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Festival of Fear 2010 - End of Day 1

on August 27, 2010 - 10:39pm

End of day one. Not sure if I'll have time to type up a post in the morning, so I thought I would get this one out of the way tonight (Friday).

Going back to the convention for a second year presented some lovely moments. Saw so many familiar faces from last year - and I don't just mean vendors. Dozens of people who visited my table in 2009 came by once more. And the best part was the reception they gave me, and the stories they had to tell.

There were two people who found me today, thrilled to see the eyeball plants again because they'd decided to wait to buy one and then were disappointed to discover I'd sold out by the Saturday. My favourite quote: "I'll wait to buy everyone else's items, but I am getting this plant RIGHT NOW."

Lots of "I bought one of your plants last year and now I keep it (insert entertaining details here)." One person uses it to torment coworkers. I heartily approve.

Meghan, who follows and comments on this blog, came by the table and snatched up the last remaining Underbiter, Oogie. They are now officially all gone, and I'm pleased this last creature went to Miss Meghan.

Also talked with some twitter folk (*waves to Trischa*) and loads of others I've met at shows other than FanExpo.

The first item sold from the table (before I'd even finished setting up) was this little minion (pictured above and below). He went so fast I haven't even had time to name him, and will leave it up to his new owners. I really liked him because he's probably the toughest looking minion I've made.

Festival of Fear Starts Today!

on August 27, 2010 - 8:44am

In about two hours, I am off to Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear, Canada's largest Horror event and part of Hobby Star's FanExpo. I will be at table A24, close to Rue Morgue and the HMV booth.

Hopefully you got your advance tickets and don't have to face the ludicrous lines (it takes a long time to get 50,000 people in and out of an event). If you didn't get advanced tickets or passes, I suggest you attend on Sunday or today (Saturday's line-up last year apparently hit a 5 hour wait, and circled city blocks).

If you follow the blog, be sure to say hello and tell me who you are (and if you post comments using a handle instead of your actual name, be sure to mention it!). Meeting people who know my work is one of the coolest things. As an artist, I live under the assumption that no one has a clue who I am in the real world, and I'm always genuinely shocked when someone does.

Here's a glimpse of one of three new Plague Doctors that's making its debut at the show. I had a little fun with this guy and gave him a telescopic eye, then highlighted it with a metallic copper paint.

Little Minion: Leon

on August 26, 2010 - 8:28am

Leon was made at the same time as Bosco, before I started the more Halloween-like figures mentioned in the last post.

Leon is a pensive chap. Quiet and somewhat shy, he only speaks when he has something important to say. He's a little self conscious of a slight stutter that reveals itself when he's upset or exited.

He likes keeping life simple and avoids conflict as much as possible, to the extreme of avoiding other people if he can help it. He much prefers to be home alone by the fire, reading books and studying maps. You see, his secret wish is to be an explorer. After an evening of plotting courses and memorizing celestial patterns in the universe, Leon will sit back in his favourite arm chair with a glass of red wine and doze in the glow of the fire, dreaming of his many great adventures.

Little Minion: Dark Devil

on August 25, 2010 - 8:09pm

Tomorrow will be spent taking photographs of all the new creations headed for Festival of Fear on Friday. I'd already snapped a few shots of this little creature a while ago.

I wanted to start making more classic Halloween figures now that I've had some fun exploring other creatures. This little devil is the first one I made with Halloween in mind. I've also made some owls, another devil, a demon and a pumpkin creature. Will post those soon.

The cool thing about this guy is while he has my style, he certainly has a different look (at least in my opinion). I'm excited to see what else I come up with as I explore this Halloween theme (after I've had a rest from my big push this last week).

As for an update on my progress, I have 2 of the 3 large plants painted. Going to look at them with fresh eyes tomorrow to see if they need touch ups before I add the epoxy.

And I'm actually going to have those 3 Plague Doctors done by tonight which is exciting.

Little Minion: Bosco

on August 8, 2010 - 8:23am

Did I mention I've dubbed my eyes and teeth creatures as Little Minions?

The last few days have been about trying to get a few more ready for my show at the end of the month. I've completed two and have three more heads sculpted, waiting for paint and bodies. I think you're going to like them. I'm pretty excited by the playfulness they all seem to convey.

But today is all about Bosco. For a creature with terrible luck, he maintains a remarkable happy-go-lucky attitude. Lightening strikes, loose floorboards on a long flight of stairs, all spilt drinks finding their way onto his lap...none of this bothers Bosco. He blinks a few times after each incident, then bursts into raspy laughter.

I have his luck. Now if I could just have his disposition.

The Final Underbiter: Scurge

on July 29, 2010 - 9:47am

I once said that all of the Underbiters were benevolent but mischievous. I have to keep reminding myself of this when I see Scurge, a more paler, sharp-toothed member of the clan.

Too light-skinned to be in the sun (she even avoids bright lighting), Scurge stays in the shadows and dark corners.

She mainly lives in the basement, in the dark and damp, rummaging through boxes and discarded items in storage rooms. She'll chew through cardboard to get at old books that have an intoxicating mildew aroma, sniffing the pages before gnawing on their edges.

She explores the sleeves of old sweaters and runs through the tubing of an old vacuum.

Scurge finds satisfaction in climbing up to darkened light bulbs and knocking them until the filament breaks. When she first encountered the strange, twisting, energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs we're using, she puzzled over them at first. But she decided a light bulb is a light bulb, and treated it as she would any other. When she broke a small hole in the glass of the bulb, and discovered the chemical contents within, it was like she'd found a new nectar; a bonus prize for her work.

The Underbiters: Oogie

on July 28, 2010 - 8:05am

Oogie has her eyes on you.

All 12 of them.

You'd think all of these peepers would make her a keen observer, but alas each eye is astigmatic with the exception of the large one in the centre. So many things to focus on, so little optical control. The world is a bit of a blur for poor Oogie, but she likes it that way. Makes the world soft around the edges.

And Oogie is all about soft. She'll gnaw her way into pillows, comforters, pink insulation and all things made of foam. She likes to nestle in her cave of fluff and...*shudder* her teeth along the fibres of the material.

She's a bit oversensitive, and very self-conscious about the three or four eyes afflicted with Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). When she was smaller, she was often teased about the affliction ("Oogie, Oogie, 24 eyes. No one can guess what it is that she spies"). These days, she certainly has the size and teeth to take care of herself, but she prefers instead to retreat to her cushioned hideaways.

Favourite foods include cotton balls, spray foam, and shrimp chips.

Oogie is made of polymer clay and stands 3 inches tall.

The Underbiters: Reaps

on July 27, 2010 - 8:38am

I don't know whether to laugh at or feel sorry for Reaps.

When I first spotted him, I was a bit concerned. Had a tiny Reaper appeared to usher away the souls of other Underbiters?

Although he has some small tears and frays in his cloak, it isn't fabric: it's actually his skin.

I was almost fooled into thinking he could float off the ground, as Wailer seems to be able to do, but he actually just leans forward on his pot belly and waggles his feet in the air to create the illusion of hovering.

Real grim reapers don't have pot bellies, do they?

Final confirmation came when I saw him interact with the other Underbiters. He waggles his feet, wiggling his pot belly back and forth on the ground as he approaches them with a mighty "Mwa-ha-ha-ha!". And nothing happens. Well, most of them laugh at or scorn him. But there's no instant death.

This does not stop him from his performance. He's done the same thing to small items his size - medicine bottles, candle sticks, little figurines - where he approaches, circles them, then swiftly knocks them over to complete what I refer to as the you-have-been-vanquished dance.

So if you are finding a number of small items knocked over around your house, it's probably because Reaps has um...taken their soul.

Favourite foods are black candles, angel food cake, and anything with a skull and crossbones on it.

Reaps is made of polymer clay and stands just shy of 3 inches tall.

He has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of his back and side.

Available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping & handling.

Update: Reaps has found a new home. Watch for a new post tomorrow. Only 2 Underbiters left for adoption.

The Underbiters: Wailer

on July 26, 2010 - 9:46am

Wailer. Ah Wailer. Don't tell anyone, but I'll be glad when Wailer leaves the house.

You know that feeling you get that someone is standing behind you, but when you turn around no one is there? That's Wailer. I've caught her practising this technique on Yetch, a house plant, the garbage can, you name it.

You know when you think you hear breathing, especially in the dark, but again no one is there? That's Wailer.

And you know when you swear you hear someone yell but it's kind of muffled? Ok, maybe you don't hear that. But I do, because of Wailer.

While these traits are great for terrorizing friends as you're watching scary movies and celebrating Halloween, I've found they've frazzled my nerves. I have coffee stains on walls, on my computer monitor and couch as a result of Wailer's sneaking up and causing me to suddenly jolt in surprise.

The interesting thing is that unlike the other Underbiters, Wailer has me convinced she can float. She always has her legs just off the floor as she moves. I haven't been able to figure out how she does it.

Favourite foods include Marshmallow spread, ice cubes and blueberries.

Wailer is made of polymer clay and stands just over 3 inches tall.

She has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of her profile.

She is available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping & handling.

Update: Wailer has found a new home. Second fastest adoption ever. Watch for more postings tomorrow.

The Underbiters: Burley

on July 25, 2010 - 12:40pm

Made of burlap and rope, Burley is a waddling wannabe scarecrow.

He's very aware that scarecrows are normally propped up on wooden crosses or platforms, and since he wants to be taken seriously - despite his tiny size - I often find him teetering on top of the pencils in the mug by my computer, or balancing on the handle of the utensils (wooden spoons are his favourite, but he'll make due with a plastic spatula) in the kitchen. I'm not sure what he's scaring away, but I can tell you I've never seen crows in either area.

If Burley sees a spider or fly in the house, he'll slowly start creeping towards it, then burst into a full sprint to run the critter off.

I don't have any pets, but this behaviour should be taken into consideration by anyone adopting him. You might see your cat streaking down the hall one day as if it's fleeing for its life.

Favourite foods include straw, earthworms and feathers.

He has now been added to the Underbiter Gallery with views of his back and side.

Made of polymer clay, he stands 3 inches tall.

Available for purchase below. $20 CDN plus shipping.

Update: Burley has found a new home. Fastest adoption ever. Watch for more postings tomorrow.