Where are you off to?
I walk through Prospect Heights to go to my boss’s house. He’s an older comic artist. I ship his drawings and help him out with his online strategy. I draw too. A lot of personal illustration. Mostly I focus on a character called Sonnie Kozlover — which is a more gender-neutral version of my name, Sonya Kozlova — because, though I identify as female, I am exploring narratives of gender queerness in my personal life and in my art. Sonnie Kozlover has a Tinder profile, scrolls Instagram, walks through New York City.
Does Sonnie shave their head too?
Yes. I started drawing Sonnie soon after I shaved my head, two years ago, actually. I was in a restaurant in Brooklyn with my mother, who’s from Moscow and is very traditional, and this woman walked in with a shaved head. I thought she looked great, and my mom remarked aloud that she thought she looked great too. A couple months later, I was at my friend’s birthday party and I told him I’d been considering it. He went into the bathroom and grabbed a pair of clippers. And, feeling like I had the rather uncommon approval of my mother, I went for it.
*This article appears in the October 29, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!