Saturday, October 17, 2015

Artist Interview: LAURA PETELLAT by Dave Wolff

Interview with LAURA PETELLAT

Is Book Of Faeye the official Facebook page for your artwork? How long have you featured your work there, and is there a process by which you choose what is available for viewing on that page?
Facebook is my primary play place. I use it for my art work, under Book Of Faeye; my book, under Visual Poetry: A Collection Of Tales; and general contact when I can’t be out and about as Laura Petellat-Entwisle (for family, friends, and professional contacts). I also use Twitter for my poetry as “punkrockdenmom” where I go quite often and write short poems when panic or depression hit. Sometimes joy or elation, but my inner Eeoyre runs that twitter usually, and Etsy under Bookoffaeye to sell art as well. My Facebook art page and book page and Twitter account are my “fan pages“. I have been putting my art work on Facebook since about 2010 when I started tattooing and that of course was my apprenticing, then much later on my licensed freelance work,  I did it and there it is… my inking got better as I continued to do it. The paintings started showing up on Facebook in 2010/2011. The first was a commissioned piece and after I posted it I started getting more requests for commissioned pieces. I started doing my own as well for fun and posting them too. Now I post most of what I create on my art page then share it through my main pages as well. I sell my art through whatever media it happens to get requested on. It usually sells on Facebook long before I even start to list it on Etsy. I also sell my pieces through Book Of Faeye (my own art house) and my friend Sinthia Domina has included me in her art house “Gothique Gallery” which holds a monthly showing at a long standing goth night club event “Temple” hosted by our friend Jay Harris, now housed at the Concourse adjacent to The International in Knoxville, Tn. As well as other events she arranges for us.

How much material is available for viewing and/or purchase through Visual Poetry: A Collection Of Tales? Does that page and Book Of Faeye generally receive positive or encouraging feedback?
The art is not available, except for mine, through me. I have posted some of the art and other unrelated art on the page, with links to other artists, bands, shows, and all kinds of things. The whole point to the book is to share the “stage” with other artists and let them shine right there with me. I wrote poetry on Twitter, thereby limiting my poems to 141 characters. Then, I passed out 150 poems to friends and had them pick which ones they liked and wanted to match pieces to or create art for. Including myself there are eleven artists in the book. I asked my “brother” Clayton Matthew {aka Yetti} to edit it and contribute. I post the link to on that page regularly. The book must be purchased directly from Amazon. The art I usually sell on my personal Facebook page.  I always get great feedback and mostly likes. Generally speaking it’s people encouraging me to continue and looking forward to new pieces. Every once in a while it’s people demanding a piece be theirs. Those are my favorite posts… I love it when people say “OH! MINE!” I have started making prints of some pieces as I have had a few pieces being requested by several people. One piece “Oceans” was painted as a gift for my father and I ended up with requests for copies of it. It is a pair of Madagascan Gobis. I don’t always paint animals but lately I have done a few and I have plans for more including a bat in flight, a Beta, and a Blue Dragon… those are gorgeous… highly toxic.. and they look like blue filigree in the water. They are a breed of nudibranch, like a sea slug and a brittle star starfish had a blue baby!!  They are just super cool…

Did you develop an interest in writing poems around the same time you developed an interest in doing artwork?
Sort of, I have been doing both since I was very little. I have poetry that I wrote in middle and high school and I was in the poetry club there. I wrote poems later than I learned to draw. I was drawing before elementary school. I took art classes in middle school and high school as well as choir and photography classes. My parents were both artists. Dad painted more so than Mom with canvas, she wanted to let Dad have center stage in that arena. Dad and Mom created cakes and she did smaller drawings and even took a painting class at the local vo-tech, My father is one of the greatest animal artists I have ever seen. He is self-taught. I adore museums and galleries so I do not say this like “It’s my Dad and I have to.” I say this as an artist who would fall out looking at his work even if I’d never heard of him personally. Art and poetry have just always been around me. Robert Petellat’s (Dad) art is in the poetry book coupled with three of my poems. The book does not do justice to how gorgeous the original paintings are. However my Dad’s art needs to be seen. I have always loved words and imagery. The two are such incredible forms of art, vision and beauty; they deserve to be seen, especially together! They have both been in my life for so long I don’t remember a “me” that did not have or do them both.

In what ways were the art classes beneficial to your development as an artist and photographer?
They helped a lot. I took art classes in Sarasota’s school system and they didn’t mess around back then! We learned a lot of the important basics. My art teachers were great as a general rule. Shapes, color matching, contour, I have a lot more to learn of course. No one ever knows it all. As far as photography, lining up shots, depth, tricks with angles and lighting, we learned all that. Plus did you know, photographs and negatives, man, you used to have to develop negatives and screw with film and everything to make pictures. No kidding! Hahaha, seriously though I did learn to develop film and work with all those chemicals, develop the photos and work with enlargers and standard darkroom skills. We did lots of projects and then in cinematography we had to hand draw videos on 8mm film… what a massive pain in the ass that was! It was really fun. My friend Keely Brown and I, we got in so much trouble... we mixed our own sample filled, resplendently obnoxious song for the video and it said “Fuck the Queen” right in the middle of the song… we thought no one would catch it, but we got caught and ended up having to edit it out. It was all influential and all very helpful. Even in grade school pay attention in art class kiddos!

Does your father have any publications of his own that art enthusiasts can peruse?
No; it breaks my heart. My father is 70 years old, everyone should know who he is by now. His works are in several places all over the US, in friend’s houses and as far as I know none are on public display except when I do it. He did make the local newspaper a few times for his art, but the only book he is in is mine and the only art gallery he has ever shown with is Gothique Gallery through Book Of Faeye. He should have been given more encouragement to pursue art as a career… but he was a fireman like his Dad and his younger brother. So many people he has saved, it was worth the trade off in the long run and he is a hero through and through, I can’t see him as anything else but an artist superhero. He’s what would have happened if Clark Kent had been a painter instead of a writer. I still wish he’d have been able to have half the opportunities I am getting now. So like it or no, Daddy is getting to come along for the ride! I will show more of his art as I can get him to brave up to part with it and let me show it.

We have a mutual friend in Pryjmaty who hosted Deviants Underground Radio. Were you a regular listener of this internet radio program while it was active? Although it no longer airs do you think it made a lasting impression on net radio and underground music?
There was a problem with the server for a while and I was going to DJ for her too, but I never could get the server to work and then my beloved laptop suffered a shattered screen and by the time I got it fixed her station was down. I shared links and promoted it when I could but sadly I only got to listen to it maybe twice. I always admired and supported her work with Deviants. She was the ultimate promoter. I did a custom art piece for her and even worked Deviants Underground into the background as a building marquee so come hell or high water she would always have it! Mama Pryj, she makes a lasting impression on everyone. Her words, her kindness, her love, and her matronly ability to lift up her friends are admirable traits. I can never say anything about her that doesn’t make me sound fan girly. That is of course, fine because she’s awesome and I AM fangirling. She has made a huge impression on the local music scene, international as well. Bands all over the world have been touched by her and helped by her.

Did you know Pryjmaty before Deviants? I listened to the show regularly and did a great deal of promoting for them. Pryj and Dropkick Chris were interviewed for Autoeroticasphyxium. What did she think of the artwork you did for her?
We met once at an event called Grey Wolf up in the mountains and talked for a while, and I met her a few times at some metal shows after that. She was very in the local metal scene at the time. She still is a huge part of it even when she can’t be at the shows. She’s kind of the Mom of the metal scene. She loved the artwork; I consulted with her every step of the way, from the initial drawing stage to showing the painting as it came along. My beloved snake Ezmerelda shed while I was painting it and I used her shed skin to create a cloak for Pryj. In the painting, it is glued to the canvas.  The bridge is based on a bridge in Prague. The bridge was in xXx, that Vin Diesel movie, the one at the end. I love that bridge! It reminds me of her. There were bats and little Goblin, her grandson standing there holding her hand. It was painted with love and it was deeply personal. She shows it with the sweetest comments on her social media and when friends go to her home it sits on the mantle of her fire place. I am particularly pleased with her reaction to my art. I did it because I love her and to see it make her so happy kinda makes me nerd out and tear up a little.

Are you hoping that Deviants will return to internet radio in the near future?
All I ever want is what’s best for Pryj. I think it would be nice to have a local radio station that plays local and underground bands, but it costs lots. If she could get full sponsorship and actually turn a buck doing it I’d love to see it! IF it made her happy. If not, there are thousands of people who can take up the torch.

Are there local bands Deviants featured that you listened to and remain in touch with? Through Deviants I met many bands and discovered a lot about the local scene in Knoxville. I have interviewed many Knoxville bands for Autoeroticasphyxium (Crome Molly, Belfast Six Pack, Warclown, Shallowpoint, Scent Of Remains etc) and feel enlightened having had a chance to talk with them. How do you think the local scene can be more supportive of music in general?
I met local metal bands through mine and my husband’s work in the metal scene when we first moved here. I did a benefit show for Alie Amato’s Bradshaw Mountain Wildlife Reserve in Mayer, Arizona. She is not just a friend but she is my absolute favorite role model. I like to do things for her whenever I can. After that I threw a couple of benefit shows for a local band member of a really great band who passed away. I actually met Pryj THROUGH Belfast Six Pack. The guys were in (Knoxville’s) Crome Molly at the time. Pryj and I got along instantly. Mamas know Mamas. She is a total kindred spirit I absolutely cherish her. As for bands of Deviants, Warclown, Scent Of Remains, Rot Iron, Crome Molly, Deconbrio, Dead Sun Theory (I think was around for Deviants), the former members of Dig Six Down, and several other bands, are all on our “family and friends” lists. They always will be. They are all still friends of our whole family and we love them all very much. We still keep in touch with a lot of the local musicians and Pryj. My husband works in and out of the music industry as often as he can and has just started working on a new, as yet unnamed, metal band and potentially a second project. As a substitute teacher I also work with the mothers of a few local musicians and we keep in the loop that way as well. Tim and I are as involved in both the goth industrial scene and the metal scene as much as we can be as often as we can be. We try to make sure at least one of us can go to birthday parties and private events. We have also started bringing Shymiera into our circles. Our eldest daughter will start learning sound boards with our friend Richie Brannon from an amazing Knoxville band, Deconbrio. He’s a sweet guy and he’s agreed to help her learn (She is learning video programming in college). Jay Harris is doing his best to help Shymiera out where he can, asking Richie to help was his idea. Both the Gothic and Metal scene have been wonderful at welcoming Shymiera into our social circles. As they can, each group is welcoming all of our children and thoroughly enjoy their company. They are even trying to figure out how to get my eldest son into their LARPing games through our gothic circles. The local scene right now is primarily metal, country, blue grass and dub step. Which is one reason the goth scene is fighting so hard to round out sound a little more here and diversify music a bit more.  Others who want to support local shows should go to shows when they can, share events, releases, videos, and announcements on Facebook, mention local bands to family and friends, and meet the bands at shows and encourage them!!! Bands need to hear they're doing it right!"

Where do you see the local goth scene headed now that it’s making an effort to expand its boundaries?
The goth scene is gearing up in Knoxville. Combichrist, Ego Likeness, Voltaire, Stoneburner and Calabrese are all either scheduled to play shows here or have already. There are more bands we’d like to see come and I have even asked a few I don’t even know personally. I give them the contact info for the International and a few people there who book or deal with the booking staff. It’s a hobby for me that I take seriously. I love our scene and I see huge potential in it. I want to help bring back the camaraderie of our scene.

Are you and Sinthia Domina kindred spirits of a sort when it comes to your imagination and creativity? How long have you and she been acquainted with one another? For how long have Gothique Gallery and Temple been in existence?
Not really, sort of. However, she has a darker more sadistic side to her art. She is the Morticia to my Fester. I don’t know how else to say it. I am happy and silly and my art is morbid sometimes, but usually just weird or fairytale oriented. I enjoy things like Cthulhu on the beach in a 1930’s swimsuit, under an umbrella, holding a Mai Tai and watching the waves crash in. I was inspired by a band called Iris with a song called Waves Crash In; I listened to it while I was sketching out the piece. Sin, I don’t know how she comes up with her pieces but she is SOOO detailed and so meticulous. I believe we have met several times over the years, but we got to know each other right around November or so of 2013. It was weird. We met ( for the I don’t know’ith” time) started talking art and everything clicked. Temple has been around for  ten years . A lovely event was planned for the 10 year anniversary. Jay Harris started it and is grooming his lovely children to run it when he decides he is done doing it. I can’t see it stopping ever. It will be like the Castle in Tampa and just never die. Gothique Gallery was started last year by Sinthia Domina, Sarah Claxton, and Roger Gregg. Roger went on to pursue other art avenues and Sarah went on to pursue her other dreams and so I was asked to help out after that. I am really happy that Sin includes my art house in her Gallery. Book Of Faeye has been my baby for a while (several years, four or five maybe?) and I have used that name for a few business models. Art house being the most fitting and most appropriate for me.

Have you attended Temple at all? What is a typical night like? What sort of work do you do to help out at Gothique Gallery?
I have been a religious regular at Temple for a few years (three or four) now and on occasion in the past before that. Jay Harris’ Temple is my home away from home and I feel truly loved there. I can’t imagine life without it, without my friends from there. They are like my life’s blood and now my eldest daughter, Shymiera attends regularly as well.
It’s like family and friends hanging out, talking outside, running around and  hugging  each other all the time, and then a song comes on and we all stop talking and someone yells “OH!!! This is my song COME dance with me!!!!" And we run in giggling like 12 year olds hearing “Hungry Like the Wolf” for the first time and dance like idiots til we think our legs are going to fall off. It’s a more adult themed type of crowd, despite that previous description.  We’re Goth, Alternative, Industrial, etc... We are sensual and sexual and there’s a lot more people hugging, shaking hands, snuggling and patting backs at our events (always mutual always consenting because we are a tight knit community). We welcome the shy and embrace the strange and everyone who comes is different. I try really hard to spend the night passing in and out of hugs and chats between friends and dancing. Less than an hour or two on the dance floor and I am sad on the way home the same goes for hugs and friends, at least an hour  or two of that too!! Everything from Rotersand to Combichrist and Duran Duran to Bauhaus. It’s all over the place musically; which is one of the reasons we all love to go so much.
I try to help set up, bring things out, take stuff home and keep it until the next Gallery event, my own work has been displayed every month since January as well. So I am there every month.  I try to get to Sinthia’s when I can, if I can’t we try to talk every day or at least as close to everyday as possible. I love talking to her anyway so doing business with her is a bonus and we discuss everything from events to art to artists, plus general friend talk. She is like a sister to me.  I attend meetings with Temple’s Council (board of directors basically, partially in regard to their business (as an acolyte at this point) and partially in regard to ours (Gothique Gallery) if Miss SInthia cannot attend or even when she does. In which case, she is the primary voice but we also mull over ideas together. Sinthia is a strong alpha and she runs her ship. Respect for that should be given as often as possible and as much as possible. She knows what she is doing and she is good at it.  I do what she needs and try to suggest or give input when I feel it’s appropriate or take on some of the set up when there’s just too much for one person to do.  I am so grateful for her allowing Book Of Faeye into her fold that I want to help her be seen as well. Sinthia allows me to bring in work of mine and from my art house and so Shymiera and Sarah Entwisle and my Dad have all shown art and she has seen Jason’s (my eldest son) art and wants his shown too. Chris is my youngest, some and his art is amazing too but he seems too shy to show it off just yet. I have brought in art from a couple of really great artists who are friends I love dearly Aaron Theien and Clayton Matthew, the latter of which will have a digital pieces this coming month he did with/for me.

Temple recently held an event, and you mentioned that it went well. Care to provide the details?
Temple had this “What is Fetish” event. It was an introductory to fetish. We had to keep it within the confines of laws on fetish in Tennessee.  There was bondage display, suspension display on stage, pleather and corsets as far as the eye could see. There was art. Eric Creature Seeker, Storme Travelsted, Sinthia Domina, Tony Karnes, Shymiera Entiwsle, myself and local photographers Mallory Bertrand, David Senn, and Doug Hubbard. Jay asked me to organize and head up the “condom fairies”. There were about twenty of us and we ran on stage at midnight, dressed as fairies, wings and all, (I was barefoot all night because “FAIRY“ rained condoms on the crowd and ran around doing photo ops and giving condoms. There was so much dancing and socializing. It was a really great event. I don’t know what the final numbers on turn out were but it had to be close to 500-1000 through the whole night?? I’m guessing I never did a head count or got official numbers. Jay Harris puts on a good event!

Explain your religious beliefs and any way you might express them through art. Do “alternative artists” so to speak normally experience certain issues with the religious right? How does your community view such issues within the Bible Belt?
 I am a mix of Shaman and Norse Wiccan. I am a proud pagan but not “in your face about it.” Religious nuts irritate the hell out of me, regardless of religion. Seriously. My art is tongue in cheek at religion sometimes and sometimes it is an ode to it in a deep way. My Egyptian work is for the love of my husband Timothy Entwisle. He loves Egyptian history so “Thoth’s Love” and “Isis and Osiris” are done with reverence. The way that people react to them is touching. They point out little details and smile, and talk for minute and move to the next piece to look and that’s a huge deal to me…  "For the Love of a Twisted God” and “Christhulhu” obviously, not so much. People stop and look and comment and smile even, but when they laugh, that makes me happy like a little kid telling a joke everyone gets, as opposed to the happiness of a shared reverence at a tribute, like the more serious pieces.  I'm about to do a piece, an ode to Carlos Dolci’s Blue Madonna. The ‘Blue’ piece I am doing with great care and great love. I have wanted to own that painting since I was fourteen. I love it with all my heart and this piece I am doing for it will be done with utmost adoration for the original piece. Not a copy, but inspired by it with all due love.
Everyone experiences something with the religious right here because they make sure we have to deal with them. It’s annoying to hear people preach so much hate in the name of a “loving God” so I try to ignore the ones who do that.  Despite them, there are a lot of people who are open to it, love it, think it’s funny and enjoy it, many of them are religiously Christian. As you might expect there are those who freak out, get mad or complain, but none of them say anything to me directly and I don’t care if they are upset. My Gods and Goddesses and I get along just fine regardless of their opinion. I am happy with my beliefs and anyone else’s HAVE to be of little consequence. I can’t let other people make demands of my soul. My art is my soul. If I express anything other than me and my views of the world and others, my art is a lie. Each piece makes a statement about who I am, what I have lived, how I feel, or who I love. Even in gift form art is usually egotistical. People say it isn’t but you have to do it as you perceive it. It all falls back on who you are.

Can you describe some of your beliefs as a Shaman and Norse Wiccan? And did you conduct any research into Egyptian religions in order to design pieces like “Thoth’s Love” and “Isis and Osiris”?
My view of the Gods and the Shamanism are in direct correlation. I see the Gods as metaphors for the energy we wish to pull to us or the energy we wish to push away. The names, the descriptions simply explain the energy in ways we can visualize and relate to. Is there a God? Is there an Odin? Not as humans believe them to be no. They are energy. They cannot be created or destroyed only redirected. I believe the mother earth and father sky are the same, spirits of trees and animals. It’s the energy we live on, thrive on, that makes us live, that kills us. It is beauty, order, happiness, chaos, misery and destruction. I pray to them yes, but not to the deity, I use prayer as a way to use words to focus the energy in the direction I need it to go for my wellbeing and it works very well. It’s my sort of meditation if you will. Those Gods and Goddesses Norse names make the most connection for me and the homeopathic views of shaman are exactly how I see the world and feel about nature being a viable shopping place for most of our health care issues’ solutions.
It was not 100% necessary to research right before I did the paintings. I have loved mythos since I was kid. I have read a bit of the book of the dead, watched Cosmos or other science shows, History Channel, Discovery specials and read a bit elsewhere and to the best of my knowledge Thoth’s Love is entirely made up by me and there is no love story for Thoth. I made one up for the purposes of that painting. I am planning a book of Egyptian Mythology for kids with my art and short stories explaining the mythos for various deities as history tells them with the bonus story of Thoth’s Love at the end as a way to teach children that mythos can be started anywhere by anyone and become legend. I have asked a surprise guest for the book to advise me as I write and he has politely and sweetly agreed. Best Egyptology expert I could think of who would be cool enough to do it. I have been a fan of his band for a while and that’s all the hint anyone gets. Until that book comes out.

I have watched my share of specials on the Discovery and History Channels. How historically accurate are the programs you have seen?
OK, as far as historical accuracy goes, realistically NOTHING is ever historically accurate just really close. You have no way of knowing what actually happened in any situation ever. Everyone perceives things differently and so you can’t get a nonbiased fact based account of anything; even video lies. The angle, the lighting, the distance, are all factors in how you perceive what was filmed. I think that they often try to be accurate. Much of the information is valid and it’s important to know history and science!  I also LOVE the Travel Channel, Rick Steven’s Travels is one of my favorites. I also drive the whole family nuts with Top Gear on BBC. Yeah that’s my poison right there. Pagani’s and Koenigseg sports cars. Oh My God Soooooo much love. Cosmos, Through the Wormhole, Nature, and the BBC series like Blue Planet and Life. Oh I love those so much. The kids and I also religiously watched the walking with Dinosaurs series.

Do you consider it important to have such stations in today’s age of dumbed down media?

Sadly there are shows even on those and other “educational” channels now designed to keep people stupid. Honey Boo and Duck Dynasty... Jesus just chuck your brain at the door... Dance Moms? Whose idea was it to let some crazed lunatic scream like that at little kids on TV and make it seem OK? Better yet how BAD of a mother or father do you have to be to let someone yell at your kids like that and TAKE THEM BACK FOR MORE!! Are you NUTS? Toddlers and Tiaras... I cannot BEGIN to tell you how much I hate that sick garbage. So is intelligent programming important? YES. It is vital, it is necessary!

Dance Moms sounds like a singularly bad idea (as well as the other shows you mentioned). It’s that concept of public shaming many seem to think will make better people of children. Granted these shows happen and people support them but I personally don’t condone those ratings tactics. Society is fucked partly because the producers care more about gain than the long term effects they create. But there are those who see through it and always will be. (Give me Beavis & Butthead any day; now there is intelligent programming if you consider what its creators say about society, haha) Will more people want something deeper to watch as time goes on?
Things cycle, like fashion every twenty years. (praying for a GOOD goth comeback), TV too shall cycle back to more Cosmos, Nova, Audoboun Society type shows, but for now ignorance and mindlessness is popular.

Do you watch any internet TV these days? If so, how does it differ from national and cable TV?
Youtube. I watch videos and live performances of my favorite bands. I watch video clips from NASA and Top Gear. Sometimes Netflix but not often. I am more for music and less for TV. I DO watch TV but not that much. It’s more like background noise. Unless it’s science, travel, top gear or nature. Then I watch it.

Are there books you would suggest to our readers about the mythos you have studied?
Myths Of The Norsemen From The Eddas And Sagas by Grueber, Irish folktales, The Norse Myths by Kevin Corssley-Holland, The Illustrated Book Of Myth by Neill Philip (designed for kids. You should always try to educate your kids like they are adults. Those brains work faster, better and for a lot longer than ours do), The Egyptian Book Of The Dead by Wallace Budge, to name a few. Myth and Legends books of any kind really. You’d be amazed how many religions and fairy tale are cross cultural. It’s really cool to read how Balder went to Hel for three days to prove to Odin humanity was worth saving and note that mythos predates Christianity by quite some time.

I’ve noticed parallels between Christianity and Egyptian religions too numerous to be coincidental. Of course I’ve also heard here and there about how the early Christians stole legends from pre-Christian religions. How many examples have you found?

One legend or more for close to half the stories in the bible honestly. I grew up in a Baptist church so it’s not like I don’t know what’s in there. I just decided to read and research BEYOND it and found it more stereotypical of all religions than an original departure.

What gave you an active interest in designing art for tattoos? Are there any local or national artists who helped inspire you?
I have wanted to be a tattoo artist since I was in high school I designed my first tattoo in 8th grade for myself. I did not get my first one until I was 22. I did not get my license until I was 35. I am about half Native American, tattoos are spiritual to me and reflect who I am as a person, what my heart and head know and what I want to feel and believe. I have my Mother and me sleeping over my heart with soul fish floating over us so we will always be together even through death. My mermaid is an ode to my Dad because she came from a fairytale book I got when I was four at a Fire Dept. Christmas party. I see flesh as a divine canvas. I hope that each person who has ink from me loves it and knows I meant every bit with love and admiration for the statement they chose to forever make. Susan and Anne Graham Johnstone did art work for fairytale books and they heavily influence my art, but I also have drawings by Voltaire, Stacia Marian of Crüxshadows, and a little flash art that’s been custom designed. Almost all of my ink is inspired by or direct tribute to bands I love, Music is my method of self-medication. I have Tiger Army. AFI, Erasure, VNV Nation, Depeche Mode, Belfast 6 Pack, Voltaire, Crüxshadows, Green Jelly, Duran Duran/Arcadia, Danzig, and Siouxsie And The Banshees pieces so far and more planned. I do need to tip my hat to Autumne Garland owner of Integrity tattoo and Vernie Lee owner of Passion Fish Tattoo, both in the Maryville/Alcoa, Tennessee area. They are amazing artists and they have kids but still have the time and ability to make amazing works of art on flesh and be good Mommies. That inspired me to go for it after years of telling myself it was impossible.

Explain a little about how Native Americans view tattoo and skin art, and how your personal views reflect this.
It would be rude to presume I speak for any tribes personal views, in strictly general terms I am willing to say this: It varies from tribe to tribe of course, but my understanding of their beliefs and my beliefs are two similar but somewhat different things. Certain types were done to relieve physical pain, and some were done to express the soul or tell the story of the wearer of the ink or even their family tree in some cases. For me it is about my pain, my joy, connections to my friends, my loves, my family, my life, my universe.

Are there any published works by Susan and Anne Graham Johnstone you would recommend to this zine’s readers?
I doubt anyone who reads this magazine over the age of thirty has not seen their work already. They were twins. An artist team who worked heavily with Dean Publishing’s Fairytale books in the 70’s especially. Dean’s “A Book of Fairytales” (1977) is my favorite. I have several pieces of art from that book, including the Princess from the Frog Prince and the Asian Mermaid from the poem at the beginning. The White Cat is my favorite story, the cat mermaid statue on the wall in the theater scene, nestled in a purple “13”. It means Tiger Army to me and I like it, which is how a lot of my “band tattoos” are. Art I connect with them no one else necessarily does.

In what ways do the pieces from A Book Of Fairytales become inspirations for you?

Oh their pieces are elegant, fragile and bold. They are these solid colors and flowing movements, they are busy and calming, but exciting and so very detailed. The sinewy lines, the warmth of the faces, they are like those beautiful art deco paintings form the 20’s and 30’s with filigree and delicate line, the excitement of color, but with Victorian sensibility and grace. Even the scary stuff is beautiful. They are elegant and innocent. They speak to me, because they are just like me. There are actually pieces that make me cry. I don’t care how that comes off sounding. It’s the truth. I am hyper sensitive to outside stimuli, all of it, sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. So art hits me so deeply, so personally, that when I find artists who touch my soul, they are factors for everything around me. Musicians, artists, writers, they all hit me that way. I love the filigree and I use that when I can. The filigree is also similar to Gustav Klimt at times. I am whimsical sometimes serious, but usually look at things with a childlike awe. That brings in elements of fairytale all on its own but their Victorian line work is just like visually soaking in a hot tub for me.

Describe the filigree and how you make an effort to use it for your work?
Imagine ocean waves cresting in rough seas or different thicknesses of yarn blowing the in the breeze. In that wobbly thrash of thread or seas, is the filigree I love. I use it to give me guidelines for shadow work for hair and fabric. I use it for background, accent, foreground. Filigree is like fingernails, hair, toenails or a belly button. You can live without them, but WHY??

In what ways does the music you listen to help to inspire your tattoo design?
When I tattoo I zone out. My OCD takes hold and I just go. My friends laugh because I end up having to cut them deals on the price. I say an hour and then I get caught up and start adding things or doing little tweaks here and there and end up working for another 30 minutes to an hour. I get into the sounds of the songs, the tone of the voice, having been a choir student, the voices, the words, get me, the singers I love the best say what’s in my head the way I can’t find words, and they emote the feelings in a way I can’t without falling apart and I feel like I can work miracles when I hear that. Those artists are such an incredible release for me. In regard to my art in general, I always listen to music when I paint because the music I listen to inspires me. The notes, the flow of the sound ‘tells’ me where to put the brush, the colors, it helps me move the way I need to for the art to show up. I think of music in pictures. When I write music (which I have not done in a while) I see it. I don’t hear it. I know where the dots belong on the lines as opposed to the notes in the measure. My husband writes music too and says that what I write works and is musically viable, he just doesn’t understand WHY my visual music writing works. It translates in reverse for my painting. The sound is every bit a line, a stroke of paint or pen; it’s the swirl of the ink, the tap of the brush on the glass. It’s dancing on canvas (or on skin with tattoos).

Do any songs you listen to in particular spark your creativity?
My World, Closure and Plastic World by Colony 5, Loom, The Danger Is The Shame and Annie Would I Lie To You by Iris, 37mm, Synthesthesia,  Okay I Feel Better Now, and the now most painful for horribly personal reasons, This Time Imperfect by AFI, Little Whip by Danzig, Winterbourne and Sophia by Cruxshadows, Wrong, Strangelove and Master And Servant by Depeche Mode, Dark Angel, Epicenter, and Fearless by VNV Nation, Oh L’Amore, Blue Savanah, and Guadete by Erauser, Heaven or Las Vegas by the Cocteau Twins, Exterminate, Annhiliate, Destroy by Rotersand, The Blut, Sex, Fire and Uber Fukken Deth Party by Hanzel Und Gretyl, This Shit Will Fuck You Up and Body Beat by Combichrist, Water To The Dead and Aviary by Ego Likeness and a thousand others.

Describe as many of the above songs as you can, explaining how they inspire you.
My World, Loom, 37 mm, This Time Imperfect, Blue Savanah, Heaven or Las Vegas, Aviary and Water to the Dead are fluid and languid, it helps with water, octopus, soft and swirling, anything I want to drive one to feel deep thought or warm emotion. The music pulls and lulls and I think in calm and peace. Closure, Little whip, Exterminate, Annhiliate, Destroy, Blut, Sex, Fire, Uber Fukken Deth Party, This shit will fuck you up, and Body Beat are violent beats, violent downs and violent highs. I can paint dark, aggressive pieces and not think about anything but putting the darkness and aggression of the words in to angular, severe art. The rest are happy but aggressive beats and lilting but harsh. They inspire me to wing color like across the canvas and have it shine. I don’t know how to explain how music translates to painting beyond that… like walking to Bronski Beat will put a bounce in your step. Prince makes you slide your steps a little, and Rammstein makes you step deliberate, heavy and fast. It affects painters the same way.

If you and your husband were to compose music together, how would it turn out?

I sent a demo of something we had done to R. Harris of VNV once (not because we know him, we don’t. I just wanted his opinion. I’ve only met him once and that was this year) about nine years ago and his reply was that the guitar sounded like Victorialand by the Cocteau Twins. Our influences are so broad that when we did have bands together it touched on punk, gothic, metal, industrial and we wrote everything from ballads of suicide and lost love to full on spiteful death wishes as well as historical events like Matthausen, Jack the Ripper and the Inquisitions. We have written together on and off over the last 24 years and actually love doing it. However our tastes are diverse enough that we can never decide on where to go with it and he really prefers metal and I industrial. So we work together and then use our work with others. I’m working on SLOWLY pulling together a project with my daughter Shymiera engineering some of it, a dear family friend, Merk also engineering and my “adopted” brother “Yetti” playing bass. More friends and family will be involved as we move forward. Goddess only knows how long this will take! I’m calling it Kjott Fest, Norwegian for Flesh Feast. I bought the home studio gear and need to repair the laptop so I can start recording. We figure a track a month until we figure out how we want to do this little monster. Tim has offered to help with guitar tracks and he and I are sharing lyrics we wrote together and stuff I wrote. So his metal band may very well do versions of the same songs we do. I hope so. I can’t wait to hear what they do and how ours turns out!

Would you ever consider releasing a published work featuring your tattoo designs?
Yeah, actually I would. I think what I would do with it though is make the lines really thick and release it as coloring book for kids and an actual art book, release it together so Moms and Dads could look at my work and their kids could do art while they read or looked at pictures. It would be a kind of a family art class. Including kids in everything is really important to me. I do it with mine all the time. One of my tattoos of a small fish, was designed by Sarah (our eight year old). I have four of them (what we call Sarahfish) she designed for a family friend and I opted to get one for each of my babies. Eventually I will have tattoos by each one of my kids. Jason has a design I already want to do next.

Can you shed some light on the design Jason has and how you intend to interpret it?
The one Jason is doing right now that is this roleplay type character. He’s kind of like if Pokeman were in the Hobbits Glenn. It’s this medieval, steam punk looking animal-man thing. He looks sort of like the kangaroo guys from Tank Girl had a Clint Eastwood style baby.

How do you anticipate your project with Jason is going to be received when it’s completed? And are there any additional projects you have in mind for the days to come that you want to mention here?
We are always well received. Jason is a really talented artist! I think he will be loved as an artist in this scene. The children tend to get a lot of love and appreciation for even trying to participate. Jason has my Father’s eye for detail and focuses more on fantasy art where Dad’s is realism. I have some illustrations I need to do for a friend’s midwifery book and I am going to be working on the painting of Blue Madonna. There will be a gothic coloring book coming out in the next several months for charity; St Jude’s and All Children’s are my charities for this project. The next poetry book will be others writing poetry and me doing the art. I also have a book I am working on of poetry that is longer and all it will be is poetry and a little art. I’m working on putting together DJ sets too. I have always wanted to do that. I was supposed to do it a year or so ago but the event was canceled. I am also going to be working on an industrial music project Kjott Fest. It means Flesh Feast in Norwegian. It’s about real life issues and historical information that should not be lost. I will cover everything from suicide, witch trials, child raping priests, to concentration camps. The music project has taken YEARS of planning and being back burned and I finally have things I need to make it start happening in the next couple of months.

Is there anything else you wanted to say about Kjott Fest? Do you imagine people attending will depart knowing a little more about the topics it’s meant to cover than when they went inside?

It’s an industrial music project with friends and family to entertain, educate, cheer up, make angry, it’s basically an intellectual and emotional roller coaster. Not all of it is intelligent; some is for the fun of being obnoxious! There are personal issues pertaining to live shows I have not hammered out yet. In the event of live shows or even just because they bought the music, or watched the videos, I know some will never understand and never look beyond “Oh hey those are weird lyrics”. A lot of fans however, do like the puzzles, like inquiring into what things mean or why they mattered to the lyricist. Hopefully I will touch a few people and inspire them to create, learn, read or write music or poetry or books of their own. THAT is always my goal. One should always inspire those who look at them at all, to aspire to greatness. There cannot be an unlimited supply of celebs and stars. We need janitors, waitresses, substitute teachers and customer service call center operators (I have been ALL of those).  Please remember that the waitress handing you your napkins and refilling your glass may be a waitress, but they are also possibly an author, a college student, an inventor or a musician. No one is less than anyone else, we all have our station and we all have our lives, but I want to inspire people to chase their dreams anyway, in an educated and passionate fashion through all of my projects. Just run with your passion with no expectation but to inspire. No one can promise you fame or fortune; no one can promise you will be a celebrity by dawn tomorrow. You CAN be promised that each day you can, as an individual, inspire someone else and if you do that, you ARE the greatness you seek.

Laura Pettelat on Facebook
Book Of Faeye on Facebook
Visual Poetry: A Collection of Tales on Facebook

-Dave Wolff

1 comment:

  1. Great Information, this is very useful.
    Thanks for posting.
    For additional information, if you need Professional Misty Fan Rental Service in Indonesia for event, party, concert, or something else, you can always try to contact us Arthur Teknik.

    If you in Indonesia, and want to know more about us, you can visit us here :