Masks, Monsters, and Mayhem: An Art Blog

Questions, comments, and feedback are all welcome and desired.

Just a bit of an unfinished tendershipping (ish) comic set to Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World.”

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue,

Thought I heard you talkin’ softly.

I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio -

Still, I can’t escape the ghost of you….

Here she comes, blocking the sun - 
Blood runnin’ down the inside of her legs….
Unbeknownst to just about everyone, I recently entered this piece of art into VICE’s contest to win Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert tickets.  The contest winners were announced today, and I was unfortunately not among them.  Naturally, I’m disappointed, but only because I’m rather proud of this piece and its significance to me.
Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I’ve been listening to Nick Cave pretty much since my hearing developed in utero.  This seems like an exaggeration, but I really have been living with his music since then - my father’s a big fan.  My first drawing, at the age of not-quite-two, was a portrait of Nick from the cover of the album Henry’s Dream.
My father left and my parents divorced when I was very young, and Nick left my life for about six years.  Upon a visit from my father, I was given all of his old cassettes.  Among them were a few Bad Seeds albums.  It took some time before I was ready to immerse myself in them again, and when I did I found that I remembered the songs better than I anticipated.  Most of all, I latched on to Let Love In.
The contest for VICE was to recreate a Bad Seeds album cover, and I immediately knew what I had to do.  A couple years ago, I had come up with this drawing of a woman backlit by the sun, her head thrown back as though she was screaming.  It was an illustration to the song “Do You Love Me? Pt. 1,” and it felt very personal and very cathartic to draw.  It was intimate and scary and raw, and it felt like my feelings when I listened to that song.
I decided to revamp that concept for this particular drawing - adding the “Let Love In” writing across the woman’s chest, making the woman curvier, less frantic, and having her making significant hand gestures.  The gesture she’s making with her left hand, on the viewer’s right, is pretty obviously a profanity.  The gesture of her right hand is more esoteric; it is a gesture I remember seeing frequently in my Catholic upbringing, the peace gesture that Christ of the Sacred Heart makes as he stares balefully out of his painting.  The sacred and the profane.
Nick Cave’s music and lyrics are touted for being hyper-masculine, but he still has an immense female following.  He writes about women as concepts and ideals, perhaps, but the woman he describes in “Do You Love Me? Pt. 1” has always felt familiar to me - tempestuous, lost, angry, sad, and contradictory.  I can relate to her in ways that I can’t relate to the singer, but I understand the singer through her as well.
I wondered, vaguely, if a nude woman with a very clearly bleeding vagina would be difficult to relate with Nick’s work.  Upon reflection, I remembered how many times he drew crude self-caricatures of himself with an unabashedly erect penis - a statement of distaste for norms as well as a kind of vulnerability.  So this woman who is me and who is not me is the same, then - she is atypical of my usual drawings in that she is somewhat crude, but she is also rooted very deeply in my beliefs about myself, about womanhood, and about my connection with this album and this song in particular.
This drawing will very clearly not be to everyone’s taste, and I don’t expect that.  It was a risk to submit it to the contest without greater context, probably, but making art is about taking risks.  I don’t regret this piece, and I feel that I want to share it with others.

Here she comes, blocking the sun - 

Blood runnin’ down the inside of her legs….

Unbeknownst to just about everyone, I recently entered this piece of art into VICE’s contest to win Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds concert tickets.  The contest winners were announced today, and I was unfortunately not among them.  Naturally, I’m disappointed, but only because I’m rather proud of this piece and its significance to me.

Anybody who knows me in real life knows that I’ve been listening to Nick Cave pretty much since my hearing developed in utero.  This seems like an exaggeration, but I really have been living with his music since then - my father’s a big fan.  My first drawing, at the age of not-quite-two, was a portrait of Nick from the cover of the album Henry’s Dream.

My father left and my parents divorced when I was very young, and Nick left my life for about six years.  Upon a visit from my father, I was given all of his old cassettes.  Among them were a few Bad Seeds albums.  It took some time before I was ready to immerse myself in them again, and when I did I found that I remembered the songs better than I anticipated.  Most of all, I latched on to Let Love In.

The contest for VICE was to recreate a Bad Seeds album cover, and I immediately knew what I had to do.  A couple years ago, I had come up with this drawing of a woman backlit by the sun, her head thrown back as though she was screaming.  It was an illustration to the song “Do You Love Me? Pt. 1,” and it felt very personal and very cathartic to draw.  It was intimate and scary and raw, and it felt like my feelings when I listened to that song.

I decided to revamp that concept for this particular drawing - adding the “Let Love In” writing across the woman’s chest, making the woman curvier, less frantic, and having her making significant hand gestures.  The gesture she’s making with her left hand, on the viewer’s right, is pretty obviously a profanity.  The gesture of her right hand is more esoteric; it is a gesture I remember seeing frequently in my Catholic upbringing, the peace gesture that Christ of the Sacred Heart makes as he stares balefully out of his painting.  The sacred and the profane.

Nick Cave’s music and lyrics are touted for being hyper-masculine, but he still has an immense female following.  He writes about women as concepts and ideals, perhaps, but the woman he describes in “Do You Love Me? Pt. 1” has always felt familiar to me - tempestuous, lost, angry, sad, and contradictory.  I can relate to her in ways that I can’t relate to the singer, but I understand the singer through her as well.

I wondered, vaguely, if a nude woman with a very clearly bleeding vagina would be difficult to relate with Nick’s work.  Upon reflection, I remembered how many times he drew crude self-caricatures of himself with an unabashedly erect penis - a statement of distaste for norms as well as a kind of vulnerability.  So this woman who is me and who is not me is the same, then - she is atypical of my usual drawings in that she is somewhat crude, but she is also rooted very deeply in my beliefs about myself, about womanhood, and about my connection with this album and this song in particular.

This drawing will very clearly not be to everyone’s taste, and I don’t expect that.  It was a risk to submit it to the contest without greater context, probably, but making art is about taking risks.  I don’t regret this piece, and I feel that I want to share it with others.

RWBY: The Anime-Inspired Webseries I Can't Stop Talking About - Amazing Stories

On Wednesday, I was sick.  I stayed home from work and watched all of RWBY.  It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while, and this post I wrote will tell you why.

Amazon.com: Olive Grrrls: Italian North American Women & The Search For Identity eBook: Lachrista Greco: Kindle Store

lapiccolacoccinella:

Hello, everyone!  I have some really exciting news!

A while back (maybe about a year ago?), I contributed a short piece to an anthology about Italian North American women and identity.  It focuses a lot on feminism, activism, and sexuality, and is generally the kind of thing I like to be involved in.

It was officially published as an ebook for Kindle the other day!  So I am a published author, in a way, and that’s really exciting!  I encourage you all to take a look at the Amazon page and poke around in the “Look Inside” and maybe consider making a small purchase!  If you like Italians, women, social movements, and/or talk about gender and sexuality, this might be a really good read for you!

Dubbing Gone Wrong: Americanization, Racism, and Willful Ignorance - Amazing Stories

I’ve attempted to tackle a subject that is really important to me in the world of anime. Needless to say, it’s something that can be debated and discussed for hours at great length. But I’m definitely interested in hearing other peoples’ ideas about problematic dubbing practices. I’m certainly no expert, especially when it comes to the policies that a company has in place to acquire a license and change a script.

The Retail Vampire

lapiccolacoccinella:

Okay, folks!  I did it!  I’ve started a Tumblr for a personal project called The Retail Vampire.  It’s full of silly drawings of a vampire who works in retail.  Pretty self-explanatory, I suppose….

Anyway, it would be awesome if you could take a gander and follow along if it’s to your liking!  I haven’t figured out an update schedule yet, but I have quite a few little drawings left in me to last for a while yet.

Thanks guys!

Ooky Spooky Animanga Part VI (and Final): The Scariest Characters Make the Best Halloween Costumes - Amazing Stories

Here it is, my final ooky spooky installment! I hope everyone has enjoyed the series.
A self-portrait.  If you can’t read it, I’m saying, “Would somebody please remind me why I thought pursuing art would be a great idea?”  Apologies for my scrawly lazy handwriting. =P
Pen and ink really does lend itself toward skeletons, I have to say.

Ooky Spooky Animanga Part V: The Japanese Fascination with Spirits - Amazing Stories

This week, I talk about how prevalent ghosts and spirits are in animanga - even in those titles that aren’t strictly “horror” or ghost stories.

The Japanese have some seriously cool ghosts, guys. Seriously cool.