This week’s artist’s spotlight is on Vhsgirl.
1. Why do you paint tapes?
“Honestly, I just love tapes. I’ve grown up with tapes, and all my child-hood memories are on tapes. I’ve hauled my collection to college, and through various roommates and relationships. I’ve downgraded and upgraded and completely fucking given up on them and then STARTED COLLECTING FEVERISHLY AGAIN the next year. I’ve gone from 50, 100, to now a thousand, randomly curating Rutger Hauer, Arnold Swarzenegger and Whoopie Goldberg sections because they’re not only cheap, but they have the best aesthetic I’ve ever seen. I wondered if anyone else felt the same way. A few years ago I finally searched online for a tape community, and I found a surprising number of rad nerdy folks online interested in trading tapes, beta, laserdisc, sending doodle VHS bootlegs and generally just posting pictures of movies and discussing them.
After a while of seeing all this great art from my friends that I couldn’t afford, I decided the only way I could trade with anyone is if I made rad art too. Also I had comissioned 3 VHS paintings from my favorite local artist and he was incredibly encouraging that if I wanted to do it myself, all I had to do was practice. (Also I think he wasn’t into me comissioning 400 of my favorite movies over the years) So now here I am, 3 years later, and I have about 4-600 paintings under my belt. If all of the paintings were lined on a wall by year right now, I could literally track my growth as a painter, which is pretttty cool.
So now I paint tapes while watching tapes about 4 days a week. It’s kind of the best job ever.”
2. What is your favorite piece you have made so far and why?
“Oh, definitely the Toxic Avenger that you snagged and the very last one I’ve painted so far! I’ve been learning to paint for 3 years and for someone who used to only doodle stick figures, taking on a magnificent Troma box was scary. The cover art for their movies was sometimes better than the movies, dare I say? Nuke Em High’s cover is also choice!
Also pretty proud of the Roadhouse Trilogy I did, though. I can’t believe they forgot to put Sam Elliot and Taxidermy Bear on the cover with Swayze. AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN MENTION THE THROAT RIPS!
3.What top five movies are you really into right now and why?
“I’d have to admit this, but I’ve been watching a lot more TV recently (don’t kill me!)
1. Twin Peaks the Return, though watching it while simultaneously reading Reddit theories is advisable.
2. Cheers! It’s surprisingly more sexist than I could have ever imagined, so I had a hard time easing into it at first (that damn Sam and Diane!) but once I fell in love with Coach, Cliff and Carla, I was in for the long run. I’m only at season 3 right now, but season 4 has Woody Harrelson!
But as for movies….
3. Sleepaway Camp 2 and 3. Angela is such a babe. I wish I could be so witty and thoughtful while serial murdering.
4. Anything with Harry Dean Stanton. I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye. I guess I’ll just keep binging on Red Dawn and Paris Texas til then (also his last movie Lucky was worth a watch!)
5. The Breadwinner. It was on Netflix, I was in the mood for a good cry, and fuuuuuck, I got what I came for.
4. I notice you are doing something on Patreon, can you talk about it?
“After talking to other artists at Miami Basel last year, most of them had Patreons. It’s a low-impact way of your friends and followers who like your art to help in growing an artist’s business. Sure, I make enough money to cover my bills, but most independent businesses have rough months, and they constantly struggle to find ways to promote their products and grow (you can donate even a one time $1 donation).
Patreon also makes you list goals, my first one being GET THAT DENTAL. If you’d rather donate to another goal, #2 on my agenda is merch, so I can gamble more easily on that festival booth if I have more things to sell than hand-painted wood blocks. This while also help grow my business!
And hey, if you don’t wanna help an artist financially, you can always just put them in your podcast, or do a write up in your blog, or repost their art or just tell them they’re doing great!”
5. Do you have any exciting shows, collections etc you are currently working on?
“Til April 9th, 40 or so paintings are on display at my local theatre in Carbondale, IL. Everything’s super cheap to help raise money for renovations! We have two AMCs in town and nothing else so helping them is rad!
Other than that, I’ve been pumping out the jams that are displayed video-rental style at Red Truck Gallery in New Orleans and am currently working on a show for Moolah Theatre in St. Louis. Also taking commissions 24/7. Seriously. Email me at 3 am and see what happens.”
If you like to know more about Katie and/or request an art piece her contact information is her IG: @vhsgirl
thank you so much for the interview Katie!
Until next time!