Queer Women to Watch: Fall 2008

 
 

Cristy Road, graphic novelist/artist

At right, a panel from Road’s Bad Habits: A Love Story
Photo credit: Amos Mac

Artist Cristy Road has been “working” since 1995 when she
was self-publishing a Green Day fanzine and creating flyers and posters for
bands she knew in Miami. It wasn’t until 2001, though, that she started getting
paid to design for publications such as Bitch,
Bust, Spread, Maximumrocknroll,
Razorcake and Jane.

“It’s always felt pretty professional,” Road said of her
work, which now includes three graphic novels, Indestructible, Distance Makes the Heart Grow Sick and her upcoming
October release, Bad Habits: A Love Story
(Soft Skull Press). All three books are very personal pieces of work, as most
of her art tends to be, and topics she touches on more often than not are
feminism, sexuality and race (Road is Cuban American).

“My individual illustrations/paintings are typically
autobiographical, unless they’re commissions,” Road said. “Although, in the end
­— since it is visual art — it’s
inevitably personal, so a lot of it ends up being autobiographical whether I
choose to or not.”

Some of Road’s work can be seen on record covers for punk
bands like Screeching Weasel and Teenage Bottlerocket, and she’s also designed
for political organizations such as CIW and INCITE! But Road says finishing Bad Habits has been her biggest
accomplishment to date, and it will most likely be what gives her more
notoriety as a writer and artist of her own merit. She also hopes to return to
the road with Sister Spit, Michelle Tea’s traveling tour of queer women in art,
poetry, literature and music, which she traveled with in 2007.

“[I just want] to keep doing what I’m doing without engaging
in any drastic changes,” Road said. “By drastic changes I mean the selling of
my soul to a design firm. I’m sort of broke, but it’s totally OK.”

Megan Holmes, photographer


Photo credit: Megan Holmes

If you recognize either of the pictures below, you’re already
familiar with the work of Megan Holmes. Seven years of photographing musicians
for publications such as Venus, Spin,
Paste, Rolling Stone
and Alternative
Press
has given her the chance to share her joint passion for music and
photography.

“When I first started out my goal was really simple: Take
pictures of what you know,” Holmes said, “And what I knew was music. I would
make lists of musicians that I wanted to take portraits of and work really hard
to make it happen.”

Her most famous photographs (like one of Beth Ditto in their
shared home city of Portland that has graced the cover of the quarterly lesbian
publication, Girls Like Us) are generally those of female artists, and several
of them happen to be queer, such as Sleater-Kinney, The Blow and Le Tigre.
She’s also shot the legendary writer bell hooks.

“Now it’s a little more abstract,” Holmes says of her work.
“I have been spending a lot of time immersing myself in the Northwest woods. I
try to take my camera wherever I go.”

Beth Ditto cover for Girls Like Us (left) & Sleater-Kinney
Photo credits: Megan Holmes

Holmes keeps up a daily photo blog at www.meganholmes.com,
and has had shows at both Newspace and Mark Woolley in Portland. Her newest
work, though, is a book series that continues to draw from her experience working
with musicians.

“I am really interested in creating historical photo books
that reference queer culture in the times we are
living in,” Holmes said. “I want to give the younger generation something they
can look at and relate to and feel empowered by in relation to their sexuality.
Team Dresch has a great song called ‘Remember Who You Are.’ I think I’d want it to
accompany the book.”

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