WORDS AND ARTWORK BY FOX FISHER
Activist, artist and queer icon
I’ve always had a love for art. I won the art award (and the English award) for every year of my secondary school education. I initially started my career as a journalist, and then ended up working at the British Consulate in Seattle, after initially visiting for a music festival Homo-a-gogo. While I was living there, I started having panic attacks. I thought it was because I wasn’t being creative enough but it’s more likely that I wasn’t dealing with my issues around my gender identity.
So I returned to the UK to do an MA in Sequential Design & Illustration. I did medical testing to pay for my MA, which was a strange experience at Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge, and not one I’d ever repeat. Just after the MA, I did a course in screen-printing and that really got me excited about art.
From then, I started making mostly screen-printed art as limited edition prints. While taking part in a documentary series My Transsexual Summer (C4) I was living for six months at the Artist Residence hotel while planning for my first solo show. It was around the start of my medical transition and there was a lot going on.
Since then, I’ve been part of loads of shows and have screen-printed live at the Tate Modern and the V&A.
I’ve also created a few books, where I did the illustrations. Recently, I have created the branding (as illustrations) for a short film about Isis King, DC Pride, Brighton Pride 2020 and a youth organisation in Australia. I’m extremely proud to have created the Trans Pride logo and merchandise, as well as logos for various LGBT groups and Trans Rights stickers and banners.
What’s your favourite medium to use?
I’m passionate about screen-printing, which I also teach at Ink Spot Press. The best thing about screen printing is being able to take text, line drawings or photography and setting up a screen to print multiple versions. I feel connected to Andy Warhol, who was also queer, a film-maker and a screen-printer.
Is creating something you’ve always been passionate about?
Yes absolutely. I’ve always had a passion for art and creativity in general. As a kid, I’d make up my own radio shows and loved playing with lego. I get a bit panicky if I’m not making new work. At the moment, I’m working on a new kid’s book, a Workbook to go alongside the Trans Teen Survival Guide, some work for a charity art show, as well as all the films for My Genderation, our ongoing trans film project.
Do you find it’s a good way to channel the stresses of being a public figure?
There is definitely a blurred line. I use a lot of my creativity for trans activism, from stickers, t-shirts, banners and animation on films. Three things really ground me. One is walking my dog. The second is working out or yoga. The third thing is going to my screen-printing studio and messing around with personal work, adding layers, choosing inks. I love using neons and golds and printing onto wood for the texture. Unfortunately, with so much time being taken up with trans based projects, I don’t have a huge amount of time to play around in the studio.