PUPPETS & PROM DRESSES

Villainette is transgender-genderqueer interdisciplinary artist Scout Tran.

Biography

Trained in portraiture initially, Scout has thrown emself into the study of a long list of artistic disciplines, from songwriting & accordion to street performance, video and sound art, movement, geurrilla installation and large-scale street game design. For nearly a decade ey had been attempting to sew all these paths together, but to no avail.

In July of 2007 Scout ran across puppeteer Blair Thomas while working on eir MFA in Chicago. Without warning or apology, puppets immediately took over eir artistic practice. Ey apprenticed with the Blair Thomas & Co. from 2007-2008, building and performing in many grand projects at such places as the Field Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Pritzker Pavillion. At the end of the 2008, ey left eir position as Shop Foreman with Blair Thomas to return to eir home in the San Francisco Bay Area and begin eir own puppet practice.

In Autumn of 2009, Scout set out on eir first national tour to present solo puppet shows alongside original songs performed with accordions and wine glasses. Upon returning to California in 2010 ey built eir first festival-scale puppet show, "The Museum Proper," which kicked off further puppet/music projects with eir long-time folk music collaborators Corpus Callosum. [Since 2009 Corpus Callosum has recorded two albums, made multiple west coast tours & one national tour, and curated a bimonthly music/performance evening The Uncanny Valley of the Heart's Delight at Anno Domini in San Jose. They maintain a small performance & recording space near downtown San Francisco, which can be booked at booking@corpus.cc. Corpus Callosum are collective recipients of the unsolicited Belle Foundation Fellowship.]

Diverting from performance and music in 2012, Scout began serially-publishing an experimental graphic novel at FailingSky.com to tell subtler fictions about transgender & genderqueer people. Failing Sky was nominated for an Eisner Award in both its first two years of publication. While continuing Failing Sky, in 2015 Scout launched a weekly comic strip at strip.villainette.com as a more lighthearted vent for experiences living as trans & genderqueer.

Since 2016 Scout has held weekly visitor hours at eir art studio, "Scout's Artillery," as a place for the community to cathartically process their troubles. Cans and bottles can be smashed with slingshots and baseball bats, and there is a lending library of books by transgender authors.

Originally learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for personal self-defense, Scout has been helping organize an international network of trans martial artists & the first-ever trans-specific competitions, in the interest of making combat sports accessible to trans people. "Queer Bash #1" was held at Four Elements in Oakland in 2018.

After a fallow period learning motorcycle maintenance, as of 2018 Scout has been slowly returning to music under the name Bog Princess, and has a new print comic in the works about a feral goblin trying to survive the horrors of queer internal politics.

Scout holds a BFA in Painting/Drawing from the California College of Arts & Crafts and an MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ey has been an artist in residence for the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium, and eir cardboard artwork has been commissioned by the Exploratorium and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as well as being featured in The Art of Tinkering. Ey is the Chief Badgemaker for the genderqueer art activism club, The Degenderettes.