Teeming with humour, 'modern' girls, and bad aunties, Hatecopy has a witty take on all that plagues the young desi woman. Inspired by by classic Lichstenstein pop art, her work explores South Asian female identity in the West with sharp, tongue in cheek hilarity. From burning rotis to meeting boys in secret, her women aren't exactly meek, traditional stereotypes. We sat down with the social media savvy artist to find out more on what makes her tick.
Where were you born and raised? How did your family end up moving to Toronto?
I was born and raised in Pakistan. My family moved to Canada in 2000; my mother always wanted to escape the homeland because she had a feeling it wasn't going to get better for us. She was right.
When did you start making art? Did it always take this form of a humorous exploration of South Asian identity?
I had been drawing since I was a baby. Everything I drew was a reflection of my immediate social surrounding. As a kid, I used to make comics about what had happened in school (bullying, crushes, drama). As an adult, I draw comics (sometimes) about what happens as an Indian woman living in the west.
From shrill aunties to independent young women, a lot of your work plays with desi stereotypes, sometimes flipping them on their head. Do you think these stereotypes are more strongly magnified within diaspora communities?
100%. When I moved here, these were the stereotypes I grew up hearing about over and over. They were meant to embarrass me for being in too in love with my culture. But I mean, listen, I'll still pick chicken curry over chicken fingers any day. Bread is NOT seasoning. I'm sure the people that connect with my work feel the same way.
How many of the lines spouted by your characters are from real life? What's the most outrageous thing an aunty has said to you?
I've been at the library with Preeti for twenty-four years now. And the most outrageous thing an aunty has ever said to me would was, "Oh, a DESI Tinder? You NEED that."
What's one cliche about South Asian women that you wish the Western World would just get the hell over?
Everyone assumes desi women watch a lot of Bollywood or have a lot of knowledge of it. I [clap emoji] fuckin' [clap emoji] WISH I had the time or a person to watch that stuff with. There's no way I know more about Bollywood than Hollywood. I'm surrounded by the latter.
What's the story behind the name 'HateCopy'?
Hatecopy was a username I created to promote myself as a copywriter who wasn't really INTO copywriting. I still am more interested in coming up with the idea. Writing and painting is just something I have to do to bring that idea to life.
Who are your strongest artist influences?
Lichtenstein and JusReign.
How often do you burn the rotis?
I have never burnt a roti, ever. Trusssss mi aunty.
Check out more of Hatecopy at www.hatecopy.com | IG: @hatecopy | Twitter: @Hatecopy