INTERVIEW: Yoko Molotov discusses her new book, Babes of Louisville, and how much Facebook sucks!

There’s no one in Louisville quite like visual and musical artist Yoko Molotov. Whether you know her from her unique, sometimes bizarre take on manga, her newer abstract work, or the many musical projects she’s been a part of, she’s continued to be a unique presence in our community. Her latest book of illustrations titled Sweet Dreams is set to be released this Saturday, September 8, and a celebratory show is set to happen the same day at Lydia House. On the bill are The Archaeas, Dr. Zero, Shark Sandwich and Transgression — go here for more details. The book itself will be available at the show and will cost $15. In case you’re not able to make it, buy Sweet Dreams online here.

I reached out to Yoko to get a better handle on her latest venture, and to see what she’s been up to in general. 

Never Nervous: What can you tell us about the new book, and how does it differ from books you’ve published in the past?

Yoko Molotov: Sweet Dreams is a continuum of the yearly art books I create that hold my daily illustrations. These include Smut, Girls and Scratch Fights before it.

NN: Are there any new influences you draw from that you weren’t drawing from a year or so ago?

YM: This is a good question. I don’t think there is a new artist per se but definitely an energy I receive by seeing new art, or reading about art. I really love Yayoi Kusama. I am inspired a lot by people living their lives vicariously in the internet, it reminds me of a cyber punk story only less fantastic. That interests me.

NN: I saw that you’ve teamed up with Will Russell’s new Marvelous Mystery. What is your involvement with that venture? Is it just t-shirt designs, or will be prints as well?

YM: Right now I have designed a few shirts for Will. He is also hosting the Babes of Louisville book release there in December.

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NN: What can you tell us about your Babes of Louisville series? What was the inspiration behind it, and when will the book be released?

YM: The Babes of Louisville book will be released December 7th. It will contain 50 illustrations of women (like the one above) who inspire me in Louisville. I had this idea two summers ago. For a very long time I spent my time on the side lines. When I went out I never felt cool enough to interact with the people I saw at shows etc. They sparkled like diamonds, like the sun and I could never get close! Slowly I put myself out there more and more and I did it with the one thing I have always felt confident in… my art. Eventually I met those dream women who seemed so bright and I found out they were just like me. I wanted to create a whole book just about them.

NN: Considering that you post new art to social media on a daily basis, how have you managed to combat the changing Facebook algorithm? I know it’s been hard on a lot of people trying to get recognized on that medium.

YM: I have yet to figure it out. I am always trying new things and wondering if one day I will have to disappear from FB. I hate to do that because I do like to share art with people everyday but its getting harder to get work that way. FB is becoming something I really dislike, its positive aspects are beginning to fall behind its negative aspects.

NN: You’ve used the “Sweet Dreams” title before — what does the title mean to you?

YM: Well this is the first edition of the Sweet Dreams book. Sweet Dreams 1 was the art show I did with Julie Lieder’s Sherazade gallery. Sweet Dreams is a spell. It’s a good spell you utter to protect the ones you love from fear of the night, before bed. My mother taught this spell to me, this year has been dedicated to it… the rage against dying of the light.
“Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” -Dylan Thomas

NN: Is the abstract art you’ve been sharing lately improvisational? How much is planned?

YM: These are my automatic drawings. They start out from the unconscious then I flesh them out into something compositionally sound. They are again, spells on paper. I have painted 4 of my dog Suge, the best dog and demon this side of the Key of Solomon.

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NN: Have you ever considered creating your own comic? I’ve seen some of your short lines of dialogue in comic form, but have you ever thought of putting together an ongoing series?

YM: I am currently creating a graphic novel — it is called n i g h t s h a d e and will come out as a published book in 2019 sometime. It is a cyber punk story about time travel. You read the updates here.

“I am currently creating a graphic novel — it is called n i g h t s h a d e and will come out as a published book in 2019 sometime.”

NN: What’s new with Tycoons of Teen?

YM: We are going to be the Beach Boys for Halloween! 10/27 at Magbar with Archaeas as The Stooges and Bird Dogs Coyote Gospel Choir as Can

NN: Are you currently involved in any other musical projects.

YM: I am continuing working on Sweatermeat, we are playing the Punk in General Fest and Eye Hear show in October! I am also working on Harpy, as always… with a performance art piece called McDonalds (In Four Acts) coming to a Kaiju near you 12/15.

NN: What non-visual art forms have been inspiring you lately?

YM: Dreams, Sigils, Tulpas and the Occult. I have always loved seemingly useless forms of writing. Instructions to bad products. Flyers that mean nothing, nonsense. I found out my oldest recorded ancestor was in England in 1514.

“I have always loved seemingly useless forms of writing. Instructions to bad products. Flyers that mean nothing, nonsense.”

NN: I personally love drawings and paintings of food. What would consider to be the best food to illustrate? 

YM: Oh damn did you just give me a new idea for a series!? I think drawing instructions on how to prepare food would be cool,
but in an abstract expressionist style. Think DeKooning makes Tacos.

NN: What would you consider to be your favorite record from 2018 thus far?

YM: I dont know but I saw Godsmack made a new one this year

NN: Lastly, do you have anything special planned for the book release show at Lydia House this Saturday 9/8?

YM: Yes! Archaeas, Shark Sandwhich, Transgression and Dr. Zero and the Experiments! its a free show, all ages. Also Emily is making food!

 

11 thoughts on “INTERVIEW: Yoko Molotov discusses her new book, Babes of Louisville, and how much Facebook sucks!

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