Baby Voodoo: ‘Rainbow, cute, liberal, erotic’
Melbourne-based artist and designer Baby Voodoo shares her love of all things naughty and nice with Perks Magazine.
How have your artistic interests evolved?
I have always been creative. One of my earliest/fondest memories was being introduced to watercolour pencils in pre-school—pink, purple, blue, all blended together with water—it was so beautiful.
When I was younger, I used to draw my little sister’s Bratz dolls while she played with them, then as a teenager I started drawing more experimental stuff, like tattoo designs and busty females. At around age twelve I discovered Photoshop, then Illustrator when I was about fourteen—the possibilities are endless! I still paint traditionally also, preferring oils or watercolour to acrylic or colour pencils.
After high school, I knew I had to do something creative so I completed a certificate and then a diploma in visual arts, which was all very traditional art mediums based. Now I am doing my Bachelor, majoring in graphic design because I love the fusion of art and technology, but also minoring in visual arts to keep that completely free creative element going.
What is your involvement in the kink scene?
I would say I am a lifestyler. I made most of my friends through my local BDsM community, and I even met my amazing partner of two years at one of our city’s major monthly events. Every weekend we are out partying, playing and being all round (polite) perverts.
It is definitely something I will be a part of for my whole life. I could not imagine not being a part of it. The freedom I gain not only sexually but also emotionally, physically, and spiritually in the community is more than I ever thought possible. Every shape, size, colour, style is welcomed with a warm heart. I love that, it is so inspiring.
How do you find people respond/react to your work?
I have had (vanilla) people tell me my erotic art depicts ‘violence against women,’ which does not necessarily hurt me, but more astounds me, that some people can be so narrow minded—unwilling to explore what the world and human consciousness has to offer.
I know it is still early in the acceptance of more liberal lifestyles. That said, nearly everyone I know in the kink community, both locally and globally supports my art. I know it does not appeal to everyone, because I like to use a candy coloured palette, but if there is one thing I try to convey through the ‘cutesie-ness’ of my work, it is that kink can be enjoyable, and most people are consensually taking part in it for that reason.
Does the response from people differ depending on their level of involvement in the kink scene?
No, I don’t think so. I think it is more about artistic preference. Some might prefer medieval depictions of flogging or chastity, while others enjoy being privy to a more modern babygirl-ish point of view.
What attracted you to juxtapose girly/cute-sie fashion themes with kink?
I wanted to promote positivity of all forms, especially for those that have felt oppressed for their sexual preferences or fashion choices. I have started to merge the two by creating a Kink Collection, inspired by the advocacy for positivity and acceptance for all. I am very excited to be expanding this collection by collaborating with fellow kink/art/fashion creators and friends I have made around the world.
How do people tend to respond to this element of your work?
Just like with the art, it is a mixed bag and the way someone receives it largely depends on that person’s preferred style. The main idea is to be comfortable with yourself, whether you don’t have much experience experimenting with feeling sexy through fashion or are a little more dedicated to your liberalness and want to show it to the world through your style.
What difficulties have you encountered marketing ‘adult’ content?
Trying to promote my fashion to a wider global audience and trying to show my sex/kink-positive art to that same audience where many will not be accepting of what I create, is difficult and has its limitations. However, when the internet increasingly provides access to almost anything, and as acceptance of different likes and interests grows, it is getting easier.
Sometimes I feel a bit negative and think, I’m not growing, expanding as fast as my friends who do similar work but without my brand’s juxtaposition, but I always, always override that thought, knowing I do it because I love it. I could not imagine doing anything else. I am always creating, always finding new ways to express what I believe people should no longer view as taboo.
You have written advice for latex wearers, how did you learn the dos and don’ts?
When I first got involved with my local kink community, I knew latex was one of the things with which I wanted to experiment. Thankfully, it was pretty easy to get in touch and become friends with people who were dedicated rubberists. My first piece was a pink Libidex mini skirt, followed by a few smaller items (lingerie pieces, skirts) which didn’t need much attention other than proper storage and shining.
Once I had saved enough to own dresses and long sleeved leotards, I really had to find out how to look after the latex more appropriately. Trial and error, speaking with the rubber fetishists here in Melbourne and engaging in play that involved wearing latex at kink events all contributed to my knowledge and growing love for the material. It is so sexy, so sleek, so mysterious, yet simple. I am very excited to say I will soon be stocking latex on my website made by an up-and-coming UK designer.
Who buys/exhibits/wears your work?
Mainly people who are interested in or relate to the aesthetic of my art, making it more of a niche, while the fashion designs I have been producing seem to attract a much wider audience, and it’s awesome. I am honestly surprised by the diversity in not only my customers but also my social media audience. I think because I believe so much in presenting the kink community in a positive light, it really intrigues those who would otherwise think it’s all black, red, dungeons and chains.