Cozcon’s work is pro-femme, pro-black, pro-brown, pro-fat, pro-hoe, pro-queer, pro-trans, pro-sex workers, and we’re so here for it. Every time one of their artworks pops up in my timeline, it gives me power and strength. With an overt sense of fashion, cozcon’s characters are always ultra-stylish. Not only is their art pretty, but it also has something to say. And in these difficult times what better weapons than some pencils and a piece of paper?! The interview is part of our new digital issue: IN CONVERSATION WITH – Part 6!
KALTBLUT: Tell us about your creative background – when did you first start illustrating / what really pushed you to do so? cozcon: I’ve been drawing since I was little; like probably around 5 years old. Like a lot of kids, I got the crayons and the coloring books but once I got started I never stopped.
KALTBLUT: What medium/tools do you feel most comfortable with when creating your work? cozcon: Pen and paper all day, every day. When I’m working in pen, the baseline is control with the option to bring in chaos. I love that. Crisp. Bold. Sure. ll the things I want to be.
KALTBLUT: Your sketchbooks look incredible. On your Insta, you encourage people to get a notebook and draw everyday for at least a few minutes. What comes first in your case, words, or shapes? cozcon: I think the warmups that work the best for me are things like doing detail work which basically entails adding things like patterns to illustrations. I’ve always liked the idea of writing out the alphabet as a warmup, too. In a way, drawing just means writing out letters in strange ways. Almost like when you say a word enough times that it starts to sound like nonsense. Drawing is creative nonsense.
KALTBLUT: Your illustrations refer to politics, gender, race… do you think that as an artist it’s your duty to be engaged? cozcon: I think this year definitely made me feel a duty to spell out what previously was always up for interpretation. I think being Black in this country means that anything you do is a political act in one way or another. Being a Black artist is an *incredibly* political act. But in general, before this year, I’ve always been focused on the multidimensionality of women and femmes. It’s been at the heart of everything I do, even when I was a kid.
KALTBLUT: I wish more people were more like you empowering women and femmes especially in our community. How come this fight was always so close to your heart? cozcon: It matters to me because femmes built my world. Femininity has always been what I’ve modeled my inspirations from. Women in film and cartoons and female musicians, women and femmes in my life– they’ve informed my posture and language. It’s all I know. When I create work that upholds women and femmes, it’s basically upholding my heroes and role models.
KALTBLUT: Fashion is also really strong in your work – where did your references come from? cozcon: Fashion is *everything* to me. It’s my grand obsession. Simply put: it’s a cross section of all that has ever been synthesized to speak on all that can be. What is more inspiring than that?
KALTBLUT: You’re based in the US, and sadly I really think that your situation as a QTIBIPOC is way harder there than here in Europe (even though it is far from being perfect). How are you right now? cozcon: I’m here.
KALTBLUT: Do you feel any way to hope, or that change is possible? cozcon: I don’t know if hope is the right word. I think younger generations, including mine, are seeing just how deep the gaslighting and intricate nature of antiblackness truly goes. Our aches and pains are more validated than ever. We’re laying down because we’re allowing ourselves to be tired. We’re crying because we’re allowing ourselves to be wounded. We’re screaming because we’re allowing ourselves to feel wronged. I hope we can find new ways to heal ourselves within the community. If I have hope, it’s a verb.
KALTBLUT: Where can we buy your amazing work? cozcon: First of all, thank you! You can purchase my work by heading over to Etsy or messaging me directly on Instagram.
KALTBLUT: What is the message you want to get across to viewers regarding your work? cozcon: Women and femmes make the world go ‘round!
KALTBLUT: What other work/artist do you find really inspiring right now? cozcon: 1. the paintings of Brittney Leeanne Williams
2. the song “Along The Coast” by Azealia Banks (it’s not new but it’s not getting old)
3. the Spring/Summer 2017 Céline collection
4. Pedro Almodóvar movies.
KALTBLUT: What is your ultimate goal? cozcon: To make work that makes me happy and makes people feel good… and a beautiful apartment with high ceilings with lots of plants and sunlight.