April 11, 2014

Spotlight: Essine Kilpatrick-Boe

The color pink is the hue of her soul.

When I was middle school, I spent most of my time spilling my guts on Xanga and listening to emo boy bands. I had no idea what "feminism" was; it simply wasn't on my radar at that age. This is not the case for Essine Kilpatrick-Boe, a 15-year-old artist with an impressive online following and an adorable Etsy store (I want to buy everything in it, seriously). If you haven't already stumbled upon her artwork on your dashboard, she draws everything from spooky ghosts to pouty goth girl characters. Glitter, paint, pastels – it's no secret that Essine likes to have fun. It shows through in every pin, brooch, water-color drawing, and collage on her site. We chatted with Essine about her style blog, running an Etsy store, and the day-to-day things that inspire her.

THE LE SIGH: Introduce yourself.

Essine Kilpatrick-Boe: Hi! I'm Essine, a super cute 15-year-old fat feminist princess drama queen! I love making art, blogging my heart out and being absolutely adorable in every way. I'm really excited about everything and the color pink is the hue of my soul.

TLS: How would you describe your artwork?

EKB: Paste-cute-unearthly-babies is the first term that comes to mind! Basically, tons of pink, red lipstick, pastels, hearts and super fun hair colors. It's basically campy cute, influenced by my personal style, my personal loves and all the inspiration around me.

TLS: It's really impressive that someone who's only 15-years-old has such a large Internet following. When did you decide to start sharing your artwork online?

EKB: I actually decided to share my artwork just after I started making it! I've made art my whole life, but I only got really into it around this time last year – I used my school sketchbook and started making art influenced by all my interests (at the time they were deserts, the '60s and vintage-ness!). Creating felt so good, and everything I made looked incredible to me, so I decided I wanted to put it on my blog and post it for all the world to see. It's been amazing that so many people continue to love and support my art, when it started as a tiny idea I didn't think I'd keep going!

TLS: You also post outfit pictures on your blog. How do you think this ties in with your artwork?

EKB: It's a huge part of my artwork! All my art is a self portrait; I originally found my art style by looking at how other artists created faces and clothes and then tailored it to look and feel like me. So, everything I make is basically an ode to me, dressed up in different hair, make-up and clothes. Also, I usually look to my outfit pics to inspire my art. I'll either make looks either modeled after something I've worn, or else I'll create my dream outfit.

TLS: I recently bought a pin and brooch from you. What's the best thing about having an Etsy store?

EKB: I love, love, love making packages for people. One of my most favorite parts of Etsy is the small time-y business feel, so I can send out 'lil extras and try to make each package cute and personal. I also love getting to experiment in new jewelry and craft mediums for things to sell! Being on Etsy has introduced me to tons of new art mediums that are so much fun!

TLS: Are there any specific movies or music that influences your style?

EKB: My influences are everywhere, so of course! John Waters's movies (especially Pink Flamingos and Hairspray) have been influencing my life since I was a wee babe. In general, I love campy and pastel-ly movies (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure! Edward Scissorhands!) since I was raised on them. Music also plays a huge part in my style/clothes/general vibes. I love putting in some of my fave tunes when I'm drawing or painting, since it helps get my creative juices flowing. Both Hunx and King Tuff make amazing visual art that flows through their music and totally inspires me, and Shannon Shaw is another one of my all time fave musicians who forever influences my general aura.

TLS: If you could give any advice to other 15-year-old girls, what would it be?

EKB: Reach for the stars! Literally, there is no stopping you. You are literally a raw, fantastic universe of power, and your coolness is never-ending. Get excited for the unearthly power you hold! Also – enjoy really small tiny stuff. The way the sky looks at 6:00 a.m.Your glitter creepers. How you made an art piece that everyone else says is shitty but you know is the best thing in the galaxy. Little bits of love (even though they can be so hard to find!) are the best thing to living a kickass, filth queen life.

Check out Essine's work on her blog.

Written by Diana Cirullo