Photo by Mateo Montoya

Sarah C. Rehmert (Tea Princess)

Interview by Ahmad Jackson

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So what brought about the tea princess?

To put it simply, I love tea. I always drink it when I make art or have to focus on a task because it helps my productivity. Honestly, I hadn't thought about this until you asked about it, but tea is often what inspires me to draw tiny, vibrant, flowers. Really, the handle tea princess has a sweet, feminine, ring to it.

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The overall color scheme is fascinating--the violets and blues make for fantastic contrast. There's a feeling of alienation and potential sorrow that arises from it. Why that particular scheme?

There's something very emotional about seeing those colors occur in nature. It's a fleeting, magical, moment, because I usually only see them around dusk or dawn. They sort of signify an end to me. I always wish I could touch the scenery or be engulfed by it, but all I can do is watch it fade as the day shifts into night or vice versa. The unsettling feeling of my own smallness and inability to be a part of something so beautiful is what really inspires me.

There's definitely a feminist theme of sisterly bonding and sisterly suffering. A reclamation of power. A feminine access to the divine. Can you tell me more about that? Especially using some childhood-associated images?

I'm the older sister, so when I was growing up I always felt that it was up to me to be strong, especially for my little sister. I think some of my female-oriented art reflects the regret I have for not being closer to her when I could have been. My family moved away right when I started college, and not a day goes by that don't wish I had held her a little tighter when I had the chance. A lot of my art is very sorrow-themed, and I really can't imagine a greater sorrow than feeling something you love dearly slip away. In several of my other pieces I try to make up for that sadness by illustrating these "wild" devil-women. They're powerful succubi who are overcoming that sadness and reaching a higher potential.

Final question? What's your favorite Crystal Gem?

Definitely Lapis Lazuli! I love how the creators of the show made up for her suffering and sad backstory by giving her fearsome powers. She's a force to be reckoned with, for sure.