Conversations Heart: Lacy Ora (NSFW)

Lacy Ora; Illustrator; Philadelphia, PA, USA

Lacy Ora is a freelance illustrator who hails from Philadelphia, PA. Ora’s art is distinct not just because it’s queer, but because it truly brings the heat. A scroll through Ora’s art Instagram quickens the heart and flushes your cheeks — her portfolio is strapped with curvy queer women posing in harnesses, adorned with horns and kissing one another sensually.

Ora specializes in bringing sapphic sins to life. Guided by she-devils, which Ora draws to channel “bad bitch energy,” Ora’s art is a one-way ticket to Hell that you can’t help but enjoy. It only makes sense to pick the brain of someone like Ora on a holiday that’s all about steamy passion and romance. Although, Valentine’s Day might not always be the best for queer folks.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

CC: What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? What is your history with the holiday?

LO: I think Valentine’s Day is a cute and fun way to swoon your significant other & show your appreciation for them but I don’t believe it should be the only day that you do. I like to celebrate it occasionally minus the gender roles that come with the day.

CC: How do you feel like Valentine’s Day intersects with queerness?

LO: I feel like it lacks queer inclusiveness and although it’s becoming less common as society progresses, it reinforces gender role stereotypes.

CC: In your opinion, is Valentine’s Day heteronormative?

LO: Yes, I definitely think that Valentine’s Day is heteronormative as far as consumer culture goes. For instance, you go to the store to buy your significant other a card and it’s no section for same sex couples so your only options are the cards for straight couples. I’ve seen some content made for queers but its very little and it’s usually never mainstream. Hopefully that changes soon.

CC: You often depict queer love and sexuality in your art. What moved you to create these pieces?

LO: I wanted to create a reflection of myself and so many others like me. Something for us made by us.

CC: Why is it important to show queer sex?

LO: Because we exist and are valid. There’s so many sexualities and genders beyond what people consider to be the norm and I think it’s important to depict that.

CC: I notice that you have a lot of she-devils in your work. Why is that?

LO: I draw she-devils in my art to exemplify “bad bitch” energy. I wanted to reclaim the meaning of what a “she devil” is. People usually associate women and devils with something bad. But to me, it signifies more than that. It’s a woman who’s alluring, bad ass, bossy, unapologetically living in her truth — and doesn’t adhere to society’s standards for women.

The woman who’s seen as the “bad guy,” but really isn’t. People are just intimidated by her confidence. I created one she-devil and then it became interesting to me how I could portray all of those things differently through out my drawings. It’s become a symbol of female empowerment.

CC: A bit more of a light-hearted Valentine’s Day question: do you have a go-to Valentine’s Day or date night look? What would you incorporate in it?

LO: I like to change my look up a lot so I don't really have a go to date night look but I’d definitely incorporate some heels and a cute purse into the outfit with whatever I decide to throw on whether it be a skin tight dress or some cute pants and a top.

Lacy Ora can be followed @theartofora on Instagram. 🍒