Getting to know... Kacey Shoemake
Posted on June 06 2017
Name: Kc Shoemake
Pronouns: Sire, Your Highness (Jk, She/her is fine!)
Location: St. Louis, MO
Preferred Art Medium(s): Digital, Pen & Ink, Alt-Right Tears
Three Words that Describe Your Current Artistic Style: So many OPINIONS!
What is your favorite Feminist Apparel item currently for sale?
Definitely the "Fight Like A Girl" with Malala Yousafzai. She's long been my hero.
All of our favorite superheroes have an origin story, what's yours?
I like to tell radfems this story to hopefully get us all to understand every view point a little better. When I was in high school/early college, I thought feminism was (literally, I said this in a class once) "a bunch of hairy legged women with too many opinions and big mouths" and that bisexuality isn't real and that rape jokes are H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S. When I got to the Kansas City Art Institute, I enrolled in a Japanese Gender Studies class, and my world was turned upside down.
I had never been exposed to feminism in an academic environment, and it was like a light clicked on. I started wearing more skirts, because I no longer though skirts made me look "weak." I started wearing makeup, because I no longer thought makeup was "just to get attention." And most importantly, I learned that life isn't a black and white binary of rules. Oh, and I learned I was bisexual, so that's pretty decent irony.
What do you do for work?
I'm a full time fashion designer! (It's not as glamorous as you think! I mostly design bargain priced cold weather accessories, not New York Fashion Week runway styles!)
And perhaps more importantly... what do you like to do for fun?
Oh gosh, so many things. I love comics, cartoons, anime, all that geeky junk. I also donate my design and art skills to Planned Parenthood and other activist organizations around the city. Local love, yo!
What's your educational background?
I went to Kansas City Art Institute and graduated with a BFA in Illustration.
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!
Hee hee, my "Angry Liberal Feminist Killjoy" design. It's easily the most popular thing I've ever made, which makes me terribly happy, because it was absolutely inspired by a totally toxic sexist boss of mine who wouldn't promote me because "women just don't need to be the decision makers." (He also turned away job applicants because they were "too fat" or they weren't white. Real gross guy.) I was so mad that I felt like I needed to make something to express my frustration, and I just whipped this design up. When I wear it or when I see somebody wearing it, it feels like we are collectively sticking a metaphorical middle finger at my gross old sexist boss. >:)
Do you identify as a Feminist? Why or Why not?
Duh! Feminism is the celebration of living life the way you want to, gender roles be damned!
You have the ability and power to create anything you please, why do you design art that has a Feminist message?
I used to be so jaded about social justice. It hurts my soul to know that there are people out there who have virtually never been exposed to feminism in a safe place where they can ask questions free of judgement and learn more than the media tells them. If my art can create a single conversation that sparks an idea in the mind of a non-feminist, then I consider myself a successful artist. And activist. Artivist?
Did I mention that I love making comics? They are my coping mechanism to the (literal) pains of life.
What are you reading and/or listening to right now? Any recommendations?
I'm devouring "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi. I've really been trying to keep my bookshelf intersectional, and I'm always down to support literary WOC. (For the record, it's a really excellent and beautifully written book about slavery and family, pick it up if you can!)
Who and/or what inspires your work?
Back in 2012, the "subversive kawaii" movement really caught my eye. It was a blend of saccharine pastels and ponies and teddy bears coupled with radical feminist slogans and declarations of feminist rebellion. I'm nuts for that cross between cute and hardcore.
Dream Dinner Party Guests (and Why) - Go!
Gosh, I'd say Barack Obama (plus his fam!), Malala, and John Stewart. A mix of highly intelligent, easy to get along with people who all work towards a better future for every citizen of the world. I feel like I'd come back with some incredible wisdom.
“If your feminism isn't intersectional, it's not feminism!”
- Kacey Shoemake
If you could meet anyone associated with Feminism - past or present - who would it be and why?
God, that's a hard one. Probably Artemesia Gentileschi. Her backstory is potentially triggering, so I won't mention it here (Google it, she was magnificent) but she essentially moved past a horrible few instances of trauma, got married, had some kiddos, divorced that cheatin' husband, got a job working with the DANG king of Italy, and essentially because the first woman to be recognized as a true master of fine arts. Oh, did I mentioned this was all in the late 1500s, when women basically couldn't do any of that stuff? Yeah. She bomb AF.
Selfie in San Francisco, my favorite city in the world. I'm a St. Louis girl by location, but a San Fran girl at heart!
What cause/issue has your attention right now?
I'm extremely concerned about the dissolving of the EPA. We only have one Earth, and we're well on our way to wrecking it, which means, you know, HUMAN EXTINCTION.
Are you working on any creative and/or activist related projects now? If so, tell us about it!
I'm actually selling buttons of the Angry Liberal Feminist Killjoy design at indie craft fairs and events around the area, and donating all the proceeds to Planned Parenthood! I'll also be selling for PP at anime cons, so if you happen to go to Anime Midwest this July, come say hi in the artist alley! :)
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?
This one is hard to do, but definitely worth it: Don't yell, don't fight, don't insult the people who don't agree with you. I see way too many people widening the rift between feminists and non-feminists because we get so passionate about it. Feminism changes lives, and when we act out in a crappy way, we're saying "Hey! I'm a feminist and I'm A MEAN JERK! Don't ever talk to feminists again or YOU might run into another MEAN LOUD JERK!" Just remember the basic psychology of changing minds: Appeal to the humanity in people, treat them as equals. (Unless they're jerks. Some battles are best solved by throwing up your hands, rolling your eyes and sashaying away.)
We'd love to learn more about you and continue supporting your work, how should we go about it?
KCShoemake on Redbubble is where you can get my art on even more cool stuff. Lotsa geeky fan art there, too!
I'm also always down for commissions, especially of the feminist nature! ;)
Be sure to connect with Kacey on Facebook and Tumblr to stay up to date on her latest comics and design work! And if you have any commission work you're interested in - contact her at email@example.com!