Sunday, November 30, 2014

ZOMBMES.COM


Listen, I know it probably goes without saying but I don't update ye' olde tyme blog too often. The age of instant gratification and 140 characters on social media sort of sucked it out of me. (That sounds disgusting and I'm sorry.) The same thing happened with taking actual photographs of my work and posting them to Flickr rather than with my iPhone and Instagramming them. It just happens, I guess, and you almost don't even realize that it has. I will make a valiant attempt to break away from that mentality. I have started to write here again and I hope you're all stoked to see lengthy updates about my creative process, the woes of pricing your product, and how by being careless and distracted I have learned how many swear words I know because I constantly stab myself in the finger with my sewing needle. (SPOILER: It's a lot.)

In keeping with that theme, in addition to all those usual social media sites (the Facebook page, the Twitter, the Instagram, and the Flickr gallery) I have also started a real honest to evilness website. I know, I know... what year is this? I have a BLOG and a WEBSITE?!? I think a lot of it is that I love seeing the URL itself... zombmes.com HOW COOL IS THAT? (It's ok if you're not as tickled as I am, I'm not generally as excited about other people's kids either.) I made the site myself so it's far from perfect or professional. I have no desire to work digitally on anything. I do all of my drawing the old fashioned way, I actually prefer hand sewing, and I seriously don't know the first thing about making a website. (Well, except that someone told me once you shouldn't do a dark background with light text and I always break that rule because I just like how it looks, dammit.)

There it is, creeps, I made a website and I'm going to post here and I'm not going to abandon all those cute little felt projects I start. Follow me, and like my pages, and all that jazz. I WILL BE PRODUCTIVE, PEOPLE WILL LIKE MY PRODUCTS, AND GOSH DARN IT PEOPLE WILL LIKE ME. (Maybe that last bit is a stretch but you can't blame a ghoul for trying. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Smell Ya' Later, WIP.


I've got a confession, my little boils and ghouls, and I've been thinking about this quite a lot actually. What is it, you ask... it's getting a jump start on next years creative resolution. DRUM ROLL PLEASE..... No more abandoned WIP pile! (Can you hear the trumpet's fanfare? The cheers of the crowd? Are you getting stoked??! Oh wait, you don't know what a WIP is? It's a work in progress, silly.) Maybe you're not one of the poor people who live as a slave to the creative mumbles in your brain that force you to bounce seemingly uncontrollably from project to project, leaving the previous one in bits on your desk. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who doesn't watch a stack of started and sadly abandoned pieces grow and grow into some insurmountable mountain of mess. Lucky ducks, you.

I get a lot of ideas, a lot of really great, overzealous, hand stitched, and doodled creatures screaming to be brought to life. Just call me, Nixenstein. It's pretty much a constant flow of little felty monsters and Halloween themed art just bubbling over from my brain meats. Every now and then when I'm not keeping a watchful eye on my hands.... BAM!!! Before I know it I've stopped paying attention and these momentarily idle hands have started in on something else before the previous projects been finished. It's a curse and it's so deliciously easy to do. The allure of something new and fresh and exciting! 

I decided that in the end of 2014 and through 2015 I'm going to do my very best to no longer abandon projects in my wip pile. Every idea I develop deserves to be seen into fruition. I owe them that much.  

Ok, ok... so, wonderful. I've made this sweeping proclamation about my grand intentions for my creative year to come. Big deal. People say things like this all the time, more important than this promise made publicly to myself is how I plan to keep it.  Firstly things first, I keep a notebook of ideas and projects and such. (Like every good creative person does!) What it does for me is helps me keep organized. In order to keep these big creepy eyes on the prize I have absolutely got to stay organized. I can work out pros and cons, place my projects in order of importance or deadlines, and keep track of materials used/processes that do/do not work. A trusty notebook is an artist's best friend. 

Secondly, making a public proclamation and following up with blog, Facebook (Plight of the Living Dead), Twitter, and, Flickr, and Instagram to keep everyone in the know as to what exactly I'm making. That about covers it right? Every single major social media site, right? Enjoy all this grotesque visual gore, kiddies.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Everything counts.


Halloweenie Haul 1
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

I suppose deep down inside it never really goes away, this struggle for balance. I work my full time day job and do my best to remain motivated to create in any off time I have. Do I not want it enough? Am I not motivated enough? Bukowski wrote about how when you explain away how conditions are not perfect for you to be creative you're just making excuses. If you want it badly enough you'll make it happen not matter what stands in your way. A local artist who's work I very much enjoy recently passed his 5 year anniversary of quitting a call center job and working full-time at his art and illustration. That seems so amazing to me. What a leap. To walk away from the place where you're renting your time, your body, your energy. To no longer spend more time wasting away for an employer and instead do what your heart wants to do. The thought of it makes me feel giddy.

Though, I can't help but worry, even if I were afforded that luxury of no longer having to get up every single morning and spend 10 hrs of every week day at a desk renting my body and energy, do I have the will to make my hobby my "Real Job?" I can't help but mentally list off all the things I'm awful at; pricing my pieces based on the amount of work I put into them, standing firm on those prices, remaining motivated when I have a large number of tedious tasks, staying positive.

I then wonder if I would want my sewing to become my job. Would having to work on items versus wanting to ruin the joy I feel in making them? Is that another excuse? This cyclical process is constantly running through my mind, along with a chorus of "Just shut down your online store, stop trying, just stop."

I don't really know where I was going with this entry, other than just a stream of consciousness and an attempt at getting some of this out of my head and out into the open to better review it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Little Zomb-me on the Prairie.






There is such an amazing sense of wholeness when I complete a Zomb-me order and send them out into the world to meet their owners. A swell of true pride when I get that email of excitement from them after they've opened the package and have seen the little undead versions of themselves, their wives/husbands/partners/children/grandparents whatever. I love making people smile with these little plush monsters. There isn't a part of this process that I don't love. It can be stressful when I'm under time constraints, but I'm always happiest when I'm sewing.
The two Zomb-mes in this picture were the first ones made with Prairie Point Junction felt. I spent a long time researching and shopping around n the Internet and Etsy to find somewhere that sold consistent quality and colors of wool felt. They use a blend of either 20%/80% or 35%/65% wool/rayon. It's thick, even, and vibrant. I've had issues in the past with wool blends where the felt would pull thin or pill very quickly. The plush I make are stuffed with fabric/felt scraps and not fiberfill, so they're heavier and require a stronger felt. Prairie Point delivers this and then some. Their customer service is great, prices are fair, shipping is quick, and the quality is great. I highly recommend picking up the sampler box if you feel you may be picking up lots of different colors and want to be certain what they're like prior to your purchase.




Other than my desire to promote such a great small company, I also popped by to mention the Plush Pittsburgh Pierogi Pins are now on my Etsy store over at Plight of the Living Dead.




I've wasted enough time in the vast inky blackness of the internet, it's time to get back to sewing. Till next time, creeps.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alliteration.


Lately my life has been a plush peddlin pierogi pin party. What on Earth does that mean? Let me explain! My friends run a local (as in they are located here in Pittsburgh, AND the ingredients are local) bicycle fueled pierogi business. You can check them out here http://www.facebook.com/peddlin.pierogies, the flavored are delicious and fresh and the guys are great. It's really something I believe in, a food that has a long history in Pittsburgh (During our Pirates games Pierogies race around the field!),a small locally owned business, local natural ingredients, and the human power of a food cart pulled by a bicycle! I was lucky enough to be asked to make a huge batch of these wee little felt pierogi pins for a big tasting party they'll be having this weekend. The flyer is below.


I'm so stoked be be a part of this, even if it is a small part. The prices are as follows: $5=beverages, 3 pierogies. $7=beverages, 5 pierogies. $10=beverages, 8 pierogies & handmade pierogi pin.

If you're in the area and want to hangout, get some delicious local food and silly crafts please stop down.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

99 Problems.


99 Problems.
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

My lack of posting does not indicate that I've not been creating, but it is a reflection of the fact that I've not been taking a large amount of joy in making my Zomb-mes. It feels like work, which is something I always worried about.
Is there a balance between the blissful warmth of creating because you're inspired and filling orders as they come to you? Orders that will pay you. Orders that will get the word out about your creations. I realize that in order for my art to ever support my lifestyle I need to accept that sometimes I will have to sew when it's work and not whatever is popping right into my skull.
I just have to coax myself into believing that even when it's work it's working towards my goal. I have to remind myself of the people in my life like Dan at Commonwealth Press and Lisa at Sapling Press who made their creativity their livelihood.

I'm using Pinterest as a source of motivation for all walks of my life, but especially my creative life. I need all the push I can't get right now.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Impasse.


Face wound.
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

I've been driven to an impasse in the form of during the last two years my photography has dropped off. I thought moving into the city would have had the exact opposite effect, a whole new place to explore. So many more neighborhoods to roam and capture. Yet as my drawing and sewing picked up the photography is fading.
This is something I'm finding inevitable if not a little dismaying. I've always fancied myself a bit of a Renaissance woman, knowing and being good at a little of everything. As I'm becoming truly great at my Zomb-me's and I'm sewing more and more of them, I've realized I can't realistically focus on sewing (Zomb-me's, custom aprons, bags, etc.) AND do comics/zines full time. I don't think I ever really imagined a time where I wouldn't be able to juggle three or four really labor intense creative hobbies.
I sought advice from a comic artist I admire (Jeffrey Brown), and he has provided me some really amazing help in critiquing my work not to mention technique help too. I've never been so impressed by a response by another artist and so grateful for the help. It's provided this swell inside me, this drive to make comics... but then Zomb-me orders come in.
How do you choose? You have these two things you're fairly good at and you LOVE to do, but one of them is never going to get the love and attention the other will.
Which would you pick?