Introducing a new chapter of our ongoing XaMENing Masculinities project! We’re excited to announce our collaboration with a group of talented artists who will be developing a series of illustrations graphically inspired by interactive print media (comic book strips, storyboards, coloring books, connect the dots, fill in the blanks, etc.) to explore the themes, scenes, and scenarios derived from the data of our live survey on masculinity. Tapping into their inner child and drawing from their own experiential knowledge, these artists are imagining creative and playful ways to explore the themes and perspectives shared through anonymous responses to the questions, “Who taught you about masculinity? What did they teach you?”

Over the next few months, we will be sharing 3 illustrations from each artist weekly — embedded with interactive elements that prompt us to reflect on and challenge our own understandings of gender expression and embodiments of masculinity, more specifically.


Keep up to date with all the illustrations below + click to download the printable illustrations.


Kezna Dalz, Also known professionally as Teenadult, is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tio’tia:Ke (Montreal). Her work mostly consists of painting and digital illustration. We recognize it by the raw brush traits and use of bright colors. The recurring themes addressed in her work are feminism, self love and self care, emotional vulnerability and anti-racism. She sometimes tackles difficult subjects, making them accessible through a pastel and soft universe with naive features. 

  • Queer Dance Night: Have fun colouring this joyful dance scene with bright colours that make you happy. The characters in this illustrations feel free and safe and are enjoying themselves.
  • Comic 1: This comic is about seeing yourself for who you truly are and slowly learning to break free from unreasonable expectations put on yourself by society. It’s a comic about the early healing journey of the character. Choose the words that seem fitting. 
  • Comic 2: This comic is about not letting traditional gender roles stop you from being who you are and breaking the pattern. Here, you can narrate what goes on through the characters minds as they are enjoying themselves while still being judged by oppressing eyes. 


Paradise is a visual artist, poet, and graphic designer exploring science fiction, color theory, the fabric of reality, and the sensual richness of our world. Their work ranges from digital illustration to animated music videos, color pencil drawings, and book media. Their general interests include science, cultural analyses, delicious food, and music. They are Iranian American and from Los Angeles, California.

  • Hotter Brady Bunch: This grid of portraits depicts different bejeweled hairy queer hotties in a multi plane, abstract, twinkling, and shape-filled realm. I am inspired by the optical illusions and layering of Iranian miniature illustration again. I hope to celebrate fashion, jewelry, and poetic expansive queer identity in this illustration. Interactivity: please feel free to fill in the empty box on the grid. Whether with your own drawn or photographed portrait, or with a poem, shape, or collage. 
  • Cool Party Girl: This illustration depicts a cool girl with facial and body hair, fun jewelry, and twinkling gaze in a plant frame realm. I’m inspired by the 2D flatness and multi plane/frame layering and illustration style of Iranian miniatures. I hope to challenge and complicate the association of body and facial hair with masculinity in this piece while also asserting and celebrating the existence of masculinity on bodies and aesthetics society deems incongruous. Interactivity: please feel free to color in this black and white drawing. 
  • Teardrop Garden: This illustration is a “Where’s Waldo” style search for teardrops. I am inspired by the flat, map-like landscapes and buildings in Iranian miniature illustrations. In the Freewaves survey on masculinity, many people wrote that to them, masculinity meant a lack of emotion or crying. In this piece, I want to assert the neutrality and natural human compulsion to cry and feel regardless of gender or identity. Interactivity: try to spot all the crying/tear drop visuals. 


Trankis (Karina/they/she) is a Mexican American artist and DJ from South East Los Angeles. As a youth they participated in intersectional feminist filmmaking practices with iMediate Justice and immersed themselves in photography and stop motion animation. In high school and college they sharpened their skills as an illustrator and received their BFA in illustration from CSU: Long Beach. During their last year of college they joined the all women vinyl collective Chulita Vinyl Club (CVC) where they began their colorful musical career. In CVC they amplified their unique style, meshing latin sounds along with queer dance music classics and various genres. While in CVC they also developed their artistic style creating event flyers and social media assets for the collective. Trankis currently hosts a monthly night called A Quien Le Importa? with another CVC member that explores queer latin dance music, roquero and post punk genres. Additionally, Trankis artwork can be found under @bientrankis via instagram.

  • Coloring Sheet: The coloring page was initially designed with the idea to put out a positive outtake on self expression, gender expression and self- empowerment ~while giving each participant the chance to select a color palette and add on their own personal touch.   
  • Dress Up Sheet: The dress up sheet includes some fill in the blanks to get folks in touch with their own personal expression/style and how they feel about it. The cut and paste aspect of it allows us some control as to what type of outfit the character will wear but also gives some creative freedom and encourages folks to add on/create something themselves.
  • Get To Know Me Sheet: This sheet was designed to write up and think further about our own gender, our perception of ourselves and reflect upon that. It would be ideal to do it in a classroom/group setting to create further discussion.


Isa Moreno is a Los Angeles based queer and trans Mexican-American animator from Watsonville CA, moving through this world with their pen in one hand and their heart in the other. Since childhood, they have dedicated their work toward imagining new realities and sanctuaries for her Queer, Trans, Black Indigenous, Siblings of Color to exist in. They are currently a graduate student at the UCLA Animation Workshop, completing a mixed media 2-dimensional and stop-motion short film. Their career interests include character design, film editing, animating and telling stories that reflect the lessons they learned in childhood.

  • Love Your Homies: I made “Love Your Homies” after thinking too often physical intimacy between men and masculine people is immediately labeled as queer, especially for brown men. While Queerness is amazing and liberating, I want to see more physical action among masculine friends of color.
  • Re-Define Your Masculinity: From the survey responses I read, I noticed that a lot of people have learned to channel masculinity through rigid expectations and practices. To challenge this “toughness,” I want to encourage people to channel masculinity through fluidity. Honor your heavy feelings, have silly fun, be present for ones you love, or simply exist in order to embody your divine masculine.
  • Generations of Love: I never once was able to see generations of men in my family come together and embrace femininity. I drew a picture of what I wish I could have seen. A young princess
    playing pretend with their elders before bedtime. Their grandpa records on his phone to keep this memory alive.


Dakota Noot is a Los Angeles-based artist and curator. He uses drawings, paintings, and installations to create animal-human hybrids that explore rural yet fantastical, queer identities. Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, he continues to show in both North Dakota and Los Angeles, including solo and two-person shows at Highways Performance Space, MuzeuMM, and PØST. Noot has exhibited in group shows at Charlie James Gallery, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Torrance Art Museum, and LAST Projects. His series of cutout drawing-installations have been shown at LA Freewaves, Cerritos College Art Gallery, and Otis College. His work has been featured in Hi-Fructose. Noot graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of North Dakota (2015) and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University (2017).

  • Centaur Coloring Page: Centaurs are often associated with virility and even assault in some myths. For this drawing, I wanted to subvert the centaur as male perpetrator – and have his submissive, kneeling form caught under a feminine gaze.
  • Crying Arnold Schwarzenegger Coloring Page: Arnold defined masculinity and male body standards through bodybuilding and film during the 1980s. I wanted to express the emotional and humorous side to Arnold that expanded male expression. He allowed men to cry.
  • Teddy Bear Paper Doll: Masculinity is a performance – and I wanted to render that exaggeration through a paper doll. Even a “soft” and cute teddy bear can become an icon of male beauty through cut and taped muscles.