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Manuela Perez

Tits & Co. is a not-for-profit platform that recognizes and supports female and female-identifying artists from multi-disciplinary practices. Co-founders Marisa Mu and Manuela Perez give us an insight into who they are as female-identifying artists and why they believe in the power of tits and community.

Before we get into talking about the Tits & Co. platform, how did the two of you meet? 

Manu: I met Marisa through a friend of ours at dinner in Florence, Italy, I remember when we were introduced she gave me the biggest hug I have ever received and that meant so much to me, I knew she was real. 

The next day we went on a 4 day trip to Lago di Garda in Italy and we found out all the things that we had in common. That was the start of our sisterhood. 

How did Tits & Co. begin? Tell us the story behind how you came to starting Tits & Co. 

Manu: The day we created Tits & Co. we were having a video call conversation about female figures in the art world, we spoke about how we never learned about female artists in renaissance history or even in the contemporary scene,  there’s always just a few “very famous” female artist. We were both very shocked about it and we started sharing some Instagram profiles of female artists that we follow. That was the moment we realized that they are out there, but there was not a platform for us to reach in order to get exposed as artists. After that we said … HAHA let’s MAKE ONE!.....there was maybe 3 seconds of silence from both of us before we actually say "hell yeah!". 

We had nothing to lose and we knew what we needed because we are both artists that have both experienced the same moment of creating and finishing an artwork, but not knowing if someone will care because we are not famous. It was beautiful to see that she was stoked as me to be able to do something for the community. 

Marisa, you are based in Sydney, Australia and Manuela, you are currently in Florence, Italy. You are based on the complete opposite sides of this planet and are working full-time within your own practices; how do you make Tits and Co. work with your schedules? 

Manu: Living overseas we always keep in touch by long hours video calls, in that call we literally speak about everything, love, life, work projects… etc. So working on Tits & Co. was just more of that, Marisa is very good at organizing projects I always admire that from her and I’m more a creative designer (that’s what I do for a living as a Graphic designer) so for that, we match just perfect. In the beginning, Marisa takes care of all the content and I design all the graphic material. 

When we actually start getting submissions from artists we start figuring out how to organize and post all content. Now is pretty much the same, we try to promote and invite as many artists as we can and share everything that inspires us.

Who came up with the name? And how did you decide on the logo design and creative direction? 

Manu: This was very funny. We knew the name has to be something related to the female body. We try many different words related to the boobs, we laughed a lot at our creations in all languages, but the word Tits were one of the first we put on the list. After that, we need to find a name that was “available” in social networks. 

Tits and Company was perfect because It speaks about women and the community. I remember we had a conversation about the style we want to have, then we did some mood boards to clarify the colours and shapes. The logo comes from a blend of boobs, infinite, community. I think it worked pretty good. 

What are some of the goals for Tits & Co.? What is the impact you are wanting to make? 

Manu: I think the main goal was very clear from the beginning, we want to be a platform that showcases the artistic work of women around the world. We know museums are very hard to reach, and art shows are very expensive. So we wanted to start as an internet platform where female-identifying artist can reach to share what they are doing, no matter how many followers they have, or many years they have been working as an artist. We want to be here for support and empower the women that don’t know where to start when they decide to become an artist. 

You have received a very broad range of submissions from female-identifying artists from all walks of life and all over the globe. How have you taken to the response of Tits & Co. so far? How do you wish to build onto this? 

Manu: Oh yes! We started by inviting the women we knew or that we follow around Instagram to be part of the project, but it was amazing when we started getting organic responses. I remember I cried in the first week of submissions because the response was so good. When I go by the material we’ve collected in this time is just impressive! I’m still amazed by so many of the artists, their work, their goals, getting in contact with them and reading their submissions is incredibly inspiring! I hope we can share that, we can inspire more people to follow their art career if they are dreaming of one.

It is not easy to say, ok I’m a full-time artist or designer, it is very scary! I know that because I was there, and yet it is a decision that I do not regret. 

What has been the biggest learning experience from starting this online platform? Any realizations from co-founding this business together? 

Manu: I think the biggest learning experience is that through dedication and good partnership you can be the change in a community. We are always getting thank you messages from the woman we are showcasing because they didn’t have or felt that their work was being recognized anywhere else. It is so fulfilling to my heart when that happens because after all, that is the way we know we are changing our world through art.

We have spoken briefly on purposes and goals on a small scale but do you have any big dreams for Tits & Co.? What is the 5 or 10 year plan for this platform? Tell us what is motivating the both of you two continue on this journey. 

Manu: oh dreams?? Hah! Millions. When I speak with Marisa about dreams we GO BIG. I’m not sure who has the biggest dreams in this world between the two of us. Right now we are doing this project for the love of art, we both have different personal projects we work full time and we are not getting any monetary compensation for it Tits & Co. currently, so we are doing every step slow and with a lot of thinking so, we don’t lose control of it. I’m sure our dream is to make the community grow, while we grow. We have lots of plans for our website because we want to create a strong platform with different sections for artists to expose their work and dreaming big… big… who knows… a huge art show with all the tits together in one place? <3 

What is the final message you wish to let your growing community and those deciding on whether they want to take part – what do you want them to know about the movement you are trying to create? 

Manu: We had some people saying that they don’t understand the project, and I think is because no one can imagine that we are doing this project for the love of art. So I think it is important to explain that Tits & Co. is run by two women just like you, with jobs, bills, and dreams, we are not a big company or anything like that we are just two women in opposite sites of the world building a platform for you to see, get inspired and more importantly a place that you can be part of.

Tits & Co. is a not-for-profit platform that recognizes and supports female and female-identifying artists from multi-disciplinary practices. Co-founders Marisa Mu and Manuela Perez give us an insight into who they are as female-identifying artists and why they believe in the power of tits and community.

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