Lately, I have been becoming quite obsessed with drawing on the tiniest paper I can find. The past few weeks I’ve shown humble progress shots to fully-rendered minuscule pieces of Dirty Teacup art through that pesky-but-necessary form of social media called facebook. These mini sketch cards measure only 2.5″ x 3.5″ & even though the thought of drawing on something so small once seemed rather daunting/cramp inducing, I’ve grown more fond of them every time an idea pops into my head to draw! I thought I’d share some better quality versions of them for all of you who follow my blog…
Each one is signed by me & named on the back, speaking of the back – there it is! These little one-of-a-kind illustrations are for sale currently only through my Etsy shop! Are there any itty bitty sketches you would like to see me draw?
Phoenix Comicon 2015 has vanished as quickly as it crept up on all the creators, vendors & attendees who were a part of it… As always it was a crazy, exhausting, fun-filled experience… & I have to say, I had the most wonderful time! Despite all the dramatics that occurred while loading in. (Ahem, 4 hour wait to gain entry to the load-in dock – I’m looking at you!) The small turmoil passed & the excitement inside grew as I began laying out my fresh-off-the-presses new prints…
I debuted a personal record number of new pieces for the con. SIX, to be exact. Elebouffant – a piece based on the myth that elephants embody hidden strengths. A morning inspiration turned into the birth of a brand new collection (The Ladies Who Brunch collection) – Lady Marmalade. A variant of my Jane Voorhees Fashion Villain (soon I will have variants of all my Villains/Valors/Victims, so keep your eyes open!). My newest Fashion Villains, Jessica Doom & a fun commission turned into something I really adored- Mary Zombbins.
And last, but certainly not least, my lovely Viviana! She is the newest femme fatale of my Domestic Bliss collection. For inquiring minds, that collection dabbles in tales of forced happiness through separation, a dark & quirky take on the “can’t live with him can’t live without him” predicament, if you will. Viviana’s story is unlike all of the other ladies of the collection so far, as it is loosely based on reality. A long time ago, at a previous job of mine, some police came in inquiring about a customer; Who they claimed had apparently murdered & dismembered her husband, putting him into tupperware, before going on a shopping spree with his cards! It’s a story that has really stuck with me for a long time. Needless to say, I always wanted to create a piece semi-depicting it, but in a less macabre & more darkly humored way (well, as least macabre someone stuffing a body in tupperware could be!) So I present Viviana, with her eye-ball loving feline, Cleo!
New artwork aside, I just want to close out letting everyone know how grateful & humbled I am by all of my “regulars” & friends who came to Phoenix Comicon to support me & my art – the thing that keeps me going. I can’t express how much you all mean to me. I hope to see all of you again soon!
My two most recent pieces. The first, “Apt Pupils”, a tale of Lea, a girl who has lost her vision. In longing for what she’s lost, she sees everything as elaborate, exaggerated caricatures of what they truly are.
“Bird Nest Bouffant” is based on the myth that the appearance of a bird nest close to where you reside will bring you good luck and prosperity. By stuffing nests into the tresses of her hair, Bridget hopes for this effect to no avail. These peculiar, undead birds hatching from the eggs nestled inside her voluminous hair bring about nothing but bad luck.
The 4th and newest installment of the “Domestic Bliss” series is now complete! “A Domestic Bliss Hallows’ Eve” depicts all 3 ladies all decked out in their elegant Halloween costumes. Each lady has elements indicative of their style throughout the “Domestic Bliss” series. Claudia, dressed as a seductive bunny, carving a pumpkin with her lustrous ax; Katia as the Bride of Frankenstein, teasing her beloved dog, Andre (wearing a pint sized monster costume!), with the arm of her long gone significant other, Ivan. And of course, Mathilda, dressed as a sorceress, boning up on her body disposal knowledge, as she brews up a deadly, bubbly brew – with the severed head of her husband by her side.
Being an avid fan of everything Halloween, (So much so my Halloween decor completely flooded my living room promptly at the end of September) I felt like a piece such as this was a must. Out of all the pieces I’ve made, the very first collection I created – Domestic Bliss – is the one that is closest to my heart, as is this time of year.
I wanted all of the Domestic Bliss gals to have elements that everyone is familiar with from the originals, keeping the personalities I envision them having intact, I wanted to put myself in their mindset and figure out what they, as characters, would want to wear on Halloween…
Claudia, I’ve always seen as the seductress. A Playboy-esque, masked ensemble seemed like it would be right up her ally. Her penchant for storing body parts in large trunks in her boudoir, gave me the idea to let her carve a Jack-O-Lantern fit for storing those pesky body parts that all the Domestic Bliss girls have lying around.
Katia is the most playful of the bunch, almost child-like, despite her age. The kind of girl that would see a fence & wouldn’t bother with something as mundane as opening the latch & walking out, but rather by daintily swinging it open. Her love of old monster movies was the deciding factor of her costume, the Bride of Frankenstein, especially since this would give her the opportunity to dress up her dog, Andre, as the Frankenstein monster! As a Halloween doggy treat, she dug a piece of Ivan out to dangle in front him.
Mathilda is the most “domestic” of the bunch. She loves cooking, whether it be bacon & eggs or sautéed severed fingers & decapitated head smoothies. How fitting would it be for her to be a sorceress & to have a bubbling cauldron at her disposal? After her attempts of getting rid of her dead fellas head, perhaps a potion in her new favorite book would have some clues for her. Not only is the cauldron a nod to Mathilda’s love of cooking, but also to one of the Dirty Teacup Designs mascots, Arnold. He’s usually found in an abnormally large teacup whenever I am selling my art in person. Those who have seen my display in person know Arnold quite well!
So take a stroll through a ghastly, gated pumpkin patch to get a glimpse of the lovely murderesses of the “Domestic Bliss” series: Claudia, Katia & Mathilda on Halloween night! This is probably my most favorite piece to date, & I truly hope you guys enjoy it. Whether Halloween holds a special place in your heart, or if you’re a fan of the series.
After an itsy bitsy summer hiatus (by hiatus I mean the irrational fear I have of getting sunburned the moment I stand outside – perhaps I’ll add this to my Phobias Collection?), Dirty Teacup Designs rambunctiously returned to First Fridays outside of Revolver Records & Second Friday Night Out in Mesa! I honestly felt right back at home, where I belong.
Leaping aboard my train of art prints for the very first time were Heather S. Thompson, Alice Hill In Silent Wonderland & lastly, my mascot & and first concept I ever created for Dirty Teacup Designs, The Dirty Teacup Girl. She was designed to evoke mischief blended with delicate femininity. Her mind is poisoned with ominous ideas (in this case, a poisoned tea bag!). If you couldn’t make your way to either of these events, you can get your hands on them here.
It was wonderful seeing so many familiar faces & meeting some new ones as well. Next month I’ll be back with a smorgasbord of Halloween themed art tricks & treats that I’m currently working up as your eyes read this…
Til next time, ladies & germs,
Fashion Illustration Inspired Dichotomies by Meghan O'Connell