Entrevista: RITA ALVAREZ
Samantha Rothenberg - ou Violet Clair - é uma ilustradora digital que faz do instagram o seu diário gráfico, contando já com mais de 230 mil seguidores. A sátira irreverente que é o seu trabalho, cria uma ligação forte entre si e o seu público, principalmente as jovens mulheres, que se sentem compreendidas e representadas. Feminista de garra, a sua arte gira em torno das experiências da mulher moderna, numa deliciosa mixórdia de verdade, sarcasmo e muito humor.
1) MELANCIA: Who is Samantha?
VIOLET CLAIR: That is me!
2) M: Why Violet Clair?
V: When I was in my early 20s I had a vintage housewares shop that I ran on etsy. I named my shop “Violet Clair”, which means light purple in French (but also sounds like a pretty name.) I closed down the store, but the name “violetclair” remained as my handle on social media. A few years later, when
I decided to pursue illustration, I ended up keeping the name. It’s stuck ever since!
3) M: Have you always been an illustrator? Tell us about your professional journey.
V: Nope! When I was a kid I LOVED making art and drawing but, sadly, I was never really encouraged by anyone to pursue it. My school district really stressed the importance of math and science and majorly diminished the importance of art education. I always saw art as something that was fun but not a realistic career path. Cut to my late 20s - I was completely miserable with my career and my life in general. I had to dig deep to figure out what I really wanted, and I soon realized that what I truly desired was a highly creative career, where I could be my own boss.
4) M: You fought for 20 years to get diagnosed with endometriosis and to finally see your complaints validated. What advice would you give to women who are going trough the same thing?
V: I’d say the number one thing is to believe your pain and trust your body! Endometriosis is an invisible disease that cannot be seen and therefore diagnosed without surgery. Don’t let anyone (especially doctors) ever tell you your pain isn’t real or that you are overexaggerating it. I suffered for so much longer than I should have, due to this type of medical gaslighting. You know your body best! Trust it.
5) M: Tell us your story as a woman with endometriosis.
V: For as long as I can remember my periods were always SO painful. I couldn’t understand why my friends didn’t seem to have the same levels of pain as I did and assumed that I was weak. In my teens, the pain typically lasted one week a month. In my twenties, it became two. In my thirties, I started facing 3 weeks (and sometimes full months) of pain. It was becoming something I could no longer clench my teeth and brave my way through. I made a commitment to do whatever it took to make myself better. This led to a rabbit hole of endometriosis research and which eventually turned into me finding an excision specialist and booking my surgery with him.
6) M: Sexism, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, devaluation in general... All subjects illustrated by you with plenty of humor in between. Which one moves you the most?
V: They are all awful!
7) M: How would you describe your style?
V: Feminine with a fuck you edge lol.
8) M: What was the most fulfilling thing that you’ve heard about your work? How is the feedback in general?
V: The highest honor for me is when people write to me and tell me that my work has encouraged them to do something like speak up for themselves or dump a toxic partner.
9) M: If Violet from today, could talk to Violet from 15 years ago, what would you say to her?
V: I’m not sure, I’d want to listen to her first.
10) M: RI decided to leave this one for last: TRUMP LOST THE ELECTIONS!! How does it feel to “get this toxin out of your system?”
11) M: Leave a message to MELANCIA and our readers.
V: Y’all are awesome!
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