Every so often, we stumble upon an artist or designer that snatches our breath and our wigs at the same time; and our weekly artist spotlight Very Real Fantasy did just that. From Ottawa, Canada, 19 year old Justin opens up to us about their process, inspiration in muses, and how expressing themselves via art in the social/digital era has allowed them to find their true selves.
FK: Your art has a very specific vintage aesthetic with often dark and relevant references. What inspired you to get into this style of artistic expression?
VRF: I love any type of art that creates emotion, whether it be positive or negative. I'm a very sarcastic person filled with opinions which translates directly to my art. most of the references and satire that is shown through my artwork come from personal experiences which is why it is very blunt and honest. Vintage artwork contains a lot of expression and humour in itself which is why I feel it translates well to an audience that's looking for something to relate to.
FK: Who are some of your favourite muses and how do u decide to incorporate them into your art?
VRF: I have so many. One of my personal favourite artists is Dana Trippe (@trippydana) who is one of my biggest inspirations yet. Her work is one of the reasons why my art has a very vintage-retro style to it. She's able to take something simple like portrait photography and make it into a fantasy world that is so different from anything I've seen. Of course, I love comic artists such as Tom Of Finland and Jacque Nodell as well.
FK: You have many fans within the queer community. How do you identify within the genderqueer spectrum and how do you use your art to express that?
VRF: Being so closeted when I was younger, I felt like art was the only way I could express my feelings and thoughts to the world. In a way, art played a big part in me coming out. I started to connect with fellow artists in the LGBT+ community who shared the same love for art as I did. That's why I love to share my work through platforms like Instagram. Communities are built through social media which allows the excluded to feel included in some way. I used to feel like being a quiet little gay kid from Canada would hinder me, but it has pushed me to work even harder for my goals and everything I want out of life.
To view more of Very Real Fantasy's fantasies, check them out on Instagram at @veryrealfantasy and BUY THEIR ART at www.veryrealfantasy.bigcartel.com!