Tag Archives: Vermillion Lies

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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Artist #7: Sylvia K

14 Feb

What can I say about Sylvia? This lady is one of my favourite current artists. Her illustrations are sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking but always charmingly quirky. She’s got a distinctive style that always lets me know, that’s a Sylvia K piece. Through designing some of Amanda Palmer’s official tour posters and t-shirts, as well as animating music videos, Sylvia’s certainly made a name for herself as a unique artist to keep an eye on. Be sure to treat your eyes to the rest of her work on the links sprinkled throughout.

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What first interested you in art?
My dad is a graphic designer so back in the days, when I was a toddler, we would have all kinds of art supplies around the house, and I guess I just had to get my tiny, chubby fingers on them and draw for hours on the carpet.

Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
My parents and relatives used to tell me I was really gifted, but that is what I suppose most parents tell to their children.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
I am pretty much self taught but I am getting more and more interested in actually studying art.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The most random things inspire me. Things like snow, the smell of rain, red rubber boots walking in the fog. Ethnic food and random faces I cross on the subway. It’s hard to really pin it down, sometimes a drawing just pops up in my head and I try to get it on paper as faithfully as possible…inevitably, something in the process always gets lots, but I prefer to focus on the feeling evoked by it. Most of my drawings are terribly naive and melancholic…

Who are some of your favourite artists?
My favourite painter ever is Edward Hopper. Nobody can depict loneliness as well as he did. As for illustrators, they’re really too many to name, but my favourites are Jen Corace and Italian artist Baronciani.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
I’m still trying to figure out whether I could possibly make a career out of illustration, or if it will just keep on being one of my favourite ways to pass the time. Sometimes, I just wish that more people could get to see my art…

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
I really have no idea. I quite like the Lady Gaga series but also all the drawings of sad kids and the deer trees and experimentation with vintage cloth. It’s quite ironic that often a piece that I am extremely proud of isn’t that well received (well, on my flickr and facebook pages, I mean) while some others I’m not so fond of are quite successful.

 

How would you describe your style?
Childish yet fresh.

 

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
I always draw in ink, on paper… though then I scan the drawing and work on it with photoshop. Everyone keeps telling me I should invest on a tablet but I don’t think I’m quite ready to part with paper, honestly…there’s something so delicate about it.

 

Are you working on anything at the moment?
My project for 2011 is to illustrate a children’s book. I still have to figure out whether I’ll also be writing it, or illustrate someone else’s story… I know that I want it to be a children’s book for intelligent kids but also for grown ups who miss the melancholy of their childhood years.

 

What drew you to the people and characters you base a lot of your work on?

Music used to play a major role in my art…I started drawing my favourite bands and then often I would interact with them and it made me ridiculously happy. I saw it as a way of giving back to them, because their music was so important to me. Now I get more and more inspired by circumstances and by the people who make my life a fairy tale.

 

 

Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
I often get struck by an idea (literally, as if someone threw a tin can at the back of my head) and then I am in a sort of frenzy because I want to make it ”real” as fast as I possibly can. Often this happens when I’m just walking outside, so I scribble everything down, with lengthy written descriptions regarding what I want to draw, and then start sketching on paper as soon as I get home.

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