By Camila Craig
To get recognition in the art world is a hard task, more so for women and other diminished groups in society. It is also rare to encounter a platform which encourages the protagonism of such groups. However, Iz Smith, an English artist and illustrator, shares with us her initiative to incentivize female empowerment.
How was Red Moon Art Collective born? Tell us the story!
It was a sunny day in July and I was sat on my patio letting the sun dry my hair when I had a sudden burst of thought to create Red Moon. The name came naturally to me, the connotations of the name regarding the female reproductive system and periods and how it all connects with the moon. After visiting the Tate Modern in London during the month of February, and getting the privilege to see some of 'Guerrilla Girls’ work, I was very inspired to create a project which empowers and uplifts female artists, attempting to give them more recognition in a field which is very often dominated by males – so from there Red Moon Art Collective was born.
What are the main goals and future plans you’re working on right now?
As Red Moon is only three months old I am still coming to terms with how it’s all going to work. At the moment I am messaging female artists on Instagram, giving them a few interview questions to answer, as well as getting them to send me over images of their artwork. This then gets posted on the page as a feature. However, I am looking into getting other ladies involved with the page, giving them the opportunity to ask people questions themselves to feature on the page. I am very inspired by creative magazines and if I was to give myself a massive future goal it would definitely be to create my own magazine for Red moon.
How has the public received this project? Have you gotten any feedback yet?
It’s been amazing so far! Everyone I’ve messaged has been so supportive, complimenting me on the idea of the page and how much they love the concept. So many lovely women have sent me their own artwork too, as well as a few asking to be involved with the interviews. It’s early days but there’s no doubt the Red Moon community will continue to grow in many incredible and empowering ways!
Tell us about yourself and your art. Who are you, how did you get initiated in the art world and how has your work evolved over the years?
My name is Izzy and art is my passion. It’s no word of a lie when I say it's the one thing I live for, without it I see no existence. For me I see the beauty and art in just life itself, taking inspiration for my work from anything and everything, from depression to a lady on a bench. Illustration is what I do primarily, however I am a massive advocate of photography, and there are so many creative aspects I’d love to try. Although I’m only in the last year of sixth form, I’d say I have had quite a mature upbringing with my art, inspired by artists and photographers like Yayoi Kasuma, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nan Goldin, and Tracey Emin since the age of thirteen. I started working with illustration three years ago now, I remember scrolling through tumblr and seeing a line drawing and thought ‘I want to try that!’ It is my dream to be an illustrator, or to have a job as some sort of a creative.
I started doing art from a very young age. Being brought up in a creative family I have always been encouraged to paint and draw etc. I started off doing really realistic pencil drawings, now using pen and ink, gouache paint, and paper cuts. No doubt that will all change in a year – I love the fact that my art might evolve into something completely different in 10 years time.
Do you have any messages for emerging female artists out there?
As one myself, never stop working and always be open minded to accepting criticism. I read the latest ‘Womankind Magazine’ recently and there was a really inspiring quote from Gabriel Isak which really held onto me - “Explore what inspires you and don’t be afraid of stepping outside of your comfort zone and failing. It is only then that you will move forward and continue to grow as an artist.”