I came across the drawings of Ambivalently Yours (AY) on her Tumblr blog. I was immediately captured by her drawing style characterised by the simple design, the pastel water colours, and the immense and expressive eyes of some of the girls portrayed. While I was scrolling down her pink drawings, I began to notice that they were often combined with words, which gave voice and expressed the emotions of these girls.
Two big eyes look up to 'Rebelliously tiny', a heart-shaped cheek girl with a floral crown is wearing a T-shirt on which is written 'feminist b****', and another illustration says 'less catcalls, more cats'. What initially appears as cute drawings on a pink background start to take shape as a complex project of feminist activism and patriarchy resistance.
Ambivalently Yours is an anonymous artist who aims to focus the attention of the public on how conflicting feelings can be a form of resistance and how the love of pink and fashion can coexist with engaged feminist art. In 2011, while AY was working in the fashion industry and, at the same time, engaged in feminist art, she began to express this conflictual idea. She initially left notes in public spaces with annotations of her ambivalent emotions and documented this process on her blog. Afterwards, drawings started following the notes and became a characteristic part of AY's project.
What I particularly liked in the creative process behind the drawings is the presence of an online community who interact with the artist daily. The drawings often are made in response to a message submitted within the community and are related to specific situations, or as AY defines them 'ambivalent feelings', stated in the message. This can be considered a meaningful dialogue and relationship between the artist and her followers. The easy sharing contents posted by AY on online platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, make this kind of communication more effective and her drawings quickly to spread across the web.
The interaction with the online community reached a peak during the 91 days of drawings project. During this project, from April to the end of June 2015, AY was the artist-in-residence at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. She completely committed herself to answer to the messages and request from her online community, while documenting this project on her blog.
AY's creations such as art prints, t-shirt, mugs and phone cases, are now available to buy from the online shop and it will probably push the dialogue and interaction with the community to a higher level.
Photo by Ambivalently Yours via www.ambivalentlyyours.com