When I got to the Smitten Kitten this past Tuesday night it was cold, like really cold. The temperatures in February are winter’s final “fuck you” before spring starts, and because of this I didn’t expect many people to pack the house. The atmosphere at the Smitten Kitten is always warm and welcoming, and after some hot pepperment tea and delightful conversation I realized that having an intimate talk with three artists and an audience of about 15 to 20 was perfect.
At about 8 p.m. we all huddled together on the couch and nearby chairs and started the evening with an erotic story by Keegan Xavi that was so hot it almost set the place on fire. It was one of those stories that ignites your imagination and leaves you stewing in a deep silence so that you can replay the sensual visuals in your mind—because that’s where the best sex happens.
I wanted to stay on the couch and play with the adorable vulva puppet, but the Alicia Steele had set aside special chairs for me, Ron Brown, and Joy Spika at the front of the store and it was exciting. I was excited.
I love talking about my work, process, and inspirations and I love hearing other artists do the same. In fact, I want to do it so often that I don’t understand how other artists don’t like it; maybe I’m just a loudmouth. I’ve only ever been a part of one other artist talk in my life and I don’t often get the chance to address an audience, but in this warm setting there were no anxious nerves and I felt so safe that I opened up in ways that I never imagined I would and was met with great support. It sucks if you weren’t able to make it because you missed Ron talk about how his lovely wife is his only muse and how he wants to fill the world with Godzilla-sized curvaceous women; how Joy wants to create a community studio space where people can come to feel safe and be creative; and how Alicia wants to open up a strip club, which I desperately want her to do RIGHT NOW!!!
The most valuable part of the night for me was the audience participation that allowed us to discuss our ideas and concepts on a social and cultural level. We talked about censorship, art theft, racial and sexual marginalization, body shape, and positive expression in all parts of life. I had people come up to me afterwards and give me a hug and I really hope we helped make them feel good about who they are and where they’re at in life; they were all really kind to us.
The theme of this evening, in a nutshell, was that at the end of the day you can’t control how you’re sexuality, race, or artwork is perceived. There will be those that doubt you, judge you and flat out mistreat you by projecting their hang-ups onto you. If someone has a problem it is not because of you but because of something inside of them that they haven’t dealt with. But if you love yourself and live your life in the manner that you see fit than no one can take anything away from you. Just keep dancing your dance and singing your song and soon others with come and join the party.