Hi there it’s me, Viv Le, aka the first Art Director of Autostraddle and your resident grinch. I’ve been here for over a month now so this post is long overdue, but I’ve been putting in the work! You might’ve already seen my touch on the Time Zones Week series, A+ Birthday Membership Drive, current Pride graphics, recent merch sales, and Instagram activity since May. I thought I could get away with not having to introduce myself, but here I am practicing vulnerability, confessing to you all that I am, sadly, not a sophisticated AI.
- I split my time between LA, SF, New Mexico, and Berlin. WFH, baby.
- I was born in Saigon, Vietnam and when I was 6 my family immigrated to the southern California suburbs. My last name is “Lê” pronounced like “lay.”
- I have 4 sisters and I’m the only gay one. Phew!
- I would say I identify as the eponymous protagonist of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a gender-shifting European aristocrat living out of time. Otherwise, I am an androgynous lesbian nonbinaire. I use she/they pronouns.
- I’m 24 years old. It’s a risky age since I get roasted by folks older than me for being an ineffectual Gen Z TikToker and by folks younger than me for being an ineffectual Millennial centrist… and they might be right. No one on staff has gone after me for either (yet).
- In April I got top surgery to better align my body with my self-image. Then I shaved my head, dyed it green and started microdosing T. To better align my self-image with being a grinch.
In 2016 I wanted to be
Lara Croft an archaeologist and attended a field school excavation in Mauritius, an African island country off the coast of Madagascar. Our project was to excavate graves at the Bois Marchand cemetery, at one time the largest cemetery in the Indian Ocean where huge numbers of people were buried following cyclical malaria epidemics that plagued the island in the mid-19th century.
Us students were each assigned a grave and told to dig. At six feet under, we should expect to find a skeleton, collect its bones, and catalog it for research. But at three feet I hit a skull…and another…and another…and another. I unearthed the first mass grave the project had seen in 11 years.
Before this job, I was the Creative Director of a topless magazine called SHAGMAG based in LA. It was run by my former boss Julia Rose, and our whole thing was Playboy if it was run by the bunnies. It’s absurd that a dyke was creating masturbatory boobie content for heterosexual white men, but I learned a ton, had plenty of fun, and made enough moolah to cut off my tits after it all!
My life’s purpose is to create art. There is so much I don’t know and the creative process keeps me curious, studious, and in touch with another more thoughtful, more wonderful mode of being in the world. You can check out my art on my Instagram @studio_viv and my website studioviv.art.
Viv x Autostraddle
This website not only has the best name ever, but it’s one of the most important living documents of our culture, and my mission is to make it as good lookin’ as possible and accessible for those who need it most. I love working with the team to bring unique stories to life with visual storytelling and am also excited to launch some features of my own. It’s rough out there in the world and I am here to use my position to uplift the voices of others and generate some guap to keep our indie media publication alive and thriving.