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No Longer An "As-If" Activist

A roaring tsunami of peacefully protesting pink pussy-hatted women (and men! and kids!) washed over the planet recently. The Women’s March On New York was where I was one drop in that ocean, finally finding my voice after forty-five years of legal adulthood, where I was (mostly) not rocking the boat / being seen but not heard / being a “good girl” instead of a “nasty woman.” I now intend on being an active, not passive, voice in what is a truly terrifying time in our nation’s history.

I’ve been illustrating and writing for YogaCityNYC since 2008. In the past year I was asked to create some activist art. This was a big leap from my fashion illustration gigs in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But it fit who I felt like I was evolving into now.

The first assignment was to address sexual harassment in the yoga world, a symbolic illustrative logo to accompany several articles and a community discussion.

The next was to depict a pre-election event called a Vagina Scrum. And finally, now that the election is over (and the P****Grabber-In-Chief is still whining and tweeting and in denial about his 3 million + loss in the popular vote), a recurring graphic for “Do This Now!”—weekly suggestions of how to not go quietly into that abyss.

Lately I’ve been looking back over my life and career, downsizing and searching for relevance, some kind of legacy to leave behind. While going through some of my art assignments and sketchpads from the early 1970s, tucked in my attic, I discovered a student book published by Parson’s School of Design, right at the time I was graduating. Just a few months ago it seemed as quaint as the Beatle scrapbooks I still have. How far we had come! Now, it is au courant, all over again. The reasons for those years of protest in the early 70s are—unbelievably, to us who were there—repeating themselves.

So, it is time to reactivate. Resolve. Make this world a better place, until we get it right.

-- Sharon Watts. To read more of Sharon's writing, click here.


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