Combining a delicate balance of art and activism, Madelaine Walker, also known by her Instagram handle boogerqueen_, uses her creative tools to uplift those around her and beyond. Inspired by illustrations from the feminist and activist circles she follows on social media, along with her love of storytelling, Madelaine felt empowered to contribute to the conversations happening around her.
She began doodling as a response to the lowbrow style work she came across, however, Madelaine didn't always believe art would be her calling, “I’ve always thought art was something you were born knowing you could do. I never really gave myself full permission to try anything like this, let alone tell anyone about it.”
Her work is there to admire, but it is also a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, to practice self love, and to remember that “sisterhood is powerful".
By leaning into her creative side, Madelaine has blessed the Chicago community with her bold prints, boasting loud colors and cultural statements. Her political and feminist values are an enormous part of her identity and that voice is purposefully present in her work.
Though her statements pack a punch, her art is incredibly warm and inviting thanks to the soft colors she chooses to work with—“pretty colors just make you feel happier”.
It's playful, it’s funny, it’s powerful and necessary—particularly in a time where basic freedoms and rights are at risk for many communities. She allows for the viewer to feel both seen and heard and to be unapologetically themselves all in one nourishing space.
Her work is there to admire, but it is also a gentle reminder to be kind to yourself, to practice self love, and to remember that “sisterhood is powerful." She is your best friend giving you support, the voice inside your head telling you to go for it, and a much needed embrace on a hard day.
In addition to her artwork, she also runs a non-profit with her best friend called Obvi. On the front page you are greeted with big bold words that say, “We empower women to share their stories." This message is noteworthy throughout all aspects of her life, her artwork included.
Through her work, Madelaine reminds us that our stories are important and deserve to be shared no matter what medium we choose. She reminds us that our voices will not go unheard, that our efforts will not go unnoticed, and that our light will not dim.
Favorite part about the Chicago creative community?
It might be a Midwest thing, but I feel like every part of it I’ve interacted with has been very accessible. I think that’s really important.
Favorite TV show?
"Battlestar Galactica." It has absolutely everything.
I’d say my practical favorite is red wine, like Malbec or Shiraz. And I understand this is wild, but if I’m really trying to be bougie I’ll probably go straight for a Long Island.
Favorite Chicago artist?
Jenna Blazevich - I own enough of her stuff to leave the house fully decked out in Vichcraft gear. I love everything she does.
Favorite spot in Chicago? (can be a neighborhood, restaurant, bar, etc.)
Montrose Dog Beach. I sadly don’t have a dog, but I always do a day there for my birthday.
"Spotlight On" is a bi-weekly series highlighting Chicago creatives with a twist. We share a slice of their stories and what they love, hoping to inspire and connect.
Words by Lolo Ramos