Inktober Day 24 - Kristoff and Anna from Frozen


“You know how long it took me to save that money?”
“Exactly! Which is why a little woman of your background would have had her hands full, trying to run a big business like that. No, you’re better off where you’re at.”

What Tiana has taught me, quite sadly (and probably what Disney didn’t really intend) was that hard work wasn’t good enough to overcome systemic racism. Tiana got a feel good ending, but I feel like her story has been told many times in real life without a happy ending. There are people who work extremely hard, but never being able to catch up due to the color of their skin.

So here is Tiana, muscles tense with labor, tired and contemplative, and struggling against the system that prevents her success.

This is probably the most symbolic of all the Disney paintings I’ve done so far - the verticality of the walls, the position of her shadow looming over the segregation signs, Tiana sitting right between the divide, and the nearly imperceptible lean of her body to the right.

Tiana is the ninth in my Disney Woman Series.

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Be as strong as the seas are stormy
And proud as an eagle’s scream

In September, I went to Disneyland for a vacation. There’s a glut of marketing materials of Disney princesses in very delicate poses. You know, one leg is slightly bent inwards, the head is tilted, shiny skirts everywhere. They’re all removed from the context of their stories which gave them their personalities. To me they are reduced to bodies parading pretty dresses.

Doing a Disney princess series was always on my mind, but I didn’t want bodies to be at the forefront of the illustration. I didn’t want to do pinup or reimagined clothing choices in X century. Those are fun and great to look at, but it wasn’t something that I felt passionate about. 

I guess this series is my small attempt to capture the strength of these women in the films. I loved this particular lyric from Brave and always envisioned Merida unfettered by the storm, ready to face the perils that come her way. This is the first of my Disney Women series, and I hope you enjoy it! 

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“I know my place. It is time you learned yours.”

I always found it rather odd that Mulan’s merchandise always revolved around her in the matchmaker’s dress. She sang a whole song about not fitting into society’s expectations of her, and that dress was one such symbol. In an ironic twist, we use that dress to market her today because of what we expect young girls should buy into, despite the fact that Mulan’s character is the complete opposite of what that dress represents.

So here is Mulan, finding her place as a soldier, riding with Khan into battle.

Mulan is the fifth female in my Disney Women series.

(Also much thanks to my friend Archer for taking the time to find some Han Dynasty armor reference for me!)

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I was listening to the Lady and the Tramp soundtrack when I thought of drawing Lady and Tramp but as human versions of themselves. I’m on an Edwardian era kick, so I drew my interpretation on what they would look like in the time period the film takes place. I also thought Tramp would have a little scruff on his face. I know usually women wore their hair up at the time, but I wanted to capture Lady’s ‘ears’, so I kept it down.

Lady and the Tramp is definitely one of my top favorite Disney movies! I have human versions of the other characters from the film, but I’ll post those later. :)