ELLO X PRIDE: GET TO KNOW MARIJKE BOUCHIER
Introducing Marijke Bouchier: The artist exploring inclusive, sex-positive designs
To celebrate Pride this June, we’ve been focusing all of our content on work that represents unity, love, and the LGBTQI+ community. As part of this, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite creators making waves across the industry.
For our last Q&A in this series, we’ve spoken to New Zealand-born Marijke Bouchier, who focuses her work on “ inclusive, playful, sex-positive illustrations and design.”
We got to know more about the talented artist below:
Tell us about yourself
Marijke Bouchier, artist & illustrator.
How do you describe your art in three words?
Cute and pervy.
Where are you from - and what’s the best and worst thing about the place?
I’m originally from Tauranga, New Zealand. The best thing about it is - everything. I love my hometown; I always will. But everywhere in NZ is so remote and disconnected from the rest of the world (also part of its charm), and I just realized I couldn’t stay there. I wanted to travel too much.
If you had to attribute one thing that’s responsible for getting you into art, what would it be?
I don’t think I ever had this person or moment - I just always loved making weird stuff. But I always had a lot of support and freedom to express myself, and I’m very grateful for that.
What is most of your work focused on?
In recent years most of my work has been focused on inclusive, playful, sex-positive illustrations and design.
What are the biggest inspirations for your work?
My inspirations are always changing - there are so many talented artists, designers, activists, and creative voices out there. I feel my most inspired when I do a deep dive into finding new people and work I’ve never seen before.
What does pride mean to you?
I think it’s the perfect marriage of protest and joyous celebration. It’s beautiful vibrant communities, it’s inclusion, it’s diversity, and it’s an intersectional understanding of all the work that still needs to be done. Pride is still so necessary to raising awareness around the continued discrimination and violence experienced by so many people.
Do you believe that art can be a tool for creating change within society?
I do. For better and worse, art and design have been used to tell stories throughout human history, and I truly believe it’s a powerful tool that helps shape narratives.
Other than art - what are you really passionate about?
Candy. I have an insane sweet tooth.
What would you have been if you weren't an artist?
There was a brief time in my life that I thought I’d be an accountant. It worked out for the best that I didn’t pursue that path - I’d have been awful at it!
What’s the first piece of your work that people should check out and why?
Anything from the Sexual Fruit series is a good place to start. It’s not the only work I do, but it’s definitely been the most popular.
What do you like to listen to whilst you work?
When I paint, I like to have a favorite tv show playing in the background - recently, it’s been a mix of Bob’s Burgers and Murder, She Wrote. But if I’m doing something more active, I listen to a lot of music - two current favorites on high rotation are Diana Gordon and Jamie Wyatt.
What is the best and worst thing about your job?
The freedom. The instability. It’s always great to have the autonomy to pivot and change direction creatively and professionally, but it can be really financially challenging to be a self-employed artist.
Favorite upcoming artist we should check out?
Pretty smitten with the illustration work by @resalami on Ello.