Magical BEINGS: Portraits of Artists, Friends + Pioneers: Maya Jane Coles



Here is Maya Jane Coles, house music DJ and producer from UK.  I adore her music and often draw to it.  One of my series of portraits of magical people, she floats between an anime warrior princess and a classic “caricature” which essentially means a “loaded portrait.”

My starting point for this “loaded mix” was Maya’s chest tattoo of two owls.  A DJ is a “night owl” able to hear the magic of Nocturnal Sunshine, title of one of her releases. Thus her owl ears and wings.

Maya Jane coles 2

Then this powerful portrait spoke to me, the gaze like an owl sitting in a tree.

This is the role of a DJ, like a God-like figure able to soar above into other realms, orchestrate from a “pulpit” and pull down a vibration a crowd will dance to, soar to.

Maya Jane Coles on decks
This idea of Maya’s knob-twisting hands holding puppet strings naturally evolved and I realized it came from one of my favorite Al Hirschfeld drawings from the album cover of My Fair Lady.  I grew up with this album cover, uncanny the UK reference, the LP and DJ connection, not to mention the blossoming effect Maya’s music has on me…

Maya’s pinkness comes from this portrait:

pink Maya Jane Coles
Her squat comes from my sketch Smile, I love this kind of landing, as if one just jumped from on high, landing solid on the ground.  Maya joining the Dr. Martens #standforsomething campaign gives her city leaping boots.


Listen and connect to Maya here.


My illustration of Maya Jane Coles will be available on my shop, along with many other illustrations already happily here, The Jade Dress Shop.

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