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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Merry Krampus!

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So I realized I posted and shared our “electronic” Xmas card on Instagram and via text but still had not posted it here (we are saving money by skipping snail mail again this year). So it’s a little late but still before Christmas so it counts for something right?

So to all my Freaky Fanatics…

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And I got a little Krampus gift from the husband! I surprised him on Black Friday and got him the Xbox he wanted and he just got me a new printer! With me getting more and more print orders it was something I wanted but really needed. What really makes me drool the most though is the fact that it has a 11 x 17 scanner!!! This thing is a beast and will take up a bit of space in my studio/home office but it’s soooooo worth it!

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I am off to fill more print orders 🙂

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Ghoulish Garments Are Here!

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As you all know, I already have my artwork on clothing. However the items are on such sites as RedBubble and RageOn! As much as I love these sites because they are trying to help artists make a name for themselves, I don’t like the fact that I don’t have much control over the shop process (other then uploading my work etc). I also hate the fact that in order to make any money you have to mark the items up or they are already marked up to prices people can’t afford. And to make matters more frustrating you can’t cash out your earnings until you have made so much in profit which is usually a lot and takes a long time to accumulate.

And speaking of frustrating… I also hate that my customers have to go to multiple sites in order to purchase various items. I have been researching like crazy to find a legitimate and good printer who will work with me. I do all my art by hand and not with layered computer files. Almost all printers these days only want to work with graphic artists and not us artists who do things the old school way (you know.. sweat, tears, pencils and paper). However, I am happy to say that my search is over and I am officially moving forward with a printing company who has truly impressed me. My research has been intensive and this company even sent me 3 sample shirts for me to look over the quality of the garments and the printing results to assure me that my work and my customers were in good hands.

So with that, you can now purchase affordable high quality t-shirts directly from me through the Ghoulish Garments section of my Etsy Shop! No more just uploading my work to different sites and hoping whoever buys their items with my work on it gets what they hoped for. You will actually purchase the items directly through me. I then work with the printer to get the items printed and shipped out to you. It’s pretty awesome and after all the research I have been doing, I must say that I am pretty stoked about this!

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I do ask that you please bare with me. I have tons of portraits and I actually have to design each shirt before I put it up in my shop. Right now there are only a couple in there but TONS more are coming! Please Favorite my shop and keep checking back for more.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole