Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ludja Amsel

For quite some time, in illustration my battleground has been the erotic illustration or “Hentai”, with the pseudonym of Candle several of my pictures can be found here and there in the web. I´m not going to break with it, but I´m currently trying to reach other grounds so I can meet a commitment, delayed for too long, with another kind of stories and characters. But I can´t go back from my wanderings on hentai lands without talking about “her”.

As any other fiction character, Ludja was not born from one single place, trying to specify all that served to give her shape can be difficult and confusing, and, being an erotic fantasy character, the attempt can cause me more than one blush, but my mistress would not forgive me if I don´t try it, so I have no other option than go back in time and try to see as clear as possible how was the beginning. As a matter of fact this point it´s not difficult, it happened while I was watching Night of the werewolf (Paul Naschy 1980) for umpteenth time, I was already working as erotic illustrator by then, and those were the eyes I constantly had to use to translate reality, and because of that in the scene when the countess Bathory feeds on a sleeping Waldemar Daninsky, I could not help thinking what would happen if instead of this the countess decided to do “this”. Certainly you understand what I mean, well, this was one of the beginnings. 

Gothic horror is one of my favorite genres or sub-genre if not the most, and back then, more focused in the erotic parody, I took too long out of it, so when I saw the chance to combine both worlds, “she” had already ignored the rule of not to come in uninvited and was taking shape in my mind. Although they will end up dying in anonymity, I like to be ambitious with my characters and not skimp in design or background, is the first right step so they can earn a place in someone´s sight, and Ludja made me suffer before let me see her definitive form. She was there, a caressing shadow behind the curtains or an elegant and cutting laugh vanishing at the end of dark corridors, but, when I finally could saw her, it became impossible to deny her. 

With her design I was hoping to combine a classic aesthetic with something which could make her characteristic enough by herself so she will be more than a simple repetition. Her background answers to this same purpose. Ludja pretends to retrieve an old school vampirism, similar to the one in the classic Hammer movies, a vampirism made of black satin and red velvet, dark places, smell of enclosed ages, creaky coffins and a whispering voice saying “come to me”. In my humble opinion, vampirism today is losing more than is winning, is becoming too mundane, with the purpose of making it more credible or easier to accept by modern audiences is going increasingly away from the bases which defined its attractiveness in the beginning. It denies its monstrosity and feeds too much its romantic and erotic aspects, aspects that formerly were there in a connotative level, even though in Ludja the erotic aspect is intended to be really feed ;), my purpose it´s not to ignore the nature of the monster or socialize it. After all, that´s what makes her exciting, not knowing when the monster will choose to caress instead of  tear apart, when she will demand blood or…


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