Wednesday, February 16, 2011
MAD MAKEOVER - BEFORE - RED CRAYON ARISTOCRATS
Hello! Welcome to the BEFORE section of the first ever Tatterpunk Carnival’s Mad Makeover Feature! I’m sure your absolutely thrilled (or terrified) to be here. I guess it’s sort of cheating a little bit because I actually know you, but we’ve all got to start somewhere, no?
The shop: Red Crayon Aristocrats
TATTERPUNK: You create amazing and adorable nerdy accessories based on survival horror and various other popular video games. Of course you already know that, but I’m writing this for the benefit of our viewers (er. . . readers) at home. I especially love your Silent Hill items, and I of course bought the Halo of the Sun Wallet from you (I absolutely adore the thing!).
To start out, we’ll get the basics out of the way. What was your main inspiration for starting your shop, and How did you come up with the name?
RED: Well, my main inspiration came from my friends, to be perfectly honest. I often make them jewelry sets and other little trinkets based off of survival horror (among other games) for holidays or for their birthdays; I could never find cute, girly things based off of survival horror. Therefore, I decided to create them, myself.
My gal buddies always told me "You need to sell these!" I never really listened because, hey, they're my friends and I thought they were just being nice. :)
A couple of years back - 2008 to be exact - I purchased an Artist Alley table at a local Michigan anime convention, Youmacon; a friend of mine is in charge of the alley and I wanted to support her and her department. I sold some artsy crafts that I created and people actually told me that they liked what I did, much to my surprise! Cute panties are a surprisingly huge hit at anime conventions. ;)
At this point, I still didn't have an Etsy shop and would not for another year or so. The idea to go to Etsy came from a friend on Deviant Art who told me that I should open a shop. I figured "why not?" and did so. It's been fun, I must say. :)
As for the name of my shop, it came from the hauntingly beautiful Playstation 2 game entitled Rule of Rose.
TATTERPUNK: As we’d previously stated, you take a lot of inspiration from the games Silent Hill and Resident Evil. How did you get into Survival Horror Games, and what is your favourite (and why)?
RED: The first survival horror game that I ever played was Resident Evil. My grandmother got it for me for Easter. (Ironic?) It scared me way too much for my weak preteen heart to handle. I couldn't get past the first zombie. And the horrid Are You Afraid of the Dark-isk intro scared me. I hid the game under my bed.
I really got into survival horror just around the time that Resident Evil 2 was released, which was when I was about 13 or 14. My little brother and I would play it and scare ourselves stiff. (Then we would play Final Fantasy 7 to soften the blow.)
My adoration for RE2 grew, thus I went back to RE1. This time around, it seemed easier and I was in love.
It opened a door into the amazing world of Survival Horror.
TATTERPUNK: Another question the readers are interested in knowing the answer to is: how did you choose the medium you chose? Do you get your supplies locally, from etsy, or from some other means (possibly a pact with a spirit?)?
RED: Well, when it comes to what I use... an honest (yet cliche) answer is "everything". I'm pretty poor, so I started by using things that I already owned from my artbox or from my old cosplay inventory. I use everything from paint to ink; from fabric to plastic. Sometimes I create things from scratch and other times I have an item that I just alter.
I get my supplies from a multitude of different places. Michael's and Joanne Fabrics are two of my favorites. Often the items that I will create come from something that I saw and purchased on a whim.
TATTERPUNK: You vend these items at conventions, yes? I, myself have never actually done this (except one ren faire). So that brings me to the following questions. . . Is this a hobby for you? Would you like it to be more? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? - and please don’t say dead in a ditch because that would be very distressing to me.
RED: No worries, no ditches for me. ;D That is not on the agenda.
This is a hobby for me - I love video games and I love creating. I love socializing, meeting new people and making others happy. I love sharing what I love with others. I love talking in cheezy cliches.
Seriously, though, I would be thrilled to be able to create more often. Sometimes it gets hard trying to balance my job, my social life, my video game life and my online life (along with many other factors!) so I wish there were more hours in the day that I could just create things!
In 5 years... Hmm, I'm not exactly sure. I don't know where I'll be next week, haha. I hope to be married by then and perhaps have a child. I imagine that I will still be creating things that I love. It would be nice to still sell them but, if not, I will still be happy making them. :) I've loved video games my whole life, and creating, so I doubt I stop making girly trinkets any time soon.
TATTERPUNK: Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s move on to the Before section of the Shop Makeover questions!
I understand that it can be terribly difficult to get your photos up to snuff, so that’s going to be one of the BIG things we’ll be working on. What sort of camera are you using currently?
RED: JVC Everio Memory Camcorder. Wonderful for taking videos. Not so great for taking still shots. (As anyone can plainly see from the images that can be found at my shop.)
TATTERPUNK: Lighting and setting is very important, so we’ll be working on how to use natural light to your advantage as well as props/models. Do you have any other areas you specifically want to work on?
RED: Lighting, props and models are my weakest points, as of now. At least, I think. I would like to get those down, then move on to more advanced techniques. ;)
TATTERPUNK: Your assignment for the next few weeks (minus dance hell week mind you) is to make as many new items as you can so we can photograph them with the new knowledge I shall bestow upon you. Volume is key here. . . we shall get you up to snuff, and it shall be GLORIOUS!
TATTERPUNK: In conclusion, tell us a little about yourself.
RED: Well, there really isn't much...
I love people. I love survival horror. I love glitter. I love cute. I love macabre.
...Here are some quotes that I think best describe my philosophies on life:
"If you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there."
"Love the Life you live. Live the Life you love."
"Color outside the lines. It really pisses some people off."
In conclusion, I leave you with kitties:
Thank you again, Tatterpunk, I look forward to this makeover~! :D
TATTERPUNK: We shall post the After Feature once the shop has been worked up from epic idea to EPIC SHOP! Thanks so much RedCrayonAristocrats for subjecting yourself to The Tatterpunk’s bizarre brand of torture. ^_~