As a fine artist and illustrator known for making whimsical illustrations, Lisa Congdon makes no excuses when it comes to her activist art, despite pushback from some of her fans who say they’d rather just see her “pretty pictures.” But Congdon refuses to be silent, even at the risk of losing followers. She argues that as an artist, she must speak her “truth.” By this she means expressing herself as a “whole” person, not compartmentalizing her private life and opinions apart from her art but rather integrating them so that she gives voice to the things that matter to her.
The things that she most cares about come from her place as a woman and a lesbian in an American culture that regards both as secondary—the female as subordinate to the male and homosexuality as, at best, inferior to heterosexuality, or worse, as illegal or “immoral.” Congdon is navigating how to situate these experiences through art so that she serves as a voice for women, lesbians, and others who are marginalized and do not have as strong of a presence or platform.
Having worked with both the Clinton and Obama campaigns, the Human Rights campaign, and other progressive causes, Congdon is no stranger to speaking her truth but she is committed to doing even more. Here’s a plan of action she set out recently in a blog post and one she encourages other activists to follow:
“+Use your pain to express yourself.
+Make time to express your feelings and beliefs through your art.
+Own your anger or frustration. Do not let others tell you to “settle down.”
+Be authentic: say what you feel and in a way that you would say it. Speak your truth!
+Stop worrying about whether people will stop following you or like what you post.
+Participate in fundraisers with your work.
+Support causes you care about through your art — raise money, encourage others to donate, do pro-bono work for them.
+Connect with other artists who are also interested in using their work and platforms to shed light on political issues and human rights issues you care about; collaborate with them!
+Research workshops in your community that teach about activism for artists. Participate in local initiatives.
+Follow and support fellow artists who are using their platforms to express themselves. This is a time to unite!”
Pictures are copyrighted by Lisa Congdon and kindly shared here.
lisacongdon.com: website and blog
Interview originally posted on www.howtocopewithtrump.com–an online community for new political activists.