If you don't know who FilthyRatBag is then you need to reassess your internet use. Celeste Mountjoy (FRB) is a wonderful young lady and talented illustrator based in Melbourne who writes and draws comics about experiences of alcohol, drugs, depression and misogyny. They're really really funny. Filthy has really blown up over the last 12 months, and Celeste took some time out of her crazy schedule to talk with Phoebe about internet fame, dick pix and her art practice.
Photos by shining light Hannah Roche.
PP: BB GIRL! You just bought the Total Recall jacket how many people have yelled at you on the street so far?
FRB: I was answering this while I was walking to the train station and someone just walked up to me and told me my jacket (your jacket? Our jacket?) was "the tits". I'd have 2 agree, It's the tits. You are the tits.
PP: STOP IT. It couldn't have gone to a better person tbh. So elephant in the room - Your illustrations are so fun, and I know you get this all the fucken time but everyone I know is so surprised by your age.
The primary voice in your comics is really insightful, jaded, and tackles some difficult themes. To some, it's hard to understand how this can come from someone who is 16yo. Do you think people are surprised because of the content (drugz, alcohol etc), or are we just underestimating young people?
FRB: I really don't know, I don't know how to answer this because I can't speak for other people my age. All I know is my own life experience and how they've shaped my art and humour and me as a person. I think there are some things that can only be learnt with age but I also don't think young people are encouraged to go out and do shit that often. Thankfully my parents haven't ever stunted what I've wanted to do and have always supported me. The first time I went overseas by myself I was 14. It was like, if you can make your own money and have a plan, ur good bby girl.
PP: That is so bloody impressive. I remember the first time I saw one of your pics and I shared it on FB (cute) and thought I was really savvy discovering this new kewl artist but really you were already fkn famous and destroying the internet with your drawings. I feel like being a viral artist could be a double edged sword, how have you found it has affected your arts practice?
FRB: Phoebe ur making me blush. I've been really lucky to have my art received as well as it has been and it's something I'm really thankful for. I think initially it was sort of full on. It happened really fast and it was pretty overwhelming going from mum sticking my drawings in her purse to receiving all this love and all these opportunities from all these people. Now I just feel lucky. I've met so many lovely people and been able to do so many things because of it, even if my dms are chocked up with dick pics.
PP: Hhahahahajkadhfslg. I'm glad the work opportunities at least offset the terrible uninvited penises. What are you currently working on? You're so busy right now, are you doing alot of commission work?
FRB: Yeah I've been getting a lot more work lately which is cool, I like to be moving and keeping myself occupied, and i think I've gotten better at organising my shit. I'm planning on putting together a solo exhibition by the end of this year (unless I end up being a lazy bitch) and just working on my usual shit. Things are always changing and popping up tho, who knows where I'll be.
PP: We met in Brisbane at the Hot Chicks with Big Brains launch earlier this year, what were your impressions of our illustrious city? Be honest lol..
FRB: That exhibition was the best thing, it was so nice working with the hot chicks with big brains girls, they were the first people to ever talk about my work on the Internet and are a bunch of multi talented babes much like yourself- the Brisbane art scene is actually a sick one and I'm so glad I got to meet you and your work also. I can't wait 2 work with your talented self more in the future.
PP: LOVE U BB LETS GET A BEER REAL SOON xooxxo
FRB: I LOVE U PHOEBE PARADISE