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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Backbone: Prize Donations for the Hardcore Hearse Club Weekend

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If you plan on attending the Hardcore Hearse Club’s Haunted Halloween Weekend then make sure to enter some of the great contests they are having. I won’t be vending this event due to other artistic obligations, but I have donated these handmade Dead Girl Decay Barrettes that will be given away as part of the prizes! It’s hard to see in the photo but they each come in super cute glittery bat bags.

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If you were not aware of the events happening this weekend here is the flyer with all the details. We may be there with Frankenhearse (weather permitting) on Saturday. 21767989_1969568029924147_3647249949313628228_n

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Hardcore Hearse Club 2017 Hearse Show

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Thank you to everyone who came out to the hearse show at Brauerhouse yesterday. To my family and friends who came out to support me and to all the wonderful people who visited my booth. I had so much fun meeting all of you and re-connecting with some of you I had met before.

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Here are a few shots I remembered to capture of some of my new Freaky Fanatics. If I didn’t get your photo with your items please contact me. I would love for you to submit your photos so I can add you to my slideshow and feature you here on my Eulogy Blog. It felt great taking listings down on Etsy this morning due to all the items that you guys bought! Thank you for supporting what I love to do!

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As you can see the hearse show is a huge hit among all ages and I am so happy to see that my work is as well! Speaking of huge hits….. this was Elsa‘s first big hearse show so she not only made her car show debut but everyone loved her.

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I am sure you will see photos of her all over the internet. People were taking photos of her like crazy. Bitch is gonna be famous before I am ha ha. Just more proof that people love my wacky ideas ha ha. You can’t see it but she is actually rocking one of my logo buttons on her chest and one of my Dead Girl Decay Barrettes in her hair.

I want to take a moment to give a huge shout out to my husband Frank who always does all the heavy labor when it comes to my booth set up and deals with my over organized crazy ass as I stress out all the way up until the show. And lets not forget all his Macgyver ideas to fight weather conditions and always making sure I am well hydrated and feeling ok. On top of everything he always sweats it out to make sure the Frankenhearse is clean, wiped down and looking it’s best for the car show portion of the event! It doesn’t sound like a lot of work but it is. Hearses are BIG vehicles. And he did a great job because we won the Hearse Club’s Choice trophy!

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And on top of all that he even drove his RC cars around the lot with my post card on the hood to advertise my booth. Adults and kids were loving it.

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I also want to take the time to give a huge shout out to our friends Mike and Ellie who volunteered this year. They came to our house early to help us load up and went home late after unloading everything when we got back home. They also helped us set up/take down, brought water and snacks and helped keep the fort down (literally … it was a warm but windy day). Ellie was even helping me with customers and Mike was even helping Frank with all the Macgyvering. It made a huge difference then the previous year when it was only Frank and I. They even rocked their Living Dead Girl Nicole logo shirts! For those of you who dug the hand made apocalyptic weapons on my undead table those were made by Mike. So if you weren’t able to purchase one at the show contact me and I can get you in touch with him.

I wish I had a chance to walk around and enjoy some of the other vendor booths but with the wind being on random all day it was a matter of making sure nothing flew away or got broken. Plus it was actually a decently busy day so I really wanted to be able to talk to the customers that came by. I will say though I was happy to have Scavenged Parts as our neighbor. We met them at the show last year and I have been following their fun and bizarre finds online ever since. I was however able to take a photo inside the hearse that took Best Of Show. It was beautiful and I was in love.

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At the end of the night when we were shutting down Frank was able to turn on all of Frankenhearse’s eerie green lights. It looked awesome leaving the lot. Those lights in the window are from my Dad. We added them on Halloween so this was the first time we were able to use them at a show.

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Last but not least I want to give a big thank you to Darlene Daniels who is the President of our hearse club. If you were not aware she is the brains and organization that makes this event such a huge success each year. She works really hard to make it a fun and memorable and every year it rocks more and more!  We get hearses that come in from all over the states to be a part of the show. It’s pretty incredible and it’s all the hard work she puts into the event that makes it happen!

Now I am off to relax and start looking for reference photos for a piece I was commissioned to do .. thanks to the show!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Hardcore Hearse Club Show This Weekend!

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The big 2017 Hardcore Hearse Club Show is this Saturday! I will have deeply discounted “show special” pricing on a ton of items in my booth so that I can clean out my inventory. The more I sell at the show, the more new stuff I can create for all of you!

This includes Dead Girl Massacre Decay and Undead Zombie Creations! I will have limited quantities of my 30 top selling Spitting Image Portrait prints (also discounted for the show)! I will be offering deals for anyone who purchases more than one item and giving out things like free charm necklaces with $50 or more purchase.

I will also have some fun new items only available at the show that you will definitely want to check out. I will be available to talk about custom orders (including t-shirts) and will be taking deposits right at the show.

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So come visit my booth, get some creepy creations at incredibly low prices, enter raffles for tons of cool prizes and see Frankenhearse and all the other killer rides on display! It’s always a great turn out and ton of fun! You don’t want to miss it!

Etsy Event Link:
https://www.etsy.com/local/event/124677218475/hardcore-hearse-club-show-june-10

Facebook Event Link:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1809559189369879/

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Save The Date: 2017 Hardcore Hearse Club Show!

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Save the date!!! Lots more info to come so stay tuned!

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In the mean time check out some photos from last years’ show!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

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

Deadly Designs: Hardcore Hearse Club Website

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Make sure to take a gander at the Hardcore Hearse Club’s new website! Designed by yours cruelly!

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Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole