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Thursday, August 4, 2011
Sorrell Demon Girls
I freely admit that for years I have been a huge fan of Christopher Cooper and his devil girl art for which he is famous. You may not know the name, but you have seen his work everywhere that you might buy lowbrow items such as stickers, posters, hot-rod merchandise, etc. I started drawing my demon girls because I loved Coop's work and wanted to try my own hand at it. I like the concept, I like the style, and I like the impact the art has on those who have seen it. It is hip, cool, irreverent, and erotic. It mixes pop-culture and lounge-culture... perfectly lowbrow.
I strive to differentiate my work from Coop's, even though he is a huge inspiration. My first demon girls were designed as a part of a tattoo flash-set... before I knew anything about tattoo designs. They were popular as collectors' flash, but sold better as stickers and other merchandise. Despite hearkening back to Coop's own work, the initial difference I worked for was a more realistic model (or models) for my demon girls. Coop's devil girls all share a very similar appearance, generally based on one particular look (actually, common to all his female faces). I generally modeled my work on actual women, many times created demon girls who were recognizable as the models they were based upon. I often also included longer horns and other demonic additions such as bat-wings and pointed tails.
The first few I designed were fair. I have a few I still like, but most of those old demon girl designs are buried deep in my portfolio in my closet, and will never see the light of day again.
I eventually became known for my demon girls in a minimal sort of way. When I would sit down to draw, just to practice, a demon girls was almost always the result. I began getting commission requests for demon girls, either combined in same way with the erotic BDSM work I was doing around the same time or occasionally requests from men and women to have their significant others or themselves converted into a demon girl in my style. Demon Girls became so much a part of my thing that I even started to include them in my logos. Of course, the comparison was almost always made between my work and Coop's... not a bad thing. Those who were familiar with both our works knew the difference, and I really began to distinguish myself and my own designs.
I began experimenting with different styles as expressions of the concept, as well as different forms. The tattoo and comic-book influence remained present (with the designs being improved for use as tattoos due to my tattoo-experience). I became influenced by the anime-style art, creating more "cartoon-like" demon girls, a few which were well received by my fans. I also experimented with doing more "demonic" demon girls... designs which were more focused on the threat of the supernatural creature rather than the eroticism. Cloven-hooves, spiked "armor" (quite revealing and impractical armor, but armor none-the-less), a variety of weapons, and long snake-like tongues began making appearances in my work.
I also took the work in the other direction, focusing more on blatant eroticism. "666999" is an example of this; two demon girls pleasuring one another in the "69" position. I went for a yin-yang theme with this one, one of the demon girls being in dark gear and the other being in white. The "Demon Tongues" piece was inspired by my involvement in the body-modification industry and a drawing I had done years previous featuring a young woman with a very long tongue. The more erotic pieces were better received than their more aggressive counter-parts.
Another style I experimented with was a pseudo-Japanese "anime" style... based on the latest animation craze featuring the stylzed characters from Japanese cartoons. I enjoy anime and its more erotic counter-part, hentai, and I appreciate the rich depth and history behind the anime culture that arose after WWII.
Lately, the demon girls I have drawn have been influenced by American cartoons on the 1940's, 50's, and 60's... big eyes, pouty-lips, and very curvy bodies. I think that this is again another step to further differentiate myself from artists that use the same concept... a field which is expanding daily. I have become a fan of 50's and 60's pop-culture, especially the erotic under-current that was largely oppressed in that time which resulted in an equally bombastic expression (and laid the ground-work for the flower-power sexual revolution of the late 60's and early 70's).
The demon girl image represents many things to me, but first among them is feminine power expressed through their sexuality. Even now, there are movements in our society which discourage women from simply being women in a sexual sense; either repressing their sexuality as "improper" or suggesting that the familiar expressions of sexuality only encourage women to be viewed as sexual objects. There are many women who recognize the influence and advantages of being an object of desire, and who freely, passionately, and happily make use of that lever to make their will manifest. The demonic form both speaks to this power and my own recognition of its dangerous-side. It also suggests an streak of defiance, basically suggesting that if expressions of overt female sexuality are going to be demonized by our society, then why not run with it?
Although I am exploring other concepts, demon girls will probably remain my default expression. Even now, several erotic and demonic beauties hover about my walls and drawing-table, and are actually the focus of a new and quirky project I should have completed by December that will be featured on this blog. In the meantime, let me know what you think of my work so far and if you have a request (and are willing to pay a modest commission-fee) get in-touch.