Simona Terrone, Alison Rachael, Hazel Mead, and Roza Nozari are celebrating the little things that make the ordinary extraordinary
Social media is the powerhouse of this technological age, a constant stream of things to read, see, and interact with. For many it’s a platform of expression and over the past few years there has been a rise in artists, especially illustrators or graphic designers, turning to platforms such as Instagram or Twitter to post their work and promote their messages. Many of these artists that come up on our news feeds or timelines have recognised that, not only can more people can see their work online, propelling their artistic career forward, but that it is also a platform for creating social change.
A piece of artwork can have many meanings and art has often raised the questions: what and why? This is true for the many shapes and mediums it comes in: painting, sculpture, and photography, to name a few. Yet, with the constant stream of images online and offline, we can become overstimulated and expect the extraordinary all the time, while losing an appreciation of the everyday.
“With the constant stream of images online and offline, we can become overstimulated and expect the extraordinary all the time...”
This is something that a wave of new artists are bringing back, using social media to share their work and posting images that appreciate the little things. Here are four artists who are bringing the everyday to life…
The Bulb Girl, aka Simona Terrone, is an illustrator whose work focuses on the female form through characteristic lightbulb heads, with her work ranging from a bulb girl version of the super hero Wonder Woman to the bulb girl relaxing at home. With nipples replaced with switches, it allows Terrone to create an expression of the female figure without the limitations of censorship on the internet and the categorisation of what a ‘woman’ should be. The work started as an exploration of women and their ‘inner light’ – such as the moments that make one shine. Terrone recognises that different people can identify as a woman in different ways, and are ‘set alight’ by different things.
What resonates the most in Terrone’s work are the images that catch the more ‘everyday’ moments in our lives. Discharging Ideas – a drawing depicting a figure on the toilet scrolling on their phone, and How to switch off your bulb – a drawing about winding down, reading a book, and having a cuppa, are two that especially seem to empower the ‘everyday’. Her Instagram page collates all these images together to create an almost exhibition-like compilation of her perception of womanhood. The extraordinary next to the everyday shows how we should celebrate the little things, such as having a day at home, relaxing outside, or even checking our phones, reflecting that you needn’t be living a ‘celebrity’ or ‘extravagant’ lifestyle to be comfortable and happy. Through the everyday, you can find your inner light.
Known for her zines, book, and Instagram feed called Recipes for Self-Love, Alison Rachel is one of the growing artists that is worth a follow to ground your social media scrolling, thanks to her inspirational quotes and images of the everyday. Her work is unique as it combines both phrases or ‘recipes’ for self-love, with illustrations of different women.
In her illustrations you can find women who reflect the diverse society we live in, equalising everyone’s right to self-love. Her words are also not out of reach, they seek to comfort and inspire each person who reads them. Through bitesize phrases or statements, the work is a healthy addition that can help empower our inner and external voices.
The normalisation of everyday practises is also seen in the work of Hazel Mead. Gaining a strong following over the past few years, she says she found her voice in feminist and activist illustration. Her work sheds light on the reality of many interactions we have on a daily basis, especially those which films or the media can often romanticise.
This is especially true when it comes to sex. Hazel’s work seeks to normalise the so-called clunky or awkward moments during sex, exploring more than the mainstream positions we are taught in school and promoting a more diverse sex education programme. By demystifying ideals portrayed in romcoms and porn, Hazel’s work shows that there is a home for the reality of sexual encounters, the rough, the smooth, and everything in between – all of which deserve a celebration. These illustrations create a space to show off the reality of the everyday, and shows how other media channels present an idyllic view of sex and relationships.
In the work by Roza Nozari, aka Yallaroza, there is a sense of solace and comfort in everyday emotions. Similarly to Alison Rachel, she combines illustrations and text to convey supportive messages and she also uses speech or thought bubbles, adding a personal touch. This, accompanied by images where figures embrace each other, creates an uplifting atmosphere in her work.
Yallaroza’s work also depicts the subtle ‘smaller’ moments in life, such as taking the time for a bath or allowing yourself to eat that tub of ice-cream. The calmness of her work is a reminder to take each day as it comes, allowing both the ‘big’ and ‘small’ matters to mingle, and that celebrating these moments are necessary each day.
Each one of these illustrators, and countless others, are what keep social media platforms grounded. They create a safe space to share illustrations about the everyday, and can provide an uplifting tone for your feed. This helps to create a more inclusive space in the art world, where most people can see themselves reflected in the works and feel empowered by the little actions they take each day.