Disrupting Convention—One Drawing At A Time: Molly Crabapple, In Vice
Sketching the people around her acted as a way to survive in the sometimes aggressive world that surrounded her. "Being small and skilled, you learn to create little portals of escapism," she recalls, "to which the strong are as susceptible as anyone else." Proving she can tell just as intriguing a story with her words as with her pencil, Crabapple's article documents a life-long journey through the world of art, and the passionate connection she has developed with drawing. Never content to take the traditional route, nor to ask for permission in doing so, Crabapple says there is a "disruptive" quality inherent in sketching that has drawn her to it. "You're producing when you're expected to consume," she explains in the piece. Further, art allows you to react and interact with society in a way unlike any other form; it incites a "twin desire" to both "mock power" and "to please," she says.
In her personal and inspiring talks, Crabapple shows us what it means to make art, and the power that it can have on the world. Art has a visceral connection with those exposed to it; sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Crabapple recalls the angered confrontation she received from a New York City police man when he saw her sketching him in court, and the hostile reaction of a Moroccan religious fundamentalist who ripped her drawing of him in half, as a testament to the powerful response a sketch can invoke in people. She hasn't only experienced negative reactions, of course. As she concludes in her Vice essay, another man found her ripped up sketch, taped it back together, and returned it to her. Artists do not have to, nor should they, stand on the sidelines. She advocates putting yourself out there and doing things your own way. While some people may react with outrage, others will react with compassion and stand alongside you. And that, Crabapple says, is what gives her the passion to continue her work.