Artist Corey Wash: "I draw stuff and go on adventures."
Willoughby thinks about issues ranging from the serious—grief, racism, period cramps (trust us, those are serious)—to the less so, i.e. Willoughby likes to chill in nature and smoke weed. The cartoons are hilarious and sharp as a knife. And through the character's sarcastic yet meaningful thoughts, Corey has found an audience for Willoughby: people who suffer with mental health, people stigmatized by society, and anyone who needs a little reality check. We talked to her to learn more. Read on.
We know you love plants/nature. Are you a very healthy/active person?
I wouldn't say I'm VERY healthy, but I've cut all junk food from my life. Everything I eat comes from the ground or the water. I don't work out much, but I've started to do 15 mins of yoga in the morning even though I skipped today!
How did the character Willoughby come about?
Willoughby came about when I started drawing these plants in my friend's apartment. I was doodling everything surrounding me and then started putting little characters into place! Willoughby sprouted from there.
Did you base their name on the Brooklyn street?
I actually didn't! I walked past the street one day and called my boyfriend because I was so hype. Actually, Willoughby's name comes from one of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone (it's called "A Stop at Willoughby" for those that want to check it out).
Are their thoughts based on what you want to say to the world?
Willoughby is a reflection of my thoughts, and of those around me. People I've known forever and people I've never met.
Your drawings are based on controversial topics such as politics, feminism and mental health. Do you suffer/find life hard as a female? Do you struggle with mental health?
Life is hard as a human, life is harder for women, and it's a lot harder (understatement) for black women. But life is also weird and beautiful. I suffer just as much as I enjoy it, so I try to find peace in the balance. As far as mental health, I think to an extent we all struggle with it individually. Everyone struggles with racism, politics, feminism and gay rights... of course on very different levels, depending on your experience, but these things affect our mental health as a whole, as a society, and that's something I don't see being brought up in discussion. It's not just the people who speak up about it.
What’s the next step for Wiloughby? Where do you see him/her in a couple of years?
Willoughby wants to travel ;)
Do you have any other talents aside from drawing?
Aside from drawing, I like to cook, play my bass, build installations, direct videos, and take photos of friends/landscapes.