Thursday, December 20, 2012

Illustration: Otto and Victoria

"Otto and Victoria" by Brian Kesinger

Brian Kesinger's steampunk-esque (steampunk adjacent?) illustration series has been making the rounds for some time, and it's garnered quite a following. A couple of people have gone as far as to get Otto and Victoria tattoos.
"looking back to about a year ago i had doodled a very rough sketch in my sketch book of a girl walking an octopus. and when i say rough i mean rough. the sketch itself was nothing more than a study of contrasting silhouettes. i was drawn to the play between a very rigid character and a squiggly one."

"i had forgotten about that sketch until i heard about a steampunk t-shirt design for i thought that this design might have a chance so i went ahead and finished it off. well it got alot of attention and i am happy to say that it won the competition. the shirt started to sell well and people i talked to were very interested in Otto. i guess it goes to show the power of naming something. i had titled the piece, "walkies for otto" i wanted to suggest that this was just a daily routine of a high class lady and her pet. i might have been making some commentary about boutique pets or pets as accessories too but above all i was embracing the up surd."
"what follows was several months of exploring different scenarios  inspired both from my experience of raising two young children with my wife as well as a one year old mutt we adopted from the pound.  I've talked before about the importance of finding a universal idea that many can relate too and throwing a twist on it and that is what i tried to do here"
"those of you with young pets and even young children know how frustrating it can be to housebreak young ones.  also how important it is to socialize ones pet with others to encourage good behavior. when you render it with an octopus it just adds a lot of character."
"not only was i having fun with drawing Otto, i found that i was having a lot of fun drawing Victoria and her fashions. she is definitely an iconoclast in her society. a bohemian among the upper-class and her style is a blend of classic Victorian design as well as some more recent gothic lolita influences. in fact i started building a whole tumblr site devoted to these styles to keep as reference as i sketch."
"as i worked on these they started to get more and more attention online and that just inspired me to do more. i was so grateful for the comments. next thing you know i started getting people cosplaying as victoria! the amazing itsrainingneon sent me these amazing images that were shot by aryn jurgensen !"

"it's been a crazy journey so far and these two have offered me a lot of creative expression as well as the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people! i am excited to say that i have been working with mrbabytattoo to publish a book of all of my otto and victoria art that is due out next may. thank you again for all the support and stay tuned for more adventures.  cheers!"

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