So Molly Crabapple is a doe-eyed burlesque artiste and bona fide mogul who has a deep love of mermaids and other swirly things. She is also the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, which is where ne’er-do-wells in over 100 cities now around the world gather to draw burlesque girls and wreak general havoc. You know how artists are. She even drew all the lovely trellis illustrations for yours truly’s website! Look at one example! So the page is totally out of date, so what. Anyway, Molly’s art is gorgeous and colorful and fantastical and old-timey and futuristic all at once, and to see more you should go visit her website immediately.
In the mean time, here is our mermaid Q and A.
Are you a fan of mermaids?
I am. When I was a little girl I had a number of picture books of mermaids and sea babies, and the swirling tails and hair played into my love of a good S curve.
What do you think the allure of mermaids is?
Mermaids are beautiful on the surface, lethal in a relationship, slightly revolting when you think about it, and damn fun to draw.
Can you tell me about the mermaid-themed window display you did for Atrium?
One of my favorite images is a mermaid and a reverse mermaid (the mermaid’s slutty but none-too-attractive mirror image) kissing, their bodies forming a heart shape. I made it into a t-shirt design for Dirtee Hollywood. When we had a launch party in NYC for my t-shirt line, we had larger than life sized mermaids and reverse mermaids capering in the windows.
How do you feel about drawing mermaids versus regular humans… and do you have any advice for aspiring mermaid artistes?
I enjoy drawing mermaids because with the tail, there’s epic more swirly.
Mermaid artists should study fish anatomy (including the super weird deep sea beasties) so that their mermaids are based in veracity rather than cliche. Also, it would be fun to draw non-European mermaids. Mermaids, after all, swim in international waters.
I understand that you recently collaborated on a dead mermaid installation for a fabulous Manhattan soiree. Can you tell me about that?
Cynthia von Buhler is a dear friend and formative corruptor of mine, as well as a hostess of legendary parties. We collaborated on an installation where dozens of girls posed as mermaids killed in the BP oil slick. Cynthia, in a gorgeous latex tail, posed in a bathtub as the one mermaid who had been cleaned and released into the wild. The room was also flanked by two of my life-sized mermaid drawings.
Have you ever incorporated mermaids or mermaid themes into a Dr. Sketchy’s event?
We had Allison of Rocklove Jewelry posing as a Celtic sea witch, with three handsome shirtless lads as her drowned sailors.
Do you have any final bits of mermaid knowledge, or advice, to impart?
First person who does an Anglerfish inspired mermaid gets a kiss from Moi.