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Conversation with artist Splish about femininity and style


Gift by Splish: Punch
"Punch". New Year gift from Mr. Splish to the Female Single Combat Club

Русская версия


Splish: Holding and recording

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Mr. Splish, tell something about yourself and your artistic biography.

In real life I did such highly "artistic things" like drawings for user manuals, funny figures for advertisements or objects of ancient history. Being a man in the mid thirties I now look back on a twenty years experience in female fighting artwork. I live in German, so English is my second language.

What your nickname "Splish" really means?

It means something for me but it's irrelevant.

Why did you choose such an artistic subject as female fighting? Is that just because it became popular or because you are personally interested in such activities?

I'm not only interested in such activities; I'm really obsessed with them.

Is female fighting the main topic of your artworks?

Definitely.

How do you call your artworks? Drawings, sketches? What technique do you use?

Let's say drawings, but you can never tell when using computer stuff. Normally I do a pencil sketch which depicts the movement of the women as precisely as possible. This takes by far the most time and I have do use the eraser extremely often. Then the sketch is inked, scanned, probably corrected and colored on the computer. Sometimes the coloring is done by hand, either directly on the penciled or inked sketch, or even on the computer colored image. One can add some computer gimmicks like shadows or background fillings in the end.

Women and their clothes on all your pictures are very stylish (even the site you deal with has the name "FightingStyle"). Your artwork gallery looks like a fashion show. It looks like you are an expert in fashion and style. Don't you?

In a way, yes. My reference material for the drawings consists of a certain amount of fashion related photos, and sometimes such pictures give the inspiration for a fighting image, when a model pose reminds me a classic wrestling or martial arts move. As a matter of fact, I appreciate nicely dressed women and I think a good dress can cover some weak aspects of human anatomy. When we put up "Fightingstyle.com" this was exactly what I had in mind, whereas others may have thought more of the actual style of fighting.

Why do you choose women dressed stylishly for your fighting scenes? On your pictures dressed up women skillfully fight. Doesn't it piquant?

Feeling addicted to female combat I'd like to create the impression that a solid fight between skilled women could happen anytime, anywhere. So I prefer to show the participants in every-day-clothes in non-specific situations and locations. I don't like the limitation to stereotype backgrounds like apartments, wrestling gyms or dojos. Besides that, the contrast or even contradiction of clothes and skilled fighting is extremely fascinating. Creating scenarios in which extremely skilled women present movements that could never work the way they are dressed is great fun. If I was satisfied by the visual possibilities reality provides I would have become a photographer.

What do you think, why people (especially, men) are fascinated by female combat?

I don't have any real idea, but can't imagine anything more exciting.

Do you really approve women's combative sports, such as wrestling and boxing or such activities would better be just exiting imaginations?

Though I don't dare to wish that ladies' fighting becomes part of our daily experience, I'd liked to have a good deal of nowadays bodily aggressions shifted form the men's to the women's world. Combative sports should even be an exclusive right for women. Honestly!

How subjects of your artworks come to your mind?

Sources may be stories, movies, martial arts pictures, fashion photos, women met in every-day-life, wishes of friends and customers on the Internet. But mostly I translate some violent scenes between men I couldn't avoid to notice into the women's world. That's fun.

I'd like to ask you about some specific subjects of your artworks.

A girl beat up several other girls and the most of them are helplessly lying flat on the ground. Another subject - a girl is fighting back two other girls. What is that, robbery attack or the other way around, the girl attacks the other ones?

The multiple attacker scenarios should just underline the incredible fighting techniques of the respective women. The pictures are inspired by demonstrations of male martial arts masters. These people spent their whole life studying skills to beat other people up, but yet they claim to have reached some deeper philosophical insights (They could have been faster with that reading some nice books. May be even watching the right TV shows might have been sufficient). The embarrassing demonstrations of superior fighting skills are phenomenon of the male world I'd like to transport into women's. It's even less ridiculous there.

Some your pictures show beautiful well-dressed girls fiercely fighting. Why? Just to please artwork watchers or you imagine some real conflict or some other reason for fighting when create a piece?

Parking places… They are fighting for parking places. Or let me put this way: there's no reason why girls shouldn't dress up in a beautiful way. So there's no reason why they shouldn't be fighting fiercely either. :)

Many your pictures represent defending from knife or gun attacks. All attackers are girls. Why don't you draw men as more probable attackers?

Drawing men doesn't make sense here. They are hairy and ugly, there's nothing meaningful to say about them. The male attacker is a stereotype in martial arts and self-defense illustrations. I don't like the thought of girls learning to fight just because they feel threatened by male aggression. I want them to learn how to fight because it's feminine, beautiful and simply part of being a girl. Feeling paranoid is never a good reason to do anything. In martial arts photographs I even find pictures of men defending against female attackers more attracting than the good old man attacks female stuff.

A girl is fighting against two other well-dressed girls in front of Ancient female statues (or amphoras on the other version). What does this embody? Is it a symbol?

No, I thought it to be a nice background. By watching the woman on the right one might get the impression that there's a kind of explicit interaction between the girl and statue. This was completely unintended.

What female angel (being torn off wings) personifies?

The picture deals with a well-known comic character I had to change it a bit because of copyright laws. In the comic books the winged figure (the villain) and the main character (the heroine) have great fights. During these bouts the winged figure is dumped into water, beaten with a wet cloth and maltreated in almost every way possible. The absolutely obvious solution I provide has as far as I know never been shown. Why?

A lady who looks like a queen watches a female duel? What is it?

The whole was set up as a reader's contest at the "House-Of-Wrestling". We put the same question to our audience, not showing the duel, only the queen. What was she looking at? The resonance was so poor that we decided to imitate useless descriptions in classic books: "In July 1837 the high waters made the passing of the 4th cataract impossible. Anna decided to stay another two months..." It was a joke or some kind of dadaistic thing....

On the site "House-Of-Wrestling" an interesting picture is placed: old-fashioned ladies trying to wrestle watched by contemporary female athletes? What does that mean? Are there your pictures on the site?

Yes, all "House-of-wrestling" illustrations were done by me. The picture should be the introduction to a history of female wrestling section we wanted to produce with the help of Werner Sonntag. Unfortunately we never really started creating the section.A woman dressed as a Judoist is fighting against a regular woman. Why?

Other than men women don't need a reason to fight. At least not a good one...

You are working with the "FightingStyle" now but a lot of your pictures placed on the site "Budo-girls" have the site's copyright sign. Why?

"Budo-girls" was the first site to publish my materials. During that time it was not predictable that I'd be so closely engaged with a site as in the case of "FightingStyle.com".

Can you draw some special sketch for our club with your autograph? Just a few strokes. Something unusual.

Yes of course. Unusual for you or for me? Some time later…

For anyone… What do you think about the design and content of the Female Single Combat Club? Any advice?

I like it the way it is. You selected a bunch of nice pictures and I wished them to be bigger, but I know the Bandwidth thing. Keep on the good work!

I am wondering what software you use for image editing, it will be definitely interesting for our site's visitors.

The question is a little embarrassing because I use primitive, non-professional software "MS Paint" (included in any Windows systems) for the colors and "MS picture it!" for editing and montage. Their use is much easier and more comfortable than "Photoshop/Image Ready" applications.

Thank you very much for the interview. I guess simple software matches your artistic style.

Splish: Fights      Splish: Fights
Splish: Fight in front of classics      Splish: One against many
Splish: Fights      Splish: Fights

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight

Splish: Fight


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