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Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple

Country: USA
Personal web page:
I learned to draw in a Parisian bookstore. I now credit my artistic success to a combination of harsh criticism from the proprietor and hours copying "A Tart's Progress." Later, I sketched by way through Morocco and Kurdistan- and once into a Turkish jail.

Back in New York, I got my first illustration job doing covers for Screw Magazine. Since then, I've been creating cheeky Victoriana for magazines from Wall Street Journal to Playgirl, while penning burlesque posters and rock fliers in my spare time.

Somewhere around this time, I started dancing burlesque in the Lower East Side dive bars. When I first had art shows, it was on their walls. Now, you might see a Molly Crabapple original in Art At Large, Bamboo Lane Gallery, The Coney Island Museum or The Museum of American Illustration.

Molly Crabapple artworks


Buck Angel

The Dinner Party

Molly Crabapple interview


What's your background?
I'm Jewish/Puerto Rican, which is the sort of combo that only really occurs in Brooklyn.  I grew up in Far Rockaway, a truely awful neighborhood on the outskirts of New York.  After graduating high school early, I slummed through Europe and the Middle East, took a few years of art shool, and became the fine young lady you see before you.
Who or what inspires you?
I love 19th century illustration, artistic camraderie, and coffee.

Just a few words about "burlesque"...
Burlesque is a sort of kitschy, sparkly, retro version of striptease.  Though  we take off our clothes, but it as neither the professionalism, nor the money, nor the err, interesting economic model of real stripping.  I dance burlesque around New York.  For a girl obsessed with glamerous clothing and hot old jazz, burlesque is a pure expression of my fantasy life.
What do you think about Digital Art scene today?
I think it's truely cool and wildly creative.  Digital art isn't my thing- I prefer a pen to a wacom any day- but it sure is awesome when it's done well.  I love Rion Vernon.
Is it Art? ...  or graphics? ... or just a way to express?

I don't like this glorification of sacred "art".  If it's an awesome picture, it's art to me.
A few words about your technique
I do a tight pencil underdrawing, ink it with a fine crowquill, and work it up with dye, watercolours, and watercolour pencil.

A few words about Graphola
Graphola's a pretty neat way to promote your stuff.

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