Tag Archives: Clayton Cubitt

Artist #12: Molly Crabapple

26 Mar

After a longer period of inactivity than I would like, bloggie is back. And not with a whimper but an incredible bang! The artist I’m featuring today is truly one of my favourites and an inspiration to keep working hard on my illustration to try reach somewhere near her level. It seems fitting to post this today since I’ll be sitting in my second Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session in a matter of hours. Molly Crabapple’s work with both illustration and installation is simply brilliant and brings out admiration, fascination and jealousy in those who look upon it. At least to me, it does. She’s collaborated with some of my favourite musicians too, Amanda Palmer and Vermillion Lies. One of her current projects ‘I Have Your Heart’, sees her working with one half of VL again, Kim Boekbinder. The stopmotion short will be nothing short of amazing and they’ve just reached their fundraising goal, so that means we get to see this wonderful movie!!

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What first interested you in art?
I’ve been drawing since I was 4, and throwing temper tantrums because my drawings didn’t look the way I wanted for about that long.


Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
My mother is an illustrator, so I never had the idea that art wasn’t something you could support yourself on.

Have you studied art or are you self taught?
I’m an art school dropout, but I got my real eduction slumming around Europe when I was 17 and filling massive sketchbooks.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
New York, subversive performance, coffee, bestiaries, animals god made wrong.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
Chloe Cruchaudet, Clayton Cubitt, Zoetica Ebb, Travis Louie, Joe Coleman, Aubrey Beardsley, Bosch, Toulouse Lautrec.

What are your hopes for your career’s future?
I want to draw more big things.


Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
The 90 feet of murals I just did for The Box Soho, the London branch of a notorious NYC nightclub.

How would you describe your style?
My friend Roger Klein describes it as “Toulouse Lautrec meets Dr. Seuss”.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
I’m currently trying to make acrylic my bitch. It might be working the other way around.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
A new graphic novel for First Second books with my eternal conspirator John Leavitt. Its about a carnival of immortal outcasts traversing rust belt America.

What drew you to the themes you base a lot of your work on?
A meanspirited streak and a lifelong fascination with the Moulin Rouge.

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I usually start with injokey doodles. My actual pieces are pretty freeform- I ink and pencil simultaneously, and a bit stream of conciously.


How did you get your career start?
I don’t believe in the idea of a big break, so it was more endless hustling and grabbing every opportunity I could claw for myself.


How did the idea for Dr. Sketchys come about?
Worked as a life model. Found the classes sterile. Thought I could do better.


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