Oil and glitter, petals and gold foil. Themes of femininity, culture and beauty are what come together in the beautiful works of South Korean artist Soey Milk…
19-year-old Lea Katz is a resident artist based in Melbourne, Australia, soon to be living in Bavaria, Germany. We chatted to Lea about the beautiful women she draws and how tattoos make her feel about her body…
Inspired by Things&Ink Lea created this illustration just for us…
What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I work digitally and traditionally. For my digital paintings, I use a graphic tablet and Photoshop. When I work traditionally, I usually rely on pencils, ink and sometimes watercolour. I also love mixing my drawings with other elements to create a collage-like look. I have some gold paper for example, that I combine with my drawings, sometimes I use photos from magazines for that and on other days, I just take whatever I can find and glue it to my sketches.
When I get to work, my usual process is to start out with a very messy sketch that I refine until I’m happy with it. Once that’s done, I begin to work on details to achieve a semi-realist look on certain parts of the artwork (like the face, when I draw a portrait), when I’m finished with that, I start bringing in flat shapes and lines and in the end, I combine it with different scans (in digital paintings), older drawings and photos.
What kinds of things do you draw? I love drawing portraits, but I also enjoy drawing flowers, nature and birds. Every now and then I also do some typography, but I really need
What is it about women that makes you want to draw them? I guess it’s something that I do since I’m a kid, so it’s almost like a habit now. I love women, I love being a woman (most of the time, at least) and women get so much shit so often, that I just want to celebrate women and femininity in my paintings. I draw them as queens, strong, proud and independent, cover them in gold and all things fabulous.
What inspires you? Huge inspirations for me are art history and music. I’ve always been a little art nerd and a huge fan of art nouveau and surrealism, which are two big influences on my work. Music is a big part of my life, I always listen to music, I love singing (even if I’m a horrible singer. Doesn’t stop me though) and there are always songs that just make me want to catch the vibe of it and put it in a painting.
How would you describe your style? I’d say my style is a mixture of semi-realism, art nouveau, graphic design and sometimes surrealism. It’s basically a huge collage of styles that I love and try to combine into one piece of work.
Do you admire any other artists, do they influence your work? Definitely! Frida Kahlo, Alfons Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray and Hannah Höch are people that never stop inspiring me. I love Frida’s self-portraits, Mucha’s girls and Klimt’s golden paintings. Cindy Sherman’s photography is simply fascinating to see, as well as Man Ray’s and Hannah Höch’s dadaist collages.
Can you tell us about your tattoos? I just got my first tattoo in March this year when I visited Amsterdam so I don’t have too many yet. My first tattoo was a beautiful little heart by Angelique Houtkamp, as a souvenir that reminds me of one of my favourite cities. Next, I got a flower on my wrist and after that Frida Kahlo from her “Wounded Deer” painting, which is a piece of art that has a lot of personal meaning to me. And since this Frida was tattooed in a more traditional style, I decided to get another one. This time, full on classic Frida as we know her. It was also my first tattoo in Australia, done by the amazing Marian Machismo.
How do tattoos make you feel? Have they made you feel differently about your body? Tattoos make me feel great, they make me feel like a badass and I’m happy that they give me the ability to carry things that I love with me wherever I go. They definitely changed a lot about how I view myself and my body. I, like probably every person who had to go through puberty, have a lot of insecurities, I’m unhappy with that part of my body, this could be thinner, this patch of skin has too many freckles, blah blah blah. You probably know what I mean. Covering myself in art that I love changed the way I look at myself. I don’t look at my arm and worry about it being too fat or too whatever anymore, I look at it and see my beautiful tattoos and feel incredible. In fact, I’m happy for every inch of skin that I have because it’s potential tattoo-space.
Do you have any future tattoo plans? Definitely. My next appointment is in September, with Clare Hampshire from Hot Copper Studio here in Melbourne. And I have a lot of Australian artists on my list that I need to get a tattoo from before I move back to Germany in January.
Do you do commissions? Where can people buy your art? I do! I love doing commissions. I sell prints, shirts and a ton of products with my drawings on it via redbubble and I’m always open to sell my original, traditional drawings.
Online women’s lifestyle website Refinery29 created a beautiful and inspiring photographic series titled ‘9 Stunning Photos Of Differently Abled Women Taking Back The Beach‘. The series showcases four stunning women who all have disabilities enjoying their bodies and holidays as well as the stories behind their bodies…
Despite often facing additional logistical challenges, women who are differently abled “take back the beach” in their own way, whether that means making their way through the sand in a wheelchair, overcoming insecurities around removing prosthetic limbs in public, or simply asking for help when they need it.
And since we don’t see enough of these women in ads or on the pages of magazines, we decided to spend a day at the beach and the pool with four differently abled women and find out what their experiences are really like. Of course, these four stories don’t represent every single differently abled woman out there, but they’re definitely a start.
Danielle Perez Age: 31 Location: Los Angeles, CA Job: Comedian
Kristen Parisi Age: 31 Location: New York Job: Public relations executive
Lacey Henderson Age: 26 Location: Phoenix, AZ Job: Professional long jumper for the U.S. Paralympics
Caxmee Age: 26 Location: Brooklyn, NY (originally from Haiti) Job: Fellowship/program manager at the office of the mayor of New York City
Our guest blogger is hobbyist film and TV series reviewer and writer Harry Casey-Woodward:
There’s nothing scarier than a woman, and horror films have given us an endless gallery of terrifying female characters and performances to choose from. So with Del Toro’s women-led Crimson Peak hitting cinemas, let’s have a look back at a few of the freakiest fems and chilling chicks to give us nightmares…
‘We’re gonna get you…’ I couldn’t cherry pick one of these girls because they’re all equally terrifying. Sure they start off as the typical sweet American college females you’d expect to find holidaying in some dank wood cabin in the middle of nowhere. But once they get possessed by those pesky forces of darkness… well where do I start? Linda spins her head 360 degrees while girlishly singing threats and she won’t stop laughing. Then Cheryl, good God, poor tree-raped Cheryl freaked me out just guessing her friend’s playing cards in some rising screeching voice. That’s before she levitates, growls doom-laden prophecies at her friends and stabs them with pencils. The film was brutal enough to make me worry about my friends being turned into grinning, screaming, vomit-spattered psycho bitches from hell.
‘It burns!’ Speaking of possession and vomit-spattered psycho bitches from hell, none will ever beat this doll. I know the infamous scenes have been talked about and parodied to death but I have seen various exorcism films and this is still the most extreme and affecting, mainly because most exorcism films that have come after are feeble imitations. For one thing Regan is genuinely sweet and appealing at the start, which is a first compared to most teenage characters in horror. So it’s quite horrific to see her gradually turn into a blaspheming, foul-mouthed, puking, ball-grabbing, crucifix-banging cockney beast. The best and freakiest thing about this character is that she (or it) is so extreme that no matter how much you’ve heard about the film, you’re never sure what she’s going to do next.
You expect victims of demonic possession to turn evil, but all too often in horror films God-fearing women should be feared too. Take for instance Mrs Carmody, played splendidly by Marcia Gay Harden in 2007 movie The Mist. A fog descends on a New England town, bringing with it a swarm of ugly carnivorous critters and the townspeople are trapped in the store. Mrs Carmody immediately makes her extremist Christian beliefs clear and starts babbling about the apocalypse. At first she just annoys everyone and gets a slap or two. But as the situation worsens, her power grows over the trapped community until most of them are baying for human sacrifice to appease the beasts. So Mrs Carmody wins this spot not just for sticking to her bloodthirsty Biblical beliefs to the end, but for spreading them so easily over the fragile minds of her flock that they obey her every will and turn to violence without a thought.
‘I can see your dirty pillows…’ Another crazy Christian lady who happens to be the mom from hell. I guess Stephen King had a real problem with Christian women since he invented both Maggie White and Mrs Carmody. If it’s possible, Carrie’s mum is even crazier and scarier than Mrs Carmody and certainly not mothering material. For one thing, she likes locking her daughter up in cupboards (Harry Potter anyone?) and can’t handle any talk of periods, breasts (sorry ‘dirty pillows’) or sex let alone her daughter’s telekinetic powers. Carrie could really have done with a social worker. Now don’t get me wrong, Carrie is also a scary character but only at the end when she turns into some blood-drenched, prom-trashing bully killer. Her mother is scary the whole time. Piper Laurie gives such a fantastically unhinged performance that, like poor possessed Regan, you’re never sure what’s going to happen when she’s on screen. I haven’t seen the remake but as great an actress Julianne Moore is, I can’t imagine her matching Laurie’s performance, especially in the scene where she smiles so divinely when pursuing her daughter with a knife.
‘I’m your number one fan. There’s nothing to worry about…’ Actually it’s a writer’s worst nightmare. Successful novelist Paul Sheldon (played cunningly by James Caan) suffers a car crash and wakes up crippled in the home of a smiling woman claiming to be his number one fan. Unfortunately she turns out to be too much of a fan. Kathy Bate’s extraordinary role wins number one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, compared to the other women she appears harmless: a dumpy farm woman with some nursing expertise and a bit of an obsession for her beloved author and his books. But some of her more eccentric qualities (her sudden mood swings and specialised vocabulary of ‘cockadoody’ and ‘oogy’) hint at the madness within. She’s not only crazy but also controlling, calculating and not afraid to use violence to get what she wants, particularly concerning hammers and feet. This brings me onto the second reason why she’s number one creepy woman. She has a very black and white view of the world. Everything she does and believes is right and everybody else is wrong… or dead. In short, not someone you want to be disabled and helpless around. But the other thing about her that beats the other characters is that you can’t help feeling sorry for her or laughing at her overreacting: when she’s safely behind the TV screen that is.
Daughters of Mercy II is the second in a series of portraits painted by New York based artist Janet Brusselbach. The oil paintings depict transgender women demonstrating the changing nature of women’s bodies, their fluidity and the very essence of femaleness, as Janet seeks to introduce more trans bodies into the art world.
Janet paints with live models so that the subject can be comfortable and have control over their image. She is hoping to fundraise enough money so that the portraits can be on show in a New York gallery, as well as creating a calendar of the images.
Janet explains why she created the series and what she hopes to achieve on her Kickstarter site:
Daughters of Mercury is a series of full-length oil paintings celebrating the beauty and diversity of trans women. Each portrait is driven by how its subject wants to be seen and the collaboration of artist and subject. I am a cis woman who wants to support and advocate for amazing women I love and admire, using the medium I know best.
Sybil Lamb, oil on canvas, 36x48in, June 2005