Doyenne x Rae


This season we had the pleasure to collaborate with London-based artist Rae Smith, offering a diverse perspective of body, identity, and togetherness. Whilst being an incredible skater and skateboarding teacher, Rae is a full-time artist, challenging the stigmas surrounding the meaning of being intersex through her artwork and platform. 

We asked her a few questions to share her experience as an artist in the industry:

 

 

You have been making art in many different ways and through different mediums, what are your favourite art forms to do and which one let you express yourself the most?

I really enjoy painting on a large scale - murals are my favourite thing to do because there is so much space you get to move around a lot - it almost feels like you are dancing and you get into a flow. I like to paint quite quickly and intuitively which is a bit scary sometimes as it’s not usually planned out but it kind of suits my manicness. I like painting large canvasses too and up-cycled furniture. I usually use acrylics, spray paints and markers as they allow me to work the quickest.

 

 

Being intersex is not something many people speak about and there are hardly any stories of intersex folks out there. We are so glad you have been sharing yours. What do you love about being intersex?

When I first started talking about being intersex I felt a lot of shame and it was almost like I was apologising to the world for hiding this shameful secret, and for being this shameful thing. But now I’m really really happy to be intersex. I don’t think it’s so much that I love being intersex though, it’s more that I just love being free to be whatever I am. The liberation you feel once you embrace who you actually are and live it unapologetically is life changing - or at least it has been for me.

 

 

Your unique characters are all of different shapes, genders and races, and we fucking love it. We would love our society to be as diverse and beautiful as your illustrations. If you could change three things in the society we live in, what would you want to see be different?

Thank you I’m glad you love my characters I fucking love them too hehe!
Hmmm that’s a really big question but off the top of my head I’d say that I’d like to see more space for more people in all areas of society, less space for patriarchal colonialist industrialised institutions and my dream would by for everyone to work together on a small local scale to build self sustaining communities (with skateparks in obviously!) and lots of walls for me to paint :) 

 

 

 

We have met at countless skateboarding events and we have known you since you were one of the only people organising inclusive skate lessons in London. Since then, you’ve been alternating skating and making art and we have loved to see you flourish in both. How does skateboarding affect you as a person, and also your art?

Skateboarding has affected me as person in so many ways. It’s taught me that if you love something you have to fight for it because no one is going to give it to your whether it’s a kickflip or the fair representation and support of women and queer people throughout skateboarding  media and industry - you gotta find the right people and stick it out together - help each other until you all get it. In terms of my art - to be honest I don’t feel my art is appreciated that much in skateboarding - although I’m beginning to gain more support as the women’s scene and queer scene grow bigger and brands like yours and inclusive DIY projects like Hackney Bumps, We Can Fly and It’s OK Project to be able to support artists like me. So I guess skateboarding has taught me to believe in my art and my voice even when others don’t see the value in it because it’s not relevant to them or it’s different to what they’re used to. When you’re ahead of your time you have to wait for others to catch up - but you all know that already ;)

£5 from each of our collaboration T-shirts will be donated to Intersex Justice Project.