It has been a while since we have featured fun plus size art finds. We have a fun one today, with Neoqlassical Art. If seeing fuller and more visibly plus bodies, represented in art, then you may love today’s plus size art feature!
With Neoqlassical Art, we get illustrations that excite and inspire. Art that gives us varied representation. So when we had the chance to sit down with Neoqlassical Art, we knew that we were in for a treat…
As you will be!
Keep reading to learn more about the artist and to see highlights and favorites from the collection!
On Plus Size Art with Neoqlassical Art
How long have you been producing your art? Which is your favorite medium?
I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold pencils and crayons!
Drawing people has always been my favorite way to spend time, even when I was a kid, I’d spend hours a day drawing person after person, surprising friends and classmates with drawings of themselves.
In the beginning, the medium didn’t matter much, but lately I’ve really clicked with a certain drawing app.
I’m also feeling a strong urge to start physically painting again, so you may be seeing some acrylic works soon!
Did you go to school for this or are you self-taught? Could you share a bit of your journey with us?
I took every art class that was available to me while in school, including an AP Art class my senior year of high school, but beyond that, I’m self-taught.
After school, I had a few non-art-related jobs, but no matter what I did for work, I was miserable. This was because the work didn’t align with what I ultimately knew I wanted to do!
So, I quit working for others, all the way back in 2011.
I started doing a bit of graphic design work here and there, because at that time I thought graphic design was the only way to support myself in a creative way.
From 2011 to 2018, I did miscellaneous creative jobs, painting murals on walls, and designing logos for way less than I was worth. Newborn and family photography, face painting at events, the occasional paid portrait, and even giving dating advice on a chat service that was actually quite fun!
In 2017, I started doing yoga.
As a very fat person it had always seemed like something that was off limits, but on a whim, after watching a couple YouTube tutorials, I tried it anyway.
I was awkward at first, and still am, but I love how it makes me feel.
I posted a picture of myself in tree pose on my Instagram, and it blew up!
Encouragement from followers and strangers alike, as well as people saying that seeing me do it inspired them to try too, pushed me to stick with it, and I kept posting pictures of myself in various yoga poses.
In early 2018, my interests merged when I found the Autodesk Sketchbook app. I downloaded it to my phone and started drawing with it. The tools were just instantly intuitive for me!
While practicing with it, I would draw any person I found to be inspiring, mostly other fat yogis, body positive influencers and plus size models I was following at the time.
And as I saw peoples’ positive reaction to that, and seeing people who looked like me reflected in my own art, I became addicted in the best way!
The most amazing feeling is surprising someone with a portrait, and seeing them observe themselves in a more positive way from an outsider’s perspective.
Soon after I began drawing with this app as a hobby, people started to commission portraits of themselves and their friends.
To this day, that’s how I still make most of my income. It’s wonderful and I’m so grateful! All my life I’d wanted to earn a living by drawing people, and now that’s exactly what I do!
What/how has this journey impacted you?
As I became more involved in the body positive/fat positive community, the response from people, especially to my drawings of Infinifat folks (those around size 32 and up) and my plus size versions of pop culture characters, has made me realize that my life experiences as a fat person are unacceptably normal.
Growing up with no role models in the media who look like you is normal. Being excluded from group activities and life events because of your size is normal. Not being able to find affordable clothes that fit is normal.
Because of that, I’ve become more vocal about the normalization of fat bodies in media and in fashion, as both those topics are dear to me.
I draw fat Disney characters often because it’s something I needed to see growing up. Seeing them as I always imagined is cathartic and helps me feel a certain wholeness when I never knew a piece was missing.
People comment and write me that they feel the same, and it just feels incredible to know my art can influence others this way as well!
More recently, I’ve been speaking about how fashion is also in need of great change, as fat bodies are under-served and under-represented.
When it comes to visual representation in fashion for plus sizes, I think it’s fair to say that if over half of your customer base is visibly plus size, then over half of the people modelling your clothes also ought to be visibly plus size.
It’s good to see that as more people bring these issues to light, they are being addressed, and I’m looking forward to seeing even more changes in all areas!
How do you think having more visible plus size art has impacted the community?
Mostly for the good, I believe.
The more plus size bodies are depicted in various places, the more the people in those bodies feel free, and are viewed as worthy.
Worthy of being seen as good enough;
Worthy of being desired;
Worthy of being comfortable;
Worthy of JUST BEING
The only negative impact I can think of, since fat bodies have become more visible, is an influx of trolling.
Whether outright fat-phobic trolling or health concern trolling, there has definitely been more of that. But with visibility of fat people comes visibility for our critics as well.
If a troll shows up in my comments, pretty quickly someone else will be there trying to set them straight.
I’m super appreciative of the solidarity in this community!
As a plus person, what do you think is important in creating plus size art?
Representing different body shapes for sure! I think people are over seeing plus size folks represented by hourglass models with “curves in the right places” because everyone is shaped differently.
The change has begun, but we still need to see more bellies, big arms, double chins, etc.
More ethnicities and more levels of ability, too!
More variety in general.
What makes us different, makes us glorious.
Human variety is the most beautiful thing on earth to me.
Anything else you’d like for us to know?
I’m sure there’s much more that I could mention.
But for now, I’ll just say that you, dear reader, are a marvelous being, deserving of the space you take up, deserving of self-expression, deserving of compassion, representation and understanding.
Don’t let this world tell you any different.
My inbox is always open for respectful conversations, commissions, collaborations, and business inquiries!
I’d also love to use this opportunity to shout out some of my influences and other favorite creatives on Instagram:
- Artist and photographer @shooglet
- Artists @growmija @stinegreveillustration and @gemynii
- Cosplayer @myssematch
- Podcaster @fatlippodcast
- Models @unskinnyshero and @kellybellyohio
Thank you so much for the kind words… The work is amaaaazing.
If you would like to support or learn more, visit neoqlassicalart.com
Make sure to check out a few of the other artists, in our Plus Size Art series!
Do you know an artist we should spotlight? Leave their links in the comments!!