Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gettin Low Brow with Miss Dister

I love art! I could go one all day about the different type of art that I love, but we don't have that kind of time. Lately, there has been an art movement taking over and making a name for itself, and it is hard to ignore. This type of art is called pop surrealism or low brow art.

I remember being first exposed to it in a magazine called Gothic Beauty. There was an article called, "Untamed Imagery: The Art of Mark Ryden." I know this because I still have the Spring 2005 issue and it is currently next my keyboard as I type this. There was something so beautiful and classic about his art, but also strange, unusual, and even a little disturbing. It drew me in like a fly to honey and I have been addicted ever since. I recently met another person who is not just a fan of pop surrealism and Mark Ryden, but creates her own low brow art as well. The artists name is Dahiana and her shop is Dister, but you can call her Miss Dister. I had a few questions for Miss Dister and I learned a lot about this talented artist. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Miss Dister!

My Name is Dahiana, I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. I live in Boston MA with my husband Michael and our cat. I went to college and got a Bachelor's degree in Advertising. I'm a full time professional artist who specializes in realism, portraits, still life and abstracts. Over the past three years I have developed a new passion for Surrealism, specifically Pop Surrealism (Lowbrow art), Digital Photography and Silkscreen Printing. I love horror movies, photography, crafts and yoga.

1.What kind of items do you sell in your shop?

Mixed media art, screen printing, prints and original paintings.

2. How long have you been an artist?

Almost all my life, since I can remember.

3.If you had to describe your art in only 5 words, what would they be?


4. I am loving the skulls and heart prints! They look like something you find in Grey's Anatomy. What inspired you to create these images?

Well, I've always been fascinated with how intrinsic the anatomy of the human body is, it has a mysterious beauty even a sense of nostalgia, when I create those images because I want to show that even the most ghoulish object can be something beautiful.

5. Do you have an item for sale in your shop that is your most favorite above the rest? What is it and why?

"The Walk", I think it has to do with fact that there are people out there that enjoy this style of art like me or because this was one of my first items when I opened my shop hahahaha.

6. I noticed in one of your profiles that you have a passion for surrealism, specifically pop surrealism or lowbrow art. What is it about this style that you love so much?

I think it is the dichotomy that you feel when you see a piece. There is a darkness that is at the same time so beautiful, breath taking and sometimes funny. This genre for me is an escape from structure, a break from how things should look just because society says so.

7. I also saw some shirts with steam punk images. What is it about this culture that you like and inspires you?

Steampunk is the most amazing movement that I ever seen even though some people think that it has a political agenda. I love the victorian era, the idea of time traveling, the combination of modern technology and old machinery, fantasy and horror and of course I adore the kick a @$ Steampunk fashion!

8. If you were to give an new seller on Etsy some advice, what would you say to them?

Be patient, promote at your own pace, use all the media that you can twitter, Facebook, etc. If you don't know how to use them don't worry eventually you will figure it out and NEVER! NEVER! consider your shop as a " hobby shop", don't let people put your shop in that category. Just because you don't have a gazillion sales every day it doesn't mean that your shop is not good enough or the product that you are offering is the wrong one. Have passion for what you're are doing and you will get results.

9. Is there any artist that you idolize or admire over most others? Who is it and why?

Yes I do! Mark Rayden, incredible artist, mesmerizing art work. Some people say that he's the "god-father" of pop surrealism. When I saw his work for the first time I knew it was okay to let my imagination flow. As an artist who works with realism all the time, it is very difficult for me to let my creativity go sometimes.

10.This ghoul would like to know what your favorite kind of horror movie is and why? Do you prefer a bloody, slasher flick or maybe a good old fashioned haunting in an abandoned hospital?

All of the above! hahahaha, I love horror movies, I get inspiration from them and integrate that in to my work.

If you would like to see what she has for sale, Check out her Etsy Shop! You can also Follow her on Twitter, and Like her on Facebook!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Word with Gothic Glass Studio

A little over four years ago I met the man that married two Halloweens ago.  In case you didn't know, when you become involved with someone to the point where you marry this person you get to learn a lot about them and even meet their family. I know, what were the odds! Anyways, I met the in-laws the fall after James, my husband, and I started dating. That following summer James and I went to Georgia and spent some time with parents, Ruth and Lenny. We did the touristy things, went shopping, had some killer eats, and met a few of his parents friends. We met a couple that in-laws are good friends with, Joan and George. Ruth met Joan at a mosaic, tiling class... if I'm not mistaken.  We found out that Joan and George were and still are amazing artists. Their chosen craft is stained glass.

By Joan and George

They have stunning work to say the least. Our family is happy to say we own some of their pieces. Since this trip, James and I have taken a fondness to stained glass and other forms of glass art.

Also by Joan and George

So it should be no surprise that I was very happy to get an introduction to Angie, the owner of Gothic Glass Studio. This lady has some killer pieces to say the least. Angie took a moment to answer a few questions that I had about her and her work and I am very happy to share this info with my readers.

I am Angie Chase, designer and sole owner of Gothic Glass Studio. My feline, Patch, is social media coordinator and book-keeper. I create art glass suncatchers and ArtzyGlazzy™ Jewelry from my home in Nova Scotia. My designs have captured the international attention of those who have an appreciation for unique, one-of-a-kind art. I specialize in originally designed Wicca, Pagan and Goddess symbolic suncatchers.

Gothic Glass Studio prides itself in crafting quality art glass. During a span of over 20 years, I have developed the skills, practice and understanding of the many tools, materials and glass that are essential and valuable in creating quality art.

Glass art is an exact craft. It requires many hours to meticulously draw the patterns and select and purchase suitable colours and textures of glass for each design. Each piece is hand cut and hand assembled by grinding and shaping, copper foiling and soldering each and EVERY piece. The soldered piece is washed, polished and hanging hardware attached. You definitely get what you pay for.

My name, Gothic Glass Studio, refers to an architectural era of ornamental window glass. My designs are inspired by that 13-14 century Gothic emotion and moderates it with today’s culture where the glamorizing effect of the sun and glass remain unchanged.
And...it reflects my inner Gothesque and vampishness, too!

1. What kind of items do you sell in your shop?

Bored with pattern books, I take pride in creating art glass from my own original designs which helps define my business and sets me apart from others. I tend to design from themes that have a spiritual/personal meaning to me.

2. How did you get started in creating these amazing glass creations?

I began the process of learning the craft during summer employment while attending university. It immediately felt ‘natural’ to me. After three consecutive summers working as an apprentice, I started my own home-based business. During phases of my life, I didn’t have the space or the time to work my craft but now I am fully immersed and focused on my art. I am now utilizing social media to market my art.

3. What inspired you to make darker images in your work, such as bats?

The concept and perception of ‘dark’ and ‘light’ are subjective. My bats, as well as my other designs, flow from a joy-filled spirit and reflect and honour Mother Earth and other spiritual entities...with freedom to add the colours. The spectrum or rainbow is neither good or bad/dark or light. I’ve always had an interest and attraction to a reality and imagination beyond the one-dimensional concept of the existence we are generally fed.

4. Where would you say most of your inspiration comes from?

My inspiration comes from my evolving, maturing inner wisdom, a direct translation from the language of my spirit. I am my culture, roots and experience. I re-create those symbolic intra-connections in my designs. I celebrate and honour my existence and world through my art.

5. I think it is amazing to see the final result of your process, your work is stunning. How long does it typically take you to make one of your items, say something the size of your baby bat sun catcher?

Thank you for your compliment. I am always encouraged by and appreciate of feedback. My craft brings me happiness so it is a bonus when others have positive feelings about it too. If I were to make only one bat, it would take me approximately 3 to 4 hours from start to finish. The more pieces in a design, the longer it takes. Sometimes, I work slowly, especially on new designs because I have to think about and plan my cuts. I apply the same amount of mindfulness and positive energy into every piece.

6. Do you have a hard time balancing your normal life with your creative, glass art making life? How do you keep things in balance?

Because I am currently unemployed, I have oodles of time to devote to my glass work. Although I lack a living wage, I gain the time and space to do what I am passionate about doing. I devote many hours of the day ‘doing glass’ including marketing. I also walk and bike and jump at any opportunity to actively engage in life....experiencing events, activities and people. I am living ‘normal’ when creating...it is balance. Everything/life is in balance....even when we think it is not.

7. Have you ever done a custom item before? Would you consider it?

I have worked on many custom designs. They can be challenging because the image begins from someone else and I have to re-create that idea in reality. It can be time consuming deciding on colours and types of glass. I may not even like the subject of the design but I will always put my best effort into the design and the craftsmanship. The point is to create something that will please the other.

8. Are you working on anything new that you would like to share with my readers?

I was sent an image of a Tacca flower on Facebook because its common name is ‘Bat Flower’. Only a few days later, I began sketching the flower and choosing the perfect colours. It is now ready to solder. I really like it, (like most of my panel designs) and I might want to keep it (as they are usually one-of-a-kind) but I will list it in my shop to sale. Business is detaching from the art after it is finished.

9. What is your most favorite item that is currently for sale in your shop? Both out of your sun catchers and jewelry.

My favorite design is the pair of primitive crow/raven with cherry panels. I would love to keep these (crows and ravens are one of my predominate spirit guides) but business is business.

10. This ghoul would like to know what your most favorite horror movie is and why? If you can't pick just one, that is okay too. Lord knows I can't!

Ahhh, now we’re talkin’...I really can’t, not right now anyway. I love love macabre literature (Bradbury, Poe, Straub, Saul, King, and Lovecraft) and movies! I’m especially partial to vampires. I like the oldies like Hitchcock’s, ‘The Birds’. Most people won’t go to the movies with me to see a ‘horror’ movie because I usually laugh when others scream and I start getting a crush on the vampire....yeah, ‘nuff said.

If you would like to know more about Angie and her work, you can find her all over the web!
Check out her Etsy Shop! Like her on Facebook! Follow her on Twitter!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gobble Gobble, Mother F*cker!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! It's hard to believe that it has finally arrived. I swear, it barely feels like November has started and now it is practically over. However, it is not over and it is Thanksgiving! This ghoul has been dying to share this movie review for a while now, but has never felt like it was the right time. I love horror movies as you all know and I love ones that take place during a specific holiday. In fact, I have a favorite one for every season! When New Years Day comes along I like to watch new Years Evil. Valentine's Day is when I watch My Bloody Valentine and Valentine. St Patrick's Day should be obvious, but in case you are dense, I watch The Leprechaun. I could go on, but I don't want to spoil any future movie reviews.

Unfortunately, there aren't many Thanksgiving horror flicks. Sad, but true. There are actually only four. You have Home Sweet Home, Blood Freak, Thanxgiving, and ThanksKilling. The one that I have seen the most times, for some ungodly reason, is ThanksKilling. This movie is about a group of five college kids that run into a homicidal turkey that hunts them down to kill them one by one. If you think that is insane, then you will never believe that there two sequels that follow this. I wish I was kidding.

I'm not sure if this movie will peak your interest, but if you like low budget, B rate horror, then maybe this one is for you. PS when I mean low budget I am talking $3500 budget.... literally! A movie so ridiculous that the catch phrase, "Gobble Gooble, mother fucker!" was written before the plot was developed. The turkey puppet was constructed from old special fx materials by the director in his apartment bathroom. The body of the puppet was a foam, decoy hunting decoy. This is why you never see the turkey's feet. When audition time came they were held in a garage.

Final summation: If you like bad horror movies with ghetto talkin turkey's and porn star cameos, then give this a whirl... otherwise, you will be disappointed.... severely disappointed! Happy Thanksgiving!

Still Goth for the Holidays

Tis the season to be jolly, but I still want blood, guts, and gore! I am a sucker for the holidays, but it's not always easy to find spooky X-mas decor and accessories. I love wrapping paper, the green, and red, the trees, and the lights!!!!! Oh my god, do I love lights! Ask anyone that has been in my home lately. Lights all over the place! I even have special blue ones for my spider web candelabra! I even like Santa hats... as long as there is a skull or zombie wearing it, but I like them none the less.

The shop being featured in my latest interview is called Still Goth. This shop has some amazing, festive pieces that are spooky enough to be enjoyed by those who like to treat everyday like it is Halloween. The shop owners name is Janice and she reminds me a lot of myself. I told her to take this interview by the balls and to let her freak flag fly, so consider yourself warned and meet Janice.

My name is Janice and I am married with one child, KayleighRose. I live in Philly, born and raised, truly a city girl. I am a E.R./Trauma RN. I love the hell out of blood, guts and gore, so this seems natural, though exhausting. We currently have a rescued cat, Iris Luna, and a spoiled rotten guinea pig, Bruce Wayne. My hobbies, wow, tough one, I think I came out of my Mother's vagina with a paintbrush....oh shit, sorry... I was abandoned at birth and adopted by my loving parents, both are unfortunately deceased. I am very close to my older sister, Donna. I am loud, crude and swear like a sailor.

1. What kind of items do you sell in your shop?

 I sell items that I truly love with my heart and soul. I make what I would purchase and wear, and I do wear lots of my own shit. Ohh, and my daughter Kayleigh is my biggest fan and critic. Vintage, heavy metals, obscure, deranged, bloody, zombified...

2. How long have you been crafting and how did you get started?

Been an artist, like I said, almost since birth... always drawing, painting and creating,. I could have went to Art College, should have, but fuck it that's the story of my life... I have been attempting to sell my creations for about a year now.

3. Why did you choose to create goth items as opposed to something more mainstream with cupcakes and less blood?

If you saw me you wouldn't need this question answered, but since you can't, I will explain. I am anything but the norm, mainstream, go with the flow type. I am heavily tattooed (no neck or face pieces), pierced, but tastefully so, no fucking belly button baubles here. I have always been in the goth "culture" as long as I can remember. I live and breath it, I wear and share it, I don't judge, lest I be judged! "So stop staring fucking rude ass people" oh sorry again. I could never give up my blood and gore, where would I be then?

4. I am loving your line of gothic Christmas items! What inspired you to give this holiday a dark twist?

Yeah I don't know, all the teams kinda asking to "show your holiday items" and talking with Etsy peeps I am close with were like "you should make something". So as this is my first "holiday" as a seller on Etsy I figured, what the hell! Didn't want to give up my aesthetic though and wanted to stay true to myself and my artistic choice. I think they came out killer, got a lot of fav's, not too many sales yet, though.

5. I was also checking out your tank top section. Are shirts something that fans will see more of in the future or were they something you were test driving?

I love making these. I made these before many other pieces I now have in my shop. I sold some, but I guess weather keeps the sales down now, but yeah. I will always have a selection of them. I hand grommet the back and I even make my own damn laces for the tie back, impressive huh?! I have made a few "custom" tanks so that's always out there too.

6.Your Etsy shop will be hitting it's first full year this January! Congrats!!! What advice you would give to someone looking to start selling on Etsy?

Yeah crazy, a year already. I got discouraged a lot in the beginning, thinking "oh shit, what if no one likes my stuff?" I got over that quick because I really don't care what other small minded people think of me or my art pieces. I realize my shop is geared to a pretty specific culture and I am cool with that and they love my stuff! I suppose I would say stay true to yourself and your art style, and don't give up. Stay open minded and be ACTIVE on Etsy, it's the bet way to promote yourself and your shop.

7.What is your most favorite item that is currently for sale in your shop and why?

Hard one, I am not bullshitting when I say I really love the hell out of my items and continuously wear similar pieces. I guess my Holiday wreaths are pretty Epic, I mean, custom, gothic, intriguing, fluffed and full and little surprises tucked away all throughout, and I think I am selling them pretty cheap considering what I have seen.

8.Since you are a part of the Under the Moon Team on Etsy, I was wondering what is it about this team that appealed to you the most that made you join?

Under the moon has a nice laid back feel, not real pushy and demanding, some teams suck like that.
I like the genre of the team, I like the vibe of the artists. There are so many SICK talented people, can make you feel a little inferior at times. Love the participation and the promoting of others on the team, I think that's so damn important, we really need to take care of ourselves and each other.

9.Is there anything new that you are working on that you would like to share with my readers?

I am dabbling in the mini fascinators. Love the top hat squared style and the possibilites are endless for these little guys. I have a few listed currently, but want to experiment with large weave tulle as a veil and whatnot.

10.Since you seem like you enjoy a good horror movie I am going to ask you what are three tips you would give to someone to survive a horror movie type situation where an insane killer is murdering everyone left and right?

Well I have this one covered, I have many more then 3, but I will give you 3, for now.

1. Do not be the busty, scantily clad slut, running around body parts popping out everywhere, you will always get fucking killed, know that you are a magnet to a psychopathic killer.

2. Do not try and "figure out" what the hell is happening or how the hell it is happening, too much thinking, not enough running asshole.

3. Do not joke about what is going on, do not try and "scare" people during the killing spree, thinking it is fucking hilarious, everyone hates you and wants you dead, including the killer, bye bye douchebag.

If you would like to see more of Janice's work you can check out Still Goth on EtsyFollow her on Twitter, or Like her on Facebook. Her Facebook page might be changing soon, but she will keep you posted!

Also! Still Goth is having a coupon good starting Black Friday thru Cyber Monday! Take advantage of this killer deal while you can! Use the coupon code below at checkout to save 20% off!!!!