Last year, artist JOHN JENNISON started a new daily drawing challenge for June called Drawing Pride for all of us queer artists and it is back for 2019 with all new prompts to get our creative juices flowing! We had a quick chat with John about the project:
DOABLE GUYS: Talk to me about what inspired you to start this.
JOHN: There are so many great monthly art challenges on Twitter and Instagram for artist to do using daily prompts. What I wanted was a month of prompts that embody the queer community. Something for the queer artists to use to create works that focus on the things that are important to us and that have gotten out community to where it is. Drawing Pride is not only to challenge the artist but also challenge the viewers who may or may not be accustomed to queer lifestyles. The short answer is; of all these art challenges I didn't see the queer thing I wanted to do, so I created it for myself and hopefully others artists. Drawing Pride is simply a month long art challenge to create works that correspond to prompts, it's not a new idea. These prompts just happen to be heavy in queer culture.
It was also my hope that using the prompt would help queer artists find each other. In a sea of awesome art it can be daunting to sift through it to find that awesome trans cartoonist or lesbian erotic illustrator because they are buried under a bunch of other people.
DOABLE GUYS: How did you come up with this years words?
JOHN: Last year was easy! Drawing Pride was new so I used mostly straight forward LGBT+ terms as prompts. This year I didn't just want to copy that.
Being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots plus the constant attacks on our queer family by the US government, I wanted a list that was political and had ties to our queer history but still had some fun and goofy queer terms in it. We tend to shy away from the horrors that queer people deal with during Pride because it is a celebration of our struggle. That struggle is important and its not over. I think a lot of us tend to take that for granted, I know I have at times. Hopefully by filling social media feeds with amazing queer art we will inspire people to keep fighting and work to take care of each other.
DOABLE GUYS: How was the reaction to last year's?
JOHN: Super positive! We had a lot of people who found Drawing Pride around the middle of the month last year as it was the first time we did it. So the last few prompts had an uptick in submissions. The hope is it will grow this year and every year going forward! I'm so excited to see the work that people will make and make some of my own. Since last years event I have met a few of the artist who participated and have been told it pushed them to do things that wouldn't have thought to do with their art. One artist I spoke to even created and sold a book of his works from that month at last years Flame Con. That is what is important in this world, inspiring each other to create great art, fight for what is right or just making art that lets the viewer feel they are a little less alone.
JOHN JENNISON is a cartoonist and queer activist who has created such works as Geeks OUT Presents: Power An Anthology of Queer Creators, Astonishing Queer Tales, Permanent Person and Crisis of Infinite Cells. In 2010 he was diagnosed with NET cancer and created a series of webcomics that dealt with undergoing treatment and trying to understanding our complicating healthcare system. He has given talks at comic cons and university around the nation about his experience in narrative medicine.
As a founding member for Flame Con, the world’s largest LGBTQ comic and arts convention John works to elevate queer artists and create spaces for them to share their work.
Be on the look out for his new horror comic book THE CLOSET OF SECRETS #1 late June 2019
Hopefully we’ll see some of everyone’s work featured this year! And just remember there are no real rules! These prompts are just to help inspire. Draw one, or draw them all, or draw something totally different. Just makes some art and show your pride!! Remember to use #drawingpride on all your instagram posts and follow along with the challenge at @drawingpride! Below are some of last years work to get your creative juices flowing!