Above illustration of Trixxie Mattel © Guille Baskaran
With what must have been a strong sense of determination, Núria Just took the beginnings of an idea being thrown around amongst her friends and developed it into a fantastic event.
The resulting show not only celebrated the creativity and entertainment of drag but raised money in support of a very worthy cause.
Above illustration of Alaska © Nuria Just
From casual conversations about something that would be ‘cool to do’, Núria decided to follow through on her and her friends’ plans to create an illustration event in honour of their mutually loved reality TV show, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’.
Drag, as an art artform itself, is brimming with extravagant representations of fashion, character design, and multiple disciplines from the creative arts, so it’s no surprise that Núria found that a vast number of illustrators were immediately inspired by the project.
Above image © Nuria Just
The resulting images created were impressive enough in themselves, but what made Núria’s efforts particularly special was the decision to use her platform to raise awareness and ever-needed donations for ACATHI, a charity that supports LGBTI asylum seekers.
Núria goes into more depth about how the idea evolved as we take a look at some of the incredible illustrations that were created for the event.
“’Girl, you’ve got an expo!’ is a project that originated from conversations with my illustrator friends at different times and in different bars. Each time, we were talking about RuPaul, and I discovered that all of them were huge fans of the TV Show. My answer was always, ‘We should do an expo about RuPaul!'”
Above illustration of Tammie Brown © Alberto Perera
“One day, I decided to finally make it happen. It was clear from the beginning how the vibe of the expo should be: something funny, something where anyone can use their own style and something eye-catching too.”
“Besides that, the project had to have a socially concerned message. This is why I decided to donate the benefits of the postal pack that carries all of the artwork to an LGTBQ+ association. In this case, we worked with ACATHI, which is an organization that helps LGTB refugees.”
Above illustration of Pandora Boxx © Nico Gonzalez
“Once the shape of the project was clear, I needed to find the artists for the expo. Of course I was participating, with Alaska obviously, and I already had a list in my mind of friends I spoke about the project with. They were totally in!”
“After that, I published a call-up on my Instragram and the response was surprisingly big, even illustrators from countries outside of Spain replied!”
Above image © Nuria Just
“It was very difficult to make a selection of the participating artists and it was even more challenging to assign the drag queen they applied for (almost all of them wanted the game queens, haha).”
“However, in the end I found 25 amazing illustrators and their corresponding drag queens. The artwork I received was very diverse and that uniqueness was definitely the highlight of the whole exhibition.”
Above illustration of Adore Delano © Pomelo Creative Studio
“The presentation of the expo was in a gay bar in Barcelona, called La Federica, and this was also the first time you could buy the postal pack, in order to support Acathi. The party was a huge success, with a massive crowd and classic RuPaul hits. Even the official TV Channel of RuPaul Drag Race wrote a review about the event!”
“Thanks to all of the support, I could organize the expo in 3 more places (including Madrid) and raise quite a lot of money for ACATHI to support their cause.”
Above photos © Nuria Just
Full list of participants in ‘Girl, you’ve got an expo!’: Jose A Roda, Cristina Daura, David M. Buisán, Nico González, Núria Just, David Kohlver, Genie Espinosa, Isabel Ferrara, Guille Baskaran, Nora Sánchez, Alberto Perera, Alexa Barrios, Patri Garcia Cruz, Jenn Woodall, Tato Prado, Jota González, Arnau Ferrer, Martine Pop, Tamara Slavin, Irene Calvo, Teresa Falomir, Le Petit Pato, Andrea Ganuza, Estudio Clank, Debi Hasky.