10 Artstagrams for Love and Equity: Part 2

As our society currently stands, a pandemic quarantine is in full effect; education has either been transferred online or shut down completely; and the political and financial stability of our respective governments are being fully tested. All eyes are on the rapidly changing news headlines, policies and conspiracies coming our way due to COVID-19.

With all this pandemonium, it is crucial for all of us to take a step back and a deep breath. Life as we know it has changed dramatically, and regardless of your current health or financial status, the chaos is going to affect you one way or another. Stress, anxiety, grief, depression – these are natural responses to what our world is experiencing right now. But staying within these mental states can have detrimental effects beyond the immediate exhaustion that comes with them.

Instead of prioritizing productivity right now, prioritize taking care of yourself, however that may look. In fact, all seven activities on this list are ways to entertain and de-stress from home with little-to-no cost! Another great way to de-stress is appreciating beautiful art! Artists of all kinds are keeping us going through this time, so I figured it would serve well to put out a second list of some of my favourite Artstagrams spreading messages of love and equity that we need not only now but always! Here they are in no particular order:

  1. France Corbel is a French feminist artist based in Rennes who I just came across recently on Instagram. When scrolling through her amazing line-up of work, however, I quickly realized I’d seen her distinctive style on many other pages, too. One of my favourites reads “Stop the productivity guilt,” which has been circulating more recently as people are being urged to use the quarantine to go, go, go and do, do, do. If all you can do is rest, trust me, that’s good, too!

  2. Caitlin Blunnie is another feminist artist whose main focus is on reproductive justice! Her gorgeous illustrations usually depict femmes of all races, colours and sizes alongside uplifting messages. A couple of my favourites read: “Periods transcend binaries,” and “I won’t stay silent so you can stay comfortable.” Check Caitlin’s art out if you’re in the mood for some bopo (body-positive, for those who don’t know) and badass art.

  3. Becca Rea-Holloway’s Instagram is one of my favourite spaces on social media, easily. This account will have you drooling over delicious desserts while you’re busy smashing the patriarchy. Rea-Holloway bakes all kinds of things from brownies to cakes to cookies and decorates each one with an icing message about empowerment and justice. Some of my favourites are a cake that reads: “Safe housing is a human right,” and another that reads: “‘Civility’ won’t save us.” On that post, Rea-Holloway stated: “Often, when people demand civility what they really mean is they want other people to ‘stay in their lanes’ and not challenge or confront power structures, or their own beliefs or privilege unless it’s in some arbitrarily decided, ‘palatable’ fashion. This is dangerous, and doesn’t move us forward!”

  4. That I only found this account recently is so disappointing because Alexis Rakun boasts one of the most gorgeous artstagrams there is. Her digital art is vivid, ornate and absolutely breathtaking, giving everything a brilliant glow to emphasize the spiritual aspect of her work. One of my favourite pieces reads: “It is in our darkest moments that we must remember how truly divine, powerful and strong we are…For our light is revealed to us in the dark. When we have no choice, no hope, but we shine anyway.” My descriptions won’t do any justice – head over to Rakun’s Instagram now!

  5. The Cosmic Feminist, aka Zulfa, creates out-of-this-world digital art with a space aesthetic that’s sure to get you feeling empowered! Even without the accompanying quotes, the sheer talent that goes into Zulfa’s work is inspiring in and of itself. Most pieces feature a black background and a femme, typically following a black-pink-green aesthetic. My favourite piece reads: “Find what lights you up”!

  6. Stacie Bloomfield’s art ranges from simplistic to ornate designs without ever failing to be totally beautiful! Her work features short, positive reminders prioritizing self-compassion and community. Check out her Instagram or shop to get a hold of some prints!

  7. Aya Mobadeen’s art is just drop-dead gorgeous. Every piece includes major pops of colour, so this is definitely the account to check out if you want an instant pick-me-up. Some of her posts are elaborate designs only, while others include positive reminders. Either way, her art is worth relishing in!

  8. As described in their bio, JUSTSEEDS is “a cooperative of 29 socially-engaged radical artists & printmakers.” I absolutely love this account; it is chock-full of some of the most radical messages and marginalized voices. This is where I found some amazing artists like Roger Peet (@toosphexy) who created a print of a tree in a prison cell reading “Abandon punishment,” and Favianna Rodriguez (@favianna1) who created a print with a symbolic vagina in the middle reading “Respect where you come from – don’t frack with me,” against environmental racism. If you want some radical art, support JUSTSEEDS and head to their Instagram now!

  9. Dylan Miner is an Indigenous artist, activist and member of the Metis Nation of Ontario. Miner is also one of the 29 artists involved in JUSTSEEDS! His work consists of absolutely gorgeous graphics, prints and installation art, focusing on promoting Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Some of my favourites by him read: “Voting is a form of harm reduction,” “All we have is radical kindness,” and “No pipelines on Indigenous land.” I urge you to check out Miner’s work and support him and other Indigenous activists by sharing their work, purchasing or donating, or reading up on the messages and histories behind certain pieces!

  10. Yalla is a Toronto-based, queer, Muslim feminist artist, and, as per her bio, a “friendly neighbourhood auntie.” Yalla makes gorgeous art usually depicting femmes uplifting each other. Some of my favourites say: “Even on hard days, you are not hard to love,” and “You never need to fold yourself small to fit into someone else’s heart.” Fun fact: Yalla collaborated with Consent is Golden, an initiative run by Laurier’s Office of Dispute Resolution and Sexual Violence Support, to create radical self-love 2020 calendars for students featuring her awesome art!