Maya Jane Coles
Here is Maya Jane Coles, house music DJ and producer from London. I adore her music and often draw to it. One of my series of portraits of magical people, she floats between an anime warrior princess and a classic “caricature” which essentially means a “loaded portrait.”
My starting point for this “loaded mix” was Maya’s chest tattoo of two owls. A DJ is a “night owl” able to hear the magic of Nocturnal Sunshine, the title of one of her releases. Thus her owl ears and wings.
Then this powerful portrait spoke to me, the intense gaze like an owl sitting in a tree.
This is the role of a DJ, like a God or Goddess-like figure able to soar above into other realms, orchestrate from a “pulpit” and pull down a vibration a crowd will dance to, soar to.
This idea of Maya’s knob-twisting hands holding puppet strings naturally evolved and I realized it came from one of my favorite, vintage Al Hirschfeld illustrations from the album cover of My Fair Lady. I grew up with this album cover, uncanny the London reference, the LP and DJ connection, not to mention the blossoming effect Maya’s music has on me…
Maya’s pinkness comes from this portrait:
Her squat comes from my sketch Smile, below and here. I love this kind of landing, as if one just jumped from on high, landing solid on the ground. Maya joining the Dr. Martens #standforsomething campaign gives her city leaping boots.