When I first got to see Becca Carey’s “Lady Bits” comic strips earlier this summer, I couldn’t help but smile: They’re funny, pithy, and oh so true (couldn’t help yelling, “Too real!” at all of them).
Becca was nice enough to take some time to talk to us about how she got her start on graphic design, why she started Lady Bits, and what she thinks we all need to do to normalize women’s bodies.
When did you start getting interested in graphic design and illustration?
Becca Carey: I grew up in an artistic household, so it was a case of always seeing my family drawing, painting, and making an effort to learn more and bring me into that. When it came to going to college, a lot of people basically told me I should look in graphic design so I did! And after that I fell into illustration. After a few years of not doing illustration, I realized how much I missed it, so got back into it and college allowed me the time to explore different methods and styles.
What inspired you to create your comic series Lady Bits, and what do you think it represents?
BC: In all honesty, the inspiration for Lady Bits came from an extremely hormonal weekend that involved crying because I wanted to watch The Notebook and then couldn’t watch The Notebook. A few days later I was laughing about it and telling a friend. We started talking about how this stuff happens all the time and we don’t really discuss it even though it’s so commonplace.
I think it’s really important to encourage discussion around periods and everything being a woman encompasses, and that’s what Lady Bits is about. Sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it’s overwhelming, sometimes it’s hilarious but it’s always completely normal. The more that conversation is in the open and the more people participate, the less terrifying it will be for girls growing up and going through it all.
What do you think needs to be done to normalize women’s bodies (and body functions) in society?
BC: Opening up dialogue about it is the first step, and there’s been such a massive increase in that lately; it’s amazing to see. Exposure to women’s bodies in a non-sexualized manner normalizes everything and (very) slowly removes the expectations and pressures that we’re constantly presented with, even the age-old idea that girls don’t fart. I’d like to give whoever came up with that gem a stern talking to! We’re told that as little girls constantly and it eventually becomes ingrained. Can that just not be a thing anymore?
Any tips for readers looking to get into graphic design and illustration?
BC: Just go for it. If you have an interest then just do it. There are TONS of amazing books out there, and with online tutorials as well, the possibility of learning and growing is there, you just have to take it into your own hands. Once you’re passionate and interested, you’re halfway there. You’re always learning and always growing no matter what creative field you’re in, so just work hard and have fun.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
BC: The idea of the future is TERRIFYING right now but I’ll start small. In one year I’d like to have a job that makes me happy (who knows what that means?) and have gone to Disneyworld. Beyond that, I’d like a lot of dogs. I’d like to travel around America and eat a lot of different pizzas. Once I’m happy then that’s okay, I’m not exactly sure what that entails yet but isn’t that the point of your 20s?
Cover image courtesy of Becca Carey.