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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Days Of The Dead Indy 2017

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Days Of The Dead Indy 2017 (5)We just got back from Indy. Our friend gave us some weekend passes for Days of the Dead. It worked out perfectly because I really wanted to give Sid (Haig) my “Shit The Bed” split face portrait. I was waiting to see when he would be back in Chicago but these passes ended up working out perfectly. Frank and I had been discussing a small summer getaway, we had the extended long weekend already for the holiday and most importantly Sid was on the guest list. His birthday is in July so I thought how perfect is it that I will be give it to him before his birthday. So I made sure to wrap up my portrait (red and blue of course) and we were on our way!

Sid loved the portrait but he also took the time to catch up with us over dinner and drinks. These cons tend to get pretty busy so it was nice to have some sit down time with him since we don’t get to see him all the time. He is such a wise man. We took in so much of his knowledge, advice and enjoyed every minute of the quality time we got to spend with him. He also really loved seeing my Spaulding Skull tattoo (he had previously emailed me telling me it was “so fucking cool” right after I had gotten it) and signed an autograph for my Dad. I am truly grateful to have such an amazing person that I can call a friend. Days Of The Dead Indy 2017 (1)

I also was pretty happy to see that Felissa Rose (Angela Baker from Sleepaway Camp) was added as a last minute guest addition. So Frank and I decided to pay her a visit. Seriously one of the sweetest guests to meet at a con. She kept telling me how cute I was. How much she loved my Carrie/Barbie mash up shirt (she even took a photo of it) and kept saying how great Frank and I were together. I highly recommend meeting her if you get a chance at a con.

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Here are some great shots Frank took of me with some of the decor they had up at the con. The Halloween house was really well put together and I was drawn to it right away. The zombie girl eating intestines… well I told her I didn’t have too much of mine left so she shared some with me ha ha.

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The weekend in general was much needed little getaway and we had a blast. Here are some photos of our horror haul we brought home with us. We had to stay with in our budget (due to a hotel room dilemma that cost us more then we expected) but I think we did pretty good for what we could get.

Frankenhooker, They Live and Beetlejuice T-shirts, Critter Action Figure, Leatherface Political button, Elvira, Brainscan and Alien patches!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole