dasharaptor-deactivated20130518 asked: After seeing so many videos, I am completely awed by burlesque and everything to do with it. It seems so fun and I would love to see some someday in the flesh or be a part! What got you guys first interested in burlesque? :)
Speaking only for myself, I always wanted to be a Toulouse Lautrec. I encountered burlesque for the first time many years ago when Weimar New York was still doing its runs at the Spiegeltent in South Street Seaport. It wasn’t only a burlesque show, but a truly eclectic and very political cabaret that encompassed a spectrum of performances. It was my first introduction to the geniuses - Tigger!, Dirty Martini, Meow Meow, Amber Ray, Justin Bond, Daniel Isengart, Tangerine Jones. I came back twice in the first year it ran, and then every year that I could manage it since. Something clicked - I realized the world I imafined in my head actually existed and I just found it.
kloee asked: Even though I live nowhere near New York (or indeed even in the country), I am curious as to whether you or your husband will be performing in the NY Burlesque Festival this year?
No, but Lewd Alfred Douglas (well, and technically I am too, though I’m just assisting in the act) is performing at the New York Boylesque Festival on April 26th!
This got sent to my moika-palace account, but I’ll answer it here instead.
1. Though I’m married to Lawrence and he is my primary partner, I’m bisexual (as is he), and our marriage is happily non-monogamous. I have yet to figure out a non-creepy and non-awkward way to bring this up in conversation with people I’m potentially interested in. I have had instances when I’d be in bed with a girl and mid-make out she’d exclaim, “Wow, so you really did mean it when you were flirting with me!”
2. When I was little, I had a lazy left eye. It was surgically corrected when I was 8-9, but no amount of glasses and therapy could correct my vision, so I only have 20% of it left. My left eye is basically glorified peripheral vision. Also, if you look closely, you can see a gross scar on the white of that eyeball.
3. I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and moved to the US when I was 13.
4. Thus, I’m bilingual in Russian and English. My French and Spanish were at a conversational level at some point as well, but I haven’t had any practice in ages, so I fear they’ve suffered.
5. I’m weirdly attached to the color marigold (and I will correct you if you call that shade yellow or mustard, because no), and get bizarrely possessive of it.
6. I. love. redheads.
7. I think I appear as a very social person, but I’m actually very introverted and have very limited patience with people. I go through very active social periods, and I adore throwing parties, but afterwards I turn into a hermit for months on end.
8. I prefer the effect hard liquor has on me to that of wine (which just makes me sleepy, cranky and gives me a headache), but the one big exception to that rule is giggle juice. Sparkling dry white wines are my favorite.
9. My grandfather on my father’s side was an archivist for Stalin and later an aide to Gorbachev. My mother’s side of the family comes from wealthy merchants who lost everything in the Revolution, and have leaned left ever since (with my grandfather having worked in the UN and ardently supported democracy in Russia). Amusingly enough, this wasn’t actually the reason my parents divorced.
10. On top of rigorous Russian schooling, my mother also sent me to art, piano and ballroom dancing lessons. Piano didn’t stick.
I won’t tag, anyone who wants to do this can feel free.
jackviolet asked: 1895 House of Worth. I want my cookie.
Everyone deserves a cookie - a lot of comments knew their House of Worth! Daddy is so proud.
flippingyourfins asked: Just discovered your blog and I have immediately fallen in love with your art style. I especially love your costume choices and interesting design. They all feel very "period" while still lending themselves to a new style of creativity. I also adore your characterization. Do you have any tips on characterization? Its something I've always struggled with. Already a big fan! (maybe take a quick gander at my art page?)
Thank you very much!
I’m going to assume that by characterization you mean variety of character designs and types of faces and people I draw? To be honest, I don’t think I’m very good at that myself. I definitely have a set amount of types I like to draw or draw out of habit, and my character designs are nowhere near as varied as I’d like them to be. It’s something I’ve been thinking about more lately, and something I try to work on. So, my best advice is observation. Look at different people, collect photos for reference and draw from them, explore very varied styles and different artists. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a comfort zone, a particular aesthetic, or drawing what you personally find beautiful or interesting - but I do think it’s important to be aware of your own tastes and your own comfort zone, to examine where they comes from and what informs them, and to work on broadening them and stepping outside of them. Especially when you are young and learning - I think it’s how you develop a style.
victoriansecret asked: I've been a fan of your art for some time now - I love your style, and I especially enjoy the way you blend the bawdy and genteel (or vice versa?) and the overall aesthetic quite a bit. But I had to give special notice for the human furniture kink you drew - so rare of a kink to encounter, but one for which I have a great ... fondness. So thank you for the unexpected treat!
Oh good, because I just had another idea for a human furniture illustration.
tarhi asked: I judge by your pictures that you use watercolors - do correct me if I'm wrong. But what kind of medium do you use for the white do you highlight with when you finish of the details? -- I just found your tumblr and fell in love with it by the way, you are very talent and I am very envious of you, in a good way though <3 -- Well... hugs and kisses and so on <3
Thank you very much! The white is also watercolor.
come-on-rlly asked: Hello! I was too shy to message you when it was more relevant (i was too shy at the time), but I really enjoyed hearing you and Lawrence Gullo speak at "Let's Have a Geeky". It was quite an excellent panel.
Thank you so much for overcoming your shyness to tell me that, it means a lot! I’m really glad it was enjoyable, I hope that means I didn’t talk out of my ass too much. I feel very honored to have gotten a chance to speak on that panel, and I had a fantastic time. Geeks Out are great!
arranshurvinton asked: I was looking through your illustrations and wondered if you have read any of the Mark Gatiss book's about Lucifer Box? the first book is titled The Vesuvius Club. your style would be exquisite with scenes from that story.
Yes, I love it! I’ve never done any art for it, though.
200-cigarrettes asked: you know, I've been thinking that your art is great pretty much since the first time I saw it, so I was just wondering.. are you familiar with the Tarot? have you ever thought or been asked to make a Tarot deck? would you bee interested? I just thought that it would be a very beautiful deck if you do it ^^, love Koko.
People have suggested it to me many, many times. But 78 cards laden with detail and meaning are really a lifetime project. I have a beautiful deck of Russian tarot, and I think the story behind it is exemplary of the commitment required - the artist died before he finished, and another had to step in and paint the remainder of the deck based on the sketches left behind. I don’t think I’d ever have the time or the patience.
lieschenr asked: Aww! Thank for following! Your work is just flawless!
Thank you! Ваши костюмы ослепительны. Мне особенно Басмановский понравился. Я тоже разрядился в опричника на Рождество в этом году!
stagsleap asked: Will you consider making prints of your "Rudolph Ganz" work? Both my boyfriend and I would love to have it grace our walls!
I will try. The printer I use takes issue with erotica (I know, what?), but I’m hoping to sneak this one by them the next time I order a new batch of prints.
vagabondorvagrant asked: I just love, love, love, love, love, love your art. I've seen a few of your pieces around before but never with a source (grrr) but lucky someone reblogged your lovely Tom Waits' Hans and I am so very very glad to now follow you because wow
And that’s why you should source things, kids! Thank you for following! <3