Tonight’s fabulous queer artist feature is @emmahaydenart
Emma Hayden is a freelance illustrator based in East London, though originally from Australia. Throughout her time in London Emma’s work has acted as a visual journal.
Initially her work was a mechanism to grow more comfortable with the reality of feeling, and the necessity of expressing, uncomfortable emotions.
Having been taught as a young person that her sadness and queerness were shameful and inappropriate, the work Emma made after leaving Australia challenged this mindset and reclaimed her right to these parts of herself.
Now having found her home in London, including a chosen family of queer friends in creative industries and her loving wife, Emma’s work has transitioned toward something altogether more celebratory. While Emma’s recent work still tackles sometimes challenging issues including wavering mental health and a sometimes tumultuous relationship with body image, it does so in a much more optimistic light.
Through paying tribute through portraiture to other queer individuals whose personal stories and lived experiences inspire Emma, her work has evolved from a means to battle to shame to a vessel to share pride.