Bewitchingly Bi-sexual, fabulously femme and a raging astrology slut - Judy McNicol AKA Wee Moody Judy truly is our everything. The creative, perfectly pink princess blesses us all with her incredible, fiercely divine artwork and we got a chance to sit down with her off the back of her 'Babes of the Zodiac' series to discuss bi-visibility, being feminine and all things creative.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO HERE -
So, we might as well start with the obvious, how are you looking after yourself during this frightening time?
I’ve been practicing self isolation for a little over two weeks (perhaps even three now, who knows, I’ve totally lost track of time!) before the official UK lockdown - so by now it has nearly become my new normal. That and because I’m a freelance artist so my working life is pretty much the co-isolation of me and my girlfriend in our studio anyways! There’s been a few things that have really helped me during this nerve wracking time, where my anxiety has been at an all time high and my mental health very precarious! One coping technique I’ve picked up has been walking around my flat and verbally listing everything I'm grateful for - I look a bit weird telling my candle or kettle that I’m grateful for it, but if I didn't care about being a bit odd out in public before isolation then I certainly don't mind looking quite odd in the privacy of my home in times where I can't let my freak flag fly outside! Plus, it helps me think about the little things I love rather than the scary world looming outside. I’ve also been doing online therapy sessions every Wednesday, which I'm very grateful to have and proud of myself for doing. So that, plus tarot, tea, art when I can and keeping very much in touch with the people I love and cherish (that being my online community too)!
What does the word 'queer' mean to you?
To me, the word Queer is something that makes me feel strong, its a title I hold above my head with pride *rainbow coloured biodegradable confetti showering over me and all*. Its also a word that I feel helps me to express myself in my own authentic way whilst still being part of a wider community and collective. I love how Queer is an umbrella term, how anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community can be part of the club - they can identify as just queer but that can mean so many things within itself or they can identify with one or many more facets within the LGBTQIA+ and still identify as queer along side that if they choose! I feel it opens things up and creates a more inclusive space, when I see the word Queer, I feel like I belong.. and oh.. to me it means everything and anything but heterosexual, hunny.
You are a self proclaimed 'astrology slut', what is your star sign and does it accurately represent you?
AHH, yes, I am indeed an astrology slut. Meet up with me for a chat and more times than not you'll end up telling me your time and date of birth - well get real deep, real fast *wink*. Im an Aries Sun, Aries Moon and Pisces Rising, and I would say that the astrology memes calling me out do hit a little too close to home! I am very energetic and fiery in both my outlook and my emotions which is where my Aries comes into play. Plus I'm always somehow group leader in projects…I wonder how that happens *cough*. Alongside that I am also very gentle, outwardly empathetic and emotionally intuitive which is where my Pisces comes out. Pisces are often drawn to the Occult and other forms of spirituality too, we like to find a means of escape from the outside world and to take time to reflect inward. I think that pull towards self reflection time really helps in creating much needed breaks from the immediacy of being an Aries. Im glad I have some water to cool off and balance out my fires!
You recently completed your 'babes of the zodiac' series, do you hope to share more art in the future?
Yes, ‘Babes of the Zodiac’ was a year long project that started at the beginning of the Western Astrological Year (this time last year) in Aries Season and finished at the end of that same calendar year in (mid March 2020) Pisces Season! It was a really fun project and through it I learnt so much - including that I, an Aries, can complete a year long project without dying of boredom! Those works are now all available to purchase in print on my website! I’ve already begun a new project, along with other smaller works on the side so I will be continuing with my art into the future for sure. Currently, I am fascinated by vintage, lesbian, pulp comic covers (will take any representation I can get!) but sadly they are deeply coated in misogyny/homophobia and smothered in the male gaze…ew. So I’ve begun a project where I take these covers, and then rewrite them. I want to make them about Queer people, for Queer people, by a Queer person - to transform these faulty out of date representations of Lesbians into “Odes to the Contemporary Queer”. Also if we ever get out of isolation and therefore stop wearing our pyjamas everyday, I intend to start a clothing collection - so look out for that!
How important is bi-visibility in the media to you?
Bi-visibilty is absolutely necessary - Queer people of ALL kinds need representation. I am a white, cisgendered woman, and therefore growing up I saw representation of myself in many forms. That in itself is a privilege others did not have or still do not have enough of growing up. The current movement towards an all round more inclusive media is a movement in the right direction. If it is to be truly inclusive it should also include accurate and real life representation of Bi people within that too! Growing up, I saw many representation of myself but always with the exclusion of my sexuality. Without that piece of representation, it felt as if part of the puzzle that was my identity was lost on me and that I wasn't exactly “whole”. It made it very difficult for me to figure out what my sexuality was, and even harder to accept it once I figured it out. It was uncomfortable to see that I couldn't fit into this pre cut ideal that was represented in the media. I think that feeling goes out to a lot of people, and shows how important visibility of all kind is.
what are the biggest misconceptions about bi-sexuality?
Unfortunately I have a laundry list of the inaccurate portrayals and stereotypes of bi people in the media and wider culture! But I would have to say the biggest misconception about bi-sexuality is about its validity as a true and whole expression of sexuality. There’s plenty uninformed opinions about bisexuals floating about, sadly even within the Queer community! One that is not only hurtful but incredibly invalidating is saying or thinking that a Bisexual person is “gay/lesbian now” or “straight again” depending on who they choose to be with. Regardless of who Bisexual people choose to be or not to be with, their Bisexuality does not at any point cease to exist. “Stop trying to make Bisexual erasure happen! It’s not going to happen!” - I hope you read that in the voice I intended you to read it in.
What are the biggest changes you would like to see happen in society for queer people to exist more easily?
I want to see more gender neutral bathrooms and more security/safety for Queer people in public spaces. I want to see more rainbow flags outside of Pride, and better LGBTQIA+ education and resources. I would also want to see Queer cafes and spaces become the norm/ more accessible and for more inclusive Queer bars and clubs to open up…why haven't I found a Queer Cafe like “The Planet” in The LWord or a bar like “Dana’s” from Gen Q? We need these spaces outside of just fiction and into our real lives.
The use of the word 'queer' can be triggering for many people within the community, why do you feel it is important that we take ownership of that word?
I think that as long as a word is held in the hands of people who use it against us, it will continue to have power over us. I really believe there is a power in reclaimed words, because in a way, you've dismantled the weapon pointing straight at you and thus taken away the power from the person once holding it. Whats more is that once you begin to use that word with confidence and pride, once you claim that word and charge it with your energy you can change the course of that word. A word that was used to oppress you, is unable to do so if you've changed the meaning of that word to work in your favour. I understand the history of that word but now I see the future of it. I see Queer as being beautiful, and authentic and part of a thriving community - and if someone tries to use that word against me then they'll be looking like a damn fool!
We are living for the pink hair (as always), does the colour pink signify anything particularly important to you?
My hair has been every colour of the rainbow but when I discovered pink, it just stuck… for a very long time! Honestly, if pink signifies anything to me, it just signifies my own personal happiness! Pink is my happy colour, it makes me feel light. If a colour could be a hug, to me it would be pink! But since everything artists do is inherently political…lets call it a statement! #riotgrrrl