Monster Portraits

I’ve been thinking about monsters lately, so I decided to get them out of my brain by making some monster portraits of my new compatriots over at Jelly Helm Studio. I admit, I wasn’t sure how these would be received. When a child draws garish representations of their family members a mother can’t do anything but reply “Oh, honey, these are wonderful!” But when a grown woman likens her workmates to monsters, well…

Luckily the response from Jelly, Mark and NJ was delight and guttural exclamations (also of delight, I assume), after which we hung the family of frames outside the studio door. Why yes, we have a security system on premises: four fake monsters.

After debuting the quartet I asked their human counterparts for a first impression interview which are transcribed below, and are 90% accurate to what was recorded on my iPhone during the interviews.

Ten Second Interview with NJ the Intern
Bureau Representative: What were you thinking at the moment this portrait was taken?
NJ the Intern: Erm. Hmmm. Ugghghhh. Tphhht.
Bureau Representative: Unsure?
**NJ reaches out and softly strokes his fuzzy tan fur**
Bureau Representative: How does it feel to touch yourself?
NJ the Intern: Um. Uhhh. Uggg. Feels good.
Bureau Representative: What sound is your little mouth making in this portrait?
NJ the Intern: Glerm.

Ten Second Interview with Jelly the Green
Bureau Representative: Belt or collar?
Jelly the Green: BELT.
**Jelly the Green slaps knee and guffaws**
Bureau Representative: What do you see with your extra three eyes?
Jelly the Green: I see different things.
Bureau Representative: What was your first impression of your portrait?
Jelly the Green: Wonderful.

Ten Second Interview with Mark the Gleaming
Bureau Representative: What do you do with your five teeth?
Mark the Gleaming: I eat a lot of dried fruit and yogurt.
Bureau Representative: You’re a very sophisticated monster.
**Mark the Gleaming looks around hungrily**
Bureau Representative: What was your first impression of your portrait?
Mark the Gleaming: (silence)
Bureau Representative: Speechless, huh?

Ten Second Interview with Mette the Polyglot
Bureau Representative: Does your spotted tongue have any special powers?
Mette the Polyglot: ØØØ ÅÅÅ ÆÆÆ.
Bureau Representative: I see, extra special letters. And your multi-colored eyes?
**Mette the Polyglot glares**
Bureau Representative: It’s hard to interview yourself, yes?
Mette the Polyglot: (nods yes)

One observation from my interviews was that in the presence of the monster versions of themselves, interviewees became less-articulate and more likely to make non-English vocal sounds. Interesting…

The monster version of the Rankin Glare.
What sparkling teeth you have, Mark the Gleaming!

This project required some online shopping for googly eyes and a trip to Fabric Depot, where they have over 30 different types of faux fur and a total of 1.5 ACRES of other fabric. While waiting in line for my fur to be cut, a man next to me who looked like a gruff plumber told me he was making mukluks out of some long wavy white and pink fur. When I told him I was making a monster family tree portrait series, he exclaimed “I sure wouldn’t want to be a part of that family!”. He’d surely change his tune now!

The monsters ponder "YES".
Their monster gang names are Fee, Fi, Fo and Fum.

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