Spitting Image: I Will Carry On

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Some of you may have noticed from my lack of posts that I have been in quite of an art rut. To say the least 2019 was a hard year for me and it took a toll on me creatively. Normally I would use my art as a form of escape but this past year there was a lot of death and loss that really took over and I started to feel like my art was something I was pressuring myself to do just to keep up with other creatives. In other words, this piece I am about to share with you not only represents the character I was inspired by but also a big piece of myself as well.

As a Jim Henson geek it comes as no surprise that I would fall in love with Netflix’s Dark Crystal Age Of Resistance. However, I didn’t expect to be so drawn into (pun intended) and relate so much to one of it’s main characters. That character being Deet, who I now refer to as my gelfling heroine.

Like myself, Deet (born Deethra) is a creative and sympathetic empath who feels very deeply. Being a misunderstood Grottan, she may not have the most confidence sometimes but she doesn’t let others negativity discourage her. Instead she pays it forward to inspire others to be true to themselves and try to see the world more optimistically. She will do anything to heal the pain of the ones she loves no matter how draining or overwhelming it may become for her. On top of it Deet has a soft spot for creatures and animals (hence the hint and reference in the opener of my last post) making her that more sympathetic and amped to join The Resistance and help save all of Thra from the darkness. So in other words if Nicole was a gelfling.

I was so in tune with this character that she got me picking up my drawing pencils again and helped to give me my motivation back. Then again if anyone could be inspired in real life by a puppet it’s this girl right here! When I finished this piece I was not sure what I was going to call it and then I decided on “I Will Carry On” which was a phrase that Deet says in the show (I won’t say when incase you haven’t splurged on this masterpiece yet) but I find it very fitting to Deet’s personality, her sacrifices, how I relate to her personally, my overall vision for this piece and the fact I was trying to overcome not only my art rut but other obstacles in my life while creating it.

I actually have been working on this piece on and off again since the end of December. I know this is not typical of me but ehhh art ruts suck to get out of and if you don’t want to mess what you have started up you don’t rush it. I also wanted it to have a soft feel to it so I used pencil, charcoal and chalk pastels.

I am very happy with the way it turned out and I have since accepted the fact that I don’t have to feel the pressure to make something all the time to be considered an artist. I just need to feel the inspiration and let it take over when the time is right. I have also taken on additional ways of self healing to bring more zen into my life and I feel this has helped me to release some of my artistic tension. This piece is a wonderful representation of where I was and where I am going. The Deet in me hopes this piece also finds a way to speak to and inspire other empaths and tortured artists out there that may need it.

If you would like to see more of my portrait work feel free to visit the Spitting Image page of my portfolio website. If your a Deet, Dark Crystal or Jim Henson fan and would like a print or a shirt of this art piece, they will be available in my Amazon Shop starting today!

Stay Spooky & Resist!
LDG Nicole of the Grottan Clan

Spitting Image: Kindred Spirits

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Christina Ricci Winona Ryder

So even though I have already drawn Winona Ryder (as Mina Harker) and Christina Ricci (as herself and in tribute to us sharing the same birthday) I still have had them on my art bucket list because they have portrayed so many of my favorite characters and are two of my favorite actresses. There are two characters though that stand out from the rest and I have related to both of them and have loved them since I was younger…. Lydia Deetz and Wednesday Addams.

My original plan was to draw two separate portraits but after searching for reference photos I kept finding the same photos and so many of them had already been drawn. Some multiple times. I really wanted to do something to challenge myself as well as create something unique. I decided that since both characters have very similar qualities and traits why not try to combine them into one of my split face portraits.

So I present to you you my latest piece called “Kindred Spirits”….

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The entire time drawing it I knew I wanted to call it this because I feel like if these characters crossed paths they would be dressing up as homicidal maniacs together, rummaging the cemeteries, trying to join the dead in the nether world and capturing sheets with no feet on film . And on top of it I secretly wish I could be a part of it.

For those of you who also dreamt of the day these two would became friends and you could join them on their spooky adventures, I have prints and t-shirts of this piece now in my Etsy Shop! See more of my portrait work on the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Spitting Image: I Bind You Nancy

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I fell in love with Fairuza Balk in high school when I first saw the movie The Craft. Her portrayal of Nancy Downs is truly the reason I continue to love that movie even now in my 30’s. Watching Nancy on the screen I always wanted to be her friend and hang out with her despite the consequences. So in other words the moral of the movie went right out the window for me ha ha ha. I also would’ve loved to go shopping with her so I could own every piece of her wardrobe (well….besides the “I’m Flying” hospital gown and arm and leg restraints ha ha).

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I have always been drawn (no pun intended) to Fairuza because she isn’t like all the other actresses out there. First off her name is incredibly cool, she is a unique beauty (my god..those eyes!) and she tends to always get the edgier roles that I like. On top of being a very talented actress she is also a musician and an artist as well!

Fairuza has been on my art bucket list for as long as I can remember. But I can finally cross her off now. I just finished a new split face portrait inspired by Fairuza as Nancy.

I present to you ” I Bind You Nancy”……….

It was done in pencil and charcoals. The right side is the witchy goth every day Nancy and the left side is the crazy ward “I’m flying” Nancy. I hope one day Fairuza decides to grace us fans with her presence here in Chicago. If she does I plan to give her the original. But for my fellow fans of Fairuza, Nancy and/or The Craft I have both prints and tshirts available in my Etsy shop!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Creature Feature: Beetle House LA

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Could not be more excited or honored. Boxed up my ORIGINAL “What Nightmares Are Made Of” charcoal and pencil drawing to be shipped off to the new Beetle House Bar/Restaurant opening in Los Angeles next month. Their first location opened in New York and was such a success they are opening up a 2nd location. My piece will be displayed on the walls with other Tim Burton inspired art.

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I was skeptical to send off my original at first because it’s a very meaningful piece and I worked really hard on it. However the more I thought about it the more I realized it needed to be a part of this amazing project instead of tucked away in my portfolio for no one to appreciate. Yes I was dreaming of one day giving it to Tim Burton himself. But let’s be honest.. the chances of that happening (even though I am a dreamer) are not very likely. The whole point of the piece was to express how much Tim Burton has inspired me as a artist and a person. Which is the exact vision behind Beetle House. I feel it will be at home there and who knows maybe some how Tim himself might finally get to see it.

Speaking of seeing it… if you live in the area or travel there make sure to visit Beetle House and snap a photo of yourself with the piece on display! I would love to collect photos of people enjoying the piece in person there. They are currently already taking reservations online!  I myself hope to one day travel there so I can see it on display and also take in how incredible Beetle House is. My only fear is I may never want to leave 😉

Love this piece? Then check out the prints and shirts available in my Etsy shop! want to see more of my portrait work? Then check out the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole