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Meet the artist exploring anxiety, body image, sexuality through the prettiest illustrations

Say hello to Montana Kitching.

You might have seen her cute breast earrings around, or maybe her honest, relatable drawings in your Instagram feed. Exploring topics of anxiety, body image, sexuality and other issues faced by young women through her illustrations, there’s no doubt that Montana Kitching has some serious talent.

We shot Montana a few questions via email and learnt about focusing on the female body, lessons from her mum and what future projects we can keep our eyes peeled for.

Tell us about Okay Montana.

OkayMontana is just my sign off name/instagram name/blog name. It’s a pretty silly name and I would love to change it to just my full name but I feel like its gone too far now!

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my drawings as really raw and honest projections of an anxious and self-conscious young women. They’re like diary entries, I suppose, mapping out thoughts and feelings in a meaningful way. I use my work as an expression of emotions, laying it out and making sense of things. By posting it online I hope it can resonate with people and help them and make sense of their own thoughts and emotions!

Your illustrations and designs are pretty unique, what made you focus on the female body?

I struggled with an eating disorder as a teenager and although physically I have recovered, mentally it’s a constant battle. I have come to terms with the fact that it may always be something I have to live with. Finding beauty in the female body and appreciating it through art is something that I find incredibly helpful for this! I hope that other girls can appreciate their bodies through my illustrations as well.

Any key messages you’re trying to communicate?

Just that there is no shame in talking about anxiety, embarrassment, body image, sexuality and menstruation. Art is a really great platform for opening conversation, and I think there should definitely be more conversation around the issues I draw.

What’s most important to you?

Oooohhhh that’s actually a kinda tricky question!
My family and friends, my health, my impact on other people’s lives, trust, humour, being able to laugh at myself and honesty!
Plus the things I think are hopefully important to everyone and don’t really need to be said (feminism, equality, world peace, carbon footprint, save the polar bears etc!!)

Who do you look up to?

Frida Khalo, she painted so honestly and cut all the bullshit, and was so real and badass.
And my mum. 

Mama always told me…

Not to save anything for “a special occasion.” Enjoy everything and make everything a special occasion :’) Cute of her.
And also to always wear matching underwear, haha. (I never do.)

Define your personal style.

It changes way too often. My best friend answered for me: “naughty ’90s girl meets 4-year-old boy in a kindergarten.” It’s pretty accurate.

What’s your life motto?

Live, laugh, love. Absolutely joking!!!! 

Probably that Dr. Seuss quote, “be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Any future projects coming up?

I’m working on a book at the moment, or a series of books, explaining topics like anxiety and puberty to young girls, through a lot of illustration and honesty.
I’m also trying to teach myself how to use oil paints and am aiming to create a collection for an exhibition.

Quickfire questions

Favourite song… ‘Last Christmas’, the Wham version. That’s my favourite all year ’round, all the time. But at this very moment my favourite song is Pin by Grimes

Best place in the world… my mum’s bath, it’s what I imagine heaven is like. Chock-a-block full of nice products like Jo Malone, Aesop… all that stuff. Mmmm.

Fondest memory…it’s a bit corny and embarrassing ’cos it’s so lame, but I have a really fond memory of picking flowers in the rain with my grandpa, then delivering them to the florists in the neighbourhood, wearing his beanie and gumboots. 

Can’t live without… my sister, art, Whittaker’s coconut slabs, coffee, my cat (haha sad).

Proudest moment… well, im actually a fully qualified nurse and trained midwife… tbh. So my proudest moment was when I delivered a baby by myself for the first time with my own two hands. :’) first person to touch that little life.

instagram.com/okaymontana

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