Womxn's Herstory Month Artist Spotlight

Womxn's Herstory Month Artist Spotlight

To celebrate Womxn's Herstory Month, Atlanta Pride Committee spotlights local artist Shaurese Foster (She/ They). We asked her questions surrounding visibility as a Black, Queer artist.

APC: Who are you?

SF: Hello, my name is Shaurese Foster. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2020 with a BFA in Animation, focusing on 2D Character and FX Animation. However, my work also spans sequential art, photography, graphic design, and documentary filmmaking. The stories I tell blend a love for fantasy storytelling with my experiences as a black and queer individual, with a conscious effort to bring organic representation into everything I create.

APC: How do your identities as a Black Queer womxn inform your art and career?

SF: I'm in the camp of people who believe art is an expression of oneself, their thoughts, opinions, feelings and how one views the world. I believe that my queerness and blackness heavily influence my work, the characters I create, and the stories I tell. My goal when I'm making personal works is to express myself while also showing other people that might feel the same way as I do that they're heard. So, I will never know whether it negatively affects my career because no one ever tells you why you're rejected for a position or grant. However, in the spaces I've been a part of, there is a significant push for diversifying and uplifting voices of color and queer voices in the animation industry. I have joined some of these organizations, and Discord threads and new ones pop up every day, intending to make the industry an accessible place for all.

APC: What gives you Atlanta Pride?

SF: What gives me Atlanta pride is the city of Atlanta itself. There's diversity everywhere, from the environment to the people. I think a lot of the spaces in Atlanta helped me discover myself in a very personal way. Atlanta is a place where I feel it's encouraged to be your most authentic self. But I am biased as I was born and raised here.

APC: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art form.

SF: While I have played around with various art forms, I primarily practice in the animation medium. The technical definition of animation is pictures in a sequence that would show the illusion of movement. I think many people think of animation as a genre of film, and that's a wrong way of thinking about animation. In actuality, it is a medium of film, and there are different genres within animation, as in film. You have horror, children/family, adult comedy, etc. You have to be passionate about it because it takes a lot of time and effort to create.

APC: Government officials continuously promote hate and violence by creating laws against reproductive justice, trans youth, drag queens, and the LGBTQ+ community. How do you feel currently, and how do you practice self-care?

SF: I'm sure I will sound cynical when I say this, but there will always be someone that the majority hates. I think it's an unfortunate part of human nature. It frightens me to see such a push for LGBTQ+ hate. Historically we've seen how easy it is to whip everyone into a frenzy about a non-issue that has nothing to do with the populace to discriminate and harass a smaller group of people. So I practice self-care by not going to the comment section of things like this. I don't want to hear your opinion because it's usually vitriolic nonsense. But as someone who stands at the intersection of two marginalized groups, I can tell you there is no hiding. There is only standing tall and knowing when to act and when not to act.

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