Artist’s Spotlight : @austinwells_ art

This week’s artist’s spotlight is on @austinwells_art

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.

” My name is Austin Wells and I’m a freelance artist and hairstylist. I currently work at Chris Le Salon and Society Salon in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been drawing since I can remember and I’ve been a hairstylist for 7 years. I’ve self-published a comic book in 2014 called “Phantom Street”, sold art at conventions for a little under 10 years, run several photoshoots and fashion shows, and dabbled in 3D animation and graphic design.

I got into cosmetology from my mom and older sister who owned a salon together. I was tired of being a starving artist and ended up falling in love with cutting hair. I also just got back from spending a year living in Sendai, Japan with my wife. “

2. How do you incorporate horror into your hairstyles?

“Even though I was raised in a strict religious household, I’ve always been drawn to horror movies and spooky old cartoons. Halloween quickly became my favorite holiday growing up. I incorporate horror into my hairstyles by capturing the attitude of Rockabilly and Halloween flair. It’s easy to only think of Goth or Elvira’s awesome Beehive when it comes to horror hairstyles. Horror has made a real comeback in popular media. Just like the genre, horror fashion reflects a large variety of styles. Stranger Things (I would totally rock Steve Harrington’s style), Bubble Goth, and Witchy Bohemian styles of clothing are great examples. Even taboo looks like Satanic fashion has been growing lately. I love all of it and my mission is to make everyday Halloween through fashion. “

3. Do you remember the first art piece you created?

“My first piece of art I remember making was a flipbook when I was probably 5-6 about “The Three Musketeers” finding a magic wand to fight an evil duke. It was crudely made in every way. I cut up construction paper and stapled it all together and drew on the pages with crayons. I still remember it because it’s the first time I felt inspired to make something. I think it was after I saw that ’93 Disney Musketeers movie on VHS.  I wasn’t able to fully write then so each page just had one big picture to tell the story. Which oddly enough attracted me to wordless storytelling that creators like Genndy Tartakovsky did with episodes of “Samurai Jack” or Stan Sakai with issues of “Usagi Yojimbo”. “

4.  If you have to make a top 5 movie list of movies that inspire your art. What would they be and why? 

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)” Easily takes the top spot, every time I watch it I see something new and it makes me want to draw. the amount of artistry required to make that movie is still mind-blowing for me. 

 “Evil Dead 2 (1987)” This movie is what really got me into horror. A perfect blend of horror and comedy. Keeping the danger real in a story while making you laugh is a tough tight rope to walk and Evil Dead 2 crushes it.”Fright Night (1985)” Another great horror-comedy! This one succeeds in making memorable and genuinely fun characters to set a horror movie around. Every actor plays their parts perfectly and there’s some excellent thrills to be had.”Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)” This movie gets a lot of flack for not being as good as Empire but I’d say it’s an excellent bookend to the trilogy. The growth you see the characters like Luke go through by the end is still satisfying to watch. 

“Conan The Barbarian (1982)” This movie is underrated. Another good example of great storytelling with limited dialogue. For an action movie, it’s very artistic in its presentation. The score, the cinematography, and even Arnold’s acting lend itself to the feeling of high fantasy sword and sorcery.”

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“Currently, I’m working on making a  vintage horror fashion show. It’s still in the design phase but I already have several stylists who are joining me on the project. I’ll post more information on my Instagram and Facebook pages @austinwells_hair and @austinwells_art. I’m also working on getting shirts made with some vintage horror designs up and running, with recent global events I’ve had to slow down on that project. If you’d like a dope haircut, come see me in Phoenix, Arizona at Society Salon and Chris Le Salon. I’m currently taking commissions and new clients, DM for more info! “

Thank you so much for the interview!

Until next time!

Old Nick shows: A Flashback. Part 2!

Hello! In June I wrote about some old Nickelodeon shows that I used to watch while growing up.( Link is here if you wanted to read part one: Old Nick shows: A Flashback! ) So I decided to do a follow up. Here is part two in no particular order:

The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994-1998) starring Larsia Oleynik, Darris Love and Meredith Bishop.

I remember being really sad when the show Clarissa Explains it all was over. I thought nothing to fill the gap of the show until I started watching the Secret World of Alex Mack. Alex was walking home from her first day of middle school when she was struck by a can that the truck was carrying a weird secret chemical. A chemical that completely drench and she gain weird powers

Such as making objects float in the air or making electricity come out of her fingertips. Or anything thing sci fi like she can practically do.

I secretly wish that when I was walking home that a weird secret chemical would spill on me so I can have magical powers just like Alex Mack!

You Can’t Do that on TV: (1981-1990 during the Nickelodeon years)

This was the first show I remember watching on the Nickelodeon channel. I don’t remember much about the show itself although the few segments that are burnt onto my mind was the slime segments. Where the people on the show would get randomly covered on a lime green goo,

This would be a show I would not mind the channel redoing especially if they kept the slime segments.

Double Dare (1986-1993, 2000, 2018-2019):

I always wanted to be on this show because of all the fun challenges that you have to do on it. I always wanted to be on the blue team because I felt like the red team won more and I wanted to see the blue win. I remember being impressed by the bigger than life props such as the big nose:

I know that Nickelodeon did a couple reboots of this show with the show co-host: Marc Summers.

However I am such a fan of the original ones that I feel like the new ones aren’t up to par just yet but I do hope to see newer versions of this live show in the future!

Doug (1991-1994 the Nickelodeon years)

I often found myself humming to the theme song of Doug quite often. I remember being such an avid fan of the cartoon series and continued to watch it during it’s run on ABC Saturday morning cartoons. My favorite character on the show was Roger because of his interesting haircut and sassy attitude towards Doug :

I remember that I actually did see the live show when I went to visit the Disney parks. I was kind of disappointed that it wasn’t the actual cartoon characters in the show instead it was live people being the cartoons. I was extremely confused by the whole show and was glad it only ran for two years.

AaaHH!!!!! Real Monsters (1994-1997):

Any cartoon that had monsters in it I was totally on board for and this cartoon was totally up my alley!

My favorite character on the show was The Gromble:

Any monster that could rock and wear four pairs of high heels deserves total props in my book. I remember watching a lot of the shows during the afternoons after I got home from school and would refuse to do any homework until after I watched my daily episode for that day.

What shows did you watch growing up? Comment below!

Until next time!

Source: Wikipedia and youtube

Great Small Business: @gayasstrology !

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing a great small business: @gayasstrology !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“We are a Queer Dance party that began in May 2018. We quickly grew into what some called “The Biggest Queer Dance Party in Los Angeles.” In February 2020 we debuted the party on the East Coast in NYC. Each month, we provided a safe space for the Queer community to socialize and celebrate their Sun Signs!”

2. How did you come up with your club name?

“It was a combination of our love of Astrology, the Queer nightlife community, and a funny email from our friend, Comedian John Early, which created Gay Asstrolgy Dance Party. “

3. How did you come up with this conception of a community dance party?

“We had been having monthly Full Moon parties in our backyard. We’d invite friends over and read from an astrology book and listen to music. We had always talked about doing something together, throwing a party of some sort. When the Satellite gave us the first Friday time slot, we saw it as an opportunity to take the three things we love so much (Dancing, Queer life, Astrology) and to provide a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community in East L.A. to dance!”

4. Can you talk about your go-fund me?

“Our GoFundMe started after the pandemic/Covid crisis as a way to generate funds for our DJs and Promoters etc who basically lost their source of income over night. We continue to host Gay Ass Parties online and are working on new ways to provide for the community. The GoFundMe still serves as our main source of financial support for all the parties.”

5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“We will continue to host virtual Zoom dance parties and have community driven content via other social platforms. We are also working on building the Dreams Of L.A. Foundation to further provide a space for Queer voices, artists, activists, and charities. “

If you like to know more information about this great community. Their following contact information is below:

Instagram:

@gayasstrology

@dreamsofla

Zoom ID: 927 118 1315

Thank you for the interview!!

Until next time!!

Some amazing off the grid movies to watch!

Hello everyone! If you are tired of watching the same movies every week. I decided to list five movies I watch over the past couple of months that are off the grid.

Phobe: The Xenophobic Experiments (1995). Directed by Erica Benedikty.

Starring John Rubick and Tina Dumoulin. I just finished watching this movie last night after a recommendation from @billyLillyUniverse and it was so much fun to watch!!! It is a super low budget film about a separate military agent who has to go on one last mission to track down these weird leafy green things called Phobe. Sgt. Gregory Dapp (who is played by John Rubick) ends up locating the Phobes to Earth and starts a cat and dog chase with them.

While on the hunt he meets Jennifer (played by Tina Dumoulin) who is attacked by one of the phobes. And joins Gregory on this hunt to capture these creatures with 72 hours or face uncertain doom!

Fun fact about the movie: The budget for the film was $250!

Phobe: The Xenophobic Experiments is available to watch on Night Flight Plus!

https://www.nightflightplus.com

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988). Directed by Todd Haynes. Starring: Barbie the doll and Ken the doll:

When Todd Haynes was going to college he decided to make a short movie about the life one of his idols: Karen Carpenter. But with little to no budget for real life actors he decided to use what he had available:

This is a very short movie of a running time of 43 mins. It is worth a watch.

Fun fact about the film: Todd Haynes received a cease and desist order on this movie because he did not have permission from the Carpenter family to use Karen Carpenter as a subject in his film. Personally I feel like the family were not trilled at all that Haynes used Barbie dolls to depict the life of Karen Carpenter.

Available to watch on YouTube (until it gets pull from used):

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

UFO Abduction (aka The McPherson Tape) (1989). Directed by Dean Alioto.

Starring Tommy Giavocchini and Patrick Kelley. So I have a long stand admiration for any move that has been released by Bleeding Skull. So when I saw the synopsis for this movie I knew I have to get it! The plot centers around a very midwestern type of family who get together on the evening of October 8, 1983 for a young child’s birthday dinner. However little do they know that their very mundane evening is about to be shook up by some uninvited guests. ALIENS!!!

Fun fact about this movie: Before it’s released by AGFA and Bleeding Skull. The movie was extremely hard to get because the main tape was destroyed by a warehouse fire.

Available to buy here:

https://vinegarsyndrome.com/products/the-mcpherson-tape-agfa

The Search of Weng Weng (2013) directed by Andrew Leavod

Weng Weng was a small stature actor who majored in martial arts and stunts from the Philippines. Although he was in countless movies not a whole lot was know about his story. In this documentary we discover the rise of his stardom and the lows that he endured during his short life.

Fun fact about this movie: Weng Weng only appeared in about 14 movies in his career.

Available to watch on Tubi:

The Search for Weng Weng

Starstuck (1982). Directed by Gillian Armstrong. Starring Joey Kennedy, and Ross O’Donovan. This movie might be a little well know vs the other movies on this list. Joey Kennedy stars as Jackie a waitress with big dreams of becoming a well known singer. Her cousin and song writer recognizes her dream and together they go chasing stardom.

Fun fact about this movie: This was Ross O’Donovan first movie role.

Available to watch on The Criterion Collection Channel.

Have you seen any of this movies? If so, any thoughts on them?

Until next time!

Source. Wikipedia and Internet Movie Datebase

The Beauty of Screaming Mad George

Screaming Mad George is one of my favorite special effects artist! He is a man of many hats. He is also a film director and a punk rock musician.

Screaming Mad George real name is Jodi Tani and was born on October 7, 1956 in Osaka, Japan. While growing up in Japan he decided to change his first name to George because he wanted to be different. He then went to college at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While going to school he decided to truly transform himself and brand himself as “Screaming Mad George.”

He got the name from two of his greatest inspirations. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins:

And Mad Magazines:

In the 1970’s he was in a punk band called The Mad:

https://youtu.be/GjUnCOjPKRM

Around that time frame he started making music videos which led him into working on special effects in movies.

His first movie he did special effects was a short film called “The Bogus Man” (1980). Then he progress to working on the special effects in movies such as Predator, Big Trouble in Little China,

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).

Screaming Mad George working on Predator helmet. Image from @stanwinstonschool

Although my favorite movie that he did special effects for is Society (1989) directed by Brian Yuzna. They had a long working friendship together and Screaming Mad George continued to work on Yuzna movies such as Bride of Re-Animator.

Screaming Mad George and Crew on the set of Society.

Brian Yuzna even produced Screaming Mad George’s only movie he directed name “The Guyver” (1991).It had Mark Hamill and Vivian Wu:

Screaming Mad George has also collaborated with a lot of musicians. Ranging from making custom masks for the band Slipknot since 2000. And doing makeup for Marilyn Manson:

If you like to learn more information about this amazing artist. This is the following information:

Screaming Mad George Official Website:

Screaming Mad George

Instagram: @screamingmadgeorge

Resources: Internet Movie Database, and Wikipedia

Until next time!

Artist’s Spotlight: @Valerie79

This week’s artist’s Spotlight is on @valerie79 (Valerie and Deegan)

  1. Tell me a little about yourself.

Valerie: “We moved from Madison, WI to Waterloo, WI in September of 2017 after casually looking for a place where we could have separate spaces for our creative endeavors. After seeing The Mode building online, we decided to have a look, and while it wasn’t exactly what I had imagined for myself (pastoral with room for a pet goat) it was a really cool property and too good to pass up.

The property comes with a separate building that had been a barbershop and is now my art studio, so it was basically perfect for us. I mostly do pop-style acrylic painting and odds and ends art–mainly gluing googly eyes or glitter on EVERYTHING, so it’s nice to be able to keep that contained.”

Deegan: “I’ve been playing in bands for over 25 years & have met a thousand musicians & rad people but never even thought of being a venue owner myself. i always saw myself being marginally successful at best as a bass player but when i walked in here i knew i was home. having a business was just a bonus to me. with that said, the space isn’t exactly perfect as my wife said. it is great in that we have space to play indoor badminton but you can hear EVERYTHING top to bottom & front to back in the main building. but at worst we need to be considerate of each other’s needs as it relates to sound & at best we own the coolest house in Wisconsin if not the world.”

2. What is the Mode Theater? How did it start? What kind of acts does it have?

“The Mode was an old single screen movie theater built in the 1930’s. it ran until the mid 1980’s when the multi-plex theaters took over,
and in the 90’s it was converted into a multi-use space. a second floor was created within the space adding living quarters upstairs, and the theater seating was removed & the angled floor was leveled. today it serves as our home & business. most recently we’ve done live music, comedy, art shows & event rental. Additionally, we have a screen printing press that we have used to make our own merch as well as products for bands and other acts.”

3.  Can you talk about the Wisconsin cultural art theme? How is it different than any other state?

“Wisconsin is surprisingly eclectic in its art offerings, you’re basically able to find anything you like, from felt and button crafts to more modern graffiti or pop-style pieces. We’re fortunate to be located between Milwaukee and Madison, so we have equal access to Madison’s more hippie-folk handicrafts and Milwaukee’s grittier, industrial aesthetic. How it might differ from other states is that winter is bitterly cold and summer is blazingly hot and humid, in either case, we drink a lot more here than they do in other places. That’s what we’ve heard anyway.”

4. What has been your favorite act that has been in the theater?

“Musically, Dead Rest, a 3-piece punk band from LaSalle, IL., for comedy we’ve really enjoyed hosting Tyson Purcell’s Show “Tragedy + Time = Comedy” which is equal parts dark & hilarious. Our friend David Mueller has done an excellent job with his Ace of Arts pop up show which features a variety of artists & makers from the area. Sadly, we had to postpone the show this year for a global pandemic.”

5. Do you have  any exciting news or events that you would like to share?

“We decided to shut down the physical space for the remainder of 2020 to keep performers, guests, & ourselves safe. We did a streaming show with 10 or 11 musicians at the start of the stay at home order and are looking to do more, but are researching equipment upgrades to make it a better experience. Keep an eye on The Mode Theater Facebook or Instagram pages for current info!”  

 

If you like to learn more info. These are the following contact information:

The Mode Theater

https://www.facebook.com/TheModeTheater/

Email: bookthemode@gmail.com

Instagram:

The Mode Theater

@valeriedeeganart