Here at SYSCA, we want to counter the endless amounts of shit chat plaguing the planet and cut to the good shit. To do this, we're picking the inner corners of the brains of some cool people doing cool shit, and there sure are plenty of them. And this our friends, is our interview series, “Shit Chat.”
Hazel Mead has taken instagram and made it her bitch.
You might know her from this piece:
'“Things You Don’t See In Mainstream Porn”
Or this piece:
“Self Care, Darling, Self Care”
Or any of these pieces:
After studying fine art and illustration at uni, Hazel decided her niche was in feminist/activist illustration - and shit, she was right.
Her comedic pieces, created with personal and political backbones make them the most shareable, likeable and #relatable, pictures on your feed.
Naturally, we wanted to get inside the head of someone who we know has got a lot to say.
So let’s get into it!
A Shit Chat with Hazel Mead.
SYSCA: What shit do you care about right now?
Hazel: Oh there are so many issues that scare/motivate me but ultimately I’m driven by a need to make the world a bit better. I think there’s too much hate and judgement around, and (ironically) I really hate that so a lot of what I do is to combat this. My work and actions break a lot of taboos: periods, masturbation, sex, mental health. There is a lot of shame that has been induced by societal and patriarchal rules. Growing up I felt shameful about my period, my weight, masturbation, my body, and as such I felt like I was hiding parts of myself from everyone. I want to help create a culture which encourages openness, kindness and no fear of judgement for being human.
SYSCA: If you could nominate one person from your instagram feed to replace Trump, who would it be and why?
Hazel: I have a quite a few who would make excellent Presidents. I think I would have to say Gabby Edlin, founder of Bloody Good Period. She is smart, has a good head on her shoulders (with a fabulous mop of hair) compassionate, she’s one of those people who really listens to what you’re saying, she’s so caring, a great cheerleader, non-discriminatory, can stand up to the haters, is witty, has the best sense of humour and is just an all-round good egg!
SYSCA: What’s the point of what you’re doing? what legacy do you want to leave on the world?
Hazel: I am an illustrator. I draw because that is the only thing I know.
I react to things with drawings - I draw when I’m outraged, happy, depressed, when I have received bad news, when I’m bored, and for work. It’s like saying what’s the point in breathing? - I need to do it to live. (This is also my full time job, so I draw to pay the bills).
I never want to put myself in a box as being a certain type of illustrator, because I like variety and working on new things, however my favourite work always centers around having some kind of positive impact on the world, e.g. my body positive/period positive work that makes people feel better about themselves. I’m feeling a new sense of purpose.
SYSCA: The world is a pretty dark place right now, since superheroes don’t exist what do you think is going to save the world?
Hazel: It is dark and I’m not sure it will be saved. The things that makes me warm and fuzzy is when I see strangers being kind to one another.
SYSCA: Who do you think we should have our next shit chat with, and why?
Hazel: You should talk to Karen Hobbs - she’s raising awareness of other important issues such as gynae cancers and using comedy as her medium!