Deprived Media provides a space where artists, like you and me, can contribute to taboo conversations through artistic means. The medium and approach is limitless because an artist needs the respect of creative liberties to capture their narratives their own way;

  • It allows us to tell the story of a nation through individuals;
  • We speak out without pointing out someone else,
  • and we are aware of the localities and needs of others.

It’s not always easy to talk about personal experiences, but sometimes words aren’t needed.

Imagine growing up thinking that something is intrinsically wrong with you. I won’t be surprised if you imagined a real life experience; I’ve experienced it too.

I grew up living in a body that was alien to my mind; my eyes were like a projection screen and life played out before me as a movie would. I wasn’t connected to my body, and so I had a distorted view of what I looked like. I had no concept of my limbs. I had no concept that I took up space in this world and that I was allowed to simply, exist. Not only did I struggle with my body, but I also struggled to grasp the notion of gender. I still do. I don’t feel gender, but I recognize that I tend to demonstrate characteristics that are feminine in Western society.

My struggles with my body and my gender also impact how I exist with my relationships, be it romantically, sexually, amicably, or professionally.

Since I didn’t feel right in my own space, how could I feel okay existing in someone else’s. Or, on another note, how could I even be aware that I could exist in someone else’s world.

Sounds pretty extreme, right? Well, that’s my story, and I’m sure you have your own.

Once I start talking about my experiences, it becomes obvious that I’m not alone, but it also becomes obvious that conversations surrounding the body, sex, sexuality, gender and relationships are taboo in Western society.

I realize that there is a necessity for these progressive conversations. People are being deprived of validating behaviours and identities that are naturally human.


Meet the artist behind the project:


Shayla Hickerson is a HBFA (Visual Arts) Lakehead University graduate. Through her experience as an emerging artist, she has become aware of the difficulties of creating a name for one’s self. It became understood that aspiring artists have a challenging time building up their CV. This realization became a turning point in her attempt to create change. In addition, it became more obvious to Hickerson that there were many conversations that were not easily discussed. After encountering a few obstacles of her own, and working through finding her own voice, Hickerson decided that she no longer wanted to beat around the bush. This characteristic became extremely influential after studying major concepts in Women’s Studies, as well as feminist topics in art history. After months of talking and meeting up with people, the idea of a collective project, Deprived Media, started to become its own entity. Through Deprived Media, Hickerson seeks to address the topics that are pushed to the side while encouraging artists, and the community alike, to break the silence in a safe, respectable way.

Also, feel free to come along for the never ending journey! Featuring Shayla’s personal experience with hardships and blessings in life!

That Art Kid

Yours truly,

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