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Impure: The Descent
21 July 2021
Procreate app, Adobe Photoshop CC 2019
iPad Pro 9.7"
In 2010, as a young teen, I was fascinated with the idea of being a member of a band. I was obsessed with Savage Garden, and fascinated by the aesthetics of pop-punk bands like Paramore. So I came up with some original characters and put them into a band. The lead singer, and most blatantly based on me, was Jade 'Impure' Kendall. Short, long hair, shy and romantic.
I drew her in outfits that mixed Japan's Gothic Lolita subculture with rock and roll, punk, and emo influences.
I was very much in a 'I'm not like other girls' mindset, and gave Impure that mindset too, having her say "I'm sick of the anorexic, stripperific girls on MTV."
It took a few years before I realised the hypocracy of what I'd drawn. With her short skirt and fishnets, or corset tops, was this character really any better than what she said she was opposing?
I love redrawing old artworks, and 10 years had passed, so I had no choice but to reimagine this piece. I edited the clothes to have a more consistent colour scheme, and made Impure plumper both because its more fun to draw, and I wanted to convey more of her youth, being a teenager. Layout-wise, I was inspired by MeoMai, aka Jessica Madorran, who has a very clean style and often puts a circle behind her character portraits.
I called the artwork 'The Decline' to reflect how the character is becoming what she previously opposed. Whether that was a conscious choice or a manipulation by the people around her remains to be seen.