Interview, Visual Art
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Sarah Hunter’s Tits & Other Bits

Sarah Hunter, 20-year-old illustrator based in Brighton, UK is an incredible example of a woman who is all about body appreciation. Her series ‘Tits & Other Bits’ exemplifies the notion that not all women have the “perfect” bodies.

Sarah describes her work as simple, yet effective. Her illustrations humorously take on real life situations and personal experiences, basing a lot of it on the fact that “you cannot take life at face value as it can get very depressing, so why not spice it up a bit.” Hunter is currently working on a cartoon series of the times things “didn’t quite go according to plan”.

“I try to produce work I would enjoy or find funny, I am that person who laughs (to myself) when I do a funny drawing…”

When Hunter creates her illustrations she tends to start with simple drawings, then scanning to manipulate them on Photoshop. Of her materials, Sarah says “even though I enjoy using paint, I prefer my illustrations to be clean cut which is quite hard to do with that particular medium.”

 

Although, Sarah “tends not to usually get involved in politics,” she produced a series on Donald Trump, a “kind-of ‘anti campaign’ set of posters” which would trick the audience into thinking that they were in support of him. However, when you read the content you would be pleased to realise that they are not quite what you think. “It was initially aimed at people who were supporters, glancing over to read more of the things he has to say, only to find a different, more truthful opinion on a man so silly.”

“…when it comes to my drawings I find when I get started I can’t stop and don’t want to scare anyone off. I want to be inclusive and appeal to everyone no matter their views. It’s the one thing that really draw (no pun intended) people and in particular,  friends apart, which is not what I’m about…”. 

Sarah Hunter’s work is light-hearted with darker undertones that surround female body image and womens’ rights. When it comes to feminism,

“of course I would say I am one as any woman who thinks they should be treated equally, should be. Yet, I don’t believe in this whole, ‘new-wave feminism’ where men are shit and woman don’t need them, because if anything aren’t they pretty to look at? But seriously, I don’t believe anyone is above anyone.”

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Hunter initially started ‘Tits & Other Bits’ as a university project where they had to combine different variations using 10: minerals, animals and objects or our choosing. “I chose plants as I have a fondness for them having grown up around Kew, then chairs because I love different chair designs. When I was younger I had this book ‘1000 Chairs’, by Charlotte and Peter Fiell and I would carry it around with me everywhere. I also have a major obsession with IKEA. I then chose naked women because I love to draw the female physic – I don’t like drawing penises, they’re not exactly nice to look at.”

Double standards are something Sarah “takes seriously and I am very quick to point them out. It’s something I know is very hard to avoid but I do try. There are certain groups of people who tend to be forgotten about, such as: men and people of the LGBT community who have been through domestic abuse. Men can be shit, but so can women.”

“An occasion that really inspired me to create a series of drawings on double standards happened at my local pride festival. On the steps of my close friends house a man slapped her arse without cause, then turning to me, tried to do the same. This caused absolute shock – on a day where we are supposed to be celebrating inclusivity and sexual freedom, these four men were sexualising woman with absolutely no inclination or regard for us. However, earlier that day a woman in the crowd of the pride parade ran up to a man with just shorts on. Unknown to the man  she proceeded to grab and hump him from behind. As I watched her, she did this to several different men. This is a perfect example of double standards; if a man did this it would have caused uproar, yet, this woman was cheered on. 

This story inspired Hunter to create a series based around the idea that, “just because we are women doesn’t mean we are open and available to men. People need to start respecting one’s personal space.”

“I produced my ‘Tits & Other Bits’ t-shirts, (besides the fact ‘tits’ is one of my favourite words), to slyly show body positivity through a larger naked woman. Some may find the t-shirts promiscuous; showing that sexuality isn’t this closed secret it’s something to be proud of and embrace, but also, that just because someone may dress promiscuously they aren’t asking to be sexually abused and/or slapped on the arse by strange men or women. People shouldn’t be scared to be open sexually in case some idiot takes it as there ‘open for business’. Sexuality is this open fluid thing, not something to be taken advantage of.”

 

The whole project surrounds body positivity and “being happy in who you are. This is something I’ve tried hard to achieve coming from being very sad to now trying to share my own happiness. This series kind-of followed on from ‘The Happiness Project’ where I looked at depression and making a universal guide to try and start helping others. I tried to include drawings of lots of different body types because we are all beautiful.” Through her travelling Sarah Hunter has seen lots of different people from different backgrounds and cultures which has helped develop her characters with different styles, body shapes and sizes. “I love drawing crazy hair”.

Buy your own ‘Tits And Other Bits’ t-shirt HERE.

@jigglybitsillustration

sarahhunterillustrations@aol.co.uk

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