CURVY FEMININITY - Interview with Squid Vishuss

I'm Squid, a self taught artist, mermaid, and lover of all things fantasy, cute, kitsch, and whimsical. I just want to inspire, and change the world, one magical girl at a time.

Can you tell us a little bit about your style? How has it progressed, or changed, over the years?

I've always been fascinated by women and femininity, so that's been a constant in my art since an early age. Over the years, I've been able to take my art to a more inclusive realm where I want all women to feel represented and able to relate to a piece.

What inspired you to illustrate the sort of mystical, playful pin-up women in your work?

Fantasy, dolls, vintage elements and cartoons/anime have always been huge inspirations for me. Sailor Moon made a big impact, because it combined cute with defeating bad guys. Frank Frazetta's powerful, curvy women left a big mark on me as well, and Betty Boop will always be a milestone for my artistic journey. She was my first cartoon obsession. I want to create magic in a world of chaos, empower women, and make them proud of their sexuality without sexualizing them.

What triggers your creativity?

I always wanted to create a fantasy world I could escape to. I surround myself with things that inspire me such as vintage toys, fashion, and animated films, and they're all contributing factors.

How do you want people to feel when they look at your illustrations?

I want to inspire them and show them the cute universe that exists in my mind. I want anyone who identifies as a woman seeing my work to want to embrace their bodies, value themselves, and feel beautiful just the way they are.

Have you considered branching out and illustrating different subject matter? If not why? If so, can you give us a hint?

Honestly, I feel like I am already so inspired and in too deep to branch out too far, but I have always dabbled in drawing cute animals here and there. I hope to create more creatures.

Do you feel your illustrations reflect your personality? How so?

Definitely. Everything I create is a little piece of me. Things I love, interests and hobbies of mine, things I'm inspired by, passionate about etc. When I look at my art, it feels like me and the world I've been cultivating.

If you could collaborate with ANY artist, who would it be?

Junko Mizuno. She's been a long time favorite and a huge inspiration to do art professionally.

What do you like to do when you’re not illustrating?

In those brief moments, I'm either trying to fit in: playing video games, reading comics, traveling/adventuring, thrifting, spending time with my siblings, friends and my love or listening to true crime podcasts.

Are there any projects you are currently working on?

I'm currently working on art book featuring all of my babes from February... and a secret comic book I've yet to reveal anything about.

What is your favorite song, band, or artist to listen to while you're illustrating?

Does My Favorite Murder podcast count? If not, Marvin Gaye or Michael Jackson. MJ is my all time fave.