Welcome to GRL TRBL. How did I get here?
Since before I was literate, I remember taking a box of crayons and scribbling lines that resembled my mother's cursive handwriting. If you'd asked me in kindergarten, seventh grade, in high school or as an undergrad at NYU, I'd tell you the same thing: I am a writer.
Writing has always been my passion, today it's my career. What keeps the lights on at GRL TRBL aka my apartment in New York City, is my day job as a writer. So how'd I end up making pins?
To be frank, I am dissatisfied with words. I was always aware of the limitless power of words. They shape the fabric and framework in which we perceive the world, they can be weaponized to hurt others, and boy, can they get ourselves in trouble.
Then came 2015 - 2016. Words became toxic. Words have always constructed our reality and it is no surprise that they were used to undermine our democracy: fake news, memes, slurs, deception, manipulation, social engineering, misinformation. Present someone with an article that disproves the hot nonsense they believe today and they don't even consider those words, they say "fake news," they cry, "conspiracy," they regress to ad hominem attacks.
Words no longer worked for me. I could not use them any longer to express my anger, sadness, and grief during this political climate. Words are too easily manipulated, and for all the power they have, I think we have rendered them ineffective right now.
So I started to illustrate. If you'd have asked me at any point in my life what I wanted to be, the answer would never have been: visual artist. It is always something I'd done as a hobby, for fun, for jokes, really.
Suddenly, illustrations were the only way to make myself clear.
This is what I believe, this is how I feel, this is what I see, this is what I know.
There is little room for miscommunication in my art. When I created that image of three women's fists, with nails sharp enough to claw out the eyes of any predator, something inside of me changed. I felt a knew autonomy that I wanted to share. There was a new sense of fight in me that had been snuffed in the storm of this election.
GRL TRBL is my utopia. It's a place where all women and their allies can gather round to fight. Life is a fight. We don't want it to be, but it is. GRL TRBL isn't just a brand or a side hustle or a small business, it is my fight, my army, stockpile, my arsenal, it's one of the tools in my belt that I have created to fight for my life and yours. So fight with me.
Be the TRBL your oppressors fear the most.