10 years ago, I had the honor of meeting my lifelong idol, Elvira. Not only did I get to finally meet her face to face, but I also gave her a portrait I had drawn of her in pencil and charcoal that I called Sinderella. Some of you may recall this story and some of you may even own prints or shirts with the art piece on it.
I even got to tell her how I dressed up like her for Halloween when I was little and she got a kick out of seeing this photo of me………
- “When other little girls wanted to be ballerinas, I wanted to be Elvira” – Living Dead Girl Nicole
Then in 2012 I had the honor of meeting her again and taking a promo photo with her for Final Girl (the sister company of Horror Hound that I was actively working with). I still wish I would’ve thought to take the lipstick out of my pocket before we took this photo. But let’s face it. No one is looking at you when you’re in an Elvira sandwich and I actually got to show her my Elvira tattoo. I hadn’t started my “Pretty Scary” sleeve the first time I met her so that was pretty memorable.
Ever since then she has been back on my art bucket list. I know I am obsessed but it’s a healthy obsession that I am proud of. The one thing I knew was that I wanted to draw Elvira again but I also wanted to draw her as Cassandra too. She is so beautiful in character and out of character that I decided to do a split face portrait to showcase that. I went back and forth contemplating if I should add touches of color here and there to the Elvira side but decided not to. I think the piece speaks for itself without the need for it. I call this new Spitting Image Portrait, “Yours Cruelly”……..
My art skills have changed so much in 10 years that I hope to run into her again one day and give her this new piece. For the rest of you horror host lovers, this piece is available as prints and t-shirts in both my Etsy and Amazon shops!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So I am here to help you find the perfect gift for that boil or ghoul of your nightmares! Use coupon code BLOODYVALENTINE in my Etsy shop now through February 10th and receive 14% off your order!
All ready to ship items will ship out right away. However, it is highly suggested if you are interested in gifting a t-shirt that you order ASAP. Each one is made to order and takes approximately 2 weeks to be printed and shipped. Custom requests are welcome if you contact me now. This assures I have enough time to order any supplies I may need to make your vision come to life.
Don’t forget I also offer gift certificates. They are not eligible for the discount code but they make great gifts (especially for last-minute shoppers). When purchased from my shop a digital certificate will be emailed directly to you (so you can print it out) or it can be emailed directly to the recipient.
This isn’t a typical art update but to me, it’s an important part of my life journey. As mentioned in my past posts, I have a digestive motility disorder and today happens to be a very milestone day for me. It marks 5 years since I cut off all ties to my large intestine.
The photo I requested after my 10ft+ Beast Of Large Intestine was removed 01-18-13
It came down to life or death and I just couldn’t keep it anymore. It gave up on what we had and caused me many years of agony and pain. It was sad to see it go. We had been together our whole lives. But I couldn’t hold on to something that wasn’t committed. Sometimes I look back at the photo of my large intestine and think of the better days we had. The days before my 20s when things ran much more smoothly. But I also know those days were over and it was time to move on. As you all know it was far from easy. As a matter of fact, my small intestine was not ready to let go. Went into a depression and then called for multiple strikes. Even tried to block things up a few times in protest. Confused the surgeons and went into full-on life or death riot mode. I guess it inspired my gallbladder. Because that thing decided to give me a year of temper tantrums following my surgeries. That was until my pancreas finally had enough and very painfully convinced me to put the thing out of its (and our) misery too.I will admit I will forever be haunted by my missing organs. The rest of my system reminds me every day of how much harder it has to work without them around. I just try to remind myself of how much harder it was when those slackers were in there not doing their jobs. There are good days and bad. There are missed days off from work, ER visits, panic attacks, constant diet changes, blockage scares with bouts of liquid diets and turning down social events. I guess you can say every day is a new adventure because I never know what my body is going to do and how it’s going to react.
I learned to accept that this is my life now. It’s not perfect but I remember when it was worse. One thing stays the same. Saying goodbye was the scariest decision I ever made but it had to be made. It is also one of the hardest things I have ever gone through both physically and mentally (I still get depressed sometimes and even have some PTSD like symptoms) but I am alive to tell others my story. I am also blessed to have an amazing and very patient husband who has been my rock through all of it. Family and friends who care enough to check in on me to see how I am when I am not feeling well and to make sure I am able to eat when we are able to actually get together. Co-workers who understand when I can’t make it to work but acknowledge how I never fall behind when I do. And now that I think about it, this really does go hand and hand with my art as well. Because all of you that follow this blog, support or spread the word about my art or buy my creations help give me the support to keep trucking along and doing what I love to do.
For those who still follow this because you are living with the same issues I had or a similar idiopathic digestive motility disorder don’t give up! When a doctor closes a door, open another one! I opened and closed 14 of them! Don’t allow them to tell you it’s just IBS or GERD like they did to me. You know your body better than anyone. For those contemplating a total colectomy with anastomosis surgery, I am not going to lie to you. It won’t be easy. You know because you’ve read my journey here. It’s far from easy. You may or may not have complications the way I did. You may not develop adhesions the way I have. But the one thing that is for sure is that you will need to learn to cope with the hard recovery and accept the whole new body you are given. The reward is that you get to sit on the toilet thanking your lucky stars that you can take a dump and most importantly are alive to tell everyone about it! Ha Ha!
It’s Throwback Thursday but, more importantly, it’s my Daddio’s Birthday! So this post is in tribute to the man who has supported and believed in me and my craft since I was a young batling.
I know I say I am inspired by so many famous artists, but my Dad has been my biggest inspiration since I picked up my first crayon. He taught me so many of the art skills I use today and I continually grow as an artist and a person because of him. When I doubt myself he pushes me not to give up and even has his own sketch pad full of suggestions ready to help me out.
He never fails to amaze me with his talent and he has also inspired and introduced me to so many things that I still love today which in their own way have shaped me not only into the artist I am today but the woman I am today as well. It was him who had the giant cardboard cut out of Elvira that perked my interest into who she was and started my realization that you don’t have to look like Barbie to be stunning! It was him who took me to the video store every weekend to literally overuse their copy of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. It was him who took me at a young age to see my first Tim Burton movie. It was him who took me to see the Little Mermaid and then afterward when we got home sat down with me and drew all the characters together. It was him who took me to the store to buy all the art supplies I needed to enter every art contest imaginable. It was him who let me listen to his Tom Petty and Aerosmith albums and fall in love with classic rock. I could go on and on.. but to sum it up, you can all thank my Dad for the weirdo I have become and am so proud to be.
Happy Birthday Daddio! Thank you for teaching me to “Fink Differently!”
“You belong among the wildflowers”
I just wanted to thank all of you for supporting my work. 2017 has been a year of many milestones for me as an artist. Even though I have health setbacks I keep trucking along and your support helps to keep me doing what I love.
Here are just a few milestones I am grateful for in 2017…..
- I marked a TON of Art Bucket List items off my list this year. I created so many things that I have put off for way too long. Knowing this makes me feel so accomplished as an artist. Thank you to those who always give me feedback on my work and inspire me to keep creating!
- I enjoyed creating custom and commission pieces from both return and new clients this year! Thank you for believing that I could make your visions come to life! Thank you for all of your Freaky Fanatic photo submissions and reviews! You guys have no idea how much happiness I get from receiving these and being able to share them with the world!
- I participated again in Woman of Horror Month which helps bring awareness and supports the woman that make the horror genre what it is today!
- I started selling my portraits as Ghoulish Garments which have been a hit. I have been wanting to do this for years and finally found a DTG Printer that fit all of my needs. To know that you guys want to display my art is one thing. Knowing you want to wear it is a compliment on a whole new level. Thank you for all of your t-shirt orders. 2018 may open doors to even more products so stay tuned!
- I got to meet the very talented and fun Kelly Doty at the Villain Arts Chicago Tattoo Convention and give her a Dead Girl Decay Barrette inspired by her. While I was there I was able to network with other artists. I also got my Captain Spaulding tattoo done by my very talented friend Dave Togtman of Black Devil Tattoo.
- My “What Nightmares Are Made Of” Tim Burton and Jack art piece was selected to be put on display at the new Beetle House Tim Burton Bar in California. As scary as it was to mail off my original work, it made it there in one piece and is on display in their dining room! I am still in awe of this and hope one day I am able to travel there to finally see it on display in person. Thank you to those of you who have shared photos with me of it on display. I love living vicariously through all of you!
- I got to finally meet Art Alexakis and the rest of the Everclear band. Even though this doesn’t directly have to do with my art it was a dream of my since the 90’s and their music has inspired me in so many ways!
- I vended again with my fellow hearse collectors at the big Hardcore Hearse Club Show and sold double the amount I did last year! For those of you that were not able to buy something but visited my table, you are important too! You took a business card to spread the word, ordered from me online later or even just gave me positive feedback to keep me doing what I am doing! Thank you for bearing the heat with me again this year. And to my husband and my friends and family that help me each year with set up, watching my items when I need a break or making sure the weather doesn’t destroy anything.. you are my rocks and I couldn’t do this without you!
- Thanks to helping out the hearse club, I was able to attend Days of the Dead in Indy where I was able to do more networking. I also was able to give more of my work to my dear friend Sid Haig for his birthday and catch up with him over dinner and drinks. Sid is not just a guest and not just a friend but a true inspiration to me.
- I was “crowned” Best Horror Shop by Morbidly Beautiful Horror due to the massive support of my Freaky Fanatics who voted, posted and did everything the could to see me outbeat the big guys! I am still in awe of this and in all of you! This also allowed me to give back by teaming up with Morbidly Beautiful to give away my work to one lucky winner. And that winner didn’t just win the item. They proudly posted photos and video of what they received! Including their logo pin displayed on their bad ass vest!
- You helped me raise money for the S.O.P.H.I.E Lancaster Foundation. The limited edition 10 year anniversary barrettes I made were sold out in only a couple of days!!! I even had a friend of Sophie’s contact me directly to reserve one so she could wear it for her wedding day!
- I painted the 3 largest canvases of my life after being in the ER and out of work for a couple of weeks. This technically falls in the above category of commission pieces but I feel it stands alone as it was a big artistic milestone for me. They were not just large canvases but they were of a landscape which is not something I do on a regular basis. Thank you, Uncle Lou, for believing in me. Thank you to my husband for putting the canvases together, putting up with me and all the basement space I hogged up to get it done. Thank you to my Dad for all his advice and my brother and friends who kept telling me “you got this!”
- I finally accepted Amazon’s invite for me to start selling on Amazon Handmade. I was nervous about doing this and knew it would take me forever to get my items all set up in my shop. However, my cousin Pat who is also my Accountant gave me the advice to push me forward and I am so glad I did. Since opening my shop I have had consistent orders coming through including return clients. During the weeks up to Christmas, I was packaging up orders every night after work to the point I had to stop and post a thank you. I am so happy to be able to reach more Freaky Fanatics through another outlet.
- I entered the Rick and Morty Hot Topic T-Shirt Contest, and even though I did not win, I am still in awe of all of you that took the time to vote and comment on my submission. Some of you even followed up asking when it will be a shirt so you could buy it. I threw together a quick sketch so I could enter before the deadline. It was a vision I had for quite some time and I am glad I was able to participate. Stay tuned as I have plans for that design in 2018!
- Frank and I did a lot of networking at Days of the Dead Chicago!! I was also able to give Sid Ghoulish Garments for him and his wife Suzie. I was also honored to give my work to Felissa Rose, Fairuza Balk, and Lisa Marie. To top it off I was able to finally meet the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia Soska AKA The Twisted Twins) who remembered me from the American Mary barrettes I made them.
- Frank upgraded my printer/scanner for my art studio for Christmas. This was something I wanted but also needed. With me getting more print orders it just made sense for me to be able to do more of them from home vs going to a printer all the time. The much larger scanner also saves me from going to a printer to scan larger art pieces. Next goal… a DTG printer of my own (a girl can dream)!
With 2017 being such a great year for me artistically I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. One of the gifts my goddaughter Ava got me for Christmas is a really nice hardcover notebook that says “Enjoy The Little Things”. I plan to use it to jot down all creative ideas. So get ready Freaky Fanatics and……… Happy New Year!
I have been wanting to do a portrait of Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven ever since the 1st season of Stranger Things came out. I was completely in awe of her character as well as her mad acting skills. Not to mention who wouldn’t want to draw that beautiful face of hers.
I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it but I knew I didn’t want to just replicate a still from the show. I wanted my piece to be unique among all the ones I have seen others do so I waited for that creative spark to hit me. Well while binge watching Season 2 my mine went zap! I knew I wanted to do a split face portrait and I wanted to showcase
Eleven’s fun makeovers from both seasons. Her “pretty” makeover from Season 1 and her “bitchin'” makeover from Season 2.
I am excited to announce that I finally finished it between other projects and filling holiday orders. I call this piece “Pretty Bitchin'” which I get a kick out of every time I say it…………
Are you a fan of Millie’s and love the show Stranger Things? Prints and shirts are now available of this piece in both my Etsy and Amazon shops! See this piece and other portraits I have done on the Spitting Image page of my portfolio website!
So I realized I posted and shared our “electronic” Xmas card on Instagram and via text but still had not posted it here (we are saving money by skipping snail mail again this year). So it’s a little late but still before Christmas so it counts for something right?
So to all my Freaky Fanatics…
And I got a little Krampus gift from the husband! I surprised him on Black Friday and got him the Xbox he wanted and he just got me a new printer! With me getting more and more print orders it was something I wanted but really needed. What really makes me drool the most though is the fact that it has a 11 x 17 scanner!!! This thing is a beast and will take up a bit of space in my studio/home office but it’s soooooo worth it!
I am off to fill more print orders 🙂