Brian Kesinger’s “Tea Girls”

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“Walkies for Otto” by Brian Kesinger.

Every once in awhile I come across something so nifty I feel as if it were created just for me.

That’s how Brian Kesinger’s “Tea Girls” affected me when I first saw his work. Well, that and the overwhelming urge to finally create my Jules Verne-inspired library and line the walls with these.

Both fun and flirty — as well as both silly and seductive, these sepia-styled paintings — using stains made from actual tea  — feature the Victorian Steampunk-inspired lasses taking on the human form of varieties of tea. Also of note is his “Otto and Victoria” series, which follows an emerald-haired adventuress through the exploits of the day with her cephalopod companion.

Kesinger, who is a story artist for Walt Disney animation studios, feels despite his subject’s glowing femininity, these gals are no pushovers.

“I try to think of a strong and independent female role model,” Kesinger said. “Someone who is smart and quirky and cares not for what others might think of her.”

Although the “Tea Girls” and “Otto and Victoria” are his most recognizable works, he has also done some impressive Steampunk versions of Optimus Prime, The Avengers, Catwoman and other pop culture icons, and an eight-page comic book “The Intrepid Molly McGuinness” is in the works.

He said he always pleased to see how people relate to his work.

“The most satisfying response I get from people about my work is when they say, ‘oh that’s so me!’ or ‘I know a friend just like that,’” he said. “It means I have tapped into some universal personalities that people can relate to and that my drawing which is just a bunch of lines is actually a character that generates a feeling of familiarity in the viewer. That is pretty cool.”

More of Kesinger’s works work can be seen and purchased at bkartonline.com.

“Darjeeling” from Brian Kesinger’s “Tea Girls” series.

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