Meet: Hildy-Max

It’s been over a year since the last time we spoke (see here); how have you grown as a woman and an artist?

It has been over a year and I’m ecstatic to say things have changed. The most important was quitting drinking 6 months ago. It started as a joke, something I had not done in my 20s and wow, what a wild never ending ride. Drinking is a time consuming hobby and I neglected the needs of my inner child.

I’m going to out myself as a sex worker. The title encompasses so many different things. This term is touchy and still highly stereotyped throughout society. Hell, there are feminists who are vehemently against all forms of sex work. I like my job. I have increased comfort with my body and sexuality. My personal sex life has improved. I thought I was ‘open’ about relationships before but I questioned my own prejudices. I work for myself. It’s brilliant seeing effort yield results.That leads to the last time we spoke, I was fresh into freelance hairstyling. I’ve embodied my inner ‘Geschäftsfrau’ and have been freelance since. The jump was scary, but not scarier than ceding your soul to corporate factions. I’ve always had a problem with authority and being my own boss eliminates this.

The combination of sobriety and self-employment allows my art to flourish. I’m an intense person, so my “do it or die” philosophy transferred to my art. My inner child adores drawing, colouring and painting,. I’m pushing myself to draw things from odd perspectives and subject matter I enjoy.

Is “Notes About Men I’ve Slept With” based on real experiences? What inspires your art?

“Notes About Men I’ve Slept With” is based on real experiences! Art is my therapy and how I process life experiences. The idea clicked when chatting about past sexual escapades. Reflecting on past sexual romps was the positive thing I sourced in my past relationships. Despite occasional souring, one has to remember to learn from these experiences and focus on when that dude fucked you really good, instead of him ghosting you.

Another motivation behind MISW is in response to the current sexual revolution. I am happy to see gender politics being addressed, unfortunately as a cis-gender black mixed-race female, our community still has to fight to be seen as non-racialised sexual beings. Yes, I am a mixed-race female who enjoys a variety of sex and wants to enjoy my sexuality without gendered and racialised stereotypes. I also want to counter with my art, the concept of the forlorn black woman, constantly in a state of struggle. My art is fucking fun. I don’t have the stereotypical weight of being the rock of the black community. I’m not here to talk about black male issues, which because of patriarchal society become the forefront of every protest. I’m here for myself, representing myself. Most importantly, I’m here for the younger generation of black/mixed women who will come after and kick ass because the burden of black patriarchal society is not theirs to care about.Race and gender aside, music and nature have also been top influences throughout my artistic journey. I never grew out of being a metal kid. Despite my bubbly exterior, I find great comfort in the despair, desolation and coldness presented in metal. Being a Nova Scotian, sea scapes have a special place in my heart and the two tie perfectly together. Unless I’m painting myself I don’t like painting people; I rather paint the landscape. At the root, I really like mixing colours of paint. All of these contribute to the artist I am today. An odd mixture yes, but it’s a heavy cloak I want everyone to try on!“Cyber-goth trash with a punk hangover,” is how you last described your personal style. Has that changed at all?

It definitely has. My style has taken a reactionary turn; the word austere is key. The political, social and environmental factors happening worldly cannot be ignored. In Toronto, fashion is very conservative, everyone looks the same; they are living in a 90s nostalgia that does not exist. A shabby chic pervades the style consciousness, yet everything is pristine, down to the perfectly ripped holes in jean knees. The word wholesome is conjured and it makes me throw up.Dystopian Austerity Goth is my ‘lewk’ right now. Regardless, trash and goth are permanently ingrained in my style conscience. I’ve never found influences in the design houses, high fashion, super trends, etc. I like to look at style bubbles, small towns, historical periods, suburbs, colour swatches, and handpick what tickles my fancy.

Lately I’ve been picking one outfit for the week and wearing it for two. It’s pure utilitarian and it allows my thoughts to be free for other matters. When I do gut all gussied up, you better bet my make-up is inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, accompanied by a well-polished latex t-shirt, and a dirty white skinny leg jean.

What does Goth mean to you?

This is a difficult question to answer, especially to the people who cannot comprehend those who choose the dark way of life. Sorry that was dramatic, but that’s a part of goth-ness too… Goth to me is a lifestyle. It’s not a choice you make, rather one that you accept. When I see sunshine and lollipops, the sun is shining on a beach blessed with a red-tide and all the lollipops have edible crickets inside. Goth is knowing everything comes to an end and being okay with it. Goth is being an extreme fan of the purveyors of darkness that influenced you and the culture. Goth is being energized by your sadness, taking time to feel what it is, in order to truly appreciate happiness. Goth is not being afraid of death, because it’s a long nap you’ve always deserved. I could keep going…Take us on a journey through your perfect day/night.

A journey through my perfect day and night… I attempt to wake up before 9.30, and half of time I succeed. I force myself to do a 20 minute stretch routine in my dire attempt to eventually do the splits again. It’s the replacement for my morning cigarette, something unpleasant, slightly painful to remind me I’m alive. I complete my daily German practice on Duolingo.

My day to day schedule varies, hair appointments, webcamming, and social media organization. Once I’ve completed all my tasks or if it’s a day off, I enjoy putzing around my space and doing some art. I’m improving on meeting my own deadlines and frankly it is fucking weird. Sobriety turned me into a New-Age Metal Hippy and apparently it is working out. I brew my own kombucha now…An evening out involves a metal concert or dancing to jungle, drum & bass, experimental EDM or anything loud and crunchy. If I’m not out dancing, I binge listen to podcasts (everyone listen to Last Podcast on the Left, shameless plug, they make me ridiculously happy) and paint, draw, sculpt, research for further projects, etc. I forgot to mention bubble tea. It’s a life essential.

Hildy-Max

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Photos/Hair/Make-up by Hildy

Assisted by Alex

Latex provided by Kink Engineering

Ark

www.Ark-magazine.com