gmail.com

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