Seven Questions With Alice RL

Alice RL is a professional illustrator and art teacher based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A non-binary, transgender, Ojibwe artist, they draw inspiration from their experiences and cultural teachings and melds it with a signature palette of bright, playful hues to create stunning juxtapositions of human brutality and emotion with hope and whimsy. Alice’s range of projects include game and comic book art, digital and traditional illustration, and graphic design.

Alice is a graduate of the University of Manitoba Fine Arts Program as well as Digital Media Design at Red River College. Alice is deeply involved in the local art community and strives to improve themselves and others. Whether working in digital or traditional art, Alice brings a unique personal style and emotional impact into all of their creations.

Why are you excited to speak at TEDxWinnipeg?

I’m excited because even though transgender people have given TED talks, I want to be able to convey my ideas. I don’t really want to talk about my experience as a trans person because that has been done, but, there are huge misconceptions that the average cisgender person still believes and then passes on.

People come to TED talks to be educated and given a different perspective they may have never heard before. I want to do this as well and to touch on everything from media misinformation to the fact that our North American society’s knowledge of gender is based in colonialism.

What’s your MBTI type?

ENTP, apparently fairly rare as types go. I definitely had a different type a couple of years ago as well, so it is interesting to see how it changes. Known as the innovator, inventor, the lawyer, the debater, the explorer… there are a couple more but I feel that gives the picture. Categorized as being knowledgeable, quick thinkers, original, charismatic and energetic.

I do feel these are pretty accurate aside from ‘energetic. The ‘E’ in the Myers Briggs stands for ‘Extrovert’ and I do want to say that I also got very close to the ‘I’ or ‘Introvert’ aspect as well on this test.

I am happy to be listed amongst Megamind and Bugs Bunny as other famous fictional ENTP characters.

Have you ever had a teacher or professor that made a real impact on you?

Having been to a lot of school because I enjoy it immensely I have found teachers that have helped me and really mentored me towards success.

My high school art teacher, which is I guess funny to mention, but he really helped me see that art could be a very viable source of income and pride. Almost every teacher at Red River was incredible, passionate and willing to help and listen. I had a fantastic Intro to Digital Media Design teacher that I was able to have conversations with as well as be a friend who I could come to.

After university I had almost given up my very much childhood dreams of being an artist as a profession. Digital Media Design and the teachers there helped me realize and very literally reach my dreams.

What famous historical person would you most like to meet at a dinner party?

I would love to meet Tove Jansson, creator of Moomintroll and the Moomin series. Although Moomin came into my life later as I did not grow up with them, I discovered them and immediately fell in love.

Tove creates a fantastic world that is charming, funny and especially kind. She was also a lesbian and also being an LGBT creator I would have loved to talk with her about the troubles she faced during her time creating especially considering the political climate she lived in. I would love to discuss the impact her comics have had on myself and numerous others and just impart the importance to her.

What’s your favorite project, hobby, etc.?

I do a lot of art for myself and highly enjoy creating worlds and characters, but perhaps even more than that I love video games.

I will never consider or utilize the label ‘gamer’ but I can tell you that I probably know more about video games than most and I’ve probably played more games than you, a bold statement I know. I love to play video games, create them, talk about them and talk about how they are made and even talk about how our capitalist society is wreaking havoc on game developers because right now, most game companies do not have unions or any notion of protecting their employees.

I do a radio show with a friend, ‘Gameslackers’, every Wednesday 11:30 am, 101.5 UMFM, and have had new shows every week for about 2+ years. I love video games and always want them to not only be better but most inclusive. I’m actually to be treated with getting to play some games after I complete this so I better finish up!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Honestly, financial security, being able to see friends, and most importantly, a lot of cats.

What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?

I really enjoyed Paula Stone Williams, “I’ve lived as a man and woman”. It is a talk that I would 100% recommend cisgender people watch as I found it enjoyable but the information she gives is nothing that I was not already aware of.

I do feel however as I said, it would and could be a great tool for cisgender people to watch, especially since we are already aware of the unfair treatment of (cis) women in the everyday. Cis women and men would highly be able to engage with her because of how inviting she is, as well as being very smart and funny.

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