Happy Beautiful Freaks Fest!

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lydiagif.gifToday marks the beginning of Beautiful Freaks Fest! An online celebration of all the beautiful freaky people out there and the things that they love. It probably comes at no surprise to most of you that I would take part in this. In the words of Lydia Deetz “I myself am strange and unusual”. Which is why I decided to use this opportunity to give you a little background on myself and my art.

I have been doing art since I was a young batling. The minute I was able to pick up a 6tag-2100911941-1282292100683314676_2100911941crayon I knew this was what I was meant to do. CREATE! When I wasn’t religiously watching Labyrinth  I was using markers to make my Barbie’s look “different” and entering coloring contests to win tickets to the circus. I also always took in anything my Dad would teach me when it came to art. That is why my coloring contest entries actually had shading (those other kids didn’t stand a chance ha ha).

When I was given an assignment in school I always ended up doing something different then everyone else. When I was in the 5th grade we had to do a drawing along with a small essay about a bird. I chose an owl. Most likely influenced by my Mom (who had passed away) and loved them and had statues and macrame versions of them all over our house. I will never forget when they hung all the drawings up in the hall for the parent teacher conference. Here were all these beautiful, colorful birds drawn perched on branches and then there was mine….  an owl in mid flight with a mouse captured in its talon. And to me it was just as beautiful if not more so then the others. I also remember the parents pointing mine out. Maybe they liked it maybe they didn’t but I felt such satisfaction knowing mine stood out from the rest and it just came naturally to me. I have thrived for that feeling ever since.

Happy Birthday to the Mistress of my HeartGrowing up and even as an adult I continue(d) to express myself in all aspects of life from my own personal fashion sense (if people don’t like crazy colored hair, tattoos and horror t-shirts that’s on them) to my artwork. My favorite quote is “Be yourself everyone else is already taken” (Oscar Wilde). If something I do suddenly becomes trendy I tend to stop and move on to the next thing. But I never let anyone stop me from being me. I find beauty in the dark, spooky and mythical. If something is odd or macabre I am usually drawn to it. Same goes for fairies and other fantasy creatures. Aspects of these things tend to come through in my creations as an extension of myself. I always tell people I grew up to be a mixture of my 2 childhood idols….Elvira and Jem. “Give me spooky and creepy with a side of glitter and glam… that’s me!” I find a lot of that comes out in my Dead Girl Decay accessories

People often ask me how the name Living Dead Girl Nicole started as my signature artist name. Some of my art online says my maiden name of Nicole Birmingham, my married Rob Zombiename of Nicole Garcia and then there is of course Living Dead Girl Nicole. This name stuck with me thanks to my love for horror and all things that rock. What started as an online screen name due for my admiration of Rob Zombie stuck with me when people started to associate my artwork with the name as well. I found it rather fitting as Rob Zombie had always been someone that inspired me as an artist. I could relate to
his work and it always reminded me that it’s ok to break out of your shell and to continue doing what I love no matter how dark the genre is. If people wanted to associate me and my artwork in that way then I was honored to be known by it and still am.

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I am also honored to have so many Freaky Fanatics and people who follow my work. Just the other day my friend posted this photo on Instagram. Its of his zombie welding helmet with my logo sticker on it. The caption says “represent”!

Having the support of people like this is what makes me keep creating! It means you love what I do and are proud to embrace the beautiful freaks that you are!

AND to celebrate just that here is a coupon code! Just put in code BEAUTIFULFREAKS17 at check out in my Etsy shop and watch 13% get slashed off your orders (of $5 or more)! This code is only good during the Beautiful Freaks Fest so make sure to place your orders before Monday!

And to end this post with a rocking bang here is my girl Kimberly Freeman of One Eyed Doll singing a song that should be this event’s anthem! When your done rocking out take a click over to Little Gothic Horrors blog page to see all the other blogs participating in the Beautiful Freaks Fest and go visit their pages! Don’t forget to show some comment love on their posts too! Us freaks need to unite 😉

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Freaky Fanatic Paul

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As you all know my Freaky Fanatic (AKA happy customer) photos always make me so happy when I receive them. Today was no exception. I just received this photo from Paul in MO who is proudly holding up the 2 Spitting Image portrait prints he purchased in my Etsy shop. Paul also left me 2 wonderful reviews …

Paul from MO

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Thank you Paul!! You rock!!

See Paul along with my other happy customer submissions on the Freaky Fanatic Slideshow! Have photos of yourself with one of my creations? Contact me to submit your photos and be featured here and on my site! All Freaky Fanatics get a special coupon code for all future purchases in my Etsy shop!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Drippings: Harley Quinn For Ava

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Saturday was my goddaughter Ava’s very first gymnastics recital. In lieu of traditional flowers or stuffed animals I decided to put my artistic abilities to good use. Besides, Aunt Nicole is far from traditional anyways. 🙂 Seeing she is a big Harley Quinn fan (she even dressed up like the DC Super Hero Girls version of her this past Halloween) and often mentions the fact that she is a gymnast too, I used that for my inspiration. Seeing how passionate Ava is about this I decided to paint her a little Harley Quinn of her own. I even added some magical “super power” glitter to the blue and red streaks in her hair!

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Now typically you would give them their gifts after the recital. However as soon as she saw me holding a gift bag she started to ask questions ha ha. Then when I told her I made her something she got so excited I couldn’t hold off any more and let her open it. I made sure to tell her I made it because I am so proud of her!

When she opened it she said “HARLEY QUINN!!! HOW DO YOU DO THIS!!” and was all smiles! Totally made my day to see how much she loved it. Then she read the little note I put on the back “Ava… Follow Your Dreams. Love Aunt Nicole”

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On top of it she did an amazing job at her recital. Girl was on stage doing tumbling and one arm cartwheels without hesitation. So proud of her!

See more of my paintings on the Drippings page of my portfolio site!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

I Need Your Votes!

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125-Bats-On-Orange-Free-Halloween-Vector-Clipart-IllustrationPlease vote for my Etsy shop in the #differencemakesus #etsysmallbusiness contest! If my shop is chosen I could win $10,000 to help me with my artistic endeavors!

Go to this link to vote http://wshe.es/A8miKmzj and then share it on ALL your social media pages.

The person with the most votes wins so I need all the help I can get! Thanks everyone.

Remains: Vending Is Hard Work!

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So I haven’t posted much more about preparing for my 1st vending event because I have been super busy preparing for it. Ever since we have been back from our Philly vacation, every weekend has been dedicated someway, somehow to preparing for the show. With working a full time job the weekends are my best time to dedicate to all of this. I have been making new limited edition products (that will only be available at the show), up-cycling things for my display, shopping both in store and online with my mad budgeting/deal finding skills, researching helpful blogs for 1st timers and brainstorming (with mad lists) of what I need to make this all happen. I actually had to make myself take a break from it all to do my “We All Have Our Flaws Kitten” Denis O’Hare portrait. With him being added to the con with only a month to go I had to stop the presses and make it happen! Because well I love him and priorities ha ha.

So much has been made and so much is going on but I wanted to highlight some fun things worth sharing. So first of all my mother in law, Judy has been enjoying retirement with lots of flea market shopping and bless her soul that woman is always thinking of me. She has been finding so many amazing things for me to use and things are really coming together quite well

For instance.. here you will see a before and after shot of a ornate, framed coin display that she picked up for only $3.00 (and she picked me up 3 of them!! Score!). All I had to tell her was ornate frames that I could up-cycle and she was on it!  The one on the right is after my husband and I completely transformed it into a purple and black gothic display for my Dead Girl Decay Barrettes. Much more my style and matches my overall brand identity.

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For some additional brand identity I made mention of dying our old ivory colored bat shower curtain purple. She had some free time and actually dyed it for me. Now it matches the look of my portfolio website! This will most likely get draped over my table.

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So I had a vision of what I wanted to do for my Custom Order Forms. I wanted a tombstone display that would sit on my table. I wanted it to hold the order forms and atleast 1 pen. I also wanted it to say HERE LIES CUSTOM ORDER FORMS. So I did a search on Etsy to see if I could find someone who could make an affordable base for me. I would then of course be able to paint and decorate it myself.  That is when I found Woodloom on Etsy. I told her about my unique display idea and she was thrilled to make it for me. On top of it she was a delight to work with and also went away with one of my Dead Girl Massacre Decay Barrettes. She plans to wear it with her costume at the Haunted House she helps run during the Halloween season!

Here is the end result…….

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So there you have some fun highlights of my vending preparations so far. To top it off this past weekend we let the beast out of winter storage! Frankenhearse is ALIVE and on the streets again!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Spitting Image: Best Birthday Ever with Henry Rollins

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I can not express the overwhelming amazingness that was experienced with my husband Frank and brother Mike on Friday for my birthday. Henry Rollins was EVERYTHING awesome you could imagine him to be. I could not be more grateful to Frank for doing this for my brother and I. Best gift ever!

The night started off with us getting VIP treatment. Anyone with VIP (only 50 people) were allowed in first for first pick of the best seats in the house. Honestly Thalia Hall is an amazing venue and there really isn’t a bad seat in the place. Although being on the floor only a few feet away from him was definitely the preferred. We were enjoying every minute of it. We got some cool VIP laminates that had Henry holding 55 birthday candles on top of a skull. We also received matching autographed posters of the same image.

The Spoken Word portion of the show kicked off and as always Henry was filled with incredible stories of his adventures. travel and experiences. It took me back to 15 years ago when the 3 of us and my sister in law Melissa saw his Spoken Word tour on Rollins 40th birthday. Also an unforgettable show. The best part about the show though was his ability to really show us how down to earth he really is. He shared with us his memories of the times he had his own “in awe fan moments” including when he met Bowie and Lemmy for the first time. Which I was so hoping he would do. Listening to those stories brought us not only into Rollins world but also into Bowie and Lemmy’s as well.

He also shared about his contributions and getting Lemmy to be a part of the West Memphis Three benefit CD he put together. A cause you all know I have felt strongly about and have even donated my own work to help raise money for. One thing Rollins said was that the people who knew it was wrong stood up and did something about it. Said NO this is not right and NO we will not stand for it. That people pulled together to do something about it. It made me feel good knowing I was a part of that.

He told us how if we want to go out and do something DO IT! When others tell you that you can’t go at it with twice the force! That is what I love so much about him. Here is a man who stood on stage for hours just talking and left the entire audience in awe, inspired and entertained! A dream of mine would be to have the honor of just sitting down with him for like dinner or something and just picking his brain.

After the show was over everyone that was VIP stayed and the rest of the crowd left. We all sat there anticipating with excitement when Rollins would come out and talk to us to do a intimate Q & A. The best part is he came out on the floor and not on stage to talk to us.

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Rollins talking to us after the show

He started off by saying he didn’t want to do the VIP thing at first because to some “it isn’t punk rock of you to pay to meet someone” but he knew if he didn’t give this a shot he might not be able to stick around and talk to all of his fans like he is use to doing. He was not comfortable with the fact that we were paying to meet him but he was honored at the same time.  That’s how cool Rollins is. We were the guneia pigs. We were actually history in the making as the very first group of fans/1st show to experience this with Rollins so that was wicked cool as well.

They OMG VIP crew started off with pictures which was very quick but still gave me the opportunity to hand him my Genesis 4:7 portrait and tell him I drew it for him. Show him the “Bloody Bingo” bag I made and even get it in the photo. He was like “wow this is for me” which made my heart sing. I think this photo is worth more then any words I could type here (I have been starring at it all day in awe ha ha)……

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Just little ole’ me on my birthday. Henry Rollins with one arm around me and the other holding the Genesis 4:7 (He Never Died) art piece I drew for him in the other. Yeah I call this one “BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!”

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My Brother Mike with his idol Henry Rollins

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My Husband Frank (who made all of this happen for us) with Henry Rollins

Questions were already asked of the VIPs when entering the venue but he opened the floor to more questions once he finished them. This was my brother Mike’s shining moment (as he is the biggest Rollins fan on the planet). They were just about to wrap things up and he raised his hand. Rollins called on him and my brother was able to reminisce with Rollins about the time Rollins Band was here in Chicago at the Metro and we went to see them live. That Melissa was even 6 months pregnant at the time. That it was the most intense show he had ever seen. Rollins immediately shot the shit with him about the show and in detail talked about what they opened up with and they talked about it being a live taping etc. He thanked my brother for the feedback and for reliving the moment with him.

Needless to say I can’t stop thinking about Friday so yesterday I contacted Rollins through his site to thank him for everything. To my surprise (yet I am not surprised because he is such a cool guy) I woke up to an email from him and part of it was thanking me for the art piece and telling me he hopes we cross paths again. Best birthday weekend EVER!

Stay Spooky!
Living Dead Girl Nicole