Pride in London: Smirnoff illustrates how to #chooselove

Taking a stand against online hate, artists have been sending their visual messages of support and love via Smirnoff’s #chooselove project. As part of the Pride in London Festival, the artwork will be exhibited at Kachette, London on 6 and 7 July.

2017 marks 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of sex between men, and whilst great strides have been made with legal equality, prejudiced attitudes sadly still exist.


Matt Lyon - LGBT illustration for Pride in London


A report by Galop, a LGBT+ anti-violence charity, revealed that 1 in 3 members of the LGBT+ community have experienced online abuse focusing on their sexual orientation or gender identity. And the level of online abuse being posted on social media is on the increase.

To celebrate this landmark year, Smirnoff is raising awareness of the need to stand up to online prejudice with its #chooselove campaign, which will run during Pride season in the UK. Smirnoff have been monitoring online social media to identify members of the LGBT+ community who have been subjected to abuse based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity. A taskforce of dynamic and socially engaged illustrators have been busy responding to these messages of hate with artworks filled with love. By taking the offensive tweets out of the anonymous, personal, digital environment and reacting in a positive way, the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign will spread love and bring the issue to public attention.


Chaz Hutton - LGBT illustration for Pride in London


A selection of the artwork created in the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign will be exhibited at Kachette in London, as part of the Pride in London Festival, a series of events that raise awareness of LGBT+ issues to campaign for the freedom for the community to live their lives on an equal footing. The campaign sinks with Pride in London’s theme for the 2017 campaign, ‘Love Happens Here’. It celebrates love in all its forms as a reminder that the battle for true equality for the LGBT+ community is far from over. Rights hard won can be threatened and taken away.

If you are effected by anti-LGBT+ posts on social media report the abuse to and speak to Galop ( for further support.

Catch artwork from the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign as part of Pride in London at Kachette, 347 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LP on 6 and 7 July from 10am until 8pm.


ricardo bessa - LGBT illustration for Pride in London


London llustrators involved in Smirnoff #chooselove

Becca Human – @becca.human  Becca is a London based illustrator and film director based in London. Following graduation from Central Saint Martins, Becca has become known for her narrative storytelling and use of vivid colours. She has recently been seen creating work for young social collectives, such as Resis’Dance and BBZ, a creative music and event production duo that challenges obsolete ideas around identity, gender and race.

Matt Lyon – @c8six  Matt is a digital and mixed-media artist, non-stop doodler and creator of visual treats. Known for his previous work with PRIDE and personal projects connected to the LGBT+ community, Matt’s work has been widely published in books and magazines, has been exhibited in Europe, the USA and the Far East.

Marylou Faure – @maryloufaure  Working as a Freelance Illustrator and Art Director, Marylou’s work is filled with quirky characters, curvy shapes and vibrant colours. She represents everyday life, people and situations in a fun and sometimes provocative manner, to make people smile and think.

Ricardo Bessa – @RFBessa  Known widely for his LGBT+ campaign art, Ricardo creates beautiful, otherworldly illustrations that blur the lines between realism and fantasy. Drawing inspiration from nature, comics and mythology, as well his upbringing in Portugal and queer art, Ricardo transports the viewer into a colourful world of magnificent beasts, ominous woods and keenly observed human forms.

Charles Hutton – @instachaaz  Charles is an unconventional artist who has an uncanny ability to tap into life’s comedic idiosyncrasies through an everyday medium – the Post-It note. Charles’ quirky drawings perfectly capture the struggles of the modern person. Exploring a diverse range of themes, from dating and laziness to rent payments and the perils of a quick-draining mobile phone battery.

Lucas Levitan – @lucaslevitan  Lucas is a Brazilian multimedia artist living in between London and Madrid. He searches for inspiration in everyday life and turns ordinary objects and scenes into intriguing images. He sees the world with a little twist on reality. And by de-contextualising them, he changes the way they are perceived and engage the audience in a unexpected and playful way.


Catch artwork from the Smirnoff #chooselove campaign as part of Pride in London at Kachette, 347 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LP on 6 and 7 July from 10am until 8pm.


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