January 04, 2005

Studio Visit: Blue McCool, 21st Century Renaissance Girl

The Tears of Things recently caught up with the very busy Blue McCool, 22, emerging sequential artist, tattooist and, of course, fashion designer, at her new GoGirlGallery on Grand Avenue. She shares the space with two other . . . girls: a singer, hairdresser, and fashion designer who doesn't own a sewing machine -- that's one -- and a singer, photographer, and painter who likes a lot of red. (Oh -- and, of course, she's a fashion designer, too.)

We made our way upstairs to her apartment, which she shares with a chameleon named sloan23 and a jackalope skeleton she calls JenJusJen. Several odd-looking garments (aprons?) lay on a worktable.

Tears: Let's start with your drawing -- what does it mean to you, how do you come up with the ideas, how do you go about inking a strip, and -- well, you go ahead.

Blue: Oh, the comix stuff . . . It's not easy being a girl sequential artist, but if I had any pride I'd be proud to say I'm at the top of my field, as far as showing the New Girl style.

Tears: You mean your character, Miss Goldy Young?

Blue: No, it's Miss Gold'N'Young, okay, get it right. Anyway, she's my alto ego.

Tears: Alter ego?

Blue: Whatever. The strip is about the misadventures of Miss Gold'N'Young, gallerist and indy drummer girl. She meets up with all kinds of interesting people that way.

Tears: But some of those interesting people treat her pretty cheaply, don't they?

Blue: Well, that's the misadventure part, the New Girl style.

Tears: The New Girl style is about humiliating women?

Blue: Huh? But she's allowed, you know, tolerated. She has adventures!

Tears: [Pointing to what looks like a sheet of tattoo flash on the wall] Are those your designs?

Blue: All mine. You want one? I'll give you a deal.

Tears: They're all clowns.

Blue: That's right, I just do clowns. I learned tattooing while I was kicking around travelling with the circus. I just learned clowns.

Tears: Why were you in the circus? Are your parents in the circus?

Blue: Are you kidding? My mom's an artist, but all she's ever made is cake art: tall cakes, short cakes, cakes made out of plaster, cakes made out of pipe cleaners, cakes made out of Tinkertoys, cakes --

Tears: We get the picture. So you --

Blue: I was way too goth for her [stroking the jackalope briefly]. I used to have a collection of animal skulls, too. Anyway, a few years ago I hired onto a Tahitian freighter on its way to Bulgaria. That's where I joined the circus.

Tears: And where did you get your art training?

Blue: Right here in town, at Hamberger, when I came back from Transylvania.

Tears: You got a lot done in a short time.

Blue: Oh, I didn't graduate. All my artist friends were already curating, and I wasn't even part of a collective yet, didn't even have my own gallery. I wasn't going to stick around -- for what?

Tears: Education? Learning things?

Blue: Well, I'm curating a show now. The girls downstairs are helping out. The theme is "Moods Of A Girl." You like it?

Tears: Sounds kind of vague.

Blue: Yeah . . . ?

Tears: Yeah.

Blue: Well, we get to include a lot of stuff that way, then.

[Looks at her watch.] Listen, can we do the rest of this by email? Because some people from Java are coming over to style me for a photo shoot. They're doing a special issue on Girl Gallerists of Grand Avenue.

Tears: [rising to leave; heading for the door] Oh, we have enough here, we think.

Blue: [following] But you haven't asked me about my favorite drink [out the door], or my favorite band [as we descend the stairs], or where I like to hang out [out on the street], or when I go there . . .

[But the rest was lost in the bustling noise of the Burgeoning outside.]

Posted by Jerome at January 4, 2005 02:37 AM | TrackBack