Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Janet Mac and it’s pronounced like “Jeanette”. My pronouns are “she/her”. I’m an artist and illustrator and these days use 3D software to create colourful, playful, and stylized illustrations, animations, and GIFs. I was born in Toronto, Canada, to Chinese parents who immigrated to Canada from Vietnam for a better life. I love Costco cafeteria fries, goofing around, electronic music, neapolitan ice cream mixed together, cute rodents, deep conversation, edgy style, thrifting, improv comedy, and anything that makes me feel like a kid again.
How did you get started in the arts?
I spent a lot of time doing arts and crafts as a kid. I watched a lot of Art Attack (shoutout to Neil Buchanan) and just wanted to have fun while making pretty, useful, and cool things out of “trash”. My dad later put me in youth art classes at the local community center, so I kind of had it ingrained in me from a very early age to express myself in a visual way.
What is your favorite medium to work in? Why?
My favourite medium is 3D; anything is possible, I can choose to emulate reality or a dream or a hybrid of both. It’s like sculpting and building, except in a digital universe. It doesn’t require too many resources to create an image, is very flexible to my needs, and meshes well with the ideas and stories I want to tell. I do really miss working with my hands (like in my photographic, set design work), but personally feel guilty about how much of it is pretty disposable afterwards. Things are always evolving.
What inspires your work?
Everyday life, the people I see and the events happening around me. Feminism, family, internet culture, anger, struggle, funny situations, situations that could be funny, memes, dreams, people I care about, and every artist I follow on Instagram.
Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve worked on? Can you tell us the story behind it?
The Unsolicited Dick Pic animation. This is piece of work that is the most myself: the humour, delivery, audio choice, visuals, message. It’s part of a personal series I created called SHITUATIONS. It started as a series about the misfortunes of daily life, so that made me think about how angry I get about unsolicited dick pics and how it makes me and women I know feel. I decided to create a response (quite literally) and how I’d love for this scenario to unfold, inspired by other people’s responses, giving power to the receiver and shining light on how absurd these approaches are (hopefully a person that has sent one rethinks their actions).
What do you hope to accomplish with your art?
I hope to serve as a voice for myself, people, and communities I care about. I grew up as a very shy, quiet kid so as I grow, I continue to uncover and discover my worth, truth, and value as a human and recognize that every part of me is valid. Words might not be my gift but I believe art is and this is my way of speaking up and sharing myself with the world, hoping others connect with it and do the same.
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you could tell us about?
I’m focusing on making personal projects based on my dream clients and I’m also continuing to create more micro-shorts for the SHITUATIONS series. Anger is a very powerful thing, especially when you channel it into something positive.
How do you like to spend your time when you aren’t making art?
I love listening to music and finding new music, also finding ways to be greener and more sustainable around the house. I’m very much a homebody these days, but love meeting up with friends and having deep conversations. I’m not one for small talk. I do a lot of self-reflection and like to learn about working on myself such as communication and confidence, purpose, and understanding my emotions and thoughts. I love lazing around with my partner, dancing, pretending that we’re jamming out, making dumb jokes, and making pizza! In the near future, I’d like to spend my time doing and learning more improv comedy.
How can we keep up with your work?
IG gets first dibs when I post new work, you can find me at @_janetmac