ART AND VENDORS

Artist of the Month – June 2017:  Matthew Zip

Artist of the Month – June 2017: Matthew Zip

Once again, this artist was introduced to me by a previous AoTM. I am thrilled to wear the Artist Interview pin! This guy has amazing talent, and the detailing will blow you away. It does take hella skill to create these sketches, but also passion and drive. And boy, does he have all of that!Creature From the Black Lagoon / Artist: Matthew Zip

A Brief Biography

Matthew Zip was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. He now lives in Houston Texas and is a tattoo and fine art artist. He has been with his lovely wife Amanda for over ten years, and they have been married for four of those. They have one son, Jacob.
Be sure to check out his website.

The Interview

Let’s begin the interrogation!
Otis from The Devil's Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses Otis from The Devil's Rejects and House of 1,000 Corpses / Artist: Matthew ZipHouse of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Matthew Zip: I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil or a crayon.
HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
MZ: Myself, mostly, until I got into high school and got into a good art class there with a very supportive teacher. After high school, I continued my education and got an associates degree in fine arts. That’s where I really started to learn a lot, in college.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
Matthew Zip: I’ve always been in love with the horror genre. Ever since I was a kid in the 80s, my dad would take me to video stores, and I would just stand there in the horror section and look at all the different covers. They were so beautiful and horrible at the same time, and they really captured my imagination.
HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls?
MZ: 😉 All of the above!
Image: Matthew Zip
My dear friend Jamie Dietz will melt when she sees this one!
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?
MZ: If I did it would probably be Nathan Grantham from Creepshow (“Father’s Day” story) or Chop Top from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
HoTS: Do you post in galleries anywhere or do a booth at comic cons or art shows?
MZ: I have done comic cons and art shows, no galleries as of now.
Freddy Kruger smiles in A Nightmare on Elm Street
Freddy Kruger sneers in A Nightmare on Elm Street
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
MZ: A few different ways, either through my Instagram or Facebook or you could go to my Etsy store.
Alfred Hitchcock / Artist: Matthew ZipHoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
Skeleton Moth from The Silence of the Lambs / Artist: Matthew ZipMZ: A few different ways, either through my Instagram or Facebook.

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
MZ: Yes!
My Instagram is @zip_tattooist
My Facebook is Matthew Zip Howard
Batman's The JokerHoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
MZ: I just finished up seven pieces for one person, all of them sketches and all of them classic Universal monsters.
HoTS: What are some of your past-times outside of drawing?
Regan from The Exorcist / Artist: Matthew ZipMZ: I have no real hobbies outside of art, unless you count more art is being a hobby! Haha, I do painting, sculpting, tattooing, and I’m trying to get into special-effects make up more.
Star Wars isn’t actually scary, but I am still a nerd after all and these are frocking amazing!
Yoda from Star Wars
Darth Vader from Star Wars
Boba Fett from Star Wars
Darth Maul from Star Wars
And this tribute to Snape has me in my feels!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, COLLECTIBLE REVIEWS, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – May 2017: Maxwell H. Blackheart

Artist of the Month – May 2017: Maxwell H. Blackheart

Mother’s Day is coming up. Get your mom and your baby’s momma something special this year.
No? She’s more of an ‘I Love Lucy’ kinda gal? Okay!
Or maybe clowns?
Giggles 😀 I, personally, would be thrilled to own any of those pieces. Then again, I am one twisted bitch!
Once again, a previous AotM sent me to this one. And BOY have I hit the MOTHERLOAD!!! Maxwell is flipping amazing!! There be a lot of talent in them fingers – and a lot of demented thoughts in that there brain! I love it!! Maxwell does have amazing skills and you will be thrilled to have been introduced to his work!
I’m in need of a Hall of Blackheart now!!
I was obnoxious enough to get some answers out of him! No really he was kind enough to take the time out to answer some questions and is a real down to earth fellow.
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Maxwell H. Blackheart: I can remember watching my dad draw quick sketches of faces when I was about six or seven. I didn’t know how he did this so I would just watch him draw these random faces. After awhile I got motivated to try it myself. I copied what he did and liked doing it. After many more drawings I started drawing Peanuts characters and just a few years later around eight years old I was drawing Kiss band members, snakes, spiders, and severed heads. It had begun.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
MHB: My first piece that I consider worth calling it a piece of art would have been a portrait of Gene Simmons from Kiss. I was starting to use colored pencils which I love to use to this day. It’s really my favorite medium because it’s quick and enjoyable for me.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
MHB: I’m not exactly sure when I did. It was just kind of the path I took. It was the road that felt right and looked interesting to explore. I guess I’d say around eight years old. Godzilla, Frankenstein, and severed heads were always a fun subject for me.
HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls? 😉
MHB: I draw mostly with Prismacolor pencils and ink. I also like graphite. I’ve only produced about 9 or 10 acrylic paintings but I hope to do more in the future.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
MHB: My favorite Immortal creep is a hard question. For some reason Rawhead Rex comes to mind. Nothing like a heavy metal looking head chomping boogie man to torture your soul with fear.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons, art shows or anything?
MHB: I would love to. I wanna meet all the nice people I hear from every single day on social media. It’s hard for me to travel at this time. For now you will have to come to me here in Spokane Washington or you can just visit my Instagram.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
MHB: If you want to see what I have up or make a purchase, I sell originals and prints here http://www.maxblackheart.com and Etsy as well https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaxBlackHeart. T-shirts are a new item I have been selling also.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
MHB: I mostly post my latest pieces on Instagram @maxblackheart. You can find me on Facebook and Etsy also.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
MHB: I am currently working on a painting that is Alice Cooper themed, ‘Cold Ethyl’ from his song with the same title. If you love corpses or “love” corpses you’ll love this piece. Also take a listen to this song if you haven’t heard it. It’s a real toe tapper.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
MHB: I have lots of things I do outside of my art like spending time with my family. Riding motorcycles music and photography. I also like thinking and doing things my own way. Also really good at eating steak. Medium rare please.
Y’all be sure to go follow, like, poke, pinch, share, love, put your right foot in, put your right foot out… Oh no, wait, that’s something else! Seriously go support as much as you can!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IMAGES, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

I found out our next AotM by a previous AotM Cory Newman (you remember the badass tattooist) He actually pointed the finger to a few horror artists, many will be AotM in months to come. Don England does most of his sketches only with pencil and ink alone, and they turn out incredible! He has a truly amazing skill and horror is perfect for black and white sketches.
Here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Don England: I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. My mother was an artist and taught me many techniques in drawing when I was a little kid. Spider-Man was my favorite thing to draw when I was younger.
HoTS: Did you take art courses?
DE: I took basic art classes in school and then in my late 20s I took a few classes at a local art store to learn watercolor and a few other things. But that’s about it.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
DE: Well, I’ve loved horror films since I was a little kid. Back in grade school I would watch Sir Graves on the local station. He would play a variety of horror films ranging from the Universal monsters to the Hammer films. Eventually we got cable and then a VCR and they opened me up to an entirely new world of horror I had never seen. So for whatever reason horror became a passion for me either watching or talking about it. So it just became natural for me to start drawing what I would see on the screen.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
DE: Werewolves were always my favorite. Curse of the Werewolf was the first werewolf movie I had seen but An American Werewolf in London is the movie that blew my mind. l watched it when I was in 6th grade and I’ve never been the same since! I like the idea of the inner beast coming out.
HoTS: Tell us about your featured pieces.
DE: Nosferatu, a piece that took me awhile to finish because I didn’t think it was looking correct. By the time I finished it I personally think it’s one of the best I’ve done.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Nosferatu
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Horror Collage
DE: Horror Montage, was a piece I worked on for a long time, a lot of erasing and rearranging. It’s the piece that got me noticed.
DE: The Night Pieces cover is one of my personal favorites. Gary Reed, who was putting out the book, gave me a brief idea of what he wanted and this is what came of it. It’s different for my usual stuff and I think that’s why I like it.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Night Pieces
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Pan's Labyrinth
DE: The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth is such a great looking character. I was really pleased with the way it come out.
DE: An American Werewolf In London, I had this piece planned for a long time.. I wanted to do something more that just a couple images from the movie. Once I finally got moving on it I was very happy with the final results.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, An American Werewolf in London
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows anywhere?
DE: I’ve been setting up all comic and horror cons for nearly 25 years. When I started, it was to promote Lethal Lita, the comic I was working on at the time. After a few years of local comic cons I started setting up at horror cons and now I’m at 12-15 conventions a year, mostly in the mid-west. Cinema Wasteland, Monsterpalooza, Horror Hound, and Motor City Comic Con are a few of my regular shows.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
DE: You can see me at the conventions but you can also go to donaldengland.com for prints, original art and shirts. I also post on Facebook and Instagram almost daily with sketches and finished pieces that are for sale. If interested in commissions you can message me with your request.
HoTS: Do you have a fanpage or twitter etc where we can keep up with your work?
DE: I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I post the most on Facebook where I have a personal page and a fan page. Both pages are open to anyone wanting to see my work.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
DE: Hmmm, I’m going to guess Batman or Spider-Man.
HoTS: What is your favorite pastime outside of drawing?
DE: Hanging out with the wife and kids!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, FEATURED ARTIST, IMAGES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS out of Orlando Florida. Take note. Why do I bring this name to your attention? Because you need to know and remember this name!
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS is the collaboration of the husband and wife team of Matt Allen and Angie Calabrese. About three years ago, I first met these two horror-loving love birds online, and we instantly hit off. I soon found out of their own contributions to the horror world and, as a matter of fact, discovered that I had been admiring their work online before I even knew it was theirs. The items I’m talking about are incredible hand-crafted lamps. Each lamp is unique, and they even make them to order. At first, Angie was known among friends of mine “The Lamp Lady”. Everyone knew who you meant when you said it.
I asked Angie Calabrese for a bit of background on FREAKSHOW DESIGNS, and this is what she had to say:
Freakshow Designs was born 3 years ago. Our first show was Spooky Empire in the spring of 2014. Starting out with 22 skull lamps, we really didn’t know if people would be interested in our stuff. We ended up selling out, which prompted us to vend that following October. One week before our horror-themed wedding. Products include skull lamps, hand painted Xmas ornaments, replicas of Freddy gloves and the Audrey II. New ideas are constantly on the horizon and I’m sure we’ll be doing more. Cons we’ve vended [at] include Walker Stalker and Spooky Empire. In the future, we plan on Bay of Blood in Tampa, and once we get our hearse on the road, any con that will have us! Our lamps are on display at Artegon mall inside Gods and Monsters Orlando as well as Coffee Shop of Horrors. Our website is now open! We can also be found on Facebook. It’s our pleasure to do custom jobs as well. Inspiration comes from our love of horror. But mostly we feel there’s not enough year-round decor for horror fans available in stores. We love our friends in the horror community and hope to branch out as far as we can.
Most recently, Matt “The Mad Scientist” Allen, has brought to life a new creature – or, to be exact, several new creatures: SIDESHOW SAUCES! That’s right, Matt loaded his laboratory with the freshest of vegetables, spices, and a lot of HOT STUFF to bring his specialty horror-themed hot sauce flavors to the world.
As of now, they offer the following flavors:
Sideshow Sauces - Bearded Lady-500x500
Blended with fresh, organic, Georgia peaches, tangy and fresh grated ginger, and blazing hot Habanero peppers.
Sideshow Sauces - Bubba the Redneck Werewolf-500x500
Straight out of Cracker County! Bubba likes his wings HOT with a touch of the ole Bourbon. This sauce gives you all the flavor a fun loving werewolf could ever need! Check out everything Bubba at
www.bubbatheredneckwerewolf.com.
Sideshow Sauces - Java Lava-500x500
Infused with Coffee Shop of Horror’s “My Little Cuban Friend”. This mix of Chipotle, Habanero, and Coffee gives you the heat you want with a KICK! Say HELLO to my little friend!!! Check out www.coffeeshopofhorrors.com or some AWESOME COFFEE!!!
Sideshow Sauces - Key Lime-500x500
Her song will bring your taste buds to the depths of HELL! Fresh, organic Key Lime juice, blended with Serrano peppers and a couple Scotch Bonnets thrown in for a little extra HEAT. Give your taste buds some heat with the one of a kind tang of Key Lime.
Sideshow Sauces - Tom's Slaughterhouse-500x500
A secret family recipe available in hot, medium, and mild.
Sideshow Sauces - Vamp Slayer-500x500
A recipe from Van Helsing himself, used to defend
against vampires. Fresh Roasted Organic Garlic blended with Organic Red Chili Peppers. The perfect combination to keep those blood suckers away from your neck!
Last, but certainly no less delicious than the others, is Tortured Souls Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Yes, you read that right: Tortured Souls, a sauce named after your favorite horror website, House of Tortured Souls. And is it made with actual tortured souls? Only Matt knows for sure.
A blend of fresh, organic Jalapenos and organic Tomatillos. Just enough heat to torture any soul to its core. Visit our friends at www.houseoftorturedsouls.com for everything HORROR!
It was just a few short months ago Matt and Angie approached me about using House of Tortured Souls on one of their sauces, and last week I received the finished product – complete with killer label artwork – in the mail! It actually brought a small tear to this old man’s eyes. When they first asked if I’d care to join in, “HELL YEAH” was my response. I was honored. Then I found out that two weeks ago at their sauce-tasting event at Coffee Shop of Horror, the reviews were incredible! The favorite? Why House of Tortured Souls, the jalapeño and tomatillo sauce, of course! In case it’s not obvious, this is a huge personal source of pride for me – and for HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS – and we thank FREAKSHOW DESIGNS for allowing us to be a part of something this special!
As I mentioned before, I have now known FREAKSHOW DESIGNS personally for three years, but what I didn’t mention is that we have never even met in person! We have tried making plans, but often times life gets in the way. Still, we have assured each other that one day it will happen! Perhaps we may even combine House of Tortured Souls and FREAKSHOW DESIGN somewhere on the road and vend together. Who knows what the future holds?
Matt and Angie bust their asses to bring us new and creative products to the horror world, and whatever is next, I assure you, will be more than worth the wait!
Now, get on over to WWW.FREAKSHOW-DESIGN.COM, order some hot sauces, feel the burn, and tell them I sent ya!!
Matt Allen, the Devil, and Angie Calabrese
Congratulations, Matt and Angie, we love you both!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, Categories, 2 comments
Creeped Out By Dolls, Part 2!

Creeped Out By Dolls, Part 2!

By Tammie Parker
This is the second installment on dolls. Which there has more than likely been an extraordinary freakishly scary one since their creation! As far back as 8000-200 BC the Japanese created dolls called Dogu, they look like bigger versions of that tiny figurine at the beginning of The Exorcist!
Japanese Dogu / Image courtesy of Anomalies-Unlimited.com
They were made of clay and were used for the ill. It was believed you could draw the illness out and put into the dogu then destroy the doll to be rid of the sickness.
African dolls have been used for centuries. And effigies have been used in rituals, burned, stabbed and ripped apart to harm someone or request revenge on their enemies in Africa, America by the Native Americans, and many European cultures (poppets). Most of our enemy countries still use them today. They will make giant ones with the face of our current president and set on fire.
An Effigy on fire (how lovely)
Some even make life-sized ones and hang off them of building, archways, bridges, etc. All the more reason to perform an exorcism on any and all dolls you come across. Those freakish bastards!
European Poppets
Speaking of freakish, let’s start the list with Robert the Doll.
Robert’s permanent home at Fort East Martello Museum
Robert the Doll, as legend goes, was given to Robert Eugene Otto by his Haitian nanny who was fired because his mother discovered her in the backyard practicing black magic. The truth is that Robert was a gift from his grandfather and was made by the Stein Company (same company that makes those famous teddy bears) and was probably designed to put in a display window alongside clowns and jesters. The Sailor outfit he now wears likely belonged to Robert as a small boy.
Robert demanded to be called Gene shortly after receiving the doll and told everyone, “Robert is the doll’s name”. Gene’s parents claimed that they could often hear two different voices coming from his room while he was alone playing with his doll. Every time Gene got in trouble for mischief happening around the house, he would proclaim Robert was the culprit.
Robert’s and Gene’s relationship became too much for his parents to bear, so they put Robert into a trunk in the attic. Gene grew up and became an artist. After Gene’s parents passed away, he and his wife moved into his childhood home. When Gene rediscovered his childhood best friend locked away in the dusty old attic, he rescued him and their bonding picked up where it was left so many years ago. Gene even took Robert to parties with him! Robert quickly became cause for arguments between Gene and his wife. Eventually his wife had enough of this peculiar relationship and placed Robert upstairs in a room all of his own. The Artist House soon thereafter became that creepy house school children avoided and walked cautiously by on their way back and forth to school. Because the doll would appear and disappear from the windows.
After Gene passed away, Myrtle Reuter became the new owner of Artist House and of Robert. The doll was entertainment for Reuter for 20 years with spooked guests talking about hearing footsteps and giggles when no one was around. In 1994, Robert was donated to Fort East Martello Museum, Key West, FL, where fans now flock to lay eyes on the little fellow, hoping for the slightest movement. They even leave him little gifts, mostly peppermint candies. And write to him!
Check out Robert the Doll online:
Robert the Doll’s Twitter
Robert the Doll’s Facebook
Robert the Doll’s online giftshop
Not to get too long-winded, I will end this one with Robert, with the promise of more freaky dolls at a later date. 😉
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, PARANORMAL HAPPENINGS, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

By Tammie Parker
Back in October I introduced you to the other half of this artistic couple. I thought it only fitting to showcase her sensei and partner. 🙂
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-navyuniform
Jaquan is in the Navy. Come January he will be in for 5 years. It is an honor times two that I have this opportunity to interview him. I have such mad respect for those willing to serve this country and help out those that cannot defend themselves.
Now if that were not impressive enough for ya, get a load of Ernie Hudson (yes the Ghostbuster :O ) with a pair of Jaquan’s shoes
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-ghostbusters_crop
Jaquan says they (he and Artist of the Month of October, Nicole) met Ernie at a convention, and two years later when they returned Ernie remembered who they were. I would just die right there on the spot!! He wouldn’t even need to use his Proton Pack.
Or how about Sugartits himself Merle Dixon?
Holy Shoe Batman!! That is Michael Flipping Rooker! :O :O Can you even? I can’t even right now, and I wasn’t even there!
Speaking of Batman 😉
horror-art-shoes-batman
horror-art-shoes-joker
No matter which side you are on, they have you covered!
Jaquan and Nicole run a business called Eclectic Goods. They will do custom jobs by the way. And their arts isn’t just on shoes, they do horror-art-shoes-excorsist caps, and bags, and have even painted tiny coffins (great for Halloween or ‘Over the Hill’ gifts). They do specialize in horror (all genres) well of course otherwise they would be no friends of mine LOL. However they’re talents do not stop there. What about your video game hero, your favorite cartoon, or favorite comic character? I promise you this guy is the one to hit up for the job!

But they also have my heart with their classic horror icons like Freddy and Jason
horror-art-freddy
horror-shoe-friday13th
The couple travel around to many conventions, perhaps you have already seen them and are kicking yourself for not buying those Daryl Dixon pumps. Well I’m about to share their shop on etsy, and their Facebook page.
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth2
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: Are you self-taught or did you take courses somewhere?
JR: A little of both actually, I have been drawing and doing art things all my life. I also went to an art school for a while, that’s where I gained a bit more painting experience.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
JR: I painted a The Nightmare Before Christmas piece for my wife Nicole on a modest sized canvas.
horror-art-shoes-nightmarebeforechristmas
 The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their favorites to do. 🙂
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
JR: I think I started to really get into it a few years ago. Nicole is a huge horror person, so it definitely helped me embrace it more. She’s huge into Stephen King’s It. We watched a lot back in the day. And growing up I LOVED scary games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil (the first 3).
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JR: I think it’s safe to say the Crypt Keeper.
HoTS: In many photos I see you bent over the shoe, seriously concentrating. Do you draw the pic on first in ink? Or do you screen print some sort of way? Or dive right into painting?
JR: I dive right in and just see what happens, probably not always the best approach. Nicole and I usually discuss how it will turn out first, but I rarely draw it out first. Usually I’m just looking at my phone or tablet and painting from the image there. Sometimes adding something different it think is missing.
HoTS: What’s the next con or art show you guys can be found at?
JR: We have nothing planned yet. We are moving in January and how smooth that works out will dictate the next con, not to mention the holidays are fast approaching! We will be busy from here on out until the move.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
JR: You can find our work on etsy, search eclecticgoodsva.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
JR: Yes, we have an Instagram, Egcustomkicks, and a Facebook page, Eclectic Goods: Hand Painted Shoes, where we regularly post new works.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
JR: Oh, yes, always! There just isn’t enough time in the day lol, you would be surprised at some of the custom things we have been working on. We just finished working on The Shining, Scarlet Spiderman, and some Deadpool/Wolverine designs. All fun challenging stuff.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
JR: Spending time with family, catching up on some good TV shows, playing some PC games on my rig, and (don’t laugh) yo-yoing. Haha.
Keep an eye out for this couple, they are blowing up!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS, INTERVIEWS, 2 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

By Tammie Parker

I came across a pair of TWD themed Eclectic Goods shoes on a page on fb. And it was like I found the love of my life!! LOL seriously I was shouting, ‘WHY. am I just finding these??’ Eclectic Goods is actually a power couple of KICK-ASS comic nerds, gamers, comic-conners, and cartoon lovers! I swear I’m going to move in with them!!! Now they are doing caps and totes. #LOVE

Nicole Robinson, owner and artist, agreed to answer a few questions.

twd-shoes-michonne

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started drawing and painting?
Nicole Robinson: To be honest it wasn’t until I was an adult in my 20s that I tried to paint anything. I used to doodle and draw here and there growing up but never anything serious. My husband has been my biggest teacher and whatever talent I do have I learned from him.

horror-movies-fridaythe13th-shoes2

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
NR: I took art classes in high school and one in college. Also I have had some amazing people throughout my life with various talents that taught me many things. Jack, my partner and husband has had some training at an Art Institute in Florida which he was kind enough to share with me. Before him I had no idea about mixing colors, shading, or a lot of technique skills that are really valuable. I would just grab a brush and start painting. He taught about what size brush and what type of brush I needed. He has really been my mentor in all this.

horror-movies-suicidesquad-shoes

HoTS: When did you fall in love with horror art? (TWD, Pennywise, etc) Why?

horror-movies-it-shoesNR: Growing up, my father was a huge influence on how my interest were formed. Halloween was always a big deal in our house. He had a love for the Stephen King Universe and my first horror movie was IT. Pennywise scared me to the core. It has always been a lot of fun for me and I enjoy creating the same type of memories with my kids. Watching horror movies and shows like The Walking Dead is just good old fashioned fun for me. Horror art is an expression of that and gives me an outlet. It always the most fun when it something I really enjoy.

twd-shoes-carlHoTS: Do you first draw in ink, or the blood of innocent souls? Then paint in?

NR: A little of both. Just depends on what we are painting that day.

horror-movies-texaschainsaw-shoes
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?

NR: Pennywise the Clown will always hold a special place in my heart. I find Regan from The Exorcist really scary. There is something really frightening about innocence gone wrong.

horror-movies-it-shoes2

HoTS: Do you do comic cons? Or art shows? (I know the answer to a lot of these, so don’t think I’m senile.)

NR: We do comic con type events for the most part. This past summer we had booths at Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Va and Walker Stalker Con New Jersey. Both of which were beyond amazing to us and we can’t wait to return. We have also done a few others like Wizard World and Tidewater Comic Con. We don’t have anything coming up except for attending Scares That Care in July 2017.

horror-movies-nightmareonelmstreet-shoes

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

NR: We are on Etsy! Our shop is: Ecletic Goods.
horror-movies-nightmarebeforechristmas-shoes

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter acct, so we can keep up with your work?

NR: Yes, check us out here:

FB Follow / Free.
Instagram Follow / Free.
Twitter Follow / Free.

horror-movies-silenceofthelambs-shoesHoTS: Are you working on anything right now?

NR: Right now we are getting some new designs together for Halloween and preparing for the holidays. We have a new Hellraiser design and The Exorcist coming as well as a Walking Dead Rick and Daryl high top in the works.

HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?

NR: I play The Sims 3. Most of my free time is spent with my family. I have two amazing girls that keep me pretty busy. I do yoga and enjoy crafting.

Alright since this is the end of our Q&A with Nicole Robinson, let me just throw in another pair of TWD shoes.

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Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, ARTIST OF THE MONTH, CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Scott Spillman

ARTIST OF THE MONTH: Scott Spillman

By Tammie Parker

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-self

Click here to view all of his merchandise.

Scott Spillman has an incredible, amazingly unique touch that makes his work ONE OF A KIND. His work with color makes it easy for you to fall in love. The best part is that he does a collection of The Walking Dead characters! (Have I mentioned lately I’m OBSESSED with TWD?) This unique color pattern works phenomenally with the gloom of the dystopia that is The Walking Dead. Blending these bright, cheerful colors into the Zombie Apocalypse could not be pulled off by any other artist!! Then add in his talent in detail that make even his black and whites so realistic!!
Scott’s first TWD painting was Michonne. He packed 20 prints with him to the convention he was going to hand his work over to Danai. He sold all 20 prints in about 30 minutes.

Since then he has done several of the main cast members. The next one in line is Jesus.
Scott Spillman twd-collection-teddybeargirl-print**My favorites (at the moment) are ‘Summer’ (most of us know her as ‘Teddy Bear Girl’) and Sgt. Abraham Ford in black and white!
Scott puts his artwork on several different types of items himself. Down right to putting the screenprints on the t-shirts! I have his link at the top of this piece, and all of his links are in our Q&A.

Scott Spillman twd-collection-abesketchSpeaking of which, here is our interview:

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?

Scott Spillman: I started drawing at a very early age. I have a couple drawings from when I was four.

 

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?

SS: I’m self taught when it comes to the drawing and painting, but I do have a degree in Commercial Art, that was mainly logo design and computer programs though.

 

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with drawing The Walking Dead?

SS: I’ve been a fan of the show since the pilot episode. The first five minutes of the show had me hooked when Rick had to kill “Summer” (Addy Miller). Which I’m good friends with her and her mom now.

 

HoTS: Do you draw in pencil on canvas or draw on the computer?

SS: I use the computer to find my reference and then adjust it to fit my composition. I then print it out at about six inches tall in black and white, mount it to my easel and start drawing on the canvas with pencil. After that I apply layers of acrylic paint over it.

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-abeontheeaselHoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep, monster, or walker?

SS: Frankenstein is my favorite “monster” but I’ve always been a fan of Freddie Krueger too. There’s also a lot of walkers on the show that I love.

 

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-abeselfieHoTS: Do you do comic cons, or art shows, or anything?

SS: I try to do at least one comic con a month. Mainly, I’ve been following the Walker Stalker cons around the country.

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

SS: I have two web sites: www.ScottSpillman.com to see some of my other work and www.bleedingart.com to purchase my merchandise.

 

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or Twitter accounts so we can keep up with your work?

SS: Yes. My fan page is https://www.facebook.com/Scott.Spillman.Art/ . You can also “follow” me here: https://www.facebook.com/SCOTT.SPILLMAN.ARTIST (I already reached the 5,000 max limit).
Twitter- @spillman68
Instagram – Spillmanfineart

 

HoTS: You have a very unique, original talent with color play. What piece was your first? How did the concept come about?

SS: I’ve always worked in a lot of different styles. I was working on a series of portraits at the time where the look of the painting fit the subject matter. Marilyn Monroe was black and white with a little pop of color and James Dean was in sepia tones. I then came to Jim Morrison of the Doors and all the colors came out. When I was finished, I said to myself “THIS IS IT” it’s hard to explain, but I just knew THIS was my style. Everything I’ve painted since then has been done in my signature style.

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-collage

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, 1 comment
The Artistry of Horror Photography

The Artistry of Horror Photography

By Tracie Hill Prichard

For someone who loves horror movies, what could be better than having photos made that capture you in the starring role? There are plenty of opportunities out there. Taking a stroll through an Internet or Facebook search brings up a wealth of possibilities for one to play out their darkest desires.

Horror photography - Locked Illusions Photography

Photo credit: Locked Illusions Photography

Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the horror fun of Joshua Hoffine’s work as he uses his daughters to capture the elements of nightmares through his photography. A few years ago, I discovered the Facebook page of Locked Illusions Photography out of Houston, Texas. Artist Brit Bentine creates unique works of horror and fantasy art for clients that largely consist of kids and families. What better way to connect to your siblings and parents than to be made up in gore and dark creativity? Brit creates unique experiences for her clients as well as selling special works of art through her Etsy shop.

It has recently come to my attention that there are plenty of photographers who relish in the world of horror and macabre. There are packages available including horror makeovers consisting of costumes, props, sets, makeup, hair, and of course gore! Horror fun can be experienced by anyone, not just the actor, model, or convention cosplayer.

Horror photography - HorrifyMeUK

Photo credit: Horrify Me UK

A simple Facebook search will lead you to such fun creative pages as Horrify Me – Horror Photography and Portraits which is the award winning artistry of Rick Jones. In the UK, you can book horror shoots with Rick, including horror staples such as zombies, vampires, and demons as well as dark boudoir or anything else horrifying that your dark twisted heart desires. If it is movie quality horror you are looking for, Rick and his team deliver.

Horror photography - Anathema Photography

Photo credit: Anathema Photography

Another horror photographer in the UK worth checking out is Danielle Tunstall Photography. She uses a blend of photography and graphic design that is truly unique. Gothic Horror fans will love the work of Amanda Norman Horror Photography based in Liverpool. Beautiful images in cemeteries – both in color and black and white – fill her page. If you are in or near Vancouver, British Columbia, you can book a nightmare inspired shoot with Danielle Anathema from Anathema Photography. From freakish puppets to bizarre mermaids and everything in between, Danielle has got you covered. In the US, check out Emerson Quinn of Horror Photography and Blood Magazine, from Albany, New York. Emerson has consultations available to help you choose between the psychotic hunter and the defenseless victim in your original horror portrait.

There are many horror photography experts and makeup artists offering you many opportunities to try your hand at a starring role in your own piece of dark art or your nightmare-inspired keepsake. These are just a few of the artists I have recently discovered. Be sure to check their Facebook pages and websites for bookings and pricing information in your area.

Don’t forget to show theses artists some love by liking their work on their Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages.

Posted by Tracie Prichard in ART AND VENDORS, 6 comments
Brian Dunn’s ALTER-EGO-DEZINES

Brian Dunn’s ALTER-EGO-DEZINES

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By John Roisland

I first met Brian Dunn last year in 2015 in Richmond, VA, at The Scares That Care Charity Weekend Event. I’m a state rep for STC and was a volunteer at the convention. Upon making rounds, saying hello to the vendors and so forth, I came across a young man with a very serious look on his face who was standing in front of an Lazy Susan and sculpting. I didn’t want to break his concentration, so I handed my business card to the gentleman who was with him and just watched in amazement.

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Brian Dunn is creator/artist/sculptor and owner of ALTER-EGO-DEZINES. Brian is a sculptor who creates not only iconic and well known designs but creates amazing objects of art with his own creativity, imagination, and ideas hiding in the back of his mind. Brian started at a very young age and was influenced by horror movies and Halloween masks. Moving forward through the years, he studied many other artists’ styles until he mastered his own.

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Brian does do commission pieces as well as his own creative work. I must admit that watching him, or any other artist, reproduce the image of a known work is really cool. But when they offer you their own original work (especially when it’s so creative and really brings a life of its own to the world as Brian’s does), it’s a mind blowing experience. The sculpting alone will sell you on his work, but when he puts his final air-brushing details to a piece it’s absolutely amazing!

 

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The young artist hails from the Philadelphia area and can be found vending at many conventions on the East Coast, as well as some in the Midwest. I most recently ran into Brian when he was set up as a live artist /vendor at Monster Mania in New Jersey this past March. Brian and I spoke for a few moments and he said the show was going pretty good for him, and apparently it was as I was quickly pushed out of the way by other onlookers who were all taken by the work of Brian Dunn and ALTER-EGO-DEZINES.

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Be sure to check out Brian on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and at his website.

Keep It Evil

Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Alex Wer – The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

INTERVIEW: Alex Wer – The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

Alex Wer:
The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

By Machete Von Kill

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness

Since 2009, Alex Wer, aka The Pumpkin Geek, has been carving far more complex jack-o-lanterns than then average carver. Then again, Wer is far from average. After carving a pumpkin for his wife’s office open house, Alex discovered he could make money with his pumpkin art.

He’s carved pumpkins for celebrities like Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Dracula 2000) and Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Prom Night). Wer has carved everything from logos to an impressive battle scene between an Imperial Star Destroyer and X-Wing Starfighters. He’s been hired by Netflix for a social media campaign, by Legacy Entertainment for a few movie premiers, and, most recently, Wizard World Comic Con.

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Friday the 13th

I recently got the chance to interview The Pumpkin Geek. Having been a fan since seeing a Joe Mantegna pumpkin posted on the actor’s Twitter account a few years back, I was stoked to be able to speak to the 2014 Geekie Award winner. The following is that interview:

House of Tortured Souls: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me! I know you started doing conventions 7 years ago, but when did you discover you had so much talent carving pumpkins?

Pumpkin Geek: I always enjoyed carving pumpkins & simply started getting more intricate over the years. Wanted to be the cool neighbor on the block! My wife asked me to carve her company logo for an Open House in October, so I decided to try carving on “craft” pumpkins sold at Michael’s. They last forever so I thought the office could use it each year. It was a simple design, but everyone was impressed & I got 35 orders that night, all by accident!

 

HoTS: Were you taught/trained by anyone or was it a series of trial and error?

PG: I was really into Comic Books as a kid and spent hours drawing & tracing Spider-Man…that’s pretty much the extent of my training. Simply came from a love from superheroes.

 

HoTS: How long did it take you to start getting exposure and making money with them?

PG: Well, the first night at the Open House, obviously. But, as I improved over the next year, I decided to try selling my work at a Star Trek Convention in Vegas. I was pretty nervous I wouldn’t sell anything, but realized, my main goal was to get exposure for what I did. Surprising, I did really well at the convention, and had several Trek actors, including Zachary Quinto, come to my booth to check out what I did. Some of the celebs actually ordered carves & starting posting about me…Talk about geeking out!

HoTS: Did you set out with the goal of making a profit or was it just a bonus that came along with the hobby?

PG: Originally, it was just for fun, but after doing my first convention, I realized that people were really into my work. Since I do everything custom orders, people were really able to celebrate their ultimate fandom at Halloween.

 

HoTS: How many pumpkins would you say you carve in an average October? Do you carve them year round or only in the fall?

PG: Between June and October, I carve about 175 or so, depending on my schedule. I do carve year round, but much less “off season”.

 

HoTS: How many would you guess you have carved over your lifetime?

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Freddy

PG: I would say over 1,000 in the last six plus years, for sure. Never gets old doing it…too much fun!

 

HoTS: Any favorites? Any that you’d really love to carve but haven’t been asked yet?

PG: Spider-Man, because he was a childhood hero & Heath Ledger’s Joker (which is on my business card), because his performance was so amazing. But there are many others. Anything new, that introduces me into a new fandom that I hadn’t discovered yet. The villains & horror carves are always fun, because they really stand out at Halloween.

 

HoTS: Do you get a little star struck with some of your more famous clients? Any favorite or stories you’d like to share?

PG: I have been VERY fortunate in meeting many celebrities because of what I do. I wouldn’t say I am star struck, but I am VERY humbled that they want to meet ME. Jeri Ryan & Ming-Na Wen have been the 2 kindest, and coolest, celebrities to me over the years. They post about my work, use their carves as avatars on Twitter, and have even requested meeting me.

 

HoTS: Any celebrities you’d really like to carve for?
PG: So many! I’m hoping to be the “carver to the stars” eventually!

 

HoTS: How much do you love Halloween? Would you say it is your favorite holiday?

PG: Halloween is certainly a favorite because of what I do. Mostly because I get to make a lot of people happy with my work. I guess I’m the Orange Santa in October. Although, I do love Christmas probably a bit more.

 

HoTS: Do you still carve pumpkins for your own Halloween decorations or do you skip that now?

PG: I try to carve a few for the family each year but have been getting too busy the past few years. I need to make time.
The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Pinhead

 

HoTS: Favorite conventions you’ve been to? What’s your favorite part of the convention scene?

PG: Well, my favorite would have to be Wizard World Comic Con. I did their con last year in Portland and ended up getting HIRED by them to be their National Sales Manager! They loved the fact that I had been doing cons for several years, and I had a background in sales, so got hire that weekend. Not only did I have a great con selling my carves, back came back with a job where I get to find vendors & artists to do Comic Cons now.

 

HoTS: What are you working on now?

PG: I was hired by Rancho Obi-Wan (the largest Star Wars museum in the country), to do a large number of carves for their Gallaween event this year & they are actually having me as a guest of honor! Also, ESPN hired me to do the Sunday Night Countdown crew & World Series. Other than that, custom orders, including a few weddings and proposals!

 

HoTS: Where can people stay in touch with you, follow your work and commission you for custom jobs?

PG: I’m always on Twitter or can be reached via email at alex@thepumpkingeek.com.

 

HoTS: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

PG: I really appreciate everyone that has admired my work over the years. I have a LOT of supporters on social media that have always cheered me on, encourage me, and been so excited with my success. It’s very flattering to know that people really enjoy what I do.

 

HoTS: And finally, since I ask everyone this and you are no exception, Freddy or Jason? Who’s the bigger horror badass?

PG: Freddy. Aside from being a badass, he’s got a great sense of humor.

 

Thanks again, Alex, for taking the time to speak to me! Happy carving and happy Halloween!

Posted by Machete Von Kill in ART AND VENDORS, HALLOWEEN HAUNTS, INTERVIEWS, WRETCHED FINDS AND ONE OF A KINDS, 0 comments