CREEPY CUTE | MELBOURNE
read our interview with exotic cancer below
HOUSE OF THEODORA CHATS TO EXOTIC CANCER
EXOTIC CANCER IS A DIGITAL ARTIST & stripper FROM melbourne. we spoke to her about her artistic process & her drive to quash the many misconceptions surrounding sex work.
You create art under the name ‘exotic cancer’. Who is exotic cancer?
Exotic Cancer started out as my online persona, I suppose. It’s since turned into my actual business name, a brand. It’s all still me, just the one person running it. I’m an artist by day and stripper by night.
Your style of illustration is whacky and colourful and thoughtful. Where does it come from?
My art is inspired by my experiences as a dancer. I enjoy using pastel colours contrasted by black outlines. If I had to give my style a name it would be creepy-cute.
What medium do you like to work with?
All digital! I draw using the Procreate app on my iPad.
Can you describe your artistic process?
I’ll start by writing notes down in my phone for ideas, might sketch some ideas poorly with my finger if I feel like it. Then I’ll look for reference photos, try and piece together how I want my art to look, sketch it out, outline it and then add colour.
You make a lot of strong statements about being a stripper through your art. Do you feel you’re making an impact and quashing some of the outrageous ideas about stripping?
I enjoy challenging people’s thoughts about the industry. There’s a lot of negative stigma attached that I want to help erase through my art.
You recently had your Instagram account deleted then reinstated. What affect does this censorship have on you?
Instagram is important as an artist. It’s like my online portfolio. Most of my website traffic comes from Instagram. So yeah, I pretty much depend on it for my income. I’m working on building up my other social media platforms to diversify my audience.
What is the biggest misconception about being a stripper?
That we all hate our jobs and do it because we have to, not because we want to. For a lot of us, we do it because we want to and we enjoy our jobs. Sex work is real work!
Who are the women and men that you draw?
The women are strong, powerful, unapologetic femmes and the men are reflections of the customers that I meet in the club. Often helpless, desperate and oblivious.
What women are inspiring you right now?
Right now my biggest inspiration is Alicia Amira. She’s doing some great work on fighting censorship, I really look up to her and am inspired by how passionate she is about fighting back.
Where do you like to draw?
On my couch, snuggled up in a blanket with my cats beside me.
TYPE OF ART: digital
SIZE RANGE: shirts from xs - 4xl
OTHER DESIGN PRODUCTS: phone case, money clips & underwear
PRICE RANGE: From $6USD - $300USD