We talk to her about creating beautiful things amidst the ugliness of public discourse.
“Art has always been an essential part of who I am,” says Jen Bloomer.
Bloomer, a San Francisco-based artist whose recent works of inclusion and empowerment have made a ripple across the online community, sat down with us to talk about why she creates.
After the 2016 election, Bloomer felt a new sense of urgency with her art. As a mother of two kids in a multicultural family, she had very real concerns about their future. She held activist art gatherings so the community could have a place to process their anger and find a way to heal. Through these discussions and her new illustrations focusing on strength and optimism, her art began to reflect this feeling of resilience.
“It feels really important right now to create beauty amidst all the ugliness that is so rampant in public discourse,” Jen Bloomer told New Sincerity. “I hope people can see themselves and their story reflected in my art and feel empowered. I hope my art helps open people to the experiences of others and inspires them to take an active role in fostering acceptance in their community.”
Bloomer is the woman behind Radici Studios, whose most recent endeavor is The Invigorators Project – a series of portraits highlighting people both past and present who offer guidance on how to navigate today’s political quagmires.
“I want to keep their courage, their endurance, their strength in my sight.”
While her main mediums are cardboard and black Sharpie the simplicity of her tools far from takes away from the impact of her illustrations. In fact, they become even more wonderfully haunting.
She invites anyone to send her photos of people they are inspired by – be it a famous activist or a close friend – from which she’ll create a portrait and share it on social media. You have the option to purchase the original piece yourself for a small sliding scale donation.
Through Radici Studios, Bloomer also organizes community mural creations and hosts an online store where several of her most popular cardboard-and-Sharpie drawings have been translated into posters, T-shirts, and totes. Bloomer noted that she is thrilled to see these messages of empowerment and solidarity adorn people’s bodies as they go about their day.
“What gives me hope is all the beauty rising out of the ashes. So many things I care about are being destroyed right now on a political level,” says Bloomer. “At the same time, I have never seen so many people in the U.S. coming together, fighting daily for the things we believe in. We can’t do it all, but we all have something to contribute, and if we can step into activist roles that fit our skills – I believe we can make a real impact in our communities.”
Bloomer recently teamed up with New Sincerity to create illustrations that reflect what we stand for: diversity, inclusion, and empowerment. This movement is a force to be reckoned with.