Molly Crabapple is an illustrator, former burlesque dancer and founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. Her impressive client list includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Red Bull, and Marvel Comics. She invited stated into her home studio in Manhattan for a chat and to watch her work on character sketches for her forthcoming graphic novel, Straw House (First Second Books, 2013), which she describes as, “The story of a traveling circus populated by immortal outcasts that come to a small town in rustbelt Pennsylvania and destroy it.” Watch the above stated video and see her create Colin, one of the main characters in the new novel. She explains her creative process, how she developed her unique style of illustration, and what’s next for her. A short Q&A with Molly follows below.
stated: Please describe your work in a sentence or two.
stated: You founded Dr. Sketchy’s, which seems to be purely about the passion—the passion for “dirty life drawing action.” You dropped out of art school. It seems obvious that it may have been too conservative for you. Can you elaborate a bit on the reason art school was not for you?
MOLLY CRABAPPLE: School just wasn’t teaching me enough to justify the time and investment in it. Since an art degree is well nigh worthless, it made no sense to continue.
stated: When was your remarkable creativity and fearlessness born? Did you always draw and were you in a supportive family and school environment for being creative?
MOLLY CRABAPPLE: I’ve been drawing since I was four. My mother is an illustrator, and my father is an academic, and they’ve always been crazy supportive of me.
stated: Do you have any projects underway that you would like to mention?
MOLLY CRABAPPLE: I’m working on a comic for DC called The Puppet Makers that will be released digitally later this year. It’s a murder mystery set in the steampunk court of Versailles. Think Dangerous Liaisons with robots.
MOLLY ASKED WILLIE…
Molly asked Willie Williams, another featured artist on stated, about his work…
MOLLY CRABAPPLE: How does it differ designing sets for U2, with whom you’ve had such a close and longstanding collaboration, and designing installations for yourself?