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

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Spitting Image: Hell Has No Fury

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Part of my Portrait Bucket List has always been to do something inspired by Hellraiser. As horror geeks, my husband and I sometimes have Hellraiser movie marathons and have even had the honor of meeting both both Doug Bradley and Ashley Laurence (both really incredible, down to earth people. If you get the chance to meet them at a con I highly recommend you don’t miss out on the opportunity!).

Despite being such a fan, the only piece of art inspired by the film that I have done was a custom Pinhead barrette that I made for a client. I will say though.. it came out pretty killer and the client loved it. To this day I still half tempted to make one for myself!

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So needless to say, when I saw that Clive Barker himself was calling out to artists to submit their work for an upcoming Hellraiser Anthology book I jumped on it. It being a contest I wanted to do something different then the usual expected Pin Head portrait. I also wanted to incorporate my love of woman in horror and my signature split faces that I love to do. Now you would think I would’ve went with drawing Ashley as Kirsty but the thing is I have always wanted to draw a Cenobite. And what better Cenobite to draw then the Demon Princess turned Cenobite herself… Angelique (played by Valentina Vargas).

So as Pinhead would say, “I have such sights to show you”.

Here is my piece I call “Hell Has No Fury”…………

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I have entered it into the contest and I will say, even if I don’t win anything I am just excited to know that  Clive Barker, king of dark art himself may actually see a piece of my work and that makes my creepy little heart heart skip a beat!

If you are a Hellraiser fan as well, you can purchase prints of this piece in my Etsy shop! And if you want to see more of my portrait work, head on over to the Spitting Image page of my portfolio site!
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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Artist Shout Out: Ryan Gutekunst and Simona Candini

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This is a story of how an artist in Italy and a tattoo artist in Chicago made my arm beautiful again 🙂

I had a tattoo done on the top of left arm that meant a lot to me. It represented who I was as an artist. How growing up art has always been my release and escape from the troubles I was facing in my life. For those who follow my blog or know me I am talking about my Art Heals Crayon Tattoo. I got it 3 years ago and at first it was great but after it healed a pit of regret started to eat at me. Everyday I would look at it on the top of my arm and wish the artist would’ve thought a few things through. Meaning that once it healed it would look a bit different. What happened was the lettering was done so closely to the edges of the banner that when it healed and the ink set to the skin the word HEALS was no longer legible and parts of the banner and crayons just didn’t come out as I expected either. The backgound was so dark it lost some of the focus of the tattoo as well. I hate to admit it but the tattoo was a bit rushed by the aritst leaving me with a tattoo that just didn’t heal the way it could/should have. Having many tattoos I take care of them and they always heal perfectly. I took care of this one just the same.. including sunblock on sunny days like I do my sleeve.. back and arm tattoos. However no matter how well you take care of something a rushed tattoo is never going to be what it could have been. Sad seeing it was one I thought so long and hard about before I got it done.

The biggest kicker was that so many times people complimented the tattoo but always followed it up with one question……… “Art …. what?”

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Seeing that was the whole vision and message behind the tattoo, it killed me to be asked that so many times. A tattoo with that much meaning should not hold that much regret. It was eating at me so much that I finally decided to do something about it.

At first I asked some artists if they could fix it. Most of them told me they could but that as it healed and time went on it would most likely do the same thing. They could brighten the banner and other parts of it up again but there wasn’t much more that could be done. Seeing this was on the top of my arm I wanted to really think this through. I decided to make my appointment for fixing it for now. Even if it was temporary it was better then nothing. I told myself if I found something with just as much meaning that would cover it up then I would go that route with my appointment instead. Ryan Gutekunst was willing to work with me either way and couldn’t get me in until June. That gave me 4 months to figure out what route I would choose. I knew he would be the man for the job because his work is amazing and I had seen cover ups and other work he had done my friends in the past.

One day by chance as if it were meant to be I was on Etsy searching for Big Eye Art (because I just love it) and my jaw dropped when I came across a watercolor painting done by an extremely talented artist from Italy….Simona Candini. It just reminded me so much of myself and myself as an artist. Creepy meets cute. Macabre meets Feminine. You know my whole Jem and Elvira ulter ego personas that make up who I am :). Then I read the title of the piece “Little Demons of Inspiration” and then it hit me… THIS was my cover up!

I knew some altering would need to be done to cover up the old tattoo (such as darkening the colors or even possibly changing them) plus out of respect as an artist myself I contacted Simona and asked for her permission to get her work done as a tattoo. She was nothing but supportive and very happy that I wanted to use her piece. She asked me to send her photos. It was set! I let Ryan know and he said it could be done. I could not be happier.

In June I had my first session. I got the whole outline done.

Stencil placed over old tattoo…

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Let the pain begin…

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We added a few things. Some bats in the mix of the butterflies coming off her paintbrush to sortof represent me a little more but also to blend with the bats on my Count Von Count wrist tattoo that would be below the new tattoo. Ryan also surprised me with a little skull added ot the center of her bow! So me!

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Simona was thrilled with the addtions and even shared the work on her Facebook page.

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Well I had to wait 5 months to get my next session scheduled because Ryan is so good he is a hot commodity. The good thing is that gave the outline a good time to heal so that when he did fill it in he had a nice canvas to work with. Especially with it being a cover up.

Well folks my appointment was yesterday and I could not be happier.

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I may have to go back in for one final touch up once it heals to make sure the old tattoo doesn’t come through. Ryan is smart about cover ups. He starts off light. Waits for them to heal and then adds to them. Some artists like to just go in there super dark and then there is nothing you can do about it later. Glad he knows what he is doing because I could not be happier. My arm hates me and Ryan right now after all the hours of drilling the ink in ha ha (he isn’t heavy handed at all.. just good work takes time and should never be rushed which I learned the hard way with the original tattoo I was getting covered ha ha). I am sure once it’s no longer red, swollen and painful it will be alot happier ha ha.

If you are in the Chicagoland area and looking to get work done I highly recommend Ryan. He can be found at Insight Studios! Hit him up! Don’t forget to also check out Simona Candini’s insanely beautiful work as well!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Slasher Sale: Happy Best Holiday Of The Year!

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In celebration of my insane love of Halloween I am offering FREE SHIPPING in my Etsy Shop now through 11/1!

Just use coupon code HALLOWSEVE at check out!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Happy Anniversary Etsy!

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Happy Anniversary to the website that opened so many new doors for me as an artist!

Here is to 10 years of Etsy and many more to come!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Creature Featured: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” Ghoullery Feature

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I love my killer team!! We just posted our first Ghoullery Feature! Go check it out!

Etsy Massacre Team’s Bloodspot: “I Know What You Did Last Summer” Ghoullery Feature.

Slasher Sale : Reminder Etsy Massacre Team’s Bloody Valentine Sale starts tomorrow!!!

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Etsy Massacre Team’s Bloodspot: Etsy Massacre Team’s Bloody Valentine Sale!!!