Ezra W Smith
Sassify Zine - PRIDE 2020
For a long time, the main theme of my art was sex and intimacy between people. However lately I find everyday life, mental health and human’s relationships with themselves more interesting than their relationships with each other.''
Meet the Russian illustrator, now based in central Europe, whose work deals with issues of sexuality, women’s health, feminism, queer visibility and gender equality. We have been a fan of Ezra for some time. Her extreme talent has been captivating us here at Sassify and we hope you love her work as well.
Could you tell us about your queer journey so far…
I knew I was not straight for as long as I can remember. My first love and first relationships were with women. But at the same time, I still do not know what label to put on myself. I am a queer woman, that is what I am saying these days, but if I would need to specify what that means, I do not think I could. That is what I am comfortable with at the moment.
My relationships with others and my own sexuality are not linear. At certain moment of my life I thought I can only like and date women, but I am not there anymore. Honestly lately I have been falling back a bit into my old self-hating/inner homophobic ways of thinking. And I feel like I need to take care of that before I let anyone else into my life.
What does queer art mean to you/ who is your art for?
My art is for anyone who can identify with it. For women, for women who love women, for women who are attracted to women. To anyone who is identifying as woman or is attracted to women, perhaps? Everyone who can see themselves in my art, is welcome. For a long time, the main theme of my art was sex and intimacy between people, whoever they might be. However lately I find everyday life, mental health and human’s relationships with themselves more interesting than their relationships with each other.
Have you found yourself immersing in queer art culture in this time of crisis and isolation?
I can’t say that I have. I have been very busy with work during this time, and not necessarily paid work. So I felt an incredible increase of anxiety because of my financial situation but also frustration because I did not really have time to do any of the cool things people were doing during staying at home. In fact, I took a break from social media. Partially to avoid feeding my anxiety connected to the virus, partially to have more time to read and perform other kinds of selfcare.
I have struggled with anxiety my whole life. This quarantining situation certainly does not help. At certain moments I couldn’t leave the house even when I had a reason to. Once you feel unsafe outside it becomes difficult to break through this fear. At least for me.
Any sassy anecdotes
The only thing I can think of at the moment is an incredible recent discovery of mine – my 86-year-old neighbor is gay. We are both quite feminine representing and would have never guessed that about each other, if I did not catch her reading “call me by your name” on the balcony and started to ask questions.
Who inspires you?
Here are some queer people who make me feel better during these difficult times:
Singer Samantha Sidley. Never have I felt more represented then while listening to the voice of this amazing fragile human.
Carolyn Bergier and Melody Kamali and their podcast “Dycking out”. That is my window to the world of queer women in pop culture. I swear I think I followed every guest they had on the podcast on Instagram!
It is definitely worth checking out. This little community was very supportive and really made me feel better. We also created queer coloring page book together recently!
How can people find/ support you?
I have a website www.ezrawsmith.com You can find news about my work there in the “news” section.
I am also pretty active on Instagram, my name there is @ezra_w_smith
I send out newsletter once per couple of weeks, if you want to stay in touch.
You can subscribe to it here: https://mailchi.mp/d4cf5c4dcd53/ezrawsmith
The best way to support me is to buy my digital prints here -