Interview mit Rita Booh

Could you give me Information’s about your:

Name: Paloma Rita Montes Fernández

Age: 32

Place of birth/living: Valencia, both.

Profession: Social Educator and Illustrator

Education: Bachelor’s degree in Social Education, studying now a Master´s degree in Art Therapy. I started Fine Arts and Graphic Design but didn’t finish any. 

Can you begin with telling me a little bit about your illustration practice? How did you begin to Illustrate?
I’ve been drawing since I was little. Then I studied fine arts, in that time I started to make graffities in the streets of Valencia but I liked more to design the pieces on paper, so I started to make illustrations as “Psikonauta”. That was around 10 years ago; I left it because it saturated me the artistic world.  I moved to England and I was living there 4 years without any artistic pressure. In the last months in uk I started to draw again and also I started as Rita Booh. 

What is your main focus in Illustrations?

Feminism, feminism and feminism. As a woman I cannot stop to representing the pressures that women suffer in the patriarchal society in which we live. I am also interested in psychedelia, personal feelings and social demands.

When and why did you start to create Monsters?

 A year and a half ago, when I started with Rita Booh. To distance myself from the artistic world helped me to find a more personal language. I draw monsteras because I am very tired of the current representation of women in the illustration. Always proportionate and beautiful, we are all monsters, and it is easier for us to learn to love ourselves and our bodies if we accept the monstrosity in them.

What do you express through them? What do they mean to you?

I express the reality of the female body and women, or I try. For me they have a meaning of liberation from my mental processes, of how I feel in my environment, of how I feel being a woman.

Does gender play a role in your Illustration?

Yes and no. I attempt to represent women who do not follow established gender patterns or stereotypes. And I try to include all people who identify with the female gender. Although I would like to represent more genre realities, but I guess I’m still a little stuck in my own liberation process.

How do you think Monsters are connected to Gender-questions?

The monsters themselves start from an idea without gender, but humanity has always imposed some gender on them. Also we can see different roles if the monsters is a male or a female, normally the female version is associated with the idea of castration, bad mother and similar issues. 

Do you have a definition of what is monstrous? Do you need it?

For me the monstrous is everything that moves away from producing pleasure or acceptance, which is instinctive and natural. It is not necessary to start from an established definition because that is very limiting my work.

What ore who influenced your work? With whom do you talk about your work?

 I usually talk about my illustrations with my family and friends. I am quite apart from the artistic academic world and I like to stay that way, I am not interested in trends or minimalism that is so fashionable. I guess I also have imaginary conversations with other past generations or movements like the Riot Grrrl.

What is your favourite monster ore piece of work? Why did you create it?

 “When you’re  without power….listen to girl power music” 

It was one of my first drawings with Rita Booh and I did it to express a feeling of tiredness and saturation with life. At times like this I put on music made by punk/rock women to give me a download back to face reality. 

Do you have any particular focus or self-enforced rules that you follow when you work on your creatures? What visual methods do you use to create your monsters?

 I do not usually work under rules but I seek the free correlation of elements. I usually start from an idea and some inspirational images that allow me to create. Also, drawing for me is a therapy, and through my drawings I empower myself and I express my feelings in a creative way.  Over the years I have realized that drawing helps me build myself as an active subject of my life. 

What do want to achieve through your work?

 The normalization of other models of women, the disassociation of beauty and female gender, the naturalness of the female body and menstruation. And express myself. 

Do you do commission work when you create Monster?  Have they been published, and if so where? Aside that, where do you publish your Work and where (ore in what context) do your Images circulate?

 I have done commission works but I usually draw what I want, which I like best. My drawings have been published in Split Lip Magazine; they also interviewed me for Paper Darts. My illustrations tend to move more through the network: instagram, tumblr and facebook.

Do you want to tell me more? Go ahead!

 I think maybe you like this book: Barbara Creed – The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis.