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PixieOccult - Yana-Maru

1. What first inspired you to create? and going forward with your creative outlet, what motivates you to keep up with it?

arts and crafts was my favorite part of school since kindergarten. and when i was 6 i asked my grandma to teach me how to sew coz i would watch her hand sew clothing. it was so fascinating to me. so the first thing i practiced on that day was fixing a hole in the knee of my black leggings. i remember how stoked i was and how much it made me happy seeing the finished product. my grandma was always so encouraging whenever id do anything creative. and in a way continuing to create even in little ways in my daily life reminds me of her. i like hands-on type of work, i love working with different mediums and learning new things. i love looking at something like a old toy or old piece of clothing or photos in old anatomy books and thinking, "i could upcycle this, and incorporate it to make something else!" the puzzle solving aspect of the creative process when youre trying figure out how to put everything together is my favorite part. although it can definitely be frustrating at times lol. its super satisfying whenever im able to finally get something to work after trail and error and finding so many other ways that they dont work lol.

2. What have you been up to during quarantine? Have you been creating more or less than before; and how has that impacted your sales?

ive been in a funk and quarantine has been difficult. ive been creating on and off. ive modified a bunch of clothing. and made some digital and physical collages. and done a bit of sculpting as well. and of course music. i prefer selling things in person and vending at shows and events as opposed to selling things online. so i havent really sold much since being in quarantine. which i mean is alright. im exciting to be able to vend at shows again. i love talking to people and meeting new faces.

3. Out of all your releases, which of them holds the most meaning to you and why?

i put parts of myself and my energy into everything that i create. so like even with things that im self conscious or self critical about and feel like i dont like as much, its still me. and captures something of me, so they all have meaning. which i know is kind of a "cliche artist thing to say" lol but i really do believe that i put myself into everything i make. the piece that means the most to me so far though is my Queer Enby Self Portrait i made in fall of 2017. its a mixed media piece. and i worked really heckin hard on the oil painting portion of it where i used a photo of myself at the time as reference. my skin is bright green and there are teal and purple tentacles coming out of the bottom of my severed head. im wearing a scarf that has eyeballs on it tied into a bow at the top like a headband. (ill attach a photo of the piece) but yeah i often feel very alien and odd in general like as an artist, a disabled person, and as a queer trans POC. i feel my emotions very intensely, esp the difficult ones. and in a society that has has certain expectations of how most people are "supposed" to be and defines "success" and "acceptance" in a binary way, i really wanted to convey myself through the piece.

4. What does it mean to you to be a female creative in your field? How do you feel you are represented?

Yana: my journeys a bit different. female is the sex i was assigned at birth and i understand most people i cross paths or interact with face to face, online, on the phone or if they were to pass by me at a grocery store would automatically categorize me as a womxn based on binary assumptions. and treat me as one. but being a womxn or any gender in general is extremely complicated, diverse, and individual to each persons life and experience. it's so much more than someone's biological composition. its immense strength that transcends one's physical body. as well as any social construct or label we humans have created. when i first began transitioning a few years ago. i felt pressure to discard all the traces of femininity within me in order to be "valid" and seen by others as a trans and non binary person. i would feel so frustrated and hateful towards myself and my body. boxes do have a purpose and can be very helpful in many ways. and at the same time, thats not all there is. so they can be constricting as well. and its wild how that can all exist at once. im still working on figuring out how to appreciate and befriend myself and my vessel and am making gradual progress each day. i love that there are increasingly more people creating spaces and events that amplify people of different overlapping intersections. i know there is so much more work to do and its a life long commitment. but starting somewhere is better that not starting at all. and that gives me hope for the future.

5. What's your Go-To cereal?

reese's puffs, fruity pebbles, and cap'n crunch blueberry pancake crunch, the discontinued limited edition love of my life lol

6. What have been some of your favorite music releases of 2020? Any artists readers should check out?

these are gonna be the same as my Snails answers but it defintely doesnt hurt saying them twice coz these folx are so good and deserve the love lol. Shalfi Edu, Its Butter, Matt Sturgis, Holographic Catholic.

7. Anyone you'd like to promote and give some love to?

Claire Kill - Claire makes creepy body horror paintings, drawings and sculptures, and also makes zines about her experiences
Monchoncho - Jack draws colorful detailed cartoon creatures, portraits, and pokemon on procreate. my bandmates in The Black Mystery Snails and i commissioned him to draw us as actual snails playing music, which is what we have as stickers. his commissions are OPEN rn
Crystal Faeries - Pauline draws super colorful, bright, magical, trippy portraits on procreate. her commissions are OPEN and she also does tarot readings
Audey Thunders Clothing - Liz makes handmade punk, alternative clothing and also incorporates upcycled fabics and i love everything she stands for
Surbibor Kay Art - she makes zines that talk about healing from trauma from sexual assault i appreciate her honesty and vulnerability
Ghoul Vibrations - Mike sculpts super detailed grotesque mushrooms and Ashley has cute colorful spooky kinky drawings
Sodomized in Paint - Vanessa with psychedelic trippy paintings some of them glow under UV light
Sick Sad Girls - a plethora of different art I love Camille and Charlie's sfx makeup and clothing and they also have some gorgeously drawn tarots decks

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