Most of us fantasize about quitting our day job to work on a passion project. Leave that 9 to 5 to paint in the English country side. Tell your students to 'suck it' and fly to France to eat pastries before 10 a.m. and wine before 11 a.m. And regardless of age, most have fetishized such a move. Millennials get a bad reputation for this, as they stay at jobs for shorter periods of time and idolize a life that generations before scoff at. But it’s just that, the motivation, drive, and entrepreneurship that proves ‘side hustles’ can be monetized.
Emma Low is a perfect example of that. Having felt unfilled at her regular day job, working retail, she carved her own path. And now, she has a great problem on her hands—she may have to hire help.
Christmas 2016, Low gave her boyfriend a clay pot shaped into breasts. “It was just a joke between me and him, it wasn’t meant to be the start of anything." A friend commented on how cool it was and thus a lightbulb went off.
“I thought about it for a couple of months and then I did it in February 2017. [I thought], I’m just going to make an array of pots and if people like them, they can buy them."
Once Low shared her work on her personal Instagram, she was inundated with requests. “Can you do a similar one to this” or “Can you do it like this?” That’s when the realization hit, “this is a thing.”
“Then I made an Instagram account for it, and it was all really natural and it organically grew”.
Emma started empowering women and built a space where, if customers would like, she’d do personalized pots. “I started telling people they could do it if they felt comfortable. Obviously, if you send a photo it’s going to be way more precise than if you just do a description. [And now] it’s been a long steady of stream of them.”
Pot Yer Tits Away Luv has become an empowering vessel through Instagram, a platform that actually censors female nipples. Thus, an empowered sisterhood formed.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for the women who trusted me in the beginning. Then it’s word of mouth and sharing their bodies with the world and this object. I’ve always been represented in the media; I’m white, I’m slim, my breasts are perky. But not a lot of people have that, and I want people to feel inclusive and represented. I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about other people.”
With a wide range of shapes, sizes, and skin color, Low celebrates diversity and encourages honest depiction of female bodies.
“Everyone’s boobs are so different from each other, and it feels like a never-ending stream of diversity. But it’s really cool that people do it. It speaks a lot to the people who do it who are like, 'I don’t know you, here’s a picture of my boobs.' I think it’s nice that people have that trust in me. I think it’s really empowering. I now see boobs all the time, it’s my job.”
Thanks to talent and honesty, Low creates art for a diverse group of women, and shares it with her 46,000 followers. “It’s normalizing what people’s bodies actually look like. What we get fed in the media is a very small percentage of what people actually look like and lots of the time it’s edited, it’s been surgical altered, restricted diets, it’s not a real person a lot of the time, unfortunately It’s getting better, but we have a long way to go.”
Some people might not be comfortable with a pair of boobs greeting you in the doorway, but art is art. “It’s meant to be a useable piece of art and multi-functional. I want people to talk about it, I want it to be a talking point. It’s opening up the conversation and not just to women, and that’s an important thing. I live in this very liberal bubble and it’s actually not the case in the greater world, we’re still like very much in a misogynistic life. We are all subconsciously living this horrible suppressed life.”
And social media platforms aren’t normalizing female bodies either. “It’s such a weird coincidence because what I do is allowed on Instagram, obviously female nipples are not allowed, they have to be censored on Instagram, but sculptures are allowed. My work falls under ‘sculpture’ so I’ve never had anything removed. But I find it strange that I can put a very life like sculpture up, but I can’t put a picture of my own boobs up. It’s very backwards.”
These are my boobs. Yup - down to their very last freckle. I sent @potyertitsawayluv a topless selfie (the first I’ve ever sent, incidentally) and she turned it into a pen pot. She’s made 1000 titty pots in the last year, with demand so high she opens her order list only once every few weeks. I’ve long loved the inclusive work of the artist, Emma, who aims to celebrate and represent all the myriad tits in the land. Like many women, I have a conflicted relationship with my boobs. I’ve written about it before and I’ll undoubtedly write about it again, from the post-feeding terrain I now inhabit. This evening, though, I shall simply admire my pot, from a whole new perspective.
Yet, Instagram has been an integral platform for artists and small business owners like Emma. “In the grand scheme of things, Instagram has given me my career. Without it, I would never be able to market myself the same way without it.”
Although the world of social media emphasizes the ever-present notion of impressing strangers through a somewhat fictitious lifestyle, Emma hopes to create a connection through the platform. “I think people rely on Instagram very, very heavily, myself included. But if they were to delete my Instagram, I would be fucked. More recently, I’ve been thinking about what else I can do to keep in touch with people who follow me. In case anything happens to Instagram, I’d still have something to fall back on.”
Emma isn’t accepting commissions yet, she’s still catching up with her last batch, and although tedious, it’s a good problem to have. And expanding the team isn't in the cards for her either. “It's not really something I want to do right now. I think it would be stupid to give in to the pressure of someone else saying I’m overworked and need the help. I could just say, 'Well actually I’ll lower my workload, I’m not going to work as much.' I could work on my time management and not working as much.”
“But, it’s a good problem to have; I’m super grateful and fortunate.”