Olive Goil: Lillian Friedman Astor

This one is close to my heart, my dear readers and for reasons that will become crystal clear as I progress…

Today I sing the high praises of the great Lillian Friedman Astor, one of the very the first female studio animators – ever!

You know how I love a goil who turns expectation on its ear and who can do anything a man can – but better! I hate to say it but the Thirties animation world was not exactly “emancipated” but thanks to gals like Miss Astor, ground was set for equality to come.

Born in 1912 in the great Big Apple, she studied animation and fashion design and finally, in 1930, was hired by my family at Fleischer Studios as what is called “an inker”.

Miss Lilly, talented and charming as she was, was quickly promoted to an “in-betweener” which is a fancy and confounding name for the folks that redraw existing cartoon in motion.

But Lily didn’t stop there! The fabled tale is that she was “secretly” promoted to animator, a job gals just weren’t offered in the way back when. Lillian went on to animate the likes of Betty Boop and…also…the wonderful fabulous, little ol’ me!

So let’s doff our caps to sweet Miss Lily, who, with the stroke of a pen, pencil and paintbrush, cleared the way for women in the arts.


See below a photo of the lovely Lilly in action and  – amazing! – A cartoon she drew when her friend and co-worker Myron Waldman was out sick from the animation room!

Lillian Friedman Astor

Olive Loves: Cherry Berry Swatch

My how time flies! Let me just say, I just so enjoying these little daydreams scribbled, to you, my dear friends of the wide world web!  Its been months now and I do hope I’ve made you just a little bit happy!

Today – I must swoon over Swatch, that old reliable and always fun and playful and colorful – keeper of time and date!

Please take a long and loving look at the “Cherry Berry” model, which has red and white stripes (!!!), just the sort I like to flaunt on both my sails and my stockings.

Tic toc!

This one is a must, my sweet readers. Time is of the essence!


Olive Goil: Grimes

While her name might suggest she sings it loud and harsh, the Canadian musician Grimes is more of the lilting and lovely kind. She is blowing right up, topping the charts and shaking things up and it’s time you all got on board.

This is a gal after my own heart, my dears and not just because of her magical music…


Rumor has it that before she was a big rock star, she and her friend built a boat, that’s right a good old sailing ship, and stocked up on books and typewriters and chickens and were set on putting in at the waters of the Mississippi in search of high adventure!

Oh how wonderful that sounds! Even if it is a tall tale, you’ve got to admit its a beautiful one.


Instead of her journey on the waves, however the multi-talented young Grimes is having a wild time traveling the globe… singing and dancing… and charming one and all.

Take a listen


Live Olive: Interview with Kelly Allen

I don’t like to be vain my dears, but to have oneself interpreted into painted form? To be seen as a muse in an artist’s eyes?  To pose for an up and coming Michelangelo?

I must say it is nothing short of thrilling to introduce the lovely Kelly Allen, a young and talented gal of repute who has offered to manifest my likeness in portrait form!

Her work is vibrant and beautiful, a wild collage of image and color that makes the eyes pop and the heart swoon.

Miss Kelly talks to us about her inspiration and what made her want to be an artist in the first place.

Kelly Allen at Work

Q: What stands out to you about Olive Oyl?

A: She’s not a classic beauty, but she speaks her mind, owns her style, and constantly has Popeye and Bluto chasing after her. Pretty rad if you ask me.

Q: What were your early inspirations that drew you toward art?

A: I was immediately attracted to any and all art material that was put in front of me. It’s always been an inherent part of me. My mom’s side of the family is very artistic, and I was always encouraged and appreciated for the things I’d create. I have always felt like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m making art.

Q: Tell us about the process of creating your Olive Oyl piece?

A: I knew that I wanted Miss Olive Oyl have a nice big hairpiece. I wanted her to be queen of the jungle. I am very much inspired by the Brazilian samba singer, Carmen Miranda, and I wanted her to have that kind of feel. So I searched through my collection of cut out images to create the composition with a temporary collage sketch. When I was happy with the composition, I translated it into a large drawing with colored pencil. Voila!

Finished Olive Oyl by Kelly Allen

To learn more about Kelly Allen and her amazing art, go to www.kellyallen.com