Artist, Chemist, Goofball: Catching Up With Tyler Thrasher

by on May.25, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Tyler Thrasher cicadas

When I was in the sixth grade and it was the dreaded Science Fair projects time of the year (did everyone hate this as much as I did? Or was a just a really awful student?) my grandfather hit upon the grand idea that we were going to grow crystals in both salt solutions and sugar solutions and see which one was more successful. If I recall, the sugar solution yielded a better crop: small, but beautiful, delicate crystalline structures climbing upwards along a damp string tied to a wooden Popsicle stick, which hung across the top of a garage sale-scavenged glass mason jar. Absurdly proud of the results, I brought the project to school a few days before it was actually due, and was horrified as our classroom’s most popular girl, Mary Lisa Hopewell*, entirely unprompted by me, reached into the jar of sugar crystals, snapped off a particularly lovely specimen, and started >munching on it. I quite clearly remember her guileless face, looking at me as if she thought she was doing me a favor. Ugh! I locked myself in a bathroom stall and sobbed for twenty minutes straight and vowed I was done with science forever.

Crystals, however, I shall forever be obsessed with. And when I discovered Tyler Thrasher’s exquisite creations in late 2014, my obsession reached a fever pitch. Tyler collects deceased creatures and found objects and bestows upon them new life by growing shimmering crystal clusters on them. And I don’t know if his crystals have ever been eaten by an overzealous fan, but if he was able to bounce back, better than ever, after a devastating house fire last December– then he’s sure not going to let an eleven year-old bully with a sweet tooth get in his way.

As it turns out, Tyler Thrasher is a handful of things including artist, scientist, music producer, traveler, rare plant collector, photographer (and even just a handful, period), and I was delighted that this goofball alchemist agreed to chat with us at here at Haute Macabre. Read on for our interview about life after the fire, creation in dark times, and the importance of curiosity, experimentation, and living your own goddamn story.

Tyler Thrasher Beetle

Haute Macabre: First, I wanted to check in and see how you’ve been doing after the terrible fire that destroyed your home and belongings last December? I am a fervent checker of your instagram, and it seemed you didn’t stop creating, not even for a second. What propelled you forward during what must have been a pretty dark time for you? I realize that it must have been a nightmare, and I hope this isn’t a callow question but I’m wondering if through that heartache and loss, you drew inspiration for current or future work?

Tyler Thrasher: The first thing that helped during and directly after the fire would probably be my dark sense of humor. I’m no stranger to dark and pretty fucked up situations, and that sense of humor is what seems to keep me together sometimes and has in the past. After the fire I didn’t even consider a break from my work or from creating, it seemed to have the opposite effect, and looking back in my life that urge to create was birthed during one of the most traumatic moments in my life. I found myself as a kid creating and making art as a means to cope and that urge seems to have persisted over the last 15 years. I did lose all of my work. All of the music I was working on, photos I had taken and some of my favorite drawings and paintings. I was/ am currently working on my first ever artbook, “The Wisdom of the Furnace”. One thing that propelled me forward was the title of the book. Before the fire, I had shot hundreds of images for my book of work that I will never see again, and oddly enough before the fire, the book was titled “The Wisdom of the Furnace”. The next morning while I was sitting in my in-laws home I was thinking about the book and everything I had lost for it, and the title sang. It was the same title it had always been, but it had realized itself, and proclaimed its new purpose. The fire gave the title of my book some prestige, and some well earned prestige at that. The new and realized title of the book is what propelled me forward.

I know the “The Wisdom of the Furnace” is a hefty and mystical sounding title but if I could just defog it’s meaning a little bit, it might help some to understand why I was propelled forward. I chose the title in early 2016. I was thinking about old alchemical works and some of the advancements and progress that ancient study lead us to. During my research I found lots of illustrations, code, and text that would reference or highlight the importance of fire and its vitality. The flame and the furnace were so essential for the alchemist’s Magnum Opus and the art of transmutation. So much of what we know today regarding modern and practical chemistry came from the furnace. So much of what we know today regarding physics and modern science in a sense took place in the furnace. At first the title of my book had a pretty straight forward meaning. But after the fire, I realized it’s not just the furnace that gave us so much insight, but it was also the alchemist who boldly reached into it. The fire wasn’t going to give me answers, it wasn’t going to be an end result for the book or my work. The fire was just a catalyst, as most flames in the laboratory are. I realized that this book hadn’t even begun. Everything I shot before hand was empty and vapid before the fire. It would take an effort from me beyond pointing a camera and shooting, but to get up and realize this catalyst and to respect the potency of nature and the furnace. I realized that despite losing everything for the book in the fire, the book would still be the thing I pulled out of the soot and the remains. And in an essence, that sense of transformation is the vital core of alchemy.

Shit like this happens to me all of the time. I don’t think I believe in destiny, but every now and then the universe gives me a little wink and a nudge.

Tyler Thrasher The Wisdom of the Furnace

Tyler Thrasher bird skull

So many folks describe your creations as “macabre”; I’m curious though, as to if you feel that’s an accurate representation of the work that you do?

I think macabre is a fair and accurate description. When I first started exploring this theme and medium, a lot of my friends and family thought it was a little disgusting. I mean I went from drawing landscapes to submerging dead insects into chemicals. I get it. I think parts of my work are rightfully macabre. My favorite thing EVER is when people ask what I do. When I describe what I do to others, yes its macabre. Description alone, I sound like a fucked-up mad scientist. My other favorite thing EVER, is when I show them pictures, because they usually look very confused. And the response is usually the same, “OH! I had no idea what to expect! That’s so *Insert compliment here*”. And of course that always feels good! I think visually it’s not so macabre. It is a celebration of life and an homage to what nature can do with one’s remains after life. In a way, it addresses a sense of purpose after consciousness, a purpose on earth and under the laws of nature. And I love that. It’s spiritual without being too much so, and it gives nature the respect it deserves. So much of what I do is a collaboration with nature.

Tyler Thrasher cicada1

Your pop-up shop/show, Traveling Alchemist, occurred at Paxton Gate PDX just this past weekend (May 20th) and you have another show in June, “The Sun Rises at Midnight” at the Black Book Gallery in Denver. First, having been to Paxton Gate a few times, I have to note that it seems like the most perfectly magical venue for your crystallized curiosities. But then again, I am biased, I love Portland, and there are no doubt tons of places there where your work would be a perfect fit. But I’d love to hear how this show came to be?  Secondly, your solo show, “The Sun Rises at Midnight”– that’s a very evocative sounding theme– what can you share about the creation of these particular pieces within the context of that theme?

I’m not entirely sure how the pop up shop came to be! I think one of the cool people at Paxton Gate commented on one of my photos, like, forever ago about having a show there. It was pretty casual, which is one thing I love about social media. Most of my shows so far have been decided and scheduled via Instagram comments or just DMing the gallery! Having seen pictures of Paxton Gate, I figured a pop up shop would be the best route, since I would just bring a whole lotta product and work and just stock their store up! I’ve had hundreds of people ask me to come to Portland, so I’m very excited that its finally happening.

“The Sun Rises at Midnight” is a pretty hefty theme. I’m all about overly grand themes. As you could probably assume, its alchemy based. More specifically the second phase of the Magnum Opus, or the “Great Work”. In medieval alchemy, there would be a phase where the material being heated or transformed would turn “white”. This was an indication to the alchemist that the second phase has been reached and that they were closer to successful transmutation. After medieval alchemy was debunked as being an overzealous attempt to control and understand the world through a way too grand of lens, alchemy took on a more psychological approach. Albedo, or the “Whitening phase” was and is now seen as the second phase in a transformation of self. This phase takes place directly after the blackening phase, and is the phase in which one realizes and sees their own light. After fighting and trudging through the darkness of one’s self, they see something productive, something clean. The pieces in this show reflect that. And more so, reflect that in myself and my upbringing. I didn’t want to illustrate literal depictions of my life and what I battled and am battling, but wanted to make haunting images that could be seen as beautiful outside of any dark meaning. I didn’t want the show to seem overly self important either, but this will be the first show in which I pour a lot of myself. This isn’t necessarily for the audience, but mostly for me– while providing the audience a series of images they can view and draw their own conclusions from. I will of course have several crystallized objects as well, which represent a piece of the world I made for myself after clawing through the blackening phase. Sort of an end product that came from a lot of hard and strenuous work.

Tyler Thrasher Raise Some Heck

Tyler Thrasher photography

Tyler Thrasher sphinx+cat

The overwhelming theme of your work, even as it evolves, is “ curiosity and experimentation”–and that seems to be a code you wholeheartedly live by. I’m remarking on this having just seen some photos you posted on your instagram, a gorgeous series of nudes; your tender, graceful 2d illustrations, and after having listened in on your soundcloud channel over the past week, it seems you are something of a musician, too! Not to mention those “Raise Some Heck” tee shirts you created! (Currently sold out, but will be added back to the shop soon.) Can you share with a bit about these different passions of yours, and what keeps you focused on the true essence of your work , whatever you might consider that to be?

To put it shortly, I get bored easily. HAHAHA. I always have. I don’t know why, but as a kid, boredom was literal hell for me. Mental anguish. Maybe I’m just mentally deficient, but I couldn’t and still can’t handle boredom. I’m also fiercely protective of what I like and what I enjoy doing, as I think most people should be. I think curiosity and experimentation are just vital for being human. We can’t run away from it and I think whether or not your conform to that, we all in someway are controlled by these urges. The first thing I ever did was draw. It’s funny now because everyone knows my work by the crystallized pieces, and whenever I post an illustration, people are like “Wait you can draw?!” I don’t blame them! That’s a downside of social media, people see whatever they see first and that’s their impression. I’ve been posting more of my 2D work lately because I want it to get some light and recognition. I enjoy doing them, and at some point I would love it if those illustrations made me some money too!

Music has always been a passion of mine as well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE electronic music, specifically progressive house and trance music. I don’t know why, but I am compelled to believe they are the two most inspiring and motivating genres both mathematically and emotionally. I listen to these genres when I work out, drive, longboard. Anything that requires any type of movement towards an end goal. The repetitive elements and rhythms are just enough to shut my brain off and pull me into a zone of “get shit done”. The music I make is somewhere in this area with a little bit more “funk” every now and then. I’m still learning A LOT but I freaking love making music. I think the fact that I make sure I do so many different things and keep my mind and spirit happy by trying new things is the “true heart of my work”. There’s so much out there, so much humans have created and discovered and explored and I would be a pretty lousy human if I didn’t give my brain the drug it needs and explore and discover more than just what’s immediately in front of me. (This is just the definition for a human for myself.) I have always lived by the code of “curiosity and experimentation” and I hope this persists til I die because it’s been very good for me so far.

Tyler Thrasher 1Tyler Thrasher 2

I saw you quoted in the Daily Dot from an article in 2016 where you stated that, “I don’t want to be working on anyone else’s story or art”. This is such a powerful declaration, and I’d love to hear more.

Well who would?! I don’t mind helping others with their story or popping in as a side character that dies off in the next chapter, but there’s not enough time to help someone else live their story and try to pop back in for my own. I won’t and cannot be a side kick in the story of “Tyler Thrasher” and it breaks my heart when I see someone being a sidekick in their own story. This doesn’t mean you should live selfishly and have a complete disregard for others. It’s the opposite. I don’t think all good stories could exist without others. We need other people, creatures, and entities to help us along and we need to help others along. Just make sure you aren’t living someone elses story and neglecting your own. That sounds a little preachy. hahaha.

Another thing I meant by this is in regards to my degree. I got my degree in Computer Animation at Missouri State University. I was wildly convinced that I wanted to be an animator and make stories. That was until my school made the tragic mistake of bringing in an animator to talk about his career and life. And it was miserable. Possibly the saddest artist I had ever listened to. We were told that animators often work 60+ hours a week on average and on projects that meant absolutely nothing to them. This particular animator mentioned how he spent most of his conscious week working on Dora the Explorer and Zhu Zhu pets and I could’ve wept for him. I asked him if he had time for his own work and with a very tired sigh, he said “no.” I knew immediately that this was a bullshit scam and I wasn’t having any of it. I declared that day that I would be a free lance self employed artist who would not work on any one else’s story. I would work my ass off if I had to in order to make sure that part of my work remained pure and untouched by Dora and her evil companions. I told my professors my goal and they gave me a very nervous look. We had an assignment to come up with a four year plan outside of school, who we wanted to work with and for and what we wanted to be doing. I didn’t even turn in the paper. I just said, “I want to work for myself.” I of course failed that assignment, but I was honest and true to myself. I didn’t and don’t want to live selfishly. I want to inspire and help those around me and I want to be inspired by those around me. I just don’t think the world needs more people working on Dora the Explorer. We’ve given her too much of our time, and I guarantee you no kids are waiting around for the newest story breaking episode. They’re not even played linearly. The kids will be ok with the same 200 episodes we’ve made already haha. I have a deep respect for the animations and projects individuals all agree to work on together and with passion. I have very little affinity or respect towards the studio or warehouse that pumps out the same empty project just to keep the artists busy, children distracted, and parents spending money.

Tyler estimates that The Wisdom Of The Furnace will be available, perhaps through Kickstarter, late this year–be certain to check his social media for purchase!

Find Tyler Thrasher: website // instagram // facebook // tumblr // twitter // soundcloud

All photos courtesy Tyler Thrasher.
*names have been changed to protect the stupid

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Artist, Chemist, Goofball: Catching Up With Tyler Thrasher

by on May.25, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Tyler Thrasher cicadas

When I was in the sixth grade and it was the dreaded Science Fair projects time of the year (did everyone hate this as much as I did? Or was a just a really awful student?) my grandfather hit upon the grand idea that we were going to grow crystals in both salt solutions and sugar solutions and see which one was more successful. If I recall, the sugar solution yielded a better crop: small, but beautiful, delicate crystalline structures climbing upwards along a damp string tied to a wooden Popsicle stick, which hung across the top of a garage sale-scavenged glass mason jar. Absurdly proud of the results, I brought the project to school a few days before it was actually due, and was horrified as our classroom’s most popular girl, Mary Lisa Hopewell*, entirely unprompted by me, reached into the jar of sugar crystals, snapped off a particularly lovely specimen, and started >munching on it. I quite clearly remember her guileless face, looking at me as if she thought she was doing me a favor. Ugh! I locked myself in a bathroom stall and sobbed for twenty minutes straight and vowed I was done with science forever.

Crystals, however, I shall forever be obsessed with. And when I discovered Tyler Thrasher’s exquisite creations in late 2014, my obsession reached a fever pitch. Tyler collects deceased creatures and found objects and bestows upon them new life by growing shimmering crystal clusters on them. And I don’t know if his crystals have ever been eaten by an overzealous fan, but if he was able to bounce back, better than ever, after a devastating house fire last December– then he’s sure not going to let an eleven year-old bully with a sweet tooth get in his way.

As it turns out, Tyler Thrasher is a handful of things including artist, scientist, music producer, traveler, rare plant collector, photographer (and even just a handful, period), and I was delighted that this goofball alchemist agreed to chat with us at here at Haute Macabre. Read on for our interview about life after the fire, creation in dark times, and the importance of curiosity, experimentation, and living your own goddamn story.

Tyler Thrasher Beetle

Haute Macabre: First, I wanted to check in and see how you’ve been doing after the terrible fire that destroyed your home and belongings last December? I am a fervent checker of your instagram, and it seemed you didn’t stop creating, not even for a second. What propelled you forward during what must have been a pretty dark time for you? I realize that it must have been a nightmare, and I hope this isn’t a callow question but I’m wondering if through that heartache and loss, you drew inspiration for current or future work?

Tyler Thrasher: The first thing that helped during and directly after the fire would probably be my dark sense of humor. I’m no stranger to dark and pretty fucked up situations, and that sense of humor is what seems to keep me together sometimes and has in the past. After the fire I didn’t even consider a break from my work or from creating, it seemed to have the opposite effect, and looking back in my life that urge to create was birthed during one of the most traumatic moments in my life. I found myself as a kid creating and making art as a means to cope and that urge seems to have persisted over the last 15 years. I did lose all of my work. All of the music I was working on, photos I had taken and some of my favorite drawings and paintings. I was/ am currently working on my first ever artbook, “The Wisdom of the Furnace”. One thing that propelled me forward was the title of the book. Before the fire, I had shot hundreds of images for my book of work that I will never see again, and oddly enough before the fire, the book was titled “The Wisdom of the Furnace”. The next morning while I was sitting in my in-laws home I was thinking about the book and everything I had lost for it, and the title sang. It was the same title it had always been, but it had realized itself, and proclaimed its new purpose. The fire gave the title of my book some prestige, and some well earned prestige at that. The new and realized title of the book is what propelled me forward.

I know the “The Wisdom of the Furnace” is a hefty and mystical sounding title but if I could just defog it’s meaning a little bit, it might help some to understand why I was propelled forward. I chose the title in early 2016. I was thinking about old alchemical works and some of the advancements and progress that ancient study lead us to. During my research I found lots of illustrations, code, and text that would reference or highlight the importance of fire and its vitality. The flame and the furnace were so essential for the alchemist’s Magnum Opus and the art of transmutation. So much of what we know today regarding modern and practical chemistry came from the furnace. So much of what we know today regarding physics and modern science in a sense took place in the furnace. At first the title of my book had a pretty straight forward meaning. But after the fire, I realized it’s not just the furnace that gave us so much insight, but it was also the alchemist who boldly reached into it. The fire wasn’t going to give me answers, it wasn’t going to be an end result for the book or my work. The fire was just a catalyst, as most flames in the laboratory are. I realized that this book hadn’t even begun. Everything I shot before hand was empty and vapid before the fire. It would take an effort from me beyond pointing a camera and shooting, but to get up and realize this catalyst and to respect the potency of nature and the furnace. I realized that despite losing everything for the book in the fire, the book would still be the thing I pulled out of the soot and the remains. And in an essence, that sense of transformation is the vital core of alchemy.

Shit like this happens to me all of the time. I don’t think I believe in destiny, but every now and then the universe gives me a little wink and a nudge.

Tyler Thrasher The Wisdom of the Furnace

Tyler Thrasher bird skull

So many folks describe your creations as “macabre”; I’m curious though, as to if you feel that’s an accurate representation of the work that you do?

I think macabre is a fair and accurate description. When I first started exploring this theme and medium, a lot of my friends and family thought it was a little disgusting. I mean I went from drawing landscapes to submerging dead insects into chemicals. I get it. I think parts of my work are rightfully macabre. My favorite thing EVER is when people ask what I do. When I describe what I do to others, yes its macabre. Description alone, I sound like a fucked-up mad scientist. My other favorite thing EVER, is when I show them pictures, because they usually look very confused. And the response is usually the same, “OH! I had no idea what to expect! That’s so *Insert compliment here*”. And of course that always feels good! I think visually it’s not so macabre. It is a celebration of life and an homage to what nature can do with one’s remains after life. In a way, it addresses a sense of purpose after consciousness, a purpose on earth and under the laws of nature. And I love that. It’s spiritual without being too much so, and it gives nature the respect it deserves. So much of what I do is a collaboration with nature.

Tyler Thrasher cicada1

Your pop-up shop/show, Traveling Alchemist, occurred at Paxton Gate PDX just this past weekend (May 20th) and you have another show in June, “The Sun Rises at Midnight” at the Black Book Gallery in Denver. First, having been to Paxton Gate a few times, I have to note that it seems like the most perfectly magical venue for your crystallized curiosities. But then again, I am biased, I love Portland, and there are no doubt tons of places there where your work would be a perfect fit. But I’d love to hear how this show came to be?  Secondly, your solo show, “The Sun Rises at Midnight”– that’s a very evocative sounding theme– what can you share about the creation of these particular pieces within the context of that theme?

I’m not entirely sure how the pop up shop came to be! I think one of the cool people at Paxton Gate commented on one of my photos, like, forever ago about having a show there. It was pretty casual, which is one thing I love about social media. Most of my shows so far have been decided and scheduled via Instagram comments or just DMing the gallery! Having seen pictures of Paxton Gate, I figured a pop up shop would be the best route, since I would just bring a whole lotta product and work and just stock their store up! I’ve had hundreds of people ask me to come to Portland, so I’m very excited that its finally happening.

“The Sun Rises at Midnight” is a pretty hefty theme. I’m all about overly grand themes. As you could probably assume, its alchemy based. More specifically the second phase of the Magnum Opus, or the “Great Work”. In medieval alchemy, there would be a phase where the material being heated or transformed would turn “white”. This was an indication to the alchemist that the second phase has been reached and that they were closer to successful transmutation. After medieval alchemy was debunked as being an overzealous attempt to control and understand the world through a way too grand of lens, alchemy took on a more psychological approach. Albedo, or the “Whitening phase” was and is now seen as the second phase in a transformation of self. This phase takes place directly after the blackening phase, and is the phase in which one realizes and sees their own light. After fighting and trudging through the darkness of one’s self, they see something productive, something clean. The pieces in this show reflect that. And more so, reflect that in myself and my upbringing. I didn’t want to illustrate literal depictions of my life and what I battled and am battling, but wanted to make haunting images that could be seen as beautiful outside of any dark meaning. I didn’t want the show to seem overly self important either, but this will be the first show in which I pour a lot of myself. This isn’t necessarily for the audience, but mostly for me– while providing the audience a series of images they can view and draw their own conclusions from. I will of course have several crystallized objects as well, which represent a piece of the world I made for myself after clawing through the blackening phase. Sort of an end product that came from a lot of hard and strenuous work.

Tyler Thrasher Raise Some Heck

Tyler Thrasher photography

Tyler Thrasher sphinx+cat

The overwhelming theme of your work, even as it evolves, is “ curiosity and experimentation”–and that seems to be a code you wholeheartedly live by. I’m remarking on this having just seen some photos you posted on your instagram, a gorgeous series of nudes; your tender, graceful 2d illustrations, and after having listened in on your soundcloud channel over the past week, it seems you are something of a musician, too! Not to mention those “Raise Some Heck” tee shirts you created! (Currently sold out, but will be added back to the shop soon.) Can you share with a bit about these different passions of yours, and what keeps you focused on the true essence of your work , whatever you might consider that to be?

To put it shortly, I get bored easily. HAHAHA. I always have. I don’t know why, but as a kid, boredom was literal hell for me. Mental anguish. Maybe I’m just mentally deficient, but I couldn’t and still can’t handle boredom. I’m also fiercely protective of what I like and what I enjoy doing, as I think most people should be. I think curiosity and experimentation are just vital for being human. We can’t run away from it and I think whether or not your conform to that, we all in someway are controlled by these urges. The first thing I ever did was draw. It’s funny now because everyone knows my work by the crystallized pieces, and whenever I post an illustration, people are like “Wait you can draw?!” I don’t blame them! That’s a downside of social media, people see whatever they see first and that’s their impression. I’ve been posting more of my 2D work lately because I want it to get some light and recognition. I enjoy doing them, and at some point I would love it if those illustrations made me some money too!

Music has always been a passion of mine as well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE electronic music, specifically progressive house and trance music. I don’t know why, but I am compelled to believe they are the two most inspiring and motivating genres both mathematically and emotionally. I listen to these genres when I work out, drive, longboard. Anything that requires any type of movement towards an end goal. The repetitive elements and rhythms are just enough to shut my brain off and pull me into a zone of “get shit done”. The music I make is somewhere in this area with a little bit more “funk” every now and then. I’m still learning A LOT but I freaking love making music. I think the fact that I make sure I do so many different things and keep my mind and spirit happy by trying new things is the “true heart of my work”. There’s so much out there, so much humans have created and discovered and explored and I would be a pretty lousy human if I didn’t give my brain the drug it needs and explore and discover more than just what’s immediately in front of me. (This is just the definition for a human for myself.) I have always lived by the code of “curiosity and experimentation” and I hope this persists til I die because it’s been very good for me so far.

Tyler Thrasher 1Tyler Thrasher 2

I saw you quoted in the Daily Dot from an article in 2016 where you stated that, “I don’t want to be working on anyone else’s story or art”. This is such a powerful declaration, and I’d love to hear more.

Well who would?! I don’t mind helping others with their story or popping in as a side character that dies off in the next chapter, but there’s not enough time to help someone else live their story and try to pop back in for my own. I won’t and cannot be a side kick in the story of “Tyler Thrasher” and it breaks my heart when I see someone being a sidekick in their own story. This doesn’t mean you should live selfishly and have a complete disregard for others. It’s the opposite. I don’t think all good stories could exist without others. We need other people, creatures, and entities to help us along and we need to help others along. Just make sure you aren’t living someone elses story and neglecting your own. That sounds a little preachy. hahaha.

Another thing I meant by this is in regards to my degree. I got my degree in Computer Animation at Missouri State University. I was wildly convinced that I wanted to be an animator and make stories. That was until my school made the tragic mistake of bringing in an animator to talk about his career and life. And it was miserable. Possibly the saddest artist I had ever listened to. We were told that animators often work 60+ hours a week on average and on projects that meant absolutely nothing to them. This particular animator mentioned how he spent most of his conscious week working on Dora the Explorer and Zhu Zhu pets and I could’ve wept for him. I asked him if he had time for his own work and with a very tired sigh, he said “no.” I knew immediately that this was a bullshit scam and I wasn’t having any of it. I declared that day that I would be a free lance self employed artist who would not work on any one else’s story. I would work my ass off if I had to in order to make sure that part of my work remained pure and untouched by Dora and her evil companions. I told my professors my goal and they gave me a very nervous look. We had an assignment to come up with a four year plan outside of school, who we wanted to work with and for and what we wanted to be doing. I didn’t even turn in the paper. I just said, “I want to work for myself.” I of course failed that assignment, but I was honest and true to myself. I didn’t and don’t want to live selfishly. I want to inspire and help those around me and I want to be inspired by those around me. I just don’t think the world needs more people working on Dora the Explorer. We’ve given her too much of our time, and I guarantee you no kids are waiting around for the newest story breaking episode. They’re not even played linearly. The kids will be ok with the same 200 episodes we’ve made already haha. I have a deep respect for the animations and projects individuals all agree to work on together and with passion. I have very little affinity or respect towards the studio or warehouse that pumps out the same empty project just to keep the artists busy, children distracted, and parents spending money.

Tyler estimates that The Wisdom Of The Furnace will be available, perhaps through Kickstarter, late this year–be certain to check his social media for purchase!

Find Tyler Thrasher: website // instagram // facebook // tumblr // twitter // soundcloud

All photos courtesy Tyler Thrasher.
*names have been changed to protect the stupid

Leave a Comment more...

Illuminating The Many Moons Workbook with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener

by on May.23, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

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sarah_nancy_neil

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener is a many-armed goddess and magical warrior woman who must have a to-do list of epic proportions. She is a designer, art director, and artist whose artwork and design is based in the spiritual, feminist, and mystical. She teaches workshops pertaining to tarot and moonbeaming (connecting with and working with the power of different phases of the Moon to manifest), and gives tarot readings to interested parties. Sarah’s work is done in the service of divine feminine empowerment and she considers it a huge gift and honor to be able to tell strangers sacred truths about their unique paths and evolution.

Modern Women is Sarah’s intersectional feminist gear company, combining the different elements of designing, art-making, publishing, editing, and collaborating under the unifying umbrella of Feminist and Queer philosophy. I became aware of one of Modern Women’s wonderful offerings, The Many Moons workbook, late last year and true to form, I ordered it immediately…only to have it sit on my shelf, untouched, until early March. Sigh.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. The Many Moons workbooks Volumes One and Two are full of information and research on the major Moon phases (New, Waxing, Full, Waning, & Dark) during the first and of the second halves of the year, respectively.  Self-published by Sarah Faith, who is joined by a wonderfully diverse collective of experienced practitioners of various modalities, the books contain recipes, spell working suggestions and advice, manifestation musings, Tarot Talk, and self-help and development prompts to aid you in your evolution, healing, and to get your momentum and desires moving and flowing. These workbooks imagine a world where witches, women, femmes, & weirdos make their dreams come true, and help others and the greater collective in service of their higher self and of spirit.

…and you can jump in at any time! So what if you didn’t start in January? Sarah Faith notes that the suggestions are not limited to that time or moon phase only– they can be reflected upon and utilized at anytime. One should feel free to practice in varying degrees depending on circumstance and need.  So even if you waited until the very last month in Volume One (le whoopsie!) it’s okay. It really is. And now you can pre-order Many Moons Volume Two for 2017, which begins in July and focuses on the last half of the year: July- December.

Haute Macabre recently asked some nosy questions of the extremely gracious Sarah Faith about The Many Moons workbook, and how the moon and its magic influences her creative practices. Read on for our illuminating Q&A and be sure to pre-order your copy of Volume Two, because–I am told–they sell out quite fast!

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener Moons

Haute Macabre: “Why the moon?” you ask of the reader/practitioner at the beginning of Many Moons Vol.1. I’d like to flip the question around and ask the same of you. Why the moon? Why moon magic? Can you talk about your connection to this luminous celestial body as it relates to your other passions and creative practices and feminist work that you do?

Its so hard to know where to begin with this question!

The Moon has become my guiding light. I speak a LOT about the metaphors of the Moon in my workbooks, so I’ll keep it short here— she’s a timekeeper, a reflection, a way of seeing, a force governing water and all water bodies, an activator, an instigator, a permission-granter, an illuminator…

From a practical standpoint Moon magic just works. At heart, I’m an intellectual East Coast skeptic and I only believe in things when they work. And working a whole Moon cycle the whole way through is incredibly effective. Working a whole Moon cycle addresses the 7 great Hermetic principles, it allows one to process mentally, emotionally, and magically transformations a body is looking to undergo. It is a holistic, natural way of seeing the world; breaking away from either/or and if/then thinking; this cycle is a process is progress. Internally and externally, externally and internally.

Working with the Moon in this way, and the way I attempt to communicate and outline in my workbooks, form a baseline of how I view and treat my own life. Its been a radical reimagining, and it is Feminist and anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchal for sure in nature. One of the things I strive to do in my own work is inspire and help others. Part of that is sharing all I know and all I have learned, in the hopes that others will be helped and/or inspired.

It’s important to share these tools, as these tools have— if I’m being honest— in part, saved my life. At the very least, they’ve certainly allowed for a richer, more present way of interacting with the world and engaging with processes of all kinds. Quite frankly, I’ve also been able to womanifest many things beyond my most sparkly dreams doing this work. So why wouldn’t I want to share it with others?Many-Moons-preview_2_1024x1024

I’ve read a bit of your origin story for Many Moons Vol.1, how your muse straight up told you, “hey, you need to write a workbook!” How did the project take off from there? Was your Muse guiding you each step of the way, or did it sort of give you your marching orders and sit back and watch things unfold? How did you gather your contributors? Did you have a wishlist of folks? Did it all come together the way you envisioned?

Yes, this is true. For years I had been teaching classes and workshops on working with the cycles of the Moon. People from all over had contacted me and asked me to come teach, but of course, I can’t just hop on a plane and fly to Atlanta or wherever. All of my classes and workshops are priced to be somewhat affordable ($50 or under), so that means traveling a far distance to teach isn’t financially feasible for me. I had wanted to get this work out there more, so had thought of maybe of working on a book. But working on a book seemed too daunting, like it would take numerous years. So one day I got the message very clearly that I was to write a workbook, and I was to do this for 3 years. Ironically, I’ve now ended up writing four books, all well over 100 pages, in 2 years. So maybe I should have just written ONE book! haha. ha.

Anyway, back to Spirit, the muse, and process. We are all receiving messages, or available to receive messages from other realms and sources—that’s part of being a human, particularly a creative human. (And, yes, we are ALL creative humans.) From experience, I’m just open to listening to my intuition and messages that come in and acting on that. I get many, many messages and ideas all the time. It is up to me with what I choose to actually create and follow through on. Carrying it out in the 3-D realm is all up to me.

I was lucky enough to channel just about all of the first workbook. That is to say, it was incredibly easy to write, all the information was there already. And because this was a message from Spirit (or source, or the muse, whatever you would like to call it) and was guided by inspiration, I wasn’t interested in profit or like, becoming the Moon lady expert or anything. I’m not trying to brand myself as anything. I’m just a person, sharing things that have worked for me. I think that’s helped me with this project, particularly as all things “moon” are seemingly everywhere now.

Subsequent workbooks have all felt different. Number 2 felt a bit more like “work.” I had to have discipline, that edition felt a bit more grounded. I wrote the book all over the place—in planes, in hotel rooms, in different cities, as I was doing a lot of traveling at that time.

Number 3, the current one, that goes until June, felt pretty seamless. This one that is about to come out feels more “intentional”. I knew the project was 2/3 of the way through, so there were some basic witch craft stuff I felt like I needed to talk about, like spell basics and manifesting basics and such. This was mainly based on a lot of messages from people I would get about these topics, and I just needed a place to respond to them. Of course this is all based on my experiences, what I do, how I practice, what I believe, and of course, what works for me.

The other interesting messages about this edition were very clearly that I would get messages and downloads when I wasn’t working. When I was running, meditating, working out, in Yoga class, in the shower, on a walk, in a car. So there was a dual message from my guides, which was to intentionally rest and refresh. Like, my reward for enjoying life was to receive messages: it was really sweet and super needed! Much of this book started in text messages to myself— I’d have to pull over the car and write down messages and ideas before I forgot them.

I’ve been in a lot of bands, and a lot of collaborative efforts, my formative creative years were spent very much in “D.I.Y.” or “D.I.T.” culture. Much of what I do involves highlighting and lifting up other voices. It seems imperative, as so many others inspire me. I remember being a lonely queer feminist teenage weirdo and listening to records and making weird art alone in my bedroom at 2 in the morning and feeling like my life lines were amazing art, music, and writing. It was my oxygen. There are endless streams of people I admire and want to include in this project. Most of my contributors I know personally, or I feel like I know their work personally—that is to say I am familiar with their voice and excited about their businesses, or output. This is a queer, feminist, and intersectional project—meaning, I’m interested in including a spectrum of points of view and voices. Not meaning any disrespect at all, but a lot of magic literature I’ve read or been exposed to is very white, very binary, and very heteronormative. Part of the goal of this project is to attempt to widen this landscape. I’m not saying I’ve succeeded, I’m just saying that this is very much in my mind with this project, it is an intention. However, just another basic reason to have many contributors is that my interests and experience are limited, and I seek out people who have a different zone of genius. Herbalists, astrologers, body workers, musicians, intuitive healers, writers, artists, acupuncturists, other Tarot readers are all other practitioners I ask to be a part of this, to open up the discourse and provide insights and resources I simply cannot.

The first few iterations of this project, in my perfectionist mind, were a disaster. Some of this is just simply because this isn’t the way I make my living: I do this nights and weekends a lot of the time. Some of it is due to the fact I just don’t know what I’m doing, self-publishing. For example, I had never heard the term “line-editor” or other things like that. I’m completely new to the process of writing, editing, designing and distributing a publication at this scale and that doing is the learning. The current edition is the closest to satisfied I’ve been with it. The volume that is about to come out is just about as close to perfect as I can get, with all the limitations I have. I’m so excited to have it out in the world.

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener Witch

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener RIP

With regard to your art and design, I love this quote: “So much of my work is making things I wish to see in the world, things I wish already existed”. I get so excited when people live that philosophy and actively work to create the world that they want to live in. Have you always seen your role in this world as such? Do you have any advice or suggestions for a like-minded soul who feels the same but who doesn’t know where to start? 

Well, I was just lucky to get exposed at a young impressionable age, pre-internet, to people actively trying to create the world they wish to live in. I’m also just incredibly lucky to be exposed, via the “women-loving” and riot grrrl explosion of the 90’s, and later, via Queer Portland in the early aughts, to communities of people who were creating their own worlds, for themselves. There are too many people to name here that inspired me, and that continue to inspire me. At the end of the day, I’m an artist. Being an activist is really not my calling. I really care about social justice and human rights for all, so I spend the majority of my artistic pursuits in that zone.

The advice part of this question was hard for me, as everyone’s journey is so different. But here’s some advice. Is there a theme of something you are into, that you’ve been reading or looking up or listening to, and you like the things you are ingesting, for the most part, but think it needs a certain something? Well, you are that certain something! Here’s another: does something make you blood-boiling angry? Can you connect with the antidote of that? Great. Now go be the antidote of that. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be.

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Sarah Faith Gottesdiener Crescent Moon

In Many Moons Volume One, you mention what a powerful tool writing is, but I’ve also read you don’t consider yourself much of a writer. That you acknowledge the importance of a practice, admit you’re not great at it (though truthfully, I’d beg to differ), and then do it anyway–I think that’s a very powerful practice right there. Can you speak to the importance of trying, practicing, doing, in spite of fear and failure, and the energies we create when we do these things, the things that scare us, or are outside of our comfort zones? (The reason I ask this is kind of silly…I’ve almost been afraid to write in this very workbook…worried that I am somehow “doing it wrong” or writing something dumb, that sort of thing.)

Ok, so, let me clarify.

I don’t call myself a writer because I’ve never taken a writing class and haven’t written professionally, so to speak. As a child, one of my biggest dreams was to be a children’s book illustrator and writer, actually, and I’d fill up book after book of stories. None of them ever had any ending, I couldn’t get past the first 5 pages or so! Writing and illustrating childrens’ books is still something I would like to do. (Any publishers want to publish my young adult novels for sad young witches?)

The act of writing, like, pen to paper writing, is extremely powerful. It is from your mind to 3-D form. Every handwritten mark is different. Writing facilitates expression and connection to source. That’s why my workbooks aren’t E-books, and why I encourage people to keep a journal. It is why in spells we write things down: on different colored paper, candles, clay, with paint: it is creation.

The act of writing these books is a means to an end. Whether I am good at it or not is not the point, the point is to share information. I can try as best as I can to communicate, but writing as a practice isn’t something I particularly enjoy, nor do I have aspirations beyond this current means to an end.

And now, to speak to going outside one’s comfort zone. In the Tarot, the 5’s in the Major Arcana signify challenge and hardship of some sort. All of the 5’s in the Traditional Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith deck encapsulate some trial or tribulation; whether it be egoic, emotional, or behavioral. We have to wade through conflict to reach a turning point. The only lessons I’ve truly learned have come out of some sort of hardship, for the most part. (I’m not romanticizing conflict, btw. Because especially lately, I’ve been learning, more and more, out of a more peaceful places.) So I guess I’m just trying to say that for most creatives and artists, there is an aspect of pain, of frustration, that goes along with creation. But that’s also a really potent way to grow and evolve.

And to speak directly to your question about doing it “wrong”, I’ll just quote Rumi: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and righdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener April Moon

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener tarot

Do I understand correctly that this is the second year you’ve released a workbook of this kind?  What can we expect from Volume 2?

Here is a very partial list of things that are covered in Volume 2, in no particular order: boundaries, group rituals, lots and lots of Tarot talk (including Tarot spreads), flower essence formulas how to’s, notes on how to connect to your spirit guides, a fire cider recipe, thoughts on manifesting, connecting with animal medicine and animal guides, an eclipse ritual for securing safety in uncertain times, quotes from Georgia O’Keefe, James Baldwin, Blondie, bell hooks, ABBA, Kerry James Marshall and Martín Prechtel, connecting to the holistic body, money spells and money/abundance talk, period talk, and messages about release around the Waning Moon, spell work basics, structures, and do’s and don’ts, lots of archetypal interpretation and symbology, and horoscopes for each sign for each month.

The contributors are: Adee Roberson, Jessica Lanyadoo, Janeen Singer of Holy Sponge!, Esme Weijun Wang, Missy Rhysing, and Diego Basdeo. The book is now available in my shop and you can pre-order here.

Find Sarah Faith Gottesdiener: website // blog // shop // instagram

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The Haute List

by on May.22, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

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Disco Witch Vintage

by on May.20, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

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Disco Witch Vintage

I’ve been intensely cleaning out my closet the past few weeks and adding more and more items to my Depop Shop!

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This week I’ve added items to my profile from Babooshka Boutique, Free People, KillStar, MNML, and some unique pieces that were in my collection. I’ll be adding more over the next few weeks as I get deeper and deeper into my wardrobe!

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If you’re not familiar with Depop, it’s an app available for Apple and Android users for people like you and I to buy and sell our gently used clothing (or whatever! I’ve come across profiles there listing vintage cameras, books, makeup and more!). I’ve been using Depop instead of eBay or my personal URL because of the social network involved, where you can see what your friends are liking, browsing, and share with them things you think they’d like, too.

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Shop my closet at Depop.com/DiscoWitch and follow DiscoWitchVintage on Instagram for updates

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Shop my closet at Depop.com/DiscoWitch and follow DiscoWitchVintage on Instagram for updates

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Disco Witch Vintage

by on May.20, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Disco Witch Vintage

I’ve been intensely cleaning out my closet the past few weeks and adding more and more items to my Depop Shop!

P8-2

This week I’ve added items to my profile from Babooshka Boutique, Free People, KillStar, MNML, and some unique pieces that were in my collection. I’ll be adding more over the next few weeks as I get deeper and deeper into my wardrobe!

P8-3

If you’re not familiar with Depop, it’s an app available for Apple and Android users for people like you and I to buy and sell our gently used clothing (or whatever! I’ve come across profiles there listing vintage cameras, books, makeup and more!). I’ve been using Depop instead of eBay or my personal URL because of the social network involved, where you can see what your friends are liking, browsing, and share with them things you think they’d like, too.

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Shop my closet at Depop.com/DiscoWitch and follow DiscoWitchVintage on Instagram for updates

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Shop my closet at Depop.com/DiscoWitch and follow DiscoWitchVintage on Instagram for updates

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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s American Gods + A Giveaway!

by on May.19, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

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During the course of a recent flight to the West Coast, I had the pleasure of re-reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and was again treated to one of my very favorite passages in all literature, of all time, ever.

“The house smelled musty and damp, and a little sweet, as if it were haunted by the ghosts of long-dead cookies.”

This is the scent that Shadow inhales as Mr. Nancy unlocks the hurricane shutters and pulls open the windows of his small, one-story wooden house on the outskirts of muggy Floridian city of Fort Pierce, where the night air is alive with the whirring of palmetto bugs and the ground crawls with creatures that scuttle and click.

Again, in Anansi Boys, which I only read for the first time last week, and on another, completely unrelated flight, Gaiman narrates as Fat Charlie walks into his late father’s house: “The smell was familiar: faintly sweet, as if chocolate chip cookies had been baked there the last time the kitchen was used, but that had been a long time ago.” I was as tickled at the subsequent mention of these sweet, spectral confections as I was with the initial thought of those phantom cookie crumbs and their fragrant passage through the the flamboyant Mr. Nancy’s darkened, mildewed home, and I longed to smell such things for myself. Of course, American Gods is about more than just cookie crumbs…it is a wonderfully big, sweeping story–many stories, really–full of clever ideas, about gods and humans and and magic and belief, and well, yeah, belief. I suppose, after you sweep away the crumbs, belief is at the very heart of this tale. It is Gaiman’s words about the importance of belief that cause a clutch in the rhythm of my heart and my eyes to well up with tears, every time I read them anew.

“People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.”

Ah, belief. As that ancient adage insists, “seeing is believing”– but,  of course, the purveyors of fine fragrance at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab tackle belief from a different perspective, don’t they? And so, smelling was believing, in 2007, when Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab collaborated with Neil Gaiman to create their first installment of scents inspired by the beautiful, harrowing, all-consuming world of American Gods.  A decade later, and just in time for the launch of the Starz television series, our beloved scented story-tellers have refreshed their American Gods-themed fragrance offerings with new scents and products based on additional characters and story points from the book, along with updated designs by Hugo-winner Julie Dillon. Proceeds from every single bottle go to the CBLDF, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.

BPAL X American Gods (4)

Sixteen new scents have become available with this update: Believe, Black Hats, Coin Trick, Eostre of the Dawn, For the Joy of It, Glass Eye, Laura, Low-Key Lyesmith, Media, Mister Wednesday, Mr. Czernobog, Shadow, Technical Boy, and the Zoryas. Their sister shop, Black Phoenix Trading Post, has launched an American Gods atmosphere spray line, so that you may invoke the spilled beer and fries of the Crocodile Bar, the horrors of the Bone Orchard, the Hall of Forgotten Gods’ long-dead incenses, or , I am beyond excited to share, even Mr. Nancy’s House, the description of which that had captured my imagination so many years ago.  Nail lacquers will arrive at The Post at a future date for which to paint up your claws in a magical array of hues (be sure to follow BPAL’s instagram account for sneak peeks at these lovely polishes before they go live!)

The generous folks at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have shared some of their American Gods offerings–both new and old–with Haute Macabre for review, and believe it or not (and we insist that you do!) we are excited to share announce a giveaway of assorted American Gods as well.

BPAL X American Gods (1)

Media (a news anchor’s cologne, a soap star’s perfume: perfect, pixelated, and glamorous; aglow with cathodes and anodes, coated with phosphor) A bright, feminine scent, almost like a Sephora deluxe sample–one of the glowing, white musk-y, celebrity endorsed samples that they send as a gift with purchase (J-Lo Glow mixed with a bit of Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker, maybe? Not quite Narciso Rodriguez); a scent that always makes you feel a little itchy when your normie friends or your mother in law tells you that they love it.

Mister Wednesday (sleek cologne, the memory of a Nine Herbs Charm, gallows wood, and a splash of whiskey) a sweet deceit; the scent of a man who would offer you a lollypop and leave you holding a snake. You might even thank him for it. Also, perhaps a sort of trickery by my brain, but in smelling this, I am reminded of Mister Wednesday’s ice cream-colored suit, and so I cannot help but to think it smells like a  creamy, cloying liqueur upon which a really sleazy cocktail is built .

Belief (a scent of compression and release, of heat and faith, of plunging through the jet-shadowed darkness of uncertainty. The heart of the land: roots plunging ever deeper into thrumming black soil through the graves of faith, disillusion, and skepticism); wet cow and acrid, peaty earth. Scorched, smoky grasses and deep, thunderous vetiver. I’m not kidding about the weird, sour bovine tang. Like a herd of buffalo aggressively sending smoke signals! As it dries though, the scent becomes a gentle thing; the herd is slumbering, snuggled together for warmth under a blanket of stars.

Mama-Ji (spices, cardamom, nutmeg, and flowers) Is a feisty floral; a sweetly spiced bouquet. What are these soft, warm, beautiful florals? Roses? Certainly carnation. A gorgeous, golden, heady scent–very reminiscent of one of my very favorite BPALs, Morocco, but there’s an almost fruity resin at the heart of Mama Ji that renders it quite different, and very much it’s own scent.

Black Hats (gunpowder residue, patent leather, pomade, and aftershave) Full disclosure here; throughout every aspect of this American Gods sniff-a-thon, my shnozz has been severely compromised. Bronchitis, head cold, allergies–throughout the past month I have fallen prey to all of these. So when I tell you that Black Hats smells like an expensive pair of leather shoes has been finely ground and mixed with a high quality nag champa and repackaged as a ceremonial incense to burn in, I don’t know, haute, esoteric ceremonies to the runway gods or whatever, well, I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it. Also–Neil Gaiman, where are the gods of the runway, huh?

 

BPAL X American Gods (3)

Mr. Czernobog (unfiltered cigarettes, the leather and metal of sledgehammers, aortal blood slowly drying, and black incense) Wet, just out of the bottle, there is something about Mr. Czernobog that tugs at the edges of memory. A sweet, spicy heat, but tempered by a child-like treat. Milk and grains. Soupy cinnamon oatmeal, or a forbidden breakfast cereal like Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Or…no! I have it. Little Debbie Pecan Pinwheels. Once applied to skin, however, that strange, wonderful association fades as a mentholated, metallic aspect momentarily asserts itself. From there it becomes an iron tooth lost amidst coniferous detritus underfoot.

The Norn’s Farmhouse (dusty, ancient wood, horehound, and sage, with viper’s bugloss, mugwort, chamomile, nettle, apple blossom, chervil, and ashes). Another one wherein straight from the bottle, the impression is so immeasurably striking– The Norne’s Farmhouse is an immediate herbaceous cacophony. As if one ran their hands through every bush, shrub, and vine in the garden, crushed all the fuzzy leaves and flowering bits between one’s fingers and bottled the resulting lively green-bitter-savory-sharp residue. Wait a while and it becomes the subtle sweetness of dried apples decorating an aged, brittle grapevine wreath.

For The Joy Of It (whiskey, mead, honey, gold, sweat, and blood) The coppery tang of gore on a blade…used to stir a big, tupperware bowl of the most ridiculously sweet party punch that’s ever existed. But that’s only a momentary impression, and that sticky sweetness lightens to reveal a gorgeously juicy scent, a refreshing glass of something that’ll get you deliciously fucked up.

 

BPAL X American Gods (2)

Laura (violets, upturned earth, mothballs, formaldehyde (mixed with glycerin and lanolin), and the memory of the taste of strawberry daiquiris suspended in twilight). I guess I wouldn’t even volunteer to review something like this, with this huge mythos and these wonderfully nuanced characters as part of it, without having read the source material right? But at the same time, if you know these people’s stories, it’s so hard not to let your perceptions intrude when you’re sniffing a scent based on that particular person. I am wearing Laura right now, and my first thought is “…Hm, smells like a corpse drinking a fruity frou-frou drink. Embalming fluid + strawberry slush.” How do you get around that? I can’t. And that’s exactly what this smells like.

Zorya Utrennyaya (sweet black coffee and a touch of ambrette seed) I wish I were one of those people who drank their coffee, “Black as night, sweet as sin” –which I believe is a quote from Anansi Boys, not American Gods, but …details, details.  I take mine with almond milk and stevia and I can assure you that my coffee does not smell nearly as amazing as Zorya Utrennyaya. Freshly sniffed, it is the darkest, oiliest most intense coffee beans, freshly ground, but it very quickly becomes a soft–almost powdery–coffee-flavored marshmallow of a scent.

Mr. Ibis (papyrus, vanilla flower, egyptian musk, african musk, aloe ferox, white sandalwood) I previously had a bottle of Mr. Ibis from the 2007 release, which I recall as being a soft, delicate scent, evoking a dewy-skinned sort of bath-time nostalgia. I don’t think the scent has been reformulated, but somehow it does not smell quite the same. It is still conjures rituals of cleanliness; hands, gently lathered and rinsed, a soapy whirlpool of warm water slowly draining…but whereas an old cotton towel might have dried those hands in the past, now they automatically reach for a squirt of antibacterial hand-sanitizer.

The American Gods line is currently live at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab; each scent is $26 and presented in a 5ml glass amber apothecary bottle. Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available for any American Gods scents.

Haute Macabre has a set of assorted American Gods scents to offer to one reader!

To enter to win, just leave a comment below and follow Haute Macabre and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on Instagram! We’ll pick a winner at random from the comments one week from today, on Friday, May 26!

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The Mysteries of Cimetière de Montmartre

by on May.18, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

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The other week I had the pleasure of again visiting Paris, one of my most favorite places in the world — partly, I think, because it expects you to earn its love. Paris is like me, or like how I prefer to think of myself: challenging, but worth exploring. It doesn’t require patience so much as indulgence. And so it seems particularly perfect that in this incredible city is a cemetery lorded over by a band of cats. It’s called Cimetière de Montmartre and though I certainly can’t do it justice, I would like to share it with you.

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The Mysteries of Cimetière de Montmartre

by on May.18, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

IMG_3607

The other week I had the pleasure of again visiting Paris, one of my most favorite places in the world — partly, I think, because it expects you to earn its love. Paris is like me, or like how I prefer to think of myself: challenging, but worth exploring. It doesn’t require patience so much as indulgence. And so it seems particularly perfect that in this incredible city is a cemetery lorded over by a band of cats. It’s called Cimetière de Montmartre and though I certainly can’t do it justice, I would like to share it with you.

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Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchase

by on May.17, 2017, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchasephoto by Muted Fawn

Hailed as Austin’s best drag performer by the Austin Chronicles in 2016, Louisanna Purchase is stepping over Sharon Needles’ grave as Kween of Horror Drag (no shade, Sharon, but you’re a little less spooky and a little more sultry now than you were on Drag Race).

Louisanna’s Clark Kent is Chad Merritt, better known as Mon Petit Fantome, paper cut artist and pin designer. All of her art, both paper and performance,  is heavily influenced by horror and the occult, as you can obviously see in her writhing to Diamada Galas onstage.

You can see Louisanna’s performance, every month in Austin at Die Felicia.

Follow Louisanna Purchase on Instagram

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchasephoto by Muted Fawn

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchase

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchasephoto by Victoria Renard

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchasephoto by Muted Fawn

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchase

Haute Macabre Muse: Louisianna Purchasephoto by Cabra Magazine

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