The Creep of your DM's come to life


Written by Dan Heyes
14 Wednesday 14th February 2018


Jenni Sparks is an illustrator, designer, map maker, and typography designer. Originally from Somerset, England, she is based in East London where she has her studio. After creating her first illustrated map of London in 2012, she went on to create illustrations of New York, Paris, Berlin and San Francisco. Her detailed, informative and often humorous maps have been featured in international newspapers and publications and exhibited and sold as prints in several art galleries around the world.

She tells us the inspiration behind her latest project Creeps below;

'Being a woman on the internet, and especially on dating apps, means that I get a lot of weird messages from people. It’s a horrible feeling to be getting on with your day only to find a gross message sent via DM or dating apps, and it feels dehumanising. Nobody would walk up to someone in the street, attempting to chat them up and say things like ‘Hey, I’d do anything at all for a BJ?’, yet being behind a computer screen gives some people licence to say whatever rude bullshit that comes into their head. A topic of conversation regularly held in groups of women is about a horrible message they’ve received yet it’s only just being talked about publicly as there is still a sense of shame about it. After speaking to friends and reaching out to people on social media, I asked women to send in the worst creepy messages they’d received. I don’t have a massive following but I got A LOT of messages, because this kind of thing is SO COMMON. Some of them were too horrible to even consider illustrating, but some were so ridiculous they were funny.'

'Considering it’s Valentines Day, I wanted to illustrate the cliche of romantic/sexy men that we are told to believe all men will be like when we’re little girls (i.e. Prince Charming type figures) with the reality, which is regularly being sent horrible messages from strangers with no regard to you as a human beings. Illustrating them was really fun to do. I hoped to expose this behaviour and turn something which is usually sent privately and makes the recipient feel small into something that can be publicly ridiculed. The words have no power when you draw cross eyed idiots saying them and they look really stupid, which they are.'

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