Etsy Crush of the Week: Word To Your Unicorn

word to your unicornI met Leslie of Word to Your Unicorn like everyone else meets most people nowadays, on the internet. We instantly  became blogging buddies and then turned into internet friends (Facebook makes everything official). In October our geek girl worlds collided when I met her IRL at NYCC! Other than being her friend I’m a big fan of her blog, designs and overall kawaiiness. I was thrilled to hear that she opened an Etsy shop featuring stickers and buttons that are, to quote one of her items, “Whimsical as f*ck”! Find out more about Lelsie and her wonderful world of unicorns, cupcakes and geekery.

jamila and leslie

Pink Dalek Leslie and I at New York Comic Con 2012!

Promo code for 50% from Word to Your Unicorn Etsy Shop: girlgonegeek50

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

leslieLeslie: I’m a geek girl, kawaii fanatic, & costumed fancy pants living in Northeastern PA with a blogging obsession. I do design & marketing by day and blogging (darlingstewie.com) & web design by night. I also design super kawaii whimsical geeky such as stickers, pins, & other fun print items at my etsy store, Word to your unicorn. I apparently do too much.

How long have you been designing? 

Leslie: I started doing web design geocities style at the age of 13. This, fueled by a fire of Mountain Dew and Pokemon, led me to become this funky geek girl, cosplayer, and asian adorable kawaii mish mash that I am.

What made you decide to start your blog Darling Stewie, and what is it about?

Leslie: I was obsessed with the internet but I felt like… for all the time I was spending on it – I had nothing. I thought a blog could be a showcase of the things I create (web sites, adorable stickers, cute outfits, costumes) and the things I find (kawaii jewelry, geeky things, memes, cartoons, silliness) but showcased in a cool professionally silly way. I also do freelance web/graphic design so I was hoping to showcase my portfolio to get some more business.

What’s Word To Your Unicorn’s origin story?

Leslie: I felt like I could make cool things people might want to buy … so I started designing stickers. Inspired by the adorable and the geeky, I found myself leaning towards sugary sweet designs like cupcakes, mixed with geeky Doctor Who and Ninja Turtles nonsense. I plan to make a lot more designs and spawn them into notecards, prints, maybe even tshirts or something. I’m trying to see what the demand is and go from there.

Do you have any plans for future designs? Doctor Who Stationery Set - 4 Notecards

Leslie: I plan to design a Powerpuff Girls / cat mash up and probably some Adventure Time moustaches.

What are you a fangirl for?

Leslie: Hardcore fangirl for Harry Potter, Firefly, Game of Thrones, Sailor Moon, Star Wars, anything Tim Burton, Bobs Burgers and anything Loren Bouchard.

The fourth doctor had the scarf, the eleventh doctor has the bow tie. What would your signature clothing item be if you were the twelfth doctor?

Leslie: A giant pink bow on the top of my head. God I hope the twelth doctor is a woman. How epic would that be??

Which fictional character is your fashion icon?

Leslie: I love Luna Lovegood’s funky thrift store style. I rock River Tam on occasion… I can be seen in a flowered dress and combat boots. Oh and sometimes a mix between Lydia from Beetlejuice’s gothy style and Strawberry Shortcake fluffy cute babydoll dresses. Random, ain’t it?

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?

Animal Crossing, Harry Potter, Amelie and LOST for irony’s sake.

Where do you live on the internet?

The Bard goes to Brooklyn: Interview with Ronald Wimberly

Prince of Cats, written and illustrated by the talented Ronald Wimberly, is a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet told from Tybalt’s POV that takes place in a samurai-­­­infused Brooklyn during the 1980s. I really shouldn’t have to say anything else to convince you to check this out, but I will, because I can’t seem to stop talking about this graphic novel.

Shakespeare adaptations come a dime a dozen. But Prince of Cats turned me into a devoted fan before I laid eyes on the first panel. (And this is coming from a girl who plans to name one of her future cats Shakespeare.) The opening couplet is part Shakespeare, part Biggie with a dash of Langston Hughes. It’s one of those combinations you never imagined would work so well until it was right in front of you.   

I go around preaching the gospel of PoC to anyone and everyone who will listen. It’s that good. However, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered why I had such an affinity for this story. That’s when I realized that it impacted me on multiple levels. Most of my favorite books, shows, films, etc. only affect me on one, maybe two, levels (yes even Doctor Who). I fall in love either visually, sonically, emotionally or intellectually. It is rare that something affects me on more than two levels. Prince of Cats did.

Visually

I have yet to come across an artistic style with the same energy as Wimberly’s. His balloonless panels explain more than most talk bubbles. The atmosphere is illustrated so vividly that you can practically turn the page and smell the seawater from Coney Island or the rusty scent of the blood dripping off Tybalt’s katana.

Sonically 

Wimberly’s rhythmic illustrations make Prince of Cats look and feel like a song. You can hear the roar of subway car rolling by as your eyes travel across the page. The mashup of the original Shakespeare text and street talk (all written in iambic pentameter) make it sound as if you’re right in the middle of an Elizabethan hip-hop mixtape.

Emotionally

There’s a very special place in my heart for talented black writers and artists, and another place in my heart for fictional characters of color. So immediately, Prince of Cats is occupying quite a bit space. On another emotional level, I felt connected to these characters very quickly which doesn’t happen often for me. Not to mention my mixed feelings about the slightly incestuous relationship between Juliet and Tybalt. Their relationship in PoC reminded me of when I fought with myself for liking Humbert Humbert (Lolita) as a character. Now you know that’s good writing!

Intellectually

When I read a good book, it’s usually left dog-eared and covered in illegible markings and neon highlighter. Or as I like to call it, loved. Prince of Cats is far too beautiful for me to graffiti, but mentally I was tagging it up like the side of a train car. My highlighter finger itched when I would read lines like, “That wooden skeleton doth rattle my nerve. The night is warm, the sky is clear, the spring breeze it whispers Summer’s name. Let’s ride the wheel, eavesdrop on season’s conversation and gaze on Astroworld from above.” Prince of Cats injected new life and a fresh perspective into an old tale. You’re guaranteed to love it, verily.

Interview with Ronald Wimberly

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

Ronald Wimberly: I’m born in DC and raised in DC and Maryland.

I first came to Brooklyn in 97 and, though I’ve ventured far and wide, I always find myself back here.

I got into comics when I was a teenager. First character I remember liking was Grendel, Hunter Rose…remember thinking he should’ve beaten Batman.

What inspired you to create your graphic novel, Prince of Cats

RW: “My greatest inspiration is my empty stomach.”, he lied to the interviewer.

You retold, or rather, remixed Romeo and Juliet, from Tybalt’s point of view. Was there a reason behind that?

RW: …my inspiration…several things.

I’m often interested in supporting characters or characters that spend a lot of time off screen. The idea that they are the center of a story makes me ask questions.

Mercutio’s description of Tybalt always piqued my imagination. There’s a whole story in that monologue.

Also, when I was a kid, reading Romeo and Juliet, I thought it was the worst of Shakespeare’s work. My young ego preferred Hamlet to Romeo as a reflection or the lurid spectacles of a Coriolanus, Titus or Macbeth; however, when I got a little older, I began to look back and see myself and kids I knew in the child cast of Romeo and Juliet, children with passion that could destroy themselves and each other.. (The language also endeared me to the work long after the first time I read it as a kid; it’s what stuck with me).

Juliet’s reaction to Tybalt and his death also attracted me. It was a strange relationship, and damn if she didn’t get over his death quickly. Hehe

If you could retell another piece of classic literature, with a Wimberly twist of course, which would it be and why? 

RW: I would and I will, but it may be a while.

I’ve played with Theseus for years… Did a Perseus strip too back in the day.

…there are more but I don’t like to tip my hand so soon.

In the end we’re all telling these classics over and over…as were they. After all, Shakespeare wasn’t even the first to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet, nor the second.

What’s your writing and illustrating process like? Do you listen to music, go through several drafts, etc.? 

RW: My process is still taking shape. I’m most likely writing in silence when I’m… with white noise while breaking down…jazz or audiobooks while I ink and color.

…The final IS a draft.

I read you’re also an animator for Black Dynamite. Can you tell us about that? 

RW: I didn’t animate in the truest sense, but I was a part of the animation production team. I was a character designer and assisted the art team with their duties. I worked with Chase Conley and Lesean Thomas to create and maintain the look of the show. I even got to do some layout.

What was the transition process like from illustration to animation?

RW: Fortunately for me, the look of the show was not too far from one of my established styles. Even then, the volume of work made it quite formidable. Lucky for me I was surrounded by capable talent at titmouse and an uplifting producer, Carl Jones.

Are there any future projects that you’re working on that you can tell us about?

RW: I’ve got several things in the works, but for now I can only mention my month long retrospective at Superchief Gallery in Williamsburg on the sixth of November. It will be a retrospective of my work as well as a peek at new series I’m on which I’m working.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers, animators and illustrators? 

RW:  Work hard/smart/often. Observe. The value of the answers are often in the process of finding them yourself.

What are some of your current obsessions? 

RW: Life… My art… Food… People.

If you were to have an author and artist create a graphic novel based on your life, who would they be? What would the graphic novel be called?  

RW:  This question is self indulgent, but I’ll indulge myself. 
Jose Munoz words by Murakami Ryu. Murakami Ryu could come up with a title.

Ronald Wimberly’s work:

Check out Ronald Wimberly on the web:

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway: NH Vinyls

Love my prints!

Nick’s Etsy shop NH Vynals is a great example of how less can be more. I have two of his minimalistic prints and a hand painted vinyl piece and they are all great quality. Read more about Nick, his shop and how to win a print!

Interview with Nick of NH Vinyls Etsy Shop:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Nick: My name is Nick, and ever since I was little I have always been to cars and the art world. The one thing I aspire to in life is to be happy, as I believe everything falls in place when your happy. When I am working on cars or drawing new designs, I feel happy, and doing something you love is the best feeling in the world.

Where do you get the inspiration for all of your designs?

Nick: Recently I have been watching a lot of old cartoons on Netflix. I think that’s how I was first inspired to start my poster art collection. It reminded of the days of my younger years where the most important thing was Saturday morning cartoons.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Nick: At the moment I have become obsessed with Minimalist Art. But I see myself adding more and more detail to my new collections. So I guess it depends on how I wake up that morning.

If you were a mutant, what would your name and power be? 

Nick: I would have to be Ironed Claws or something like that. It would be a mix of Iron Man and Wolverine. I love the science and technology behind the Iron Man suits, and Wolverine is just unstoppable practically. With self-healing and a iron suit, you can’t go wrong.

If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? 

  • Video Game: Grand Theft Auto
  • Comic Book: Iron Man Collection
  • Movie: Transformers, Avengers, Fast and the Furious and this list could go on forever =)
  • TV: The bigger the better
  • And a sofa of course.

Where can we find you on the?

Three (3) Lucky Readers will win a poster from NH Vinyls!

  • 1. Shout out your favorite print from NH Vinyl’s Etsy Shop in the comments section below
  • 2. Like Facebook.com/pages/NH-Vinyls/192519464134463 (if applicable)
  • 3. Follow @NHVinyls (if applicable)
  • * Contest ends Wednesday, Oct. 10th

Doctor Who Street Art

I’ve always had a love and appreciate for street art and artists whether its Banksy, Shepard Fairey or Space Invader. To me, street art is made specifically for the people. Not just art snobs or critics, but the every day person. Which, in my eyes, gives it more authenticity. Now of course I have a deep love for museums and all types of art whether they are high or low brow. But street art is one of my favorites because it can be made by anybody for everybody.

You all are probably aware that Doctor Who is my favorite thing in all of time and space. So it should come to no surprise how much I adore Doctor Who street art. One big difference between me and the show is if I saw “Bad Wolf” spray painted on the side of a building I’d be excited rather than terrified.

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[Sources: vip223 Flickr babelglyph Flickr maillardet Flickr Buzzfeed Tumblr anthonyturducken Flickr cgs327 Flickr]

Interview with Cosplay Photographer Darrell of BGZ Studios

BGZ Studios- X-Men Dark Phoenix Cosplay

Interview with Sci-fi & Fantasy photographer Darrell of BGZ Studios

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Darrell: My name is Darrell and I currently live in the Atlanta area. I photograph awesome cosplay and costumes from all over the country.. i absolutely love the community and love comics and anime.

How long have you been a photographer?

Darrell: I have been using film since the High School ages (I am 28 now) – I have been photographing professionally for about 7 years – I own numerous contracts with agencies and catalogs.

What made you want to focus on shooting sci-fi and fantasy projects?

Darrell: I have been a nerd my whole life.  Comics and being a gamer used to NOT be the cool thing to do when I was in school.. and now suddenly it is.. shows you my luck..

Any plans for future sf/f projects?

Darrell: I have a couple up my sleeve and on paper for planning. This weekend I will be shooting a Psylocke in a Matrix replica Dojo.. excited about that. I also have some plans for another big x-men shoot :)

If you were on a deserted island what would video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring?

Darrell:  I wouldn’t bring any of that.. I’d bring a camera and lots of memory cards :).. because a deserted island has to have some epic places to photograph!

Where can we find you in the web?

Darrell: I am mostly active on my fanpage – http://www.facebook.com/bgzstudios – You can also follow me on twitter @BGZ_Studios

BGZ Studios- X-Men Dark Phoenix Cosplay

BGZ Studios- X-Men Emma Frost

BGZ Studios- X-Men Rogue

BGZ Studios- X-Men Psylocke Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Scarlet Witch Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Catwoman Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Batman and Catwoman

BGZ Studios- Jem the Hologram

BGZ Studios- Final Fantasy X-2 Berserkers

BGZ Studios- Odin Sphere, Griselda Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Mass Effect

BGZ Studios- Mass Effect 3, Tali Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Trinity Blood Cosplay

BGZ Studios- Princess Mononoke

BGZ Studios- Lucy from Elfen Lied

BGZ Studios- Eternal Sailor Moon

BGZ Studios- Eternal Sailor Moon

BGZ Studios- Hentalia, Axis Powers Costume Shoot

BGZ Studios- Hentalia, Axis Powers Costume Shoot

Fan Art: An Explosion Of Creativity

“Humans have a need to share information and ideas: anything we like, anything that’s important to us, we have to let people know about it.” – Jonah Block

When geeks love, we love hard, and we want to share our love for our favorite fandoms in any way possible. One of those ways is fan art.

Fan art is nothing new, but thanks to the internet we have unlimited access to beautiful renditions of our favorite obsessions. Whether it’s a mashup, realism, minimalism; just give us a search bar and we’ll find some truly amazing fan art by talented artists. Because of the fandoms and fan art popularity, we can do more than just have the artwork as our computer wallpaper; you can buy fan art on clothing and other items through sites like Teefury, Redbubble, Threadless (to name a few).

Off Book is a web series from PBS that explores leading art and the artists that make it and the fans that share it online.

The fan art community is one of the most creative and active online. Taking pop culture stories and icons as its starting point, the fan community extends those characters into new adventures, unexpected relationships, bizarre remixes, and even as the source material for beautiful art. Limited only by the imagination of the artist, the fan art world is full of surprises and brilliance.

This Off Book episode dives deeper into a world most of us are already immersed in and gives some interesting insight to the online world of fan art. It features interviews from artists like Fred Seibert from Adventure Time, Sam SprattAdam JureskoJonah Block who I’ve featured on my blog and more.

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway- ‘Harshness’ Geek Art Posters

Anthropologist in the house! Aside from being an anthropologist, Nicholas also creates some fun fan art to feed our hungry geek bellies. With art honoring such fandoms such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter (to name a few), I’m crushing pretty hard on his Etsy shop. Get to know Nicholas and enter the giveaway, details below!

Girl Gone Geek Interview with Nicholas from the Harshness Etsy Shop:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Nicholas: I am an anthropologist that has a fancy for graphic design.

What is Harshness origin story?

Nicholas:  A couple of years ago I was making a dog book with a canine-centric revision of human history just for fun.  It was purely made out of magazine collage and took me a long time to do.   A lot of people loved it so I started a tumblr and put them all on there.  I also started making them on photoshop and illustrator for the blog.  That led into selling some of them as prints on Etsy.

How would you describe your artistic style?

Nicholas: I am not quite sure how to describe it.  I don’t feel I have found a certain style that I would call me.  I like to try different stuff and would hope that shows in the different series I do.

Where do you get the inspiration for all of your designs?

Nicholas: I do a lot of movie and sci-fi related stuff.  So I would say from those I pull a lot of inspiration.

What fandoms do you want to design for next?

Nicholas: I just did some Game of Thrones posters recently.  I have been loving that series.

Favorite artists?

Nicholas: Evan Hecox and Marc Mckee.

What are some of your current obsessions?

Nicholas: I have been fishing a lot and it’s spring in Portland so trying to skateboard more while the weather permits.

If you were a mutant what would your name and power be?

Nicholas: Mark Zuckerberg and the power to control the internet.

Where can we find you in the web?

Nicholas: Etsy Society6 Facebook Tumblr and I am on Instagram under the name Harshness if anybody wants to see my daily life things.

Harshness Poster Giveaway with 2 winners!

  •  –  Like Harshness on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/JTFWZR)
  •  –  Either comment on this blog post or like and comment on the Facebook post. That’s it!
  • –  Two lucky winners will get one 11×17 poster from Harshness Etsy Shop
  • –  The winners will be chosen by random on Monday May 21st