Friday, 6 November 2009

Portraits For Pleasure - Toy Boy

Similarly with "Lady Jane" (see post below) the lyrics in this Mika song provoke a lot of imagery. The song - on a first listen - does sound rather amusing but once you read the lyrics you see how dark and sad they actually are. The 1940's inspired Disney music also gives it an uplifting feel with the odd little chimes here and there and the up and down piano notes.

This is Mika singing Toy Boy live for the first time. You can hear the audience laughing at the playful lyrics and Mika putting expression into the song as he's singing it. The song is about a toy who loves his owner - who happens to be a boy - but his mother becoming worried about the two getting attached, so she throws the toy away and destroys it. When you watch the video and listen to the song you could think that the lyrics are silly, but see them written down and you'll begin to understand how depressing the song actually is.

(Thank you to FmBm2 / Nono for the video)

I drew my interpretation of Toy Boy with certain lyrics as the inspiration. These lyrics are:
"She's the meanest hag that there's ever been; pulled out my insides with an old safety pin. I'm the sorest sight, now I feel like trash: Clothes are made of rags and they don't even match. So she dressed me up as the man she loved, then threw me in a box when she had had enough. Now the light of day I no longer see - she stuck her voodoo pins where my eyes used to be. Accidentally tragic...victim of her black magic."

I haven't been able to draw my own drawings without copying something for several years, so I decided to give it a go again as I had the image in my head and knew exactly what I wanted.

This was the first draft.


One thing that irritated me was that, in my head, the gothic handwriting seemed like such a good idea but on paper it was quite difficult to read. It says "Accidentally tragic" and thought the gothic writing suited well with the song's emotion and also a nice contrast against the Disney sounding soundtrack (although, come to think of it, a lot of Disney's earlier films were actually quite sad).


I used watercolours for the hair to make it blend nicely and used normal colouring pencils for the face (though this was mainly because I only have so many watercolours). The blue wavy lines are actually exaggerated Animé tears to give a comical feel to it even though the message portrayed by the rest of image shows otherwise. I made the mouth stitched up because it is reminiscent of Shruken Heads (see here: It gives a sense of torture and pain in my opinion.

I decided to give him colourful clothes to give a sense of flamboyancy and a (once) happy character.


This is the final piece. I do quite like this piece, but it's not my favourite.



Wendi said...

For me he has to be even more tatty - dressed up like the man she loves - then thrown away!! The eyes faling down and the voodoo pins are good - and I totally agree - when I first heard it I sang along feeling happy, but then listening to the words it became quite a bleak track - but VERY clever. It is like a sad comic strip in a song.

Serena-Rose said...

Yes Wendi I do see what you mean about the clothes. I kicked myself when I re-listened to the song and heard the lyrics "IN A PATCHED BLUE SUIT" xD