Josefine Aspvik’s creations are bold, genderless and speaking their minds
By: Josefine Aspvik
My characters are genderless, stunning creatures with a message to share.
They are very chatty and bold. They are not afraid to talk about what really needs to be talked about.
All images: Josefine Aspvik
At first, I drew my characters in black and white with rough lines.
With time, however, they turned into bold, colourful beings full of sass, piercings, jewellery and alien clothing.
I really like to play with contrasts; I think it’s a great way to draw people in. My characters are loud, but the backgrounds they stand against are always soft, pink and fluffy.
Sometimes, creatives from different mediums inspire me more than other illustrators do.
I take a lot of my inspiration from experimental fashion designers, jewellery makers and photographers.
Jewellery is a particular passion of mine, and has become a big part of my drawings – I look at it as a little bit of a metaphorical shield from society’s judgement.
My work is a way for me to express myself, as well as to bring up topics that are important to me.
Through it, I’m able to explore LGBTQIA+ issues. I also explore the struggles of fighting against society’s unhealthy habit of gendering everything around us and, of course, the fact that queer people still cannot exist in peace with equal rights and treatment today.
I make comics with inspirations that are taken directly from my own experiences, my struggles with ADHD and dealing mental health issues in general.
I have struggled a lot with my gender expression, and with feeling brave enough to ignore the unwanted stares and just walk out the door in whatever makes me feel comfortable.
Creating characters who go even further than what society today might label as “extreme” is exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.
By going beyond these toxic beauty standards, I hope that we can work towards eliminating them.
Josefine Aspvik (she/they) is a Berlin-based queer illustrator from Finland who make comics about queer culture, the issues that LGBTQIA+ people face today, and mental health issues. Jo’s comics aim to normalise unconventional beauty and to break the toxic world of gender roles, societal norms, and beauty standards.