Ghosts, Being Awkward & Other Strange Things That Shape My Art (In My 1st Artist Talk)

I am strange, you know, so I have actually always enjoyed talking in front of people (it’s written in my astrology, in my stars). Given that, it should be no surprise to you that I’ve always wanted to give an artist talk. In some other life, I suspect I was a stand up comedian, hamming it up in front of a live audience. In little over a week, on Friday, August 9th, between 5-7pm, I’ll be giving my 1st ever artist talk at PDX Commons, making my wish come true and perhaps giving me the chance to ham it up in this life too.

This is where I’ll be showing 2 of my larger drawings along with about 20 other artists’ artwork. These artists are my fellow South East Portland Open Studio artists. It will be the only time to see all our art together in one place before the actual studio visits in October (2nd & 3rd weekends).

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I’ve been asking people on and off the internet what questions they have for me. So far I’ve gotten some good ones and will answer them in my talk. They have asked me how do I come up with my characters and what is my medium and why do I work in it. If you have questions, please let me know and I’ll be sure to answer them. If you are not in the Portland, Oregon area, I’ll be posting a video of it afterward so you’ll be able to know what I replied to whatever you ask.

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I definitely plan on talking about the significance of ghosts, being awkward and other strange things that shape my artwork. I think it will make me feel very vulnerable to talk about these things, making me tearful or trembling my hands and voice. Still, isn’t that kind of authenticity what makes a talk feel intimate and profound? I hope so. I’m sure there will be a few laughs along the way too. Wish me luck. And I hope to see you there. Details are below.

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The Creeping Museum Invited Me to Their Art Market (August 24th, 2019)

As you may remember, I recently returned to Instagram. In doing so, I seem to have found the online gothic art community. I have been slowly building my audience of fellow artists and art enthusiast who love dark and macabre things, Halloween everyday, creepy cute art, and oddities and curiosities. If you are following me, I dare say, that you too must count yourself among this group of creepers and misfits. They sport names like “Haute Macabre”, “The Ghoul Next Door” and “Haunted Paper”, to name a few.

They also call themselves, “The Creeping Museum”. I was so happy to find them and even more excited to learn that they were in Portland, Oregon, my home, where I live. I followed them online and loved all their posts, including an announcement a few weeks ago that they will be hosting a carefully curated artist market here in Portland, Oregon. I was so happy I’d be able to attend it.

On the same day of their big announcement, they started following me. I couldn’t believe that someone with influence and power in the gothic community (23K+ followers) would like my art and my posts. That boosted my confidence and made me feel like I might belong which is not something I’ve felt before on Instagram.

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About a week after that, I got a message from them, inviting me to be a part of their artist market. I almost jumped out of my seat. It was such a surprise. They must have truly valued my artwork if they were asking me to join such amazing gothic artists. I thought about it for a few hours because I know I can do things in too much haste and on impulse. By the end of the day, I replied to their message with a big, fat YES!

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Yes, I will be an artist at the Creeping Museum’s 1st Artist Market and Fairytale Salon! It is $10 to get in early and shop with less of a crowd for the 1st hour (3-4pm), but afterward (4-9pm), it is free to the public and anyone of you who also considers yourself a lover of oddities, creepy, spooky art, dark fairytales and divination and magic. Will you join us?

I will be posting more about how I’m preparing for this market, so stay tuned between now and August 24th. I can’t wait!!!

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What A Surprise to Be Accepted into This Juried Art Show: 2019 Portland Open Studios

About a month ago, I applied to get into the annual art studio event, Portland Open Studios, where art lovers and collectors can go on a self-guided, free tour of over 100 artists’ studios and see them work in their spaces and see how they create art. The jury was prestigious this year, including Stephanie Chefas of the Portland gallery, “Stephanie Chefas Projects” and Lisa Congdon, nationally known illustrator and author, so I wasn’t sure what chance an unknown artist like myself would have—-Wait-—-Do you even know me? Who did you think I am?——I was definitely riddled with doubt, but wanted to take the chance and see how I fared. Just having these 2 high-powered women check out my art seemed worth the risk of shame or dying alone and unknown——yes, I have a flare for the overdramatic.

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I was on pins and needles for weeks. I’d talk about it all the time. Would I get in? Did I have what it took? Did I represent what they thought was worthy of attention and recognition? Should I pretend I would get in and just start working on the things I needed to do to get done (creating new art, planning demos, making products to sell, etc.) for an open studio visit for art lovers and collectors?

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A few days ago, I got the fateful email that I had been waiting for. Did I get in? Yes. It was full of good news. I made the cut and I would be able to show people my art in the space where I created it. I’d get to do a demo for them and have them interact with me. I’d get to show them all the art I’ve been creating——it’s a lot—-that hasn’t been seen or exhibited.

With this wonderful surprise, I’m now cooking up new art and fun things for this event in October. If you want an excuse to come visit Portland, Oregon in 2019, this is the best reason to come. It will be the 2nd and 3rd weekends of October, on both Saturdays and Sundays. As an introvert, I will love the break from isolation, but I also know I’ll be exhausted after so much interaction with people. I love chatting with them, so why does it drain me of energy? Can you relate? Do you know what I mean? In any case, I’m super excited and I hope to see some of you there who love mysterious and beautiful artwork.

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***NOTE: I’ll be showing with artist Dave Benz in South East Portland, so our open studio will be jumping with many amazing sights and things to do. More details to come as we get closer to the date——but we do have some collaborative artwork to share with our visitors that we’ve never shared before. I hope you’re as excited as I am.