Each Saturday I will post an interview with one of the many talented people in our fandom. Do you have a suggestion on who I should interview? E-mail me at email@example.com.
Business name/what you make: For my art, I operate under Paula Mould Fine Art. My tag line is, rather cheekily: Painting People Painting Things. And that’s pretty much what I do. I focus on pop culture portraits in the things I paint. For commissions, I will paint just about anything.
I’m also the official painter for www.IMAlive.org. They’re a support network for people in crisis. My art is shown at Supernatural conventions throughout North America (and will be in Birmingham UK in May). The art is signed by the leads of Supernatural and then auctioned off to raise funds for IMAlive. Everything in the process, from materials to time to shipping costs is donated by me.
And finally, I'm a writer. Right now I'm focusing on non fiction work but I do have a history of writing sci fi short stories.
How did your business come to be, what inspired you to start? I was a programmer and designer for 23 years, and I was very good at it, but I always felt unfulfilled. Like I was denying a huge part of myself. I did go to art school, trained as an illustrator and graphic designer, so the art thing wasn’t new. Turning it into a business was new.
I’ve been painting with the intention of being a business since Sept of 2015. And it may surprise my followers to know that I actually didn’t paint portraits consistently well until that point. It’s funny what making a decision can do to an artist’s output.
What other fandoms are you involved in/make things for? I paint across the board - Star Wars, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Aliens, Doctor Who… Often times I’m inspired by commissions and want to stay in a fandom for a while. There are fandoms I’ve been wanting to paint and haven’t yet.
What do you enjoy most about creating your items? I enjoy inspiring other people. Whether it’s having someone email because they’ve started painting or creating again, or a note from someone saying my work brightens their day, this is what I’m here for. In the end, I’m not really creating art I’m creating feelings in people.
I’m a slightly different breed of artist because I don’t really paint for myself. I guess with my programmer background, I think more like a commercial artist. I’m used to creating things for other people. It lights my fire.
Tell us about the process of making your items, and of new ideas? Often times I’ll be watching a show or movie and a moment will just grab me hard. I’ll make note of it and go back to grab screenshots. For anything that’s not a commission, this is how I work. I figure if I’m feeling something other people are too.
From the get go, I work in Photoshop. Cropping the screenshot, adjusting colours and just playing with it. I make most of my major colour decisions there. I think this process helps me paint faster.
Then I pop the image on my ipad, which is hilariously covered in paint, and work on the canvas. I do make more colour choices at this stage, adding teals or whatever colours seem to work, but if a painting comes from Photoshop predominantly orange it tends to stay predominantly orange.
I love painting with actual paint. Using materials that are tangible. As much as I can make photoshop sing, I’m definitely well rooted in traditional art.
What can people look forward to as for new work? I’m doing a lot of work on Patreon. A platform that supports creatives. So people who subscribe can get things like some of my writing, a page from my sketchbook, prints of the month or paintings of the month.
It’s a lot of fun and I do videos from my studio. Things I don’t share elsewhere. You can find me there at www.Patreon.com/PaulaMould
I’m also working on a project called Finding Inclusivity (www.FindingInclusivity.com) I’ve interviewed over 100 women, gotten their stories and am about to start painting their portraits. The whole thing will end up in a book assuming my crowdfunding goes well.
I was inspired by the fact that women are nothing but tropes in pop culture. Our stories don’t matter unless they further the mens’ stories. We’re objects to obtain or objects to go around. In reality, we are so much more than that.
And I’m just wrapping up my first book, Midlife Muthafukkah. It’s about having the best midlife crisis possible. I’m still working on my own midlife crisis and i won’t stop until I get my muscle car or bad ass bike. These things are requirements, or so I’ve been told.
What conventions, if any, will you be selling at? I think I’m done with conventions at this point. I spent a year and a half doing them all over the place. They’re hard work, requiring prep beforehand and recovery afterwards. And while I LOVED meeting so many people, the price was just too high for me.
That could change. Never say never. But at this moment I have no plans to do any more cons. It’s easy enough to find me online at my site www.PaulaMould.com
Which one of your items means the most to you? Oh that’s easy, it’s HELL. My painting from Supernatural’s season 11. I love the relationship between the brothers and I think this captured it in a way I’m incredibly happy with. I’ll never sell it.
Where can people purchase your work on-line? www.PaulaMould.com or subscribe and get art in the mail monthly at www.Patreon.com/PaulaMould
Matt - Fanboy30
Business name/what you make: Fanboy30 - I’m a T-shirt designer.
How did your business come to be, what inspired you to start? I’m originally a fine artist, which progressed to studying Design: Photography at university. Both of my sisters are artistic, something I think we inherited from my Mum who loved to draw. I never really thought I could make a living with my art so as many people often do, so I just left it as a hobby. The push I needed was when I was laid off from a retail job and instead of jumping straight back into another similar line of work I decided to give T-shirt design a try. I thought I’d be back in retail within a month but here I am, a freelance artist six years later.
What other fandoms are you involved in/make things for? I’d say that Supernatural is clearly the largest one I’m actively involved in but my designs stretch across a wide area of fandoms, anything from superheroes (Spiderman, Avengers) TV shows (Ripper Street, Walking Dead, Constantine) Movies (Alien, Blade Runner, Jurassic Park) Anime (Cowboy Bebop, Battle of the Planets) and Video games (Witcher, Pokemon).
What do you enjoy most about creating your items? For me the best part is seeing how people respond to my artwork, the strangest feeling is going to a convention and seeing people wearing your work. The even weirder thing is when they come up to you and know who you are, something I wasn’t prepared for when attending VanCon, I came face to face with a sea of my designs. It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve had as an artist.
Tell us about the process of making your items, and of new ideas? The most important thing for me is to carry a small sketchbook wherever I go. I jot down all my ideas and strange doodles because you never know what might emerge from them. If I think I have something strong enough to continue I will scan that into illustrator and start laying down the lines in vector. I don’t use a drawing tablet so all my work is done with mouse clicks. Laying down points and adjusting the lines between them, crazy I know!
What can people look forward to as for new work? My latest project has been an exciting adventure with the actor David Haydn-Jones better know as Mr. Ketch from Supernatural. David had purchased my Ketch Kitty shirt last year and since then has been very supportive of my work and many other creatives via social media. He had some ideas in mind to do a fan shirt and wanted me onboard. After a number of conversations he laid down the design for ‘Ketchacabra’ which came to life from the SPN blooper reel where Jensen and Jared make fun of how David pronounces Chupacabra.
After an initial sketch by David was done I brought my own ideas to the project and over the space of a few weeks (and a lot of laughs) we produced a clever, funny and damn stylish shirt design. So far its been extremely popular and I doubt this is the last time you’ll see us team up. You can find the design exclusively at my Redbubble store.
What conventions, if any, will you be selling at? I have yet to sell my work at a convention, its something I have wanted to do for a long time but finding the capital to start and storage for stock is an issue. The other side of things is that I’m also a cosplayer and I don’t think I could give up 2/3 days of enjoying a con to sit in a booth hah!
Which one of your items means the most to you? Although it may not be what I class as my best piece of work by far, the design that means the most is my ‘Hello Idjits’ (Bobby Singer Kitty). The reason for this is because Jim Beaver liked it so much he purchased a couple and has worn them to cons. He messaged me to say how he loved it and had grabbed a couple shirts, the sceptic in me just thought it was a fan page and was polite and thanked him haha! Months later he gets on stage in my design and my jaw dropped! Since then he has purchased at least 4 more designs and I had the pleasure of giving him a new shirt in person at Asylum 16 in the UK.
After his support many other cast members have worn their kitties and other designs including Rob Benedict, Kim Rhodes, Samantha Smith, Timothy Omundson and Chad Lindberg. I’m humble to everyone who supports my art, its because of them that I am still doing what I love.
Where can people purchase your work on-line?
You can find my work at these stores:
Redbubble - https://www.redbubble.com/people/fanboy30
Teepublic - https://www.teepublic.com/user/matthewparsons
Neatoshop - http://www.neatoshop.com/artist/Matt-Parsons
Cloud City 7 - https://cloudcity7.com/collections/fanboy30
Imaginative Ink - http://www.imaginativeink.co.uk/store/profile/Fanboy30/
You can also follow me on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Fanboy30/
Elmo -- Lapak Baby67
Business name/what you make: My friend (@athenia89) and i owned a store at RedBubble and Society6 called Lapak Baby67, Lapak is ‘selling booth’ in Indonesian, we sell SPN fanarts and sometimes Marvel (Stucky). I do the arts and she does the fancy writing. We also take commissions.
How did your business come to be, what inspired you to start? We started the store because we reckon we need money to go to JIBCON lol. Well, basically we need extra money for fandom stuffs.
I’ve been doing drawings and illustrations since i was at uni, i’m majoring in Visual Communications. I did some portraits drawings, and then i stopped for an unknown reason.
Last year, i had a chance to go to JIBCON. I wanted to give the boys a present, and something for them to sign on. Money was tight, so i decided to draw portraits of them for auto, and people they love for gifts. I drew West and Maison for Misha, JJ applying make up to her Dad for Jensen, their wedding photo for Jared, Macklin for Matt, Kings of Con for Rob, and Jedi!Ketch for DHJ (which he gave a shout out during his panel OMG!).
And i haven’t stopped drawing SPN fanarts ever since, i also made an Inktober last year, my theme was TFW in Indonesia, they were under the hashtag #TFWIndo.
What other fandoms are you involved in/make things for? Marvel, although currently it’s still Sebastian Stan-orientedz
What do you enjoy most about creating your items? I enjoy the process, i’m a bit old school, so when i do a drawing, i enjoy the pencil on paper process, for both portrait and digital. It will take extra time, but i usually do the sketch on paper first, then i scan it. Recently, i finally decided to do something i’m not good at ... colouring. The colour picking and blending process is also fun.
Tell us about the process of making your items, and of new ideas? For portrait, i usually found a photo (usually Misha) that i really like and decided to draw it. I usually play around on the shadows and hair mostly. One of my favourite portrait is of Omundson. His beard is just love.
For digital, i make the sketch with pencil on paper, then i transfer it to Clip Studio Paint. I start with the outline then fill. B+W or colour.
For new ideas sometimes it just came, out of nowhere. I usually note it down, just so i won’t forget, even though sometimes i can create something that’s completely off the list instead.
What can people look forward to as for new work? I’m currently working on a Casifer fanart, and a Winter Soldier!Cas mash-up. Might take a while to finish tho XD
What conventions, if any, will you be selling at? Since i’m out of US, i have no plan on selling my items at cons so far X)
Which one of your items means the most to you? The ones that had J2M and Rob’s auto from JIB8.
Where can people purchase your work on-line? https://society6.com/lapak-baby67https://www.redbubble.com/people/lapak-baby6
Elizabeth Evans --
Little Pop Workshop
What do you make: Custom Funko Pops
How did your business come to be, what inspired you to start? It all started with my Little Castiel blog where I took my Castiel Funko on adventures and also did sketches with him, Sam and Dean and other Funkos in my collection. I started building my Funko collection, but I wanted more Supernatural characters in the Little Cas universe. I had seen some customs on Tumblr and thought it would be an interesting thing to try. So I ordered some parts from Amazon and bought some supplies from WalMart and sat in my living room on a Saturday and six hours later, I had my Little Gabriel. I loved the process and challenge of painting him and putting him together, so I kept going, kept making new characters like Chuck and Claire and then I started making them for other fandoms. It wasn’t until 2015 when someone on Tumblr asked if I would ever sell my customs that I even thought about it, and it wasn’t until October of that year that I would open the shop. I was lucky in that I opened near the holidays and I received my first commission within a couple weeks of being open and that commission to this day is still one of my favorites.
What other fandoms are you involved in/make things for? I am involved in a few other fandoms, but not nearly to the extent of Supernatural. I am an Earper, a Browncoat, a Whovian, and I love the Mike Schur comedies Brooklyn 99, The Office, Parks and Recreation and The Good Place. I’m a huge Marvel fan. I tend to make Pops for characters that grab my attention and inspire me. I make Pops for fandoms and properties I’m not familiar with as well on request.
What do you enjoy most about creating your items? I love the creative process of designing and making new prototypes. It’s always fun to problem solve and figure out how to sand or sculpt or manipulate the original base figure into the new character. It can be frustrating at times, but I always try to learn something new with each figure to build my skills. Take ASL Eileen Leahy for example. With her, I had to learn how to manipulate and work with the arms to get them to bend at the elbow properly cause simply bending the plastic isn’t enough as the vinyl has a kind of muscle memory. But I try to make each figure test me in some way, whether it’s a new tool, or a new technique or skill.
Tell us about the process of making your items, and of new ideas? It starts with inspiration. A character will grab my attention and I just start imagining them in Pop form. I swear these days I dream in Pops. I start with the character and then work with base figures that are as close to what I want the character to look like as possible. Starting with a good base saves you a lot of time and pain later. Then it’s a matter of sanding or paint or body part swapping or posing. A single Pop could be made from one base or could be made from any number of different bases, depending on the pose or accessories needed.
What can people look forward to as for new work? I will be continuing my Wayward Wonder Women series, adding more inspiring women to the pantheon. I will also be creating new characters as the Supernatural season progresses, and Sister Jo (Danneel Ackles) is up on deck next. I’m also hoping to expand and do more characters from other properties like Wynonna Earp and The Good Place. I also just try to stay open to inspiration as much as I can because when I do, sometimes I surprise even myself.
What conventions, if any, will you be selling at? This year I’m happy to announce I’ll be selling at my first full-weekend con. I’ll have a table in the Artist Alley at Comicpalooza, my hometown con and one I’ve been attending for five years now. I have a lot of wonderful memories associated with Comicpalooza and I’m very excited for the opportunity to make my Pops available to the guests. Comicpalooza will take place during Memorial Day weekend in May at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. I’m working on con-exclusive Pops and other merchandise for the event.
Which one of your items means the most to you? My Gabriel means the most to me. He was the first Pop I ever made and is one of my favorite characters on Supernatural, and I adore Richard Speight Jr. I will always treasure Gabriel because he started me on this journey and it’s brought me so many memories and friends and has given me a lot of unique opportunities to give back to the world around me and to the family that has given me so much love and support over the last five years.
Where can people purchase your work on-line?Currently I am on Etsy with plans to shift later to my website. My Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/littlepopworkshop) is open on the first of the month every month (unless otherwise stated) at noon central standard time, since I’m based in Texas. When I’m not open for business, anyone wanting to know more about me and my shop, including pricing information and shipping, can go to my website (www.littlepopworkshop.com).
Andrea Hurtt -- Atomic Bombshells
What do you make? Known for my emotional support pillows.
How did your business come to be, what inspired you to start? I have been a fan of Supernatural since day one. Before I started vending at the SPN cons, I was a clothing designer. I had my own store, my won clothing line, and I had own Fashion Week twice for my designs. I made a Castiel pillow for daughter, and enjoyed making it so much, I made a few more. I took them to Phoniex Comic Con. Where I sold out. While having dinner with a cast member from SPN, she mentioned the Creation SPN cons and how I needed to try one. So Valentines weekend of 2016 i went to my first con. I only had 20 pillows with me, and some of my clothes. When the con was over, it had made such an inpact on me I immediately booked the next show. One month later I had closed my store and would only be doing SPN cons from then on.
What other fandoms are you involved in/make things for? Right now I am mostly SPN. I sometimes will make a character from another fandom for a fan, but I spend most of my time wrapped up in SPN.
What do you enjoy most about creating your items? It’s kinda funny. But in the beginning they were just Character Pillows. But I was soon told by cast and fans that the pillows were helping people. Helping them with their anxiety, their depression, and so many more things. Having something soft, something shaped perfectly for snuggling, an item that reminded them of something so important in their lives, means so much to me. As someone who has friends and family that have mental struggles, I know the impact something like that can do. What i enjoy most, is seeing people snuggle their pillows and have a good time with their new found family!
Tell us about the process of making your items, and of new ideas? I spend (not exaggerating) about 70 hours a week hand crafting these pillows. I make one character at a time, so I’ll spend two days making Dean, then two days making Sam, etc. I currently have 15 different characters availible, with more to come! Up next is Jack, Ketch, and Jody and Donna!
What can people look forward to as for new work? Although I sell other odds and ends at my table, I am most known for the Emotional Support Pillows. I will be introducing one new character each month through the year! Some will be Limited Editions though!
What conventions, if any, will you be selling at? You can find me at almost all of the Creation Ent. Supernatural cons! I am leaving August 2018 to spend a year in Prague with my husband who is deployed there with the US Army, but because of an amazing group of women, my ES Pillows will still be at the cons! I’ll be making them with love, in Europe, shipping them to one of the gals, and the team will sell them at the SPN cons until I return!
Which one of your items means the most to you? I am a Dean girl, through and through, yet I sleep with a Sammy pillow. But Castiel means the most to me, as a portion of his pillow sales goes to charity!
Where can people purchase your work on-line? I have a Facebook page where you can see pictures, order pillows (including some of the Limited Edition ones!), and share your pictures and stories! Check it out! Www.facebook.com/SPN-AtomicBombshells.