Louise Brooks

Back in early 2005, a friend of mine approached me about doing a drawing to advertise a festival of the films of silent movie star and 20's icon Louise Brooks. I knew a little about Louise Brooks, but very little: I know that her freewheeling (for the time), flapper attitude has gained her quite a following, which thrives to this day. I know that she inspired hundreds of unfathomably gorgeous drawings by Shane Glines. But I've never seen one of her films (which is, really, no surprise. I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to the classics. For instance, I've never taken the time to watch DOUBLE IDEMNITY, but I've seen UNDER SIEGE 2:DARK TERRITORY multiple times).

So, I began doing a few drawings, trying to glean what my friend was looking for via his descriptions and photos of Louise, which are pretty easy to find. Still, I seemed to keep missing the mark. In an effort to get back on track, we decided to go for more of a cowboy theme. I did a bunch of sketches, and once we'd tentatively settled on a look for the final, I pencilled the illustration. Then, real life got in the way, we both got horribly sidetracked, and nothing further ever happened with it.

Anyways, the pencilled version of this illo has been sitting in a stack of Bristol board next to my drawing table for the last four years...every now and then when I'd be shuffling through the stack looking for a blank sheet, I'd turn it over and there she'd be, looking up at me in all her incomplete glory. Finally, last week I decided to go ahead and ink it for some reason. I even went back and dug up some of the sketches, just to detail the process a bit. I'm still not sure if it captures her essence and actually feels like Louise Brooks in any way...someone more knowledgeable about the subject'll have to make that call. All's I know is, it's a cute girl in a cowboy hat with two six-guns. And that, my friends, is the kind of thing Atom-Bomb Bikini is all about!


HEK said...


How wacky is this! I just posted a Louise pic on my place across the way. It's always a good time to talk about her, or put up her picture, or make an otherwise graven image.

Hard to believe that "Lulupalooza 2005" is all that history ago. You were so patient with me; I ended up gettmg a funky Louise head on a young contemporary woman's body who looks like her, flashing devil's horns fists. Going for the: "She's of then, but also now" quality.

Back then, girls were wearing cowboy hats everywhere, so it seemed of the moment. And some ladies still wear them, and that's what makes this a great nation.

We had a good time, and folks from all over the country and Australia came.

Rob trust me -- just go rent "Pandora's Box" and skip "Double Indemnity" for now.

Here's someone who's also crazy about her:


Michael Dooney said...

cute cowgirl...don't know if I would have made the Brooks connection on my own.
I recently saw a Documentary about her on dvd. It was really interesting, a classic example of a freespirit whose "f#ck you" attitude wrecked her Hollywood career.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, Rob! I'm the guy who ordered the Sin City drawing at Heroes Con this year. I've sent you two emails but my Hotmail has been wonky lately. Did you get the emails?

Jason H.