Dusted is an editorial publication on drag queens. In the book, four drag queens are interviewed by me about why they do drag, how they started, and what their lives are like outside of the drag world. My inspiration came from Rupaul's Drag Race, a reality show on Logo TV about 13 queens that compete to become the Next Drag Superstar. It is hilarious, educational, and heart-wrenching at times. I love watching these people on TV transform into beautiful queens and wanted to know more.
In Philadelphia, four queens volunteered to be a part of my project: Liz, Mary D'Knight, Pretty Girl, and Zsa Zsa St. James. Each queen possesses different styles and techniques on how they do drag. For the design of the book, I kept it minimal and clean — showing off the photography and letting the typography complement it.
Each chapter starts out with an interview; my text (when I speak) is always left-aligned in a serif typeface and the queens' text (when they respond) is always right-aligned in a sans serif. I use the same typeface throughout my speaking parts and each queen has a different typeface that matches their personality for their speaking parts. The columns of text are kept thin so the audience can see the interview is a back-and-forth conversation.
In each chapter, I photographed sequences of the queens transforming into their drag personas. Step by step, you can see their make-up techniques, the expressions in their faces change, and how it all comes down to the final look. and performance
This book shows how drag queens aren't just campy or clownish or whatever you were taught to believe. Drag queens are real people and these interviews and photos show the vulnerability and intimacy that most people never see.