Meet Anna - Artist, Momma & Owner of Anna Parade
Her Story -
The last few years have been a time of rapid personal growth and change - I came out as queer to myself and others, I am learning to treat my body with love and respect, and I’ve dealt with a bunch of mental health issues and gotten diagnosed with ADHD. It’s been a season of constantly learning new things about myself, and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and how much more comfortable I am in my skin these days. I spend a lot of time pondering what it looks like to take a posture of softness toward life - being gentle and kind to myself and others - and I’m finding that softness is just the type of strength I’ve needed all along.
"What about your story challenges other people's expectations?"
As a fat, queer woman, I have spent a lot of my life feeling like I was “too much” — too boisterous, laughed too loudly, took up too much space. I’m learning that loving my fat body is, in itself, an exercise in challenging expectations. It’s been through challenging my assumptions that I’ve been able to grow the most, as a human and as an artist.
"What is something you are actively going through?"
The biggest thing is the collective trauma of this pandemic, and it feels good to hopefully be nearing the end and I have a vaccination appointment on the calendar! I’ve also been trying to learn to listen to my body, which hasn’t always been easy, and I’m finding that the more intentional I am in listening to and being soft with my body, the more I love her and want to celebrate her.
Right now, my two biggest projects are trying to build a more consistent creative practice (it’s so easy to get bogged down in the admin work of owning a business) and working on moving my office space into a sun-soaked former playroom in our house! I dream of having a studio/shop some day, but for now, it makes most sense for me to be home, since I take care of my kiddos too. I’m grateful I can do both for now.
"What motivates you most?"
I am motivated in my work by a need to connect with and celebrate other queer and/or fat folks and the need to keep exploring what a posture of softness means for me. On a more personal level, I am always trying to be a more compassionate parent, and that has motivated me to do a lot of my inner work so that I don’t pass on my own trauma to my kids.
"Tell us your '&'!"
Artist, momma, gardener, rainbow enthusiast, teacher, wife