Name: CyRhen (she/her)
G/S Identity: Woman/Pansexual
Occupation: Artist, Cosplayer
In keeping with the spirit of who and what NerdyBebop is, the following interview will be getting to know the human behind the art, CyRhen.
NB: What do you do for self-care?
CyRhen: I definitely turn to gaming, art, and recreational marijuana for some self-care! Take a bath, take care of my face, skin, and feet, and nestle in for a long night of gaming or art. I like to spend time with people I love as well, partners, friends, whoever, spending quality time, with no obligations is always cash.
NB: What movie/TV show/book/anime/etc. changed your life and why?
CyRhen: Even though I’m at odds with it’s creator, The Nightmare Before Christmas was life changing for me. It was my first real introduction to the idea that darkness and spookiness could be beautiful. It was from this concept that I really began to develop my style and make decisions that I’ve committed to for some 15 years.
NB: What is your guilty pleasure?
CyRhen: Hmm, In general? Music, hahaha! I will splurge on band merch and memorabilia for my favorite bands, and I am ALWAYS listening to something, even at work. I honestly don’t believe there is a moment of my time when I’m not listening to music. Outside of that, it’s absolutely shopping. I am always ferreting away extra money to shop guilt free, fortunately my partner is a patient person.
NB: Who or what inspires you to do what you do?
CyRhen: I’m inspired by a lot of people, I know so many amazing people, doing so many amazing things! My friends are a group of some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever known. They are designers, models, artist, sex workers, stylists, all beautiful creatives, and every single one of them helps me to be a better person, and content creator, myself.
NB: If you could be known for one thing, what would it be and why?
CyRhen: If I could be known for anything, I’d want it to be my art. Any form of it, or I’d want to be remembered for having a positive impact on people. I want to be remembered fondly and with dignity. I honestly hope that in some small way, I’m able to change the world for the better, even if it’s just for being who I am, always.
NB: What’s one song that you can listen to when you’re having a bad brain day and it makes you feel better, and why?
CyRhen: Right now, that song is Désolé ft. Fatoumata Diawara by Gorillaz It’s just got this really amazing vibe to it that I just can’t be sad to. It reminds me of my mom, home, the ocean. It makes me want to dance, it’s just one of those songs that makes your soul happy.
NB: What advice or tips would you give to your childhood self?
CyRhen: Be exactly who you are. I wasted so much of my childhood trying to fit in, trying to conform to whatever roles were being handed to me, and it made me miserable. I’d tell myself to just be honest and go with it. Anyone who fell by the wayside in the face of your authenticity, was not meant to be there, and I’d tell myself that it’s OK to hurt, and it’s OK to cry, but don’t give them the chance to do it again.
NB: What is something about your community you wish you could change?
CyRhen: In my specific community, I wish that I could change the general attitude about black children deciding on artistic careers.
NB: Who is someone, without a shadow of a doubt, you would SIMP for? Dead or alive.
CyRhen: Vincent Price. Easy. Done and Done.
NB: Is there something you regret doing, or regret not doing, and how does that inspire you today?
CyRhen: I regret taking so long to have faith in my own abilities and personhood. That keeps me creating. Sometimes I get messages from friends and followers, and they tell me beautiful stories about how my truth inspires them to live theirs, and that alone, is enough to keep me doing what I do. Otherwise, I just love expressing myself. I’m addicted to it!
NB: If someone wants to do what you do, what would you tell them?
CyRhen: Just keep being yourself, unapologetically! The only thing I really “DO” is whatever I want, I don’t let outside opinions, societal standards, or anything else stop me from being exactly who I am. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, please express yourself however you want. Too much time is wasted on wondering what people will think, or how they will feel, about things that ultimately have nothing to do with them. Shine Bright!
NB: Favorite quote/motto that you live by.
CyRhen: “I’m poor, I’m black, I may even be ugly, but dear Lord, here I am! Here I am!”
This motto has been important to me, throughout my life, for many reasons, but ultimately I related to Celie’s plight. I grew up “ugly”, I grew up feeling less than in my own community because of fatphobia, and colorism. But I’m here. I’ve struggled a lot, in my life, but I’m still here. Such a simple statement, is such a loud act of rebellion, in a world that likes to tell you that “you” and people like you, shouldn’t exist.