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About Me – Artwhoring

Hi! I’m Priyanka Paul (as has been mentioned 100 times on this blog.)! I’m 19 years old and I’m an illustrator/poet/writer/storyteller/creator. In my short time spent on this planet I’ve done some cool shit. I took my instagram account previously named as ‘marijuanamonologues’ (Hey, we’re all young once, we all make mistakes!) and turned it into ‘artwhoring’. ‘Artwhoring‘ was just a name that popped into my head but I find it relevant to my belief in feminism. Words like whore and slut are degrading towards sex workers, and that’s something that belittles their labour. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It was practiced in India, without the unnecessary stigma. It’s looked down upon and sex workers aren’t given the required government attention that they need because of our inclusion of western ideas of morality into our culture. Art as a career choice is also looked down upon often. Artwhoring to me, signifies dignity in labour. I use the word because more than often words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ are not used to refer to the profession but to women who choose to not conform or dress promiscuously or have sex as much as men do. And as Albus Dumbledore said, “Fear of a name increases the fear of the thing itself.” And I truly believe fierce, non-conforming, bold women should be feared. And that’s how my journey of ‘artwhoring’ started and has continued pretty well.

I’ve been illustrating for about three years now. My work has been featured on The Fader, Hindustan Times, Femina, The Huffington Post, India Today, Buzzfeed and many more national and international publications. My work has been displayed in art galleries around the world and in India. I was a columnist with DNA India. I currently freelance (Read as: do work and beg companies to pay me for years.)

My work mainly revolves around themes of social justice. With my art, I hope to convey the need to analyse the accepted and re-enforced social systems and norms and to re-evaluate all the wrong in society, that we never really even consider as wrong. I hope my art questions the status quo and provides a voice to the unheard. I want to talk about the issues no else is talking about, that mainstream media needs to bring into focus. A lot of issues are ‘relevant’, but not many of them are spoken about.

If my work makes you think, ponder and look back on something traditionally perceived as normal, but actually isn’t, then I believe my art has achieved it’s purpose. If it makes you feel like to need to learn more about the hidden nuances of everything that happens, about society, gender constructs, class conflicts, power struggles, then I believe my art is playing a part in bringing about awareness. My art is a very strong part of me and my self expression, and I make it a point that my art is not merely eye candy, it doesn’t just exist for the sake of #aesthetic. My strongest hope from my art for is it to inform and educate and if it can-to empower. These are the things that I as a person, too stand for.
I made this blog so I could talk in depth about what goes behind my art and because in this fast paced world of double taps, swipe stories and word limits, I have a lot more to say.