Side Note from Rebbeca – Ginger Minj, DO NOT read this until after December 23rd, 2017!
Have you ever felt super awkward at a meet and greet? Like what can you say that they haven’t heard a million times over? Do you feel left out when you see the art other people create, wishing you had the talent to create something to show your faves how much you appreciate them? That was me in February of 2017. I had had a super awkward moment with Adore in a bathroom at my first drag show, and at my second I felt like a fool, quickly hugging Mariah, Pandora, and Jasmine, taking the picture, hugging them again, and then walking out of the room. I felt so strange. I do not really need a picture.
They’re nice to have, but I actually would like to have a meaningful interaction with the queens to let them know I appreciate them! But what was I to do? How was I gonna change things in order to have a better way to interact with them? The answer came when I saw something made out of Perler beads, and since then most of my m&gs have been so much more fulfilling!
When I tried to make my first piece I didn’t make something small. Oh no! I tried to recreate the Take Me There picture with the candy heart in Adore’s teeth. As I was finishing the piece Danny went live and said the Adore Delano account was closing in on 1 Million followers. So of course, Take Me There, 1 Million Followers, I had to work it in! Well, as it was my first piece I didn’t really know what I was doing and I screwed up, so the original ended up being a broken, curled up disaster! I made a new one though and it ended up looking a lot better, so it wasn’t a total loss.
Now, I may have had a head start in creating beadwork because of my time in the UCLA Rally Committee in when I was a college student, as we did card shows at home football games and we were lucky enough to handle that part of the movie Forrest Gump too! Ah, that was a weekend I’ll never forget! But creating images to be displayed in football stadiums didn’t require ironing the images, so I had to learn about that part!
My first time giving one of my pieces to someone was in April when I handed this to Danny’s cousin John. He’d reposted it to his IG page when I finished it so I wanted him to have it. The smile on his face when I handed it to him was priceless, and then when he showed Adore her reaction helped me relax so much. The next day Danny showed some of my pieces on Adore’s IG story (pinned on my twitter account – @RebUCLAWriter)! I gave it to John, but he said he kept the other one I made of the two of them, and this piece sat next to Danny’s fireplace in Seattle until he moved. I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see it there when he went live!
I don’t create my art for recognition. I get how hard life must be for queens as they travel all the time, get little sleep, spend a lot of money, energy, and time on their craft, and perform for us while being uncomfortable because they love to entertain! I want them to know I appreciate what they do, what they endure, in order to bring us joy. Honestly, I think I would be a big bumbly mess if I didn’t have my gifts – they give me something to discuss when I meet queens and I’ve had some incredible interactions with them because of it.
Ginger had stalked my page before Dragcon, so when I gave her the gift bag she dove in looking for her little Glamour Toad – I had not tagged her on that one, it was supposed to be a surprise! When I showed Adore the silhouette of her from Australia she told me her momma told her to keep everything and she has a room for her drag and the gifts she receives from us…then she got emotional. Milk was stunned, held the glitter beard inspired peace in front of her face trying to look in the mirror through the tiny holes, then turned to be photographed with it in fit perfectly over her face. Jinkx also held one of hers up in front of her face for one of the pictures. Jessica Wild is not only a fan of Wonder Woman, but she asked how old I was because she wanted to know if I knew who She-Ra was! Chi Chi said, “The one time I wore drag makeup!” Phi Phi said she’s going to put her pieces up in her drag room. Alaska was so excited she clapped her hands, her eyes got huge, and she hugged me!
I’m not ashamed to say I’m a fan of my creations. I’ve been getting more and more creative I do get frustrated sometimes when I have limited options in bead colors and when I can’t quite make the lines I’d like because of the square layouts of the grids I use for the vast majority of my pieces. But in any medium used for art, there will be limitations. And there will be imperfections. And failures. And growth. I have met people who are incredibly talented in their chosen forms of art, and others who are just starting out and are hungry to learn. It is the rare human who is gifted at anything without practice, without failing. Drag is about shedding fears and being who you want to be. It is an art form. Unless you’re in school or are doing commissioned works art should be about having fun, finding a creative outlet, and finding a way to express your feelings beyond traditional means.
By the way, in the title I put a disclaimer that Ginger should not read this until after December 23rd. Though it’s a long shot she will, she wants to wait until I see her at Christmas Queens to see the gift I made for her and Ceejay, which is a picture frame of them in their wedding outfits and their wedding picture in the frame.
Phi Phi’s husband Mikhael was impatient though so they have seen the picture frame I made for their family!
2017 has been an incredible year of fun and growth in going to drag shows and finding an artistic outlet. Here’s to 2018 being even more amazing! Some of my favorite pieces are below, and you can find my art on Instagram – Beca9718Cava.