Amelia Bonow is a writer and activist living in Seattle. She is a founder of #ShoutYourAbortion. Follow her on Twitter at @ameliabonow.
🎟 You can get tickets for upcoming CreativeMornings talk here, starting at 9am, Monday, October 10th. 🎟
How do you define creativity and apply it in your career?
#ShoutYourAbortion works at the intersection of art and activism, creating platforms for people to talk freely and candidly about abortion, whether that’s in real life, digital spaces or across a range of aesthetic mediums. In a culture where abortion is discussed only in the abstract, I look for ways to get people to be open to a different kind of conversation. I have to figure out how to bring people into high-stakes, uncharted emotional territory without alienating them.
More broadly, SYA uses a range of tactics to place new representations of abortion into public space in unexpected ways. One example of this is the <3 ABORTION <3 dress. I designed a shift dress that says <3 ABORTION <3 all over it in large Helvetica type. Martha Plimpton wore it in the Los Angeles Times, Emily Nokes from TacocaT performs in the dress in front of thousands of people and Mel Eslyn, a 2016 nominee for the Stranger Genius Award in film, wore it at the ceremony. About one hundred dresses have been purchased and worn by all sorts of different people in different contexts. Powerful women unapologetically wearing this dress defies expectations, subverts a taboo, and causes people to investigate their own assumptions.
Where do you find your best creative inspiration?
My friends! This makes me sound like a teenager but it’s true. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of razor-sharp freaks who are consistently coming up with new ways to make their way. I’m in a great position when it comes to ripping other people off.
What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?
Don’t worry about whether or not you’re an artist. Self-identifying as a creative person is often more about how one wants to be perceived than it’s actually about creating anything interesting or unique or genuine. It’s an invented category that allows people to frame their work in an exalted light, regardless of value. On a related note, I think a lot of people call themselves artists to get back at their parents.
Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?
I would like to hear from anyone but myself.
What are you reading these days?
White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty
Where is your favorite place to escape?