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PJ Harvey’s Album: The Hope Six Demolition Project

This week, GeekGirl Lacey listens to PJ Harvey’s new album The Hope Six Demolition Project.

This England born singer song writer started her career in 1988, when she joined Automatic Dlamini as a vocalist, guitarist, and saxophone player. Harvey later went on as a solo artist, and since 1995, she has released six studio albums with collaborations from various musicians.

Rolling Stone awarded her 1992’s “Best New Artist” and “Best Singer Songwriter”, and on their 1995 list she was named “Artist of the Year”.  In June 2013, she was awarded an MBE by the Queen Elizabeth II for her services to music.

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Geek Girls Ink’d: Artist Spotlight: Yvonne Wiltse

 

photo 2Our first featured artist is Yvonne Wiltse. Yvonne currently works out of Red Handed Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV, and doesn’t consider herself the stereotypical geek of days long past. She does, however, identify with the geeky world by making sure to pick up her pull box from her local comic book shop, and not missing a single Marvel movie midnight premiere while dressed to the nines in the best Avengers Minecraft shirt. Yvonne is not afraid to let her geek flag fly, and advertise her loves on her own skin and apparel. Her favorite fandoms began with Star Wars and Mario Bros., but have branched out into any comic she can get her hands on as well as video games, movies, TV series (Doctor Who, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly), and of course tattooing.

Yvonne has been an artist for over 6 years now, and finds it incredibly enjoyable and rewarding to tattoo in the geeky genre. The geek subculture has been such a huge influence on Yvonne’s life, and allows her to really bond with her customers when they are getting a tattoo of something she is a fan of as well. Yvonne believes a person’s tattoo artist should be fully invested in their client and the subject matter to give them the best experience possible. As a child, Yvonne’s parents were into Star Trek, and made sure she and her siblings were immersed in the sci-fi world as well. She received her first NES at age 6, and was able to master Super Mario by the end of that year, beating it in only 7 minutes. As Yvonne got older, her brother and sister were tattoo artists, and would joke with her about becoming one too. She was not into tattoos at that time, and was focusing on studying voice, musical theater, and opera in college; spending a lot of time performing in Las Vegas shows for a living. One day her sister allowed her to tattoo a tiny snowflake on her leg, and that was the spark that lit the fire in her passion for tattooing. This was both a magical and frustrating time for Yvonne, as she now had to completely change career paths, and start all over again. However, as many dreams go, they’re hardly easy, but incredibly rewarding.

Yvonne has never had to face any serious ridicule for her likes and interests, and if she ever were to, she would easily brush it off as those people are not worth it in the end. The majority of judgment Yvonne has to face if from the older generation who are not adjusted to, or accepting of a person, especially a woman, covered in tattoos. Within the subculture of geeks or tattoo enthusiasts, she never has to deal with any of that. For Yvonne, those subcultures contain the most generous, accepting, loving, and misrepresented people she has ever met. This is really the biggest reason she fell head over heels for her profession, and finds all anyone ever wants is for you to be genuine with them. When you aren’t honest with yourself or others about who you are, it is a waste of everyone’s time. Yvonne finds she is more powerful and respected when she can show her vulnerabilities.

For anyone, including young girls she would like to remind them that the world is a different place than it was even ten years ago, and if they want to do something, or be a part of something, just do it. The world will never change simply by people thinking it should, it changes when we engage in it. As she puts it, no one would sit on a pile of dirt their whole life and be frustrated that a garden never grows; you have to plant seeds, till the soil, sprinkle some water, etc., to make anything of that pile of dirt. “Change is always met with resistance… make it happen anyways.”

If you are interested in becoming a featured artist please email us here. To book an appointment with Yvonne reach her here. Check out a sampling of her work below.

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Interview: Keith Knight, Award Winning Artist and Author

keith_019Keith Knight is an award winning syndicated American cartoonist and author. His comic strips have been syndicated in Mad Magazine, Salon.com, and the San Francisco Examiner. Always outspoken, his weekly strips The KChronicles, (Th)ink, and The Knightlife showcase his humor and perspective on the social and political issues that face all of us in America. With a career that spans nearly 20 years in comics, Keith has decided to take a look back at his early formidable teenage years with his first graphic novel I Was A Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator. The project was successfully funded on Kickstarter last month, and I got the change to chat with Keith a little about his work and Michael Jackson.

Ari: Your style of comic strip has been compared to Calvin and Hobbes, was Bill Watterson a big influence on you?

Keith: Watterson was a huge influence on me. I changed the way I drew cartoons after taking in his work. My style became simpler and more expressive, which is very important when working with such a tiny amount of space.

Ari: You’ve received many accolades during your career, did you ever see yourself being this successful?

Keith: Yes. Dream big, I always say.

Ari: Like most syndicated comic strips, do you get a lot of your inspiration from daily life?

Keith: I’d say I take more from my daily life than most, considering my strip is autobiographical.

Ari: What is the most important and key part of your creative process?

Keith: Taking that sketchbook out every day and putting pen to paper. Sometimes it’ll come easy and sometimes it’ll come hard, but you should always do it. Being open and receptive to ideas coming in from everywhere.

Ari: You have given commentary on race in America, how do you feel that relates to “geek culture” and particularly women of color?

Keith: Geeks have been goofed on and mistreated for years until the age of the internet. Now the geeks are getting their revenge. I think the same thing is gonna happen for women of color. That’s why all these old white dudes are trying to restrict voting and women’s reproduction rights…They see the writing on the wall, and they’re totally over-reacting.

Ari: Do you believe that America still has a problem with race, and if so, what is the biggest obstacle in overcoming that?

Keith: Oh yeah..Though younger people have a better attitude about it. But as long as people refuse to have frank discussions about race in the U.S., things will never significantly change.

Ari: You’ve been active during the transition of more newspapers going on line, and more established newspapers going out of print, is print media becoming obsolete?

Keith: No–print is just going through a transition. The same transition that radio went through when television came in to being. Print media will be a smaller piece of the pie, but it’ll never go away.

Ari: What was your reaction when Michael Jackson died?mjlook1

Keith: I felt terrible. A piece of my childhood went away. Same with Adam Yauch of the Beasties.

Ari: What is your favorite Michael Jackson album and/or song, and can you still do your Michael Jackson routine or the dance moves?

Keith: “Off the Wall” is my favorite MJ album. Though I’m also partial to the Jackson 5’s “ABC”. “Workin’ Day and Night” is a favorite. There are many, though.

I’ve ruptured my achilles tendon and haven’t been able to walk, must less dance, but I caught my 3-year old lip-syncing to the Jackson 5, so the torch is passed!

Ari: What advice do you have for artists and/or writers, particularly women of color, who want to get into the comics industry?

Keith: Practice. Patience. Persistence. Embrace a D.I.Y. philosophy. Be prepared to dance with the industry when they come seeking your expertise, but don’t completely rely on them to fulfill your every dream!

Visit Keith at his websites below, and you can still pledge to help fund his graphic novel directly on his website.

KChronicles.com
Knightlifecomic.com

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