The London-based creative opens up about female sexuality, fashion and feminism.
Neighbourhood Watch: Illustrator Sophie Brampton
For this week’s Neighbourhood Watch, we caught up with illustrator Sophie Brampton. Already working with some of the fashion industry’s biggest retail brands including Missguided, Skinny Dip and Baby-G, the creative image maker is rising against online slut-shamers in the hope of empowering women everywhere. We caught up with the illustrator to ask her the 10 questions we ask everyone.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do and why do you do it?
I’m an illustrator based in London focusing on female sexuality, fashion and feminism. Most of my work aims to empower women and rise against the male gaze and slut shaming. I do it because I’ve experienced negative behaviour towards my sexuality and I know this is the same for most women growing up, particularly in a fragile time when you are exploring and finding who you are. It relates to all kind of issues women face- being shamed for wearing skimpy clothing, displaying breasts, having body hair and right down to ‘asking for it’ when she is raped. It’s just something that riles me up, and I find myself quite often in a rant trying to explain why a woman is also a human being. It’s fucked up, so I want my work to show what I believe in.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but during my college years I had no idea how that could become a career. I’ve always followed a path in art but drew my attention to the fashion world as I’ve gotten older. I love fashion, so I studied fashion communication at The Arts University Bournemouth, which was mainly focused on marketing. It was really helpful for building my brand and for business, but I knew I didn’t want to go into that as a career. I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do until after Uni finished, but I guess that’s the same for a lot of graduates.
How would your friends describe you?
Probably that small, angry girl.
What do you believe in?
Equality of all sexes, genders and races, treating everyone fairly. Also in myself.
If you could change one thing about the fashion industry, what would it be?
More opportunities for graduates and fairer pay for those starting out. Making unpaid internships illegal especially.
Who run the world?
What are you obsessed with right now?
Drag queens, I can’t believe I’ve only just got into Ru Paul’s drag race. Where the fuck have I been?
What are your hopes for the future?
That Trump has a feminist epiphany! For me personally, my own exhibition one day, working for more of my favourite companies and maybe getting out of my student overdraft.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
I guess just that everything happens for a reason – when you work hard. I became redundant after two weeks at the only fashion job I was ever offered after months of applications since graduating, but my two months of unemployment and countless enduring visits to the job centre were honestly the months that have kickstarted my career. I built my ‘brand’ I suppose and created work just for fun as I had sooo much free time (and no social life). But this led to actual clients and some amazing collaborations that I couldn’t be more proud of. You have to keep going.
Here at Neighbourhood, we believe an editorial platform should be a community, what does the word community mean to you?
Community to me means engaging and uplifting- there’s a really positive community of women on Instagram and I find that so inspiring. It’s all about becoming your best self while helping to empower others to do the same.