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Interview with Amanda Mustard

Interview with Amanda Mustard

If you go to Amanda's Instagram feed you will get your daily dose of colour, fun and optimism. Somehow she has managed to bottle the best of the summer vibes! So we were over the moon when she accepted to do our July collection. We know that summer is a big trigger on people's bodies' expectations, eating disorders peak and self steam fall. More so when it coincides with the first public appearances after months of lockdown. We say Fuck it! and we say it with colour and optimism! well...Amanda does! Do you want to know her better? 

Who is Amanda Mustard?

I'm a full-time freelance illustrator in Annapolis, Maryland, and I love creating work that is bright, colourful, aspirational and empowering for women. I'm also a total beach bum and an avid plant collector.

What is the biggest impact of what you do?

When I share my art on Instagram, I try to stay vulnerable when sharing what that art means for me. I hope that being open about things like imposter syndrome, anxiety, anti-racism and being mixed-race has an impact on the people who follow my art by helping them cope with the things they also struggle with.

What is the biggest ambition, the big dream?

My big dream at the moment is to launch my clothing line (coming to my website soon!). I really love surface pattern design, and I've been working behind the scenes on clothing and accessories that are bright, fun, beachy, and celebrate my Pacific Islander heritage. I also love to help women entrepreneurs figure out the in's and out's of freelance life, and I hope to do that in a more official capacity one day.

What does this F represent for you?

For me, the F represents accepting all women as they are. Society tells us that we should look and act and be a certain way, but those ideas do not come from a place of empowerment and they're certainly not centered on women's happiness. I think wearing the F signifies that you're happy in your own skin and unapologetically you.

And now, the Feminist questionnaire!

What is Feminism for you?

Feminism for me is about gender equity. While we might all have the same opportunities for success in theory, women are still held back by substandard maternity leave, overpriced childcare, politics controlling our bodies, and so on. Feminism is also about using our voices to speak out for everyone that gets left behind. We have to be allies for each other.

Which “everyday sexism” really bothers you?

I have an example that still bothers me when I think about it. I bought a house with my husband last year, and it was clear that the contractor building our house thought that he could lie to me, but not to my husband. I literally had to get my husband involved to be taken seriously, even though I was the one on-site for the entire process.

Do you remember when you start identifying as a Feminist and why?

I don't think I gave much thought to it until I attended the Women's March in DC in 2016. It felt very important then to actually identify myself as a feminist very clearly and loudly, and it still does.

Who is your biggest feminist role model?

Roxane Gay is my favourite feminist because she is unapologetic in her opinions even if they make her a "bad feminist."

What is your favourite Feminist quote?

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." Audre Lorde

What is your proud feminist victory?

I did a project a couple of years ago called "The Alphabet of Extraordinary Women" where I illustrated a portrait of a woman I admire for 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. I learned a lot and found a few new heroes since some letters were more difficult than others. Prints of it are available in my shop, and it's still one of my favourite projects to date.

What is your feminist recommendation?

  • Book "Bad Feminist" Roxane Gay (and everything she writes.)
  • Tv show "She's Gotta Have It" on Netflix (I definitely think this show was underrated.)
  • Film: Frozen 2. For real, it has a really positive feminist message. (no spoilers!)

What is your feminist call of action to whoever is reading?

Follow more women of colour on Instagram! When you diversify your Instagram feed, it opens your eyes to a new point of view.

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