art

All posts tagged art

“Cosmic Cat”***

Published January 31, 2018 by glgiles

“Cosmic Cat”
(A version of my short story, titled “Puss in Boots,” appeared in a 2014 anthology titled “Imagination Reimagined: Not Your Children’s Fairy Tales.”)

My life changed with a blip. Well, that’s how I’d describe it simply. It was really an anomalous light source detected on my well-used PT telescope. I belonged to a group of scientists arguably open-minded enough to actively search for extra-terrestrial life in the universe. We considered ourselves Paleocontact Theorists. Hence, the PT. As my telescope had a pulse-detection system, it showed that the ‘light anomaly’ was heading directly for the bucolic crimson Georgia clay covering most of my backyard! Furthermore, it looked like I didn’t have much time to prepare for it—maybe five minutes top! Hastily, I pushed aside the coffee-stained blueprints I’d drawn to aid me in building my cosplay ‘castle’—from the notes I’d taken from the manga (graphic novel) entitled PRINCESS KOOKLA AND HER BLOODBATHED COURT. It was about a brave princess who, with the help of her devoted prince, defeats an evil ogre—definitely not the stuff of children’s faerie tales and/or mainstream manga/anime, as the arguably over-the-top gore factor made it for adults only.

Unfortunately, I’d run out of time to complete the entire castle, but at least I’d managed to build the front (as a rock-climbing castle wall) which would be able to sustain my weight in the cosplay contest reenactment. Also included in the piles of paper was a flier for the upcoming Diamond City Cosplay Convention in Macon, Georgia—about two hours away from my remote location. I brushed aside more papers—including a design for a special-polymer-soled shoe I planned on perfecting and patenting soon. Only problem was: my polymer concoction itself. It still didn’t stick to surfaces, like rocks, as I had envisioned. So, it still was far from marketable. I was in a hurry to clear off the ‘clutter’, including my well-worn paperback copy of Zecharia Sitchin’s GENESIS REVISITED, as I was sure I’d left a letter-opener—under all those items I was currently working on—somewhere, and, though not much defense, I felt that the letter-opener could function as a makeshift knife on whomever or whatever looked like it was about to touch ground in my backyard. I didn’t need further proof when I heard a reverberating, “Boom!” Then I felt my home shake. It had never done that in the five years I’d lived there, even during really horrific thunderstorms.

I ran down the stairs, rather foolishly, as I had the letter-opener-turned-weapon in my hand, to witness what I could only imagine as the rapacious destruction of my landlord’s backyard! The only obstacle standing between me and the crisp Georgia air of late October was a torn screen door. In my impatience, I could barely baby it with its constant demand of having to be lifted slightly to be opened, as its wooden frame had buckled with age and was especially warped at the bottom. My landlord knew my deplorable financial situation, so he didn’t charge me much rent to begin with and had never raised it over the years, so I wasn’t going to complain to him about little inconveniences. Using my worn-out right running shoe, doctored with both duct tape holding it together and my polymer-formula on its formerly communion-wafer thin soles, I scooted it under the door to prop it up so that I could exit. I scrimped in many areas to enable me to go to cosplay conventions and work on my polymer soles. So what if I didn’t have new shoes or a ‘real’ Princess Kookla to go with my cosplay display? I’d bought a pressboard rendering of her and the ogre. They’d suffice, as the judges would get the idea. Glancing up, as I exited the weathered screen door, I couldn’t even fathom how remotely possible it was that the blip I’d seen on my screen now looked like it was going to crash in my own backyard. Seriously, what were the odds on that?! And, yet, there it was: a grey disc rolling in an erratic stream of red-hot flames about 100 yards out and above. I wasn’t sure if it were fear or excitement mounting, as I headed down the well-worn wooden stairs. The boom I’d heard before must’ve been a sonic boom, as the aircraft was entering our atmosphere.

I was isolated at my country place, but the light and sparks, emitted from whatever was about to land, were blindingly bright. I’m sure anyone paying attention to the night sky within at least a 20 mile radius would have noticed, even though the inky sky was dissipating fast, as the first rays of dawn tore through it. Must’ve been about 5:50 a.m. when the vessel crashed. The grey metallic craft, to be more precise, hit the ground hard. Then it became so deeply lined with gashes infused with crimson Georgia clay, as it slid on its erratic trajectory, that it appeared more ocher-colored. It continued sliding—tilted on its right side—till it was finally stopped by slamming into an ancient oak tree. The majestic tree had weathered many storms in its over two hundred years of life, but the disruptive vessel plowing into it was to be the death of it, as was evidenced by the large gashes, like mortal sword wounds, across the base of its trunk. I was a big believer in honoring Mother Nature, so even the polymer I had fabricated for the soles of my shoes was earth-friendly. I could have already had the soles have the grip I was looking for if I’d been willing to use harmful chemicals, but I was not willing to get ahead at the expense of our Mother Earth. So, I was angry for a second at the pillaging of the grand old tree, even cursing a bit under my breath with, “Damn, man-made technology sometimes sucks.” Till I realized that there was a good chance that the alien-to-me craft may very well not be ‘man-made’.

So, when I saw a door, not unlike the door to my older brother’s Lamborghini Aventador, open and one fashionable-looking-cuffed-over-the- knee-sepia-colored boot emerge, perhaps I wasn’t really that surprised. Perhaps more surprised at the haute-couture fashion. Yet, even my internal dialogue was speechless next, for there, before my very eyes, was a feline of about five feet tall! So, a really tall well-outfitted cat started making his (from how he was dressed) way towards me—actually walking on his back legs! He stepped agilely over the now deeply grooved, by his spaceship, clay with his fine boots. I was handling the whole situation remarkably well, I think, till he waved to me with, “Greetings, Jet, your father’s sent me here to help you.” It was only then that I felt my knees buckle and then my consciousness fade. Fortunately for me, the Georgia clay was still somewhat pliable, as it wasn’t winter yet, so my face and body planted rather softly into it.

I awoke to the sensation of what felt like guitar strings being swept across my face, caused by the enormous cat’s whiskers, and luminous golden eyes staring down at me anxiously. Startled, I sat up as quickly as I could. It dawned on me that it was somewhat humourous that I was going to the cosplay competition as Princess Kookla’s hero: the ‘Marquis of Catanova’, also known as Jetavi Dorngolden. I felt a special kinship with the hero, as my own name was Jet.

The talking cat brought me back to the moment with, “Are you alright?”

“Yes, I guess so,” I began, but before I could say more, we were both startled by a bright light in the sky and a loud boom. So, instead, my next question was, “Sonic boom?” I realized the moment the words escaped my lips just how ludicrous it was that I was actually asking a huge furry feline the question.

So, adding to my new bizarre reality or the psychotic break which I could have just as easily been experiencing, the obviously intelligent cat replied, “Probably, as the craft is most likely travelling faster than the speed of sound, so…”

“Shock waves,” I said, finishing his sentence. I didn’t have time to question how the strange talking cat knew my name or why he’d referenced my deceased father, as the more pressing concern of another UFO about to land not too far away was taking center stage in my mind. Fortunately, the second one wasn’t going to land in my backyard.
Looking at the finely clad feline, for his boots weren’t the only designer feature in his outfit, as he also wore what might be considered pantaloons and a long-sleeved poet’s shirt that billowed where sleeves of that sort should and tapered at his waist thanks to a thick belt he wore, he almost looked like a gentleman pirate—except for the fact he was feline and came from a space ship. I saw with some amazement that he didn’t look surprised at the other flying disc making its way across the sky. Not that I was exactly an expert in reading the facial expressions of a big talking cat, but I didn’t see any of his whiskers twitching or anything like that, so I took it to mean that he was expecting whatever was about to crash (maybe 30 miles away from where we were in my backyard).

“Great gods,” the cat said in a gravelly low voice, “I didn’t think an Annunorcus would be landing here this soon. We’ll have to leave—soon!”

“W—w—wait a minute,” I stammered. “What the hell is an Annunorcus?” I was already feeling an inexplicable fear rise in the pit of my stomach.

“What the hell, indeed! Annunorci are the product of the snake-like aliens, the Annunaki females to be precise, mating with Orcus, the ogre-like god of his planet’s underworld.”

“You mean, like the Annunaki, who favor human enslavement? And, like people-eating ogres?”

“And, cats!” the large feline volunteered with a bristling of his fur, and then added, “They give the zombicarns, your zombies, a run for their money! And, the zombicarns are their only known natural enemy. Even worse, an Annunorcus can shapeshift into a snake when it feels threatened, so they can make themselves small enough to go oftentimes undetected.”

“Disgusting! Mostly the part about eating humans and cats.” Then, after pausing for a minute to let the information digest, I asked, “How can they be stopped?”

“Leave that to me,” said the cat with a knowing look.

“But, why is the Annunorcus here, and is there just one, or should I say Annunorci?”

“From what I can tell of the relatively small craft that just crashed, it looks like we’re in luck and just one Annunorcus was sent. I’ll wager he’s looking for diamonds and that he’s been sent to collect them by the Annunorci League. Unfortunately, he’s probably also been instructed to not hesitate to kill anyone who gets in his way. Actually, he naturally does that anyway anytime he gets hungry, and Annunorci are known for their voracious appetites.”

“That’s funny because Diamond City Con has…”

“The largest selection of natural diamonds in one place at one time,” the cat said in a remarkably casual tone of voice considering what we were up against—though he finished my sentence with a solemn look.

Trying to lighten the gravity of the situation, I offered, “but I thought aliens were into mining our gold, not diamonds. You know the story common amongst some paleocontact theorists: that they’re here to enslave us and make us mine the gold for them.”

“Yes, well, maybe some are, but I can assure you that the Annunorci are into diamonds. Your planet’s natural diamonds!”

“But, why? I hardly think it plausible that ogres of any sort would want diamonds as a fashion accessory.”

At that the large cat, kind of purred-spat, which I think was his way of laughing, with, “You’ve got your father’s sense of humour. They have to have the natural kind of diamonds your planet offers, since they depleted their own planet’s supply. They use them to keep their many bloody industries functioning. The synthetic diamonds won’t do.”

“So, have any other Annunorci landed here in the past?”

“I don’t think so, as their presence would be hard to miss, unless…”

“Unless…they’re at something like a cosplay convention, especially one like Diamond City Con which kicks off their festivities on Halloween,” I continued, with growing awareness and apprehension, as I finished the feline’s sentence for him.

“Precisely,” he said in agreement. “Plus, I had intelligence agencies from my planet gather that they planned on sending out an Annunorcus tonight.”

“I see,” I said slowly, nodding my head with as much understanding as my addled brain could manage, “because Diamond City Con is tomorrow!”

“Today, your Halloween is today!” the cat corrected.

“Right,” I said slowly, “Diamondween, as some are calling it, is today! I stand corrected and blame my error on little sleep and an alien space craft with a talking cat landing in my backyard.” I glanced down at my wristwatch which glowed with the lighted numerals reading 6:15. “Diamond City Con doesn’t open its doors till 9 a.m., so we still have some time.”

“But not much,” the savvy feline added. “You need to gather everything you need together quickly.”

So, within ten minutes, I’d packed my tired ’72 Ford Pinto to the brim with all my cosplaying paraphernalia—except for the Kookla Castle Climbing wall, as it was too big to fit, so it went in the back of a small U-Haul I’d rented. Wouldn’t have been such a tight fit, but I hadn’t expected to have a cat companion going with (who took up a good portion of my passenger seat).

As far as my cosplaying re-enactment went, anyone familiar with the popular series would know that I was performing a scene from Book Five, my favourite: PRINCESS KOOKLA AND HER BLOODBATHED COURT. Critics said that it was too bloody for mainstream manga/anime, but I loved it because of it being the tale of a pauper-turned-marquis-then-prince who saves Princess Kookla by swimming across the moat and climbing the castle wall to rescue her from an ogre. It’s of note that Princess Kookla was generally quite able to handle herself, as she’d proved going up against a group of those looking to overthrow her government in Book Three: PRINCESS KOOKLA SAVES DEJAHLAND.

Making good time on the road from my country home to the more metropolitan Macon, Georgia (where Diamond City Con was taking place), we didn’t say much for the first half hour of the drive, but we did get some strange looks at my furry companion in the passenger seat. I might have enjoyed the stares, if the threat of an ‘ogre’, about to crash Diamond City Con, weren’t real. So, instead of smiling at my passenger on the way, I crankily said, turning towards him with a frown, “Please do me a favor and drop the bit about how my dad sent you here to help me. That’s bullshit…my dad’s been dead for over five years!”

Looking at me with a sideways glance, the cat, whose real name I still didn’t know, offered cooly, “So, because your father has passed from your world, you think he’s dead?”

“No shit, Sherlock,” I couldn’t help replying. I tended to be a smartass when trying to mask my fear. “I don’t know about where you’re from, but dead here means that those who’ve died can no longer speak.”

“Your father is perhaps dead in your world, but not in my dimension. You see, it’s not so much that I’m from another planet as it is I’m from another dimension, comprenez-vous?”

“Well, just supposing that I believe you, then why did my father send you to me, and not to my two older brothers?”

“Ah, now you’re starting to ask the right questions! Let me start with properly introducing myself: Je suis ‘Le Maitre Chat’ ou ‘Le Chat Botte’. On my planet, in my dimension, French is the common language. So, I am formally known as ‘Puss in Boots’, or ‘The Master Cat’, but I prefer the simple title ‘Cosmic Cat’. Informally, you can call me Matt.”

“Really? ‘Matt the Cat’? I feel like I’m in a bad Dr. Seuss book with a multi-lingual feline!”

At that, Matt kind of purr-snorted with, “I see you’ve got your father’s wonderful sense of humor.”

“Yeah, he was funny alright,” I said with a mixture of both hurt and longing. “So funny that he left me absolutely ‘nada’ in his will.”

“You sure about that?” Matt asked.

“Well, yeah. My oldest brother inherited his numerous houses and land, and my middle brother received all his possessions—including all his ‘mules’.”

“Mules?” the overgrown cat queried.

“Yeah, you know, his ‘mules with a lot of horsepower’, as in his silver Shelby SSC Aero, green Bugatti Veyron, et cetera.”

Looking at me quizzically, the cat offered, “So, you think he left you nothing?”

“Well, the proof’s in the pudding, or the lack of it, in this case,” I replied. I had racked my brain for over five years about what in the world I’d done to fall so out of his favour.

Looking at me with another sideways glance, Matt voiced, “Well, what if I were to tell you that your father left you something even better than what your brothers inherited?”

“I’d say you were a crazy furball because he left me NOTHING.”

“Except…” Matt paused dramatically, “ME!”

“So, let me get this straight, my dead father isn’t really dead. Rather, he’s living in a different dimension with talking cats, AND he took over five years to get my inheritance to me, and it’s a CAT—no offense.”

“None taken.”

“Look, I’m too hungry to wrap my head around all this right now, and I’m gonna need some fuel to set up my cosplay display. We have about 15 minutes leeway, wanna get some breakfast? What do you eat? Our drive-thrus don’t serve filet of mouse or lizard or anything like that,” I said in a somewhat sarcastic tone but almost immediately afterwards gave him a sheepish sideways glance, as I hadn’t really meant to be that rude.

“My dear boy, we have long since evolved from being meat eaters. Do you think that humans are the only species who have the choice in whether or not to eat meat?! I can assure you that more felines on my planet are vegetarians than humans on yours. Not to say that we can’t eat meat, it’s just that most cats where I’m from find it repugnant. We come from a race of cats called Lyrans. Look it up when you have time.”

A few minutes later, we were munching on the cheese biscuits we’d gotten from a drive-thru. We didn’t say a word more to each other for the rest of the drive. I broke the silence, after pulling in a parking spot for vendors and cosplay competitors, with, “Do you think you could help me carry some of my stuff in?”

“Of course!”

We unloaded the cosplay items onto a large dolly and then got a badge for Matt, as I already had one. Then, we booked it past the vendors’ rooms. There must’ve been at least 20 rooms on either side of the hallway set up just for those selling their wares, and if it’d been another time, then I would have spent hours just browsing the action figures, books, graphic novels, comics, et cetera.

“With any luck, the Annunorcus hasn’t arrived yet,” I said, right before Matt and I rolled our dolly with my Kookla display past the last of the vendor rooms. I was reminded that it was also Halloween, as some people dressed as simply zombies, not even the cosplaying kind, almost swerved into the dolly as we entered the atrium. Momentarily annoyed and briefly thinking that they had the brains of true zombies, I shot them a sideways glance, but then focused on a more pressing concern with, “Maybe he had a hard time finding transportation after his space vessel landed?”

“With any luck,” Matt responded.

Even the Annunorcus wasn’t front and center in my mind when we entered the atrium, for the already heavily guarded area was ablaze with the reflection of the diamonds displayed under the skylight. In fact, I was so fixated on the sparkling gems that I almost ran my dolly into a pretty lady about my age.

“Excuse me,” she said politely, glancing with some amusement at the dolly, as she herself was dressed up as Princess Kookla, and all I had was the crude representation. “Book Five?” she asked with some amusement, for it was fairly well-known that most guys preferred that one.

I felt my palms get sweaty, but I managed to get out without stuttering, “And, you, with that gown…Book Three?”

“Yes,” she answered, with a smile that showcased her dimples. “I guess we’re kinda predictable, huh? Girls and our love of Book Three?”

“No comment” I offered, with a smile.

“Maybe we should collaborate next time, as it looks like together we’d have had it in the bag.” Then switching her attention to Matt, she said with appreciation, “Great prosthetics!”

“Thank you,” Matt graciously replied. But before the ‘Princess’ could take a closer look, added, “Ahem, Jet, we need to get going.”

Looking at the ‘Princess’ with an apologetic glance, I proclaimed, “Guess he’s really vested in my winning!”

No sooner had we gotten to the long stage in the back (where all cosplayers competing were setting up) than we heard screams coming from the atrium. “Looks like the Annunorcus has arrived,” Matt said grimly. “You finish setting up, and I’ll attend to him. Oh, but before I go—here take these,” he offered, slipping off his fine boots and handing them to me. “They are scientifically engineered to fit any size foot, and they have a special polymer sole—like what you’ve been searching for, so they’ll aid you in climbing your castle wall. You didn’t think they were just superfluous, did you? Besides, I’m quicker on all fours,” he said, quickly bounding away.

I think my mouth must’ve been agape for a few seconds as I watched him disappear quickly into the crowd. Then I brought myself back to my task at hand.

Unlike most cosplay competitions, all contestants were all set up on the stage against the back wall, and fortunately, the Kookla I’d met was set up next to me. I learned her real name was Etta—short for Elisetta. Strangely undeterred by the chaos in the atrium, all the judges still planned on making their rounds.

The judges got to my display first, and I was happy to perform with no glitches, as Matt’s boots clung to my rock climbing wall display incredibly well. The judges gave a nod to me for a job well done…that was up to the point that Matt came bounding across the stage with a deadly Annunorcus chasing him…

*************************************************************************************

I’d love to say that everything turned out peachy. After all, we were in the state of Georgia, but, unlike many faerie tales, real life tends to get a bit messy. So, in short, the Annunorcus tore into one of the judges in front of Etta’s Kookla Display, spewing so much gore and viscera about that one of the other judges actually slid in it. And, the Annunorcus would have consumed more, if I hadn’t had the presence of mind to rope those humans I’d seen dressed up as zombies earlier into scaring the Annunorcus (who thought them Zombicarns) into changing into a snake (as Zombicarns prefer large prey). Then, Matt was able to pounce on him and devour him! Turns out, though generally a vegetarian cat, he would still eat ogre-snake meat if it meant saving all of humanity! Due to the gruesome circumstances, nobody won the competition. Yet, I did leave Diamond City Con with Etta’s digits and Matt, who talked incessantly on the ride home about my patenting the earth-friendly formula in his boots, so I felt that somehow financial freedom wasn’t far behind…

G.L. Giles

 

 

Advertisements

So NOT Another Mundane Memoir (Both Heartfelt & Hot!!)

Published May 1, 2017 by glgiles

My Review of “So L.A.:  A Hollywood Memoir” by Staci Layne Wilson

So LA Cover

 

Back of So LA

 

Right from the onset, Wilson reveals that she was “born in Hollywood to a rock star dad and a pinup model mom.” If anyone deserves the title of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ then she most certainly does!

I had the good fortune of ‘cyber meeting’ Staci way back when MySpace was stylized just that way:  MySpace. Even before it changed to Myspace. I think it must’ve been circa 2005, as I don’t think Staci even had her trademark look blue-streak hair yet (Hmmm…I wonder where Blue Streak Productions got its ‘roots?!’). Speaking of hair, that’s what drew me to her  MySpace page, initially. Well, that and her wonderful sense of humor! She had a profile picture up on MySpace of her long locks (a la Cousin Itt, with her back to the camera) and the caption “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” That still makes me smile even as I write this.

Her knowledge of ‘Old Hollywood’ is extensive (perhaps par for the course with her Hollywood Royalty Roots). Yet, it’s not just the famous names she honors that makes this memoir a captivating read, it is the city of Los Angeles itself. She breathes life into the buildings and landscapes of old and new with her detailed and richly layered insider knowledge.

Though she’s definitely the product of her parents’ journeys, she also, quite remarkably, forged her own more darkly delightful artistic paths while at the same time rescuing horses, rats, cats, ferrets, et cetera. But, that doesn’t mean her own journey was easy. It wasn’t. In fact, she struggled both emotionally and monetarily for years, but she overcame all with a non-judgmental attitude, even against those who’d caused her so much pain.

Her creativity is boundless, and in a society where much art has become homogenized from fear of social media backlash, etc., hers stands out for both its perfection and almost resistance to the mundane tide. I admire the hell outta that!

 

G.L. Giles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bridged”

Published December 29, 2016 by glgiles

Goddess Be with Ye, 2016! (A year of challenges with lots of brilliant artists of many kinds passing, et cetera. Yet, it was also a year of wonderful new beginnings for me~~~)

Hel-o, 2017! (Speaking of Goddesses, I have been fond of the Norse Hel for some time) So looking forward to you, New Year~~~

 

 

bridged-2016

***I have titled this piece I painted “Bridged.” It is symbolic of bridging the old year with the new, etc.~~~

***2017 is also the year that my fun-filled ‘gap years’ come to a close, as I am excited to be inspired again creatively, so 2017 will (hopefully) be the year that the fictional world inside my head is successfully bridged by real world publication again.

***In addition, there are also plenty of hilarious high jinks already ensuing with me playing around on the illustrating side of things thanks to my new iPad Pro (I so dig it!)

Love, Light & Darkness,

GL Giles

 

So much fun being interviewed by the lovely ladies of the “Killer Queens” podcast!

Published October 20, 2015 by glgiles

You can listen to it here.

Interview with an Exceedingly Accomplished Artist: Laurie Lee Brom!

Published August 9, 2014 by glgiles

LaurieBromSavanah

Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, SC, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low Country and rich gullah culture stirring her imagination. She studied illustration at Parsons School of Design in NYC. After a long sabbatical spent raising two boys she returned to the inspiration that first stirred her imagination and paints a spooky brand of imaginative realism. She regularly shows at Roq la Rue gallery in her current home of Seattle, WA.

Q. What subject matter most piques your interest these days? And, does that translate into your artwork?

A. I seem to always be stuck in the past! History really piques my interest. It’s not that I kid myself into thinking times were better then, but I tend to spend a good bit of time surrounding myself with things that have had past lives with previous owners. Often when I paint I look at things in my studio and come up with a story about it, and often incorporate stuff I’ve found into my work. That and nature are my two biggest inspirations. We recently moved to what feels like the country (but really isn’t), abutting a forested wilderness. The flora and fauna, the changing of seasons, my soul really feeds on it.

Q. Mine, too. Switching gears, how did you hear about the ‘Baby Tattooville Event’ and will you be attending this year? When and where is it held?

A. Bob Self (owner of Baby Tattoo publishing) runs the event with his wife, Rani, and they invite a bunch of artists as guests and sell just 50 tickets to people who spend the long weekend together as an immersive experience. http://www.babytattooville.com/home.html We’re really excited about participating in it!

Q. Awesome! Please tell readers about ‘Boxes of Death’ (traveling art show). Will you be contributing to the show?

A. Boxes of Death is something I was chomping at the bit to do because it was pretty far out of my comfort zone. Each artist is given a little coffin to paint. The show tours like a pop up event, I think, down the West Coast with stops in Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco and LA. At first I thought I’d do something over the top and flowery, but then I settled on the idea of the duality of the cat. Lover and killer, adored and feared. The cat in mine has been lovingly arranged by his owner and the little critters are dancing on his grave on the sides of the box. It’s an issue close to home for me! http://www.boxesofdeath.com/

Q. With 7 cats as anipals, I love that you settled on that! Is Brom contributing to the ‘Boxes of Death’ show?

A. Nope. No Brom in this show, though it does seem right up his alley! He’s busy writing.

LaurieBromSnakeWhisper

Q. Now for a fun question: What’s your fondest memory of the Lowcountry?

A. Oh man is that a tough question! I could never choose just one, especially having grown up there and returned many times as an adult. One would be a moonlight swim with my cousins on Isle of Palms. The water was filled with marine phosphorescence. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. But I loved living somewhere so full of history and SO many ghost stories! All of which seem perfectly believable in the context of Charleston. I miss the smell of pluffmud, the dripping Spanish moss, the cemeteries and churches, gaslamps, that stuff gets into your soul and doesn’t let go no matter how long you live away from it.

LaurieBromSwampBride

Q. This Charlestonian couldn’t agree more! So, what else is in the pipeline heading into 2015?

A. Well, I have several group shows lined up including the annual Women Painting Women held at the Principle Gallery in Charleston. Super excited to have a piece heading there! I also have one going to the Copro Gallery in LA next month, Babytatooville in October and then I’m taking some time and coming up with a new body of work.

Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your darkly delightful work?

A. I’m finally on Instagram and am just getting that going http://instagram.com/laurieleebrom, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/lauriebrom and I have prints for sale on my website http://www.laurieleebrom.com/

LaurieBromMothToAFlame2

Interview with Tracey Edges, Radio Host at Siren 107.3 FM!

Published January 14, 2014 by glgiles

To say that Tracey Edges is a multifaceted artist is truly an understatement, for she is a visual artist, writer and has her own radio show at Siren 107.3 FM! She vividly explains how her visual artwork will oftentimes organically flow into her pieces of written work at her blog with, “I am a fine artist who primarily paints. My work is based upon the reality of my external experiences. I then abstract this reality to varying degrees. As an Artist I continuously observe and these observations sometimes materialize into the written word. This blog is a mixture of my personal reality and my imagination…” (http://www.traceyedges.blogspot.co.uk/).

Tracey Edges

GL: So great to be ‘e-viewing’ (e-mail interviewing) you, Tracey!

TE: It is lovely to be e-viewed, thank you!

GL: Please tell readers about your ‘Sunday Girl’ show at Siren 107.3 FM.

TE: Sunday Girl is 2 very packed hours where I feature an eclectic range of music from any decade, any genre, right up to the latest in the charts. I also make sure I play lots of indie artists as I love to promote them and get their great music ‘out there’. I have an Artist of the Week, where I play two tracks and inform my listeners about the Artist. I also have a Book of the Week feature and The Sunday Girl Triple Play which are three back to back tracks with some connection. As I make up the connection it can either be quite obvious – such as the colour ‘blue’ or be a bit weird – such as ‘songs with titles I particularly like’! I tend to think of the connection first and then try to find tracks to fit it. That can throw up tracks I’ve forgotten about or, alternatively, frustrate me when I don’t have suitable ones and have to think up something else. I also feature famous people who have birthdays on the day of the show and there is always the Quirky Question – just for a bit of fun! I work really hard at my research, listening to all the music and writing all the features so it is rather time consuming but I do love doing it so that makes it easier. Although an eclectic mix I try to make my playlist flow as much as possible and tie tracks in to the features or people mentioned. It is a privilege being trusted to have total control over a show. It is definitely my baby and I do my best to look after it and it is great to watch it grow!

GL: Does it air every Sunday morning between 9-11 a.m.? It’s based out of the UK, so when and how can USA listeners tune in?

TE: Yes, it is 9-11am but UK time so GMT or BST(GMT+1) depending on the time of the year. You can listen direct from my show page on the radio station’s website: http://www.sirenonline.co.uk/section/shows/sunday-girl or via the free TuneIn or Radioplayer apps on any mobile device (or online). If within the Lincoln, England, area you can also listen in on 107.3FM

GL: Besides featuring cool bands and their music—like Blondie, Erasure, etc.—you also feature a Book of the Week and an Artist of the Week. How do you choose the featured book and the featured artist?

TE: Whether I am doing my Art, my writing or my radio show, I work in a very organic way this happens with the Artist and the Book features as well. Often people will message me on Facebook or Twitter and send me mp3s or books. I have accumulated both book and music mountains! I may have a book or track for months and then something will remind me of it and I will go in that direction. Sometimes it happens that, for example, a musician will send me tracks just as I am thinking about writing that week’s feature and, if I think they are good, I will go with them. I will often get my Kindle out for a flick-through to see what books I have on there. For any e-book Authors who think that a cover isn’t important – I beg to differ. A good, or intriguing, cover can get my attention and make me want to explore within the pages and possibly feature it. A bad cover will have the opposite effect. It’s the very same as to why one book displayed in a bookshop will shout to you and make you pick it up over its quieter neighbours. I also have two anthologies called Off The Record. The first one is based on Record titles and the second, movie titles. Each book contains brilliant stories from about 40 different Writers. I often will go and have a delve in those to choose someone to explore further. I have to admit to having a short story in At The Movies and it is called ‘Memento’. It is also on my short story blog and can be read here: http://bit.ly/1hTx3Od I have another blog which is a continuous story called PI GY. It explains what that means in the first part “The Beginning” which can be read here: http://bit.ly/19mi8WH These stories really need to be read in order. My first experience with Siren FM was when I recorded the first 8 episodes of PI GY for a radio series. That can be heard here: http://bit.ly/WnwZJO With typical Tracey-Timing, I had a really bad fluey cold when I recorded those and lots of coughing, croaking and sneezes had to be edited out!

GL: I love your organic and timely unfolding process, and I look forward to reading everything! Switching gears, have you ever had any negative feedback from your so-called “cringeworthy jokes?”

TE: No, I have been very lucky (or it may be due the permanent cotton wool stuffed into my ears so I don’t hear any!) It tends to be more cringeworthy connections, than jokes as I will often connect tracks to features and they can be rather eye-rolling/tenous ones!

GL: I love that you employ humor like that! Now, what kind of local events do you cover? I know that you’re a bit ‘canine-crazy’, like me, so are any of them animal adoption events?

TE: It tends to be events such as gigs/workshops/exhibitions and city-centre things to do. I did cover a request for people to take their animals to see how intelligent they were. The university (where Siren FM is based) was doing a research project about what dogs ‘read’ from their environment/your face etc. As much as I love ‘causes’ I try to keep the content light as it goes out on a Sunday morning. 2 of my 3 dogs are rescues and I feel very strongly about that issue. If I won the Euromillions I would love to open a rescue home for dogs.

GL: Awesome! I think I’d swim ‘across the pond’ to be able to hang out in a cool canine rescue home like that! I know that you’re also a great exhibiting artist. Where has your artwork been displayed? Which mediums do you work in?

TE: I have had work displayed in Galleries both locally and nationally and had several solo exhibitions. I have received fantastic feedback from them so that is definitely one achievement ticked off my bucket list from being young. My Grandfather was an Artist so I grew up with the smell of oil paint. I am far too impatient for oils though, even though I do like using them. I find I use a mixture of high quality heritage emulsion paints and acrylics plus whatever I feel is going to enhance a painting as I am doing it. I may suddenly start scribbling over the paint with pencil or throw ink at it. I just go with the flow and what feels right at that moment. I usually start off from an experience that I have photographed. I mess about with the photograph on my computer and take it away from the visual reality. I then use this photograph as a start to my painting. I always know where I am starting from but never how it is going to finish, or when – it may be in 5 minutes or 5 weeks. I am the same with my writing – I let the story unfold as I go along. I did an interview for Estuary Radio and a slideshow of a smaller exhibition – called Eclectic and this can be seen here: http://bit.ly/UwF1on

GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

TE: All of my work is in my photo albums on my Facebook profile which is: Tracey Edges. I have a page for my radio show: http://www.facebook.com/traceyedgespresenter and I have a woefully out of date website at: http://www.traceyedges.co.uk All my links can be found on my http://www.about.me/traceyedges page.

GL: What’s on the horizon for 2014?

TE: Firstly, to update my website! I also need to sort out my time management skills so that I have time to put into all 3 of my main projects: Art/Writing/Radio. I’ve tried to sideline one or two but I just can’t do it – I love doing them all and have wanted to do all since my schooldays. If anyone has a day-stretcher please let me borrow it. I wouldn’t sleep or eat if I didn’t have to. Lots of Art, Radio and Writing ahead – watch this space!

GL: Thanks so much, Tracey! Truly my pleasure!

TE: You are welcome and thank you very much for asking me.

Interview with Jamie Oliver (A.K.A. Khemical Komixz)

Published April 27, 2013 by glgiles

frank (2)

Jamie Oliver’s artwork has a cool ‘retro feel’ to it—reminiscent of old Harvey Comics and Rankin/Bass. Plus, Oliver has truly diverse taste in music:  from Frightwig to The Mantras to Anoushka Shankar. You can check out some of his artwork at http://www.cafepress.com/khemicalkomixz and http://khemicalkomixz.imagekind.com


Which pieces of your artwork would you describe as ‘textile art’? I know it’s oftentimes considered arts and crafts that employ plant and synthetic fibers to make practical or decorative things, but what is textile art to you?
 
My  signature pieces of textile artwork were definitely my silk paintings and my custom colors…to describe textile artwork, it’s like mastering using a 50-pound hammer to lightly tap something, and you must always remember you are working inside the fabric [rather] than on top of it or the bottom.

Which pieces, if any, that you’ve created represent the knowledge you picked up while taking your animation courses?
 
Two of the characters I have come up with.  At times, I do wish I had more of a Harvey Comics or Rankin/Bass style (of characters), but I have came to terms with finding my own style.

I love the variety of your artwork and the items it can be printed on at your
http://www.cafepress.com/khemicalkomixz site. It’s cool how your images can be printed on yoga mats, coasters, flasks, etcetera. Please tell readers about the various pieces you have there and what inspired them.

I love Cafepress, as it lets the indie artists sale their wares without the overhead of mixing inks. I also love the coasters and bags on there. My big inspiration was to give patrons the options to have my images on everyday items they normally use , and luckily, with print-on-demand, the product is always in stock.


By contrast, what does your
http://khemicalkomixz.imagekind.com site offer?

Imagekind offers more massive-size posters and prints. People really need to check them out and get familiar with the drop down bar menu that lets you select the size you can have things printed:  they’re as massive as three and a half feet by five feet. And, you get to chose the option of what grade canvas paper you choose. My enhanced matte and premium photo glossy prints that size retail for under a hundred dollars, if you buy [them] unframed. It’s amazing what print-on-demand offers these days.


You and I share a love of the music of Ravi Shankar which certainly lives on after his passing late last year. When did you first become a fan of his?

 
I became a devotee of Ravi at 15, and I was one of the early followers of his East Meets West record label. I’m a huge fan of Anoushka Shankar; she really does her own thing:  everything from blending different cultures of music to orchestras. And, I have always loved Norah Jones; she is amazing, and a great piano player. I truly enjoy a lot of piano and organ music.


Which other bands do you listen to on a regular basis? And, why?

I like my rockers! Looking forward to listening to Frightwig and a band out of Atlanta called The Rhythym Yard (also known as T.R.Y.); they are fronted by an amazing drummer, John McKnight. I am also into a great guitarist named Mike Martin. He has played in several different bands, and he’s an extremely talented guy, but knows how to have fun with it. I always dig what The Mantras are doing, too.


What’s in the pipeline for you for the rest of 2013 and into 2014?

Hopefully, over the next two years I will be doing more concept artwork along with being an art director along with producing digital multi media projects as well as organizing group projects. I’m by no means ready to become a ‘desk jockey’ or have people referring to me as ‘the boss’. My ego just doesn’t work that way in a work enviroment with other people. It’s a lot easier for everyone  involved when you have a concept and a budget to work with—[better] than randomly calling people saying what should we do. <hahaha>