My latest educational materials–Digital Package! plus thoughts on being a social justice artist

Hi friends,

I am excited to announce some newly created educational materials by yours truly ❤

Digital Workshop Resource Package 28 images + pdf – Pregnancy, Birthing & Chestfeeding: A Guide with Gender Non-conforming Models of Color:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/239787622/digital-workshop-resource-package-28?ref=shop_home_active_1

001 Pregnancy Birthing and Chestfeeding First Page
watermark 021 Side-Lying Hold  watermark022 All Chestfeeding copywatermark008 Membrane Rupture

il_570xN.661731670_iv83It’s actually an expanded (and electronic) version of my most popular zine, “Pregnancy, Birthing & Chestfeeding: An Illustrated Guidebook with Gender Non-conforming Models of Color”, which you can find in my shop.

I decided to offer this as a digital package for sexual and reproductive justice organizations, doulas, collectives and more that want to use the illustrations and images in powerpoint presentations or to print for workshop materials.

If you head over to my shop, you’ll notice that there’s a big price leap from the zine to the digital package ($1 for B&W, $2.99 for color and then $160 for the digital package) Here’s more info on why I decided to price it the way I did:

In pricing this package, I took into consideration the fact that while I can tell you to not send the digital files to people outside of your organization, I can’t reinforce that or track your use of the files. I also took my many hours of labor into account. As a queer woman artist of color, I have always felt the need to share my social justice art freely with the world. There are times and occasions where I still happily do that, but I am asking you to support a living wage so that I do more than just barely survive off of my art. Your financial support of me is a statement to the world that you value art as an important tool in creating a more socially just world. It will also allow me to continue making art as my main source of income.

***NOTE***
If you are an individual doula (or workshop facilitator) that wants to use these images in your practice and the cost of this package is beyond your budget, please private message me and we can negotiate a price. The last thing I want to do is to prevent these images from being seen by the right people because of lack of financial means.

I was recently having a conversation with fellow queer woman of color zinester and social justice activist Anabel, AKA La Loba Loca that we were tired of making things for practically no financial compensation. We talked about the value of our creative work, our burnout when we realize we’ve been working for little to no pay, and the way people assume we will work for them for free. This and many preceding conversations with other QTPOC artists inspired me to charge more. Recall this open letter I wrote to artists and activists (click link or image to go to the original blog post):

openletter

While the message was initially aimed to inspire social justice creatives and activists so that they might transcend QTPOC activist burn out, the message that “[i]t’s okay to want more than just surviving, and to turn down offers that don’t pay” is one I want to shout out loudly to all artists.  As Lewis Hyde discusses over and over in his (fabulous) book “The Gift”, there is a social tendency to view creativity as a gift (from God traditionally) and thus making it difficult for us to put a price tag on our art practice.  But it’s not like we’re living in a society that subsidizes artists! We need to believe in our work’s value in society and ask for living wages.  Most people simply need to be reminded that we have to pay bills like everyone else.

Anyways, I’ll stop before I drag on too much.  If you have thoughts on the topic or books/zines/articles/videos you’ve read/watched that have been helpful in your growth as a working artist, please share in the comments below!

xx

Miyuki

P.S. I also just found this slightly tacky but informative video on taking the shame out of self-promotion:

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About Miyuki Baker

Miyuki is a resident of the place where circles overlap. As a queer, nomadic, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist activist and healer, she uses common or discarded objects, personal anecdotes, public spaces and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, she traveled for 14 months as a Watson Fellow to fifteen countries documenting the intersections of art and activism in queer/trans communities in blog posts and self-published magazines while making performance art. The eight magazines Miyuki created on this trip (queerscribe.com) and their strong media following exemplify her illustration/graphic design, storytelling and people skills. Her work has been featured in several magazines such as Hyphen, Broken Pencil and Knik, blogs and radio shows, well-known for their interactive and eye-catching mixed media approach to activism that utilizes both online media and on-site performance and workshops. This fall she will begin the PhD program at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies. You can follow her travels at heymiyuki.wordpress.com and email her at heymiyuki@gmail.com

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