17 Artists that Fucked Up My Life in 2017 to Introduce You to in the New Year

Ibeyi--do yourself the greatest kindness and go listen to their album Ash right now. A Franco-Cuban solo artist, their two albums are the feeling of a wave washing over you and the undercurrent pulling you harder than is comfortable but you like it.

Kehlani--Musician and dancer. I was lateeee to Kehlani I know. But I heard You Should Be Here in December and mind.blown. Listened to on repeat along with SweetSexySavage for the entire remainder of the year and if I’m being honest, it’s still in my ears.

Lia Kim--Choreographer and dancer. Her dance troupe’s YouTube videos are very popular. She is the reason why.

Ari Fitz--YouTube creator, model, comedian nonbinary baddie, dreamboat. My favorite thing they do is their "Lesbians React" series. Everything else they do is gold too so check out all their ish.

Brie Larson--Actress. I saw the movies Room and Short Term 12 for the first time in 2017. Larson’s acting is incredible and so spot-on. Working in a residential home myself, Short Term 12 especially holds a place in my heart and Larson’s portrayal of being someone traumatized working with people whose trauma reminds you of your own is something I identify hard with.

Heidi Heilig--Author. She wrote two of my favorite reads in 2017! The Girl From Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time. Her sci-fi YA novels crafted worlds with maps I wanted to fall into and built-out diverse characters I fell in love with. She also has a stellar Twitter.

Trung Nguyen--Illustrator. An incredible print media artist, draws Sailor Moon things that I love, has an upcoming tarot deck that I love the most.

Cristina Carrera--Illustrator. She did all the art for Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. She also has a tarot deck that has my heart.

Ruby Tandoh--Baker. A QWOC  who came out in an excellent Twitter clap-back. I learned about her book Eat Up in 2017 and while finding links for this post, I learned that she has multiple books. Go Ruby!

Asali--Tarot reader, herbalist, blogger. Self described “Black queer femme community healer and earth worker.” She gives tarot readings, practices witchery, and sells handmade spell-imbued tea blends. She also maintains a database of QTPOC tarot decks.

Erinn and Celene--YouTubers. Traveling duo recently married couple that creates content very regularly. I love their life and their relationship and how they allow their audience to be with them on their journey.

Anders V.--Multimedia artist. Profoundly gifted, a very good friend of mine, and long-time supporter of this blog, they launched their latest project last year, a podcast entitled How We Met that explores love and relationships through the lens of colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, cisheterosexism, and all the other things that are in play when we meet and grow to care about each other. 

Catherynne Valente--Author. She writes the children’s fantasy novel series The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (if you’re sensing a theme here, I should mention that I nearly exclusively read Children/YA fantasy and sci-fi novels in 2017).

Jasika Nicole--Actress, podcaster, seamstress. I knew her from voicing Dana in Welcome to Night Vale and then being the main narrator in Alice Isn’t Dead, both podcasts that I love, but then this past year she starred in the film Suicide Kale and lesbian websites everywhere went wild for it! I actually still haven’t seen the film but I’ve seen the trailer lots and it’s high on my watchlist for this year. Additionally, Jasika is an artists-of-all-trades, she makes all of her own clothing to resist capitalism and build her own intimate relationship to appearance, is there anything she can’t do?

Cacheila Soto--Print and digital media artist. I saw this artist’s work La calma at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan last July. I haven’t seen any other of their work but I was so moved by this piece, refinding it again for this post was being stunned into awe all over again.

Lexie Bean--Author, performer, and another friend of mine. I contributed to one of their projects in 2017. It is an anthology (their third!) that trans survivors of domestic and sexual violence wrote to parts of their bodies. The collection is entitled Written on the Body.  Writing my own letter was such an intimate, painful, and releasing process I can’t wait to read the rest. Shameless plug: You can preorder the book here.