Life Of A Dark Artist: 2017 Milestones

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wp_20170610_13_07_41_proI 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!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

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Villain Arts Chicago Tattoo Con 2017

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Kelly Doty BarretteThis weekend Frank and I attended the Villain Arts Chicago Tattoo Convention. Not only was it a great networking event for artists but we were able to get some work done and I was able to meet the extremely talented Kelly Doty.

For those of you that don’t know her, Kelly Doty is an extremely talented tattoo artist who recently was a finalist on Ink Masters. As a tattoo enthusiast and “collector” I have watched Ink Masters since the very first episode. But it wasn’t until Kelly was on the show that I was so awed by someone’s work that I anticipated every week so I could root for her. I won’t even lie.. when she didn’t win I was bitter. I just really thought she deserved the title and find her work to be incredible. So when I found out she was going to be at the con I decided to make her one of my Dead Girl Skullerfly Decay Barrettes… completely inspired by her.

When I met her I told her I made her something and when I told her it was a barrette she said “Girl you are speaking my language” and dug into the gift bag. She loved it and ripped the rose out of her hair.. threw it to the side and said “stupid rose” and immediately put my barrette in it’s place ha ha. She was an absolute delight to talk to and when I told her I loved her work she pointed at her new barrette and said “I love your work”. When I said goodbye and thanked her for rocking my barrette right away she said “try to stop me from wearing it” ha ha ha. Here is the photo a friend at her booth took of us during our meeting..

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And the day just got better because our tattoo artist, Dave Togtman (of Black Devil Tattoo) was working the event and reserved time for both Frank and I to get more work done.

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Frank got the netherworld priest added to his wrist as a part of his Beetlejuice sleeve and I got my Neo Traditional style Captain Spaulding skull on my calf next to my Baby Firefly pinup. These pics were taken right after each piece was finished. He did an amazing job on both of them and we couldn’t be happier with them.

 

On top of it Dave also gave us this amazing art piece he had on display at the show. It will definitely be getting framed and hung up in our tomb sweet tomb!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole