Darkly satirical and darkly humorous in equal parts, this motherly vampire is definitely an unforgettable image. Did I mention it was dark?
People like to make a lot of hay about how symbolic zombies are, how they stand in for a lot of real world concerns and hazards that humanity faces. I would certainly agree that among horror villains, they often represent the ultimate existential terror. But I think vampires tend to get lost in the shuffle in a discussion of horror subtexts. Not to say that that vampires are being ignored in any way or fashion by the media. However, few representations of vampires seem to explore the possible symbolism of these monsters.
I’ve always enjoyed vampires since I was a child. Perhaps what interests me is the duality of being a monster, yet still remaining human in most physical respects. Few other horror villains have had the staying power of vampires and zombies. They both share a great many similarities. Both were human at one time, but were changed often through a bite or similar type infection. These commonalities also extend to werewolves, who haven’t enjoyed nearly as much public fascination over the years (they occasionally have their day, but usually piggybacking on vampires) .
Where zombies and vampires differ is that vampires are still people. Zombies become mindless, walking corpses, but vampires can talk and they still have personalities (albeit often evil and cruel ones). They offer much more dramatic possibilities and can represent more things than apocalypse/end of times.
I was not intending to make a symbolic statement when I thought of this image (truth be told, I just thought a vampire nun holding a baby would be awesome in a fucked up way). But as I thought about it more, the concept seemed to speak strongly towards things like indoctrination of our young, or how insidious evil can hide in the least expected places (that’s not a new idea for me, though).
The two aspects of the image I agonized over before starting were the baby and the window, but I think both turned out remarkably well. I completed most of the drawing at a three-day event and forgot to bring the tools I would usually use to draw a large geometric design—ruler, compass, protractor. The window design was drawn without any of these, and considering that, I think it looks amazing.