Longing


I think everyone has “that” Disney movie that they love. For me, it was Beauty and the Beast. It was my movie growing up – I bought the collector’s edition DVDs, lithographs and posters, saw it on Broadway thrice before it closed, and the soundtrack has a permanent place in whatever device I hold in my hand today.

Needless to say I am really excited for the live action movie, so here’s Belle and the Beast, aching for each other, and the Beast too afraid to touch her.

Lots of light/dark elements here, with the Beast emerging from the shadows and Belle sparkling in the light. I combined the designs from the live action film, the animated movie and my own imagination to create this piece. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks to @papiertrail for her valuable feedback :3

Limited Edition prints available at my shop!

Maleficent

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2016-09-13-artofelaineho-maleficentcloseup

“We were very conscious, the writer and I, that [the scene where Stefan cuts her wings off] was a metaphor for rape.” – Angelina Jolie

Maleficent here is not hunched over, vulnerable and hurt, but openly accepting what has been done to her – and confidently. She looks at you haughtily, daring you to keep looking, to judge her, to say it’s her fault. And you know that the essence of her is more than just her wings, and more than what she’s lost.

This is you. Not a crushed petal with crossed bones and pained looks – but a dragon, a force majeure, with a dancer’s arms open –

you, scarred,
but not broken.

Maleficent is the tenth and final piece in my Disney Women Series.

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Tiana

2016-09-09 artofelaineho Tiana web

“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.

Buy a print here.

Esmeralda

artofelaineho-Esmeralda

“You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help.”
“Silence!”
“Justice!”

It’s difficult to put into words how important this scene is to me. The bystander effect is an extremely real phenomenon that occurs far too often, and in other times when you see your fellow man speaking out against an injustice, you shrink away and hope the trouble he attracts doesn’t follow you.

Ever since I was a child I caused trouble for speaking out for what I believed in, and I have been silenced, and I have lost more battles than I won. I thankfully never got backlash from my parents for that. I think it’s also partly my dad got into his own type of trouble for doing what he believed in, and he was a firm believer in speaking out for what was right and just.

Don’t stay silent. Speak out.

Esmeralda is the eighth in my Disney Women Series.

Buy a print here.

Rapunzel

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Should I?
No.
Here I go.

I remember thinking that Rapunzel was the most identifiable character for people in abusive relationships – a person who was emotionally abused but also completely dependent by the only person she ever knew and loved.

I thought this scene extremely symbolic for those who were trying to get out of those types of relationships – most victims of abuse become isolated through the manipulations of their abuser, and become completely dependent on them to provide their way of living. Most of the time they have no money, no friends, and the abuse makes them believe they’re not worth anything to anyone. To take that first step, to run away into a world with nothing, takes immeasurable amounts of courage. It’s frightening.

So here’s Rapunzel, fearful and hesitant, but taking that first step into the light.

I hope this piece is a small voice of sympathy to those who have weathered that storm.

Rapunzel is the seventh in my Disney Women Series.

Buy a print here.

Ursula

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2016-03-28 Ursula artofelaineho

Now the power of Poseidon has been once again made whole
All the magic of the trident and the shell in my control
And now dark shall reign forever
Over ocean, sea and shoal…

After coming back from Disneyland, I asked my fiance who was second on his Disney women list. After a while, he responded with “Ursula”.

It’s interesting how in art we’re taught that “round = friendly”, Ursula breaks that rule (although to be more specific, her silhouette is round, but her interior shapes are sharp, which still makes her scary). She was never a comic character, but a full on villain from the beginning. To me, Ursula’s design is something that I enjoy studying.

Also: the only thing that stopped her from ruling the ocean was a voice, and once she had it, she won.

Ursula is the sixth female in my Disney Women Series.

Buy a print here.

Mulan

2016-03-16 Mulanshrunk - artofelaineho

2016-03-16 Mulancloseup - artofelaineho

“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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