The Day I Met Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman and Jamila Girl Gone Geek- Ocean Tour

Neil Gaiman is one of my top three Geek Gods. (Grant Morrison and Hayao Miyazaki complete the Trinity.) What sets him apart from others is that his work affects me on a much higher level. Just to give you some context of the experience I am about to retell, Neil Gaiman has changed my life in a very real and personal way, as well has how I see the world and my place in it.

I met Gaiman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the reading and signing of his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. New York wasn’t New York that night. Rather than the usual, “Mind your business and I’ll mind mine.” mentality, everyone was happy and friendly. Strangers were becoming friends. It was beautiful.

We sit down and anxiously wait for him to get on stage and you can practically hear the low buzz of everyone’s excitement in the building. Then, Neil Gaiman comes on stage and you exhale not even realizing that you were holding your breath. You begin to clap, hoot and holler and make sure he knows just how happy you are to be in his presence. The cheers go on for a while. Some people stand. He knows that we’re happy. He knows that you’re happy. And he’s smiling back at us.

Neil Gaiman The Ocean at the End of the Lane and American GodsAnd when, he speaks… oh when he speaks! It’s that voice you love. That voice that always makes you smile because it belongs to one of your favorite people in the world. His English-accented voice is layered with so much genuine kindness and warmth that it gives you goosebumps. Then the tunnel vision begins because all of your energy is focused on this one man on stage. It’s surreal. As he begins to read from his new book and it feels like a personal moment, despite being surrounded by 2,000 people.

He finishes the chapter and you are inspired. He makes you want to create. No, he makes you feel like you can create. He’s a master weaver of words, worlds and myths. The same worlds you fall in love with over and over again. There’s something magical about him. He’s not quiet like everyone else. Well, they say you are what you eat, maybe you are what you write as well.

Now you enter the signing room and all sorts of emotions overwhelm you. You are only a few people away from meeting him and you begin to panic and try to figure out what to say to this person you admire so much. Everything your brain comes up with doesn’t seem good enough. It’s as if you’re reenacting that cliché movie scene where you’re talking to yourself in a mirror.

Then it’s your turn and without thinking you tell him that it’s an honor to meet him. It’s an obvious statement, but you’re okay with that because it’s simple, yet true. He looks at you in the eyes like he cares, and you feel that he does. He thanks you and tells you that he likes your Doctor Who shirt and your smile widens, because you haven’t stopped smiling since you walked in the building. More words escape your mouth, but you’re too happy to really care if they make any sense.

Then it’s over. Your encounter was just a few brief seconds, but it was long enough to create a memory you’ll never forget. As you make your way home and the real world slowly creeps back into your senses, you replay the night over and over again in your mind. Just like you reread his stories over and over.

You’ll always have his stories and you’ll always have that moment.

Neil Gaiman 5- Ocean Tour Neil Gaiman 4- Ocean Tour Neil Gaiman 3- Ocean Tour Neil Gaiman 1- Ocean Tour Neil Gaiman and Jamila Girl Gone Geek- Ocean Tour Neil Gaiman The Ocean at the End of the Lane and American Gods Neil Gaiman The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Ocean Tour

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette- Matt’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Smaug Tattoo

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Matt Naragon, and I have been geeky as long as I can remember. I am an avid game player, a Mac enthusiast, a dnd lover, and a husband of an equally geeky wife.

What is your geeky tattoo of and why did you get it?

The tattoo is of hobbit origin, and shows us part of the famous map and an image of Smaug lurking around the side. I have always loved Tolkien, and the tattoo just naturally suits me. The tattoo was created by artist Brooks Blanton from Wildman’s Tattoo in Ft Wayne, IN. He did a fantastic job bringing this tattoo to life, and remains one of the most amazing portrait tattooists I have ever seen.

Any plans for future tattoos?

Future plans for the tattoo are to bring Gollum into the mix on the other side of the map, along with slowly migrating down to the stomach with more tasteful Tolkien art.

Are you a fan of anything else in the fantasy genre? If so, what? 

I am a big fan of gaming, especially Assassins Creed as of late. I also love Star Wars and things associated with it. Oh, and zombies.

If you were going on an adventure, which 5 Tolkien characters would you take with you?

I would definitely take Boromir as my first pick. Elrond would be useful, and young Bilbo would come as well. It would be a toss up between Fili or Kili for fourth spot, and I could have no other than Gandalf taking up the rear (to always save the day).

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

I would bring along Skyrim for gaming, as it would last me the longest. The Hobbit would be book of choice, and probably movie of choice as well. The TV show would be Rules of Engagement, I’ve been watching that sitcom lately on Netflix and love it.

Where can we find you on the internet?

I am not on the Internet in force much, but you can usually find me on Facebook or Deviant Art. If not there, lately I have been going crazy planning out the perfect Connor AC3 cosplay outfit.

If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at jamila(a@)girlgonegeekblog(.)com. 

Etsy Crush of the Week: Warp Zone Prints Geeky Cookie Cutters

warp zone prints

Interview with Athey Moravetz of WarpZone Prints

WarpZone- Mario 1-Up Mushroom CookieCan you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
Athey: I’m 30, married, and have two kids, age six and three. I live in Central Oregon, where I’ve been for the last nine years. I moved here from Seattle, where I went to college. For eight years, I worked in the video games industry as a production artist. My husband also works in the video games industry, and for the same studio I did. When you’ve got two people, both working full-time for a game studio with yearly crunch hours, it can make things overly complicated, and after a series of events, I ended up at home instead.

What inspired you to a career in 3D art?
Athey: Long long… long, ago, when I was in middle school, a friend of mind got me a pirated copy of 3D Studio for DOS, that his friend’s father had brought back from a business trip to China. This was long before the days of bit torrent and easy software pirating – hah – so this was a huge deal. Half the people I knew didn’t even have a computer at home.

So, I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it anyway. Looking back, I know I did everything wrong, but it was a learning-blind self-taught sort of experiment. To put things into perspective a bit – There was no Undo option in this program. There was no shaded view, only wireframes, and there was no back face culling. You saved every thing you did, just in case something went wrong, but if you didn’t realize you’d messed up until sometime later, you’d probably already saved over any opportunity to back up before the mistake because the hard disk was so small that you couldn’t afford saving even a half-dozen iterations of your file. And if you wanted to edit a texture map? You had to close the program, exit out of DOS, boot up Windows, load up your graphic editing program, make whatever changes you needed to make and save it – shut windows down, go back into DOS, wait the excruciating long time it took to do all this and load up 3D Studio, and then hope and pray you got everything right.

Despite all this, I was hooked, and years later, when the guidance councilors were pressuring all us high schoolers to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives and apply to a bunch of different colleges, I decided I wanted to go into 3D Animation. WarpZone- Game of Thrones Sigil Cookie Cutter Set of 4

Originally the goal was 3D art for movies, but that eventually morphed into 3D art for games. There was definitely no plan, way back then, to be 3D modeling for a home 3D printer. Definitely never saw that coming.

Warpzone Prints happened mostly because of a guy at my old work named James. James is a mad-scientist kind of guy. He likes to build things. He’s very into DIY stuff, and he built himself a 4ft x 4ft CNC in his garage a few years ago. He’s also made an Egg-bot, and a number of other crazy things. He’d been eyeballing 3D printers for a long while and ended up deciding that, this time, he’d get one that was pre-built, rather than building it himself. He bought a Makerbot Replicator when they were pretty much brand new.

My husband and I had printed things through Shapeways for years at this point, but we’d sort of disregarded the at-home 3D printers because the quality just wasn’t good enough yet.

When we saw the stuff that James was able to make with his Replicator, we caved in and ordered one of our own.

WarpZone- Doctor Who Cyberman CookieIt was, quite literally, nothing more than a toy in the beginning. We thought it was really cool, and wanted one. That was all there really was to it. But we told ourselves that maybe we could make it pay itself off a bit, by printing things for other people, and maybe even selling stuff on Etsy.

At this point, we were both still working full-time in the games industry, so anything done on the bot, was done in our free time.

After my job in video games came to an end early this last fall, I had a lot more free time on my hands and ended up putting a lot more time and effort into the Etsy store and the one item that seemed really popular – cookie cutters.

I made a ton of new designs and started taking custom orders, and things just kind of exploded from there.

Do you have any geeky obsessions? If so, what? 
Athey: Oh… so many. Let’s see – for a 30-year old mom-of-2, I’m probably unhealthily addicted to Harry Potter. I even made my own full set of Slytherin Robes for Halloween a number of years back.

I love Portal, and 3D Printed my own Portal gun last summer. I started working on the model for making a Wheatley core, but then I got busy and it was kind of a hugely intensive project to figure out how to separate it into pieces small enough to print and then to assemble together.

I -Love- Game of Thrones, and thing Peter Dinklage is absolutely amazing.

All three of my cats, and my daughter, are named after characters from One Piece. My son is named after a character from Final Fantasy 7. Both my kids have the middle initial D, because of One Piece. I intend to wait until they’re much much older, and in a forgiving mood, before I tell them this. WarpZone- Avatar the Last Airbender Symbol Cookie Cutters

My husband’s ‘man-cave’ is a Retro-Gaming wet-dream of collectables and rare games and consoles, including an actual Neo Geo arcade cabinet that was an outrageous struggle to get up the stairs because it weighs a ton, and is huge.

We have a life-size Master Sword and Shield mounted on the wall of one house along with a huge framed map of Hyrule. We also have a life-size Buster Sword. It is very very heavy.

If Kirby were to swallow you, what power would he get? 
Athey: Probably the power to speed up time. I seems like every time I start working on something, I blink, and its been five hours.

If you were on a deserted island, what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? 
WarpZone- Bleach Kon CookieAthey:  I’d probably bring all of One Piece. It’s very… very…. long. It would last a while. Although, I would magically have it be finished, too. Maybe I’d just bring Eichiro Oda with me.

Where can we find you in the web? 
– www.warpzoneprints.com

And, as for social media –
www.facebook.com/WarpzonePrints
twitter.com/warpzoneprints
pinterest.com/atheym/warpzone-prints-cookie-cutters/

 

 

Chungkong’s Minimalist Geek Art Posters

Frame-950px-No004-My-Alien-minimal-movie-poster
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At my day job I’m a creative director for an ad agency. At nights I’m designing my own stuff.
How long have you been making art?
Since I can hold a pencil. Off course it wasn’t art then, but drawing and making my thoughts visual was allways my thing.
Where do you get the inspiration for all of your art?
I never about inspiration. For me being creative is a craft, it isn’t about being inspired. Just starting and making things. It is like Yoda told Luke: “Do or do not, there is no try”. Inspiration has nothing to do with making art.
Frame950-No144-My-AKIRA-minimal-movie-posterHow would you describe your artistic style?
When I started out designing, I strongly belied that “Less is bore”. Ironically, these days the majority of my work is about minimalism. So less is more, but I could not do it without that little devil on my shoulder telling me again and again: “Less is bore”, “Less is bore”. It keeps me sharp.
Favorite artists?
These day’s: Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash. Confusing and controversial, how much artist can you handle.
Do you have plans for any upcoming series?
They come as the go. Whenever I feel the need to make some.
Which film, book, game or show would you want to live in for one month?
One month, no more, as a vacation. Middle earth. I kind of like living where I’am right now.
If you were on a deserted island what would video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? 
Just some crayons and whitepaper. Nice low-tech stuff.
Where can we find you in the web?

Etsy Crush of the Week & Giveaway: Show Pony’s Fantasy Jewelry

show pony etsy shop banner

I’m a jewelry fiend, whether it’s geeky or not. I’ve noticed when it comes to a lot of geek-related jewelry they get an A+ on the geeky part, but miss the mark on the actual quality of the jewelry design. Thankfully, I stumbled across Show Pony on one of my weekly Etsy binges and fell in love. Her  fantasy-themed references already make the items a must-buy, and then her elegant jewelry designs put them over the edge.

I featured Show Pony‘s “Always” necklace on my Harry Potter & Valentine’s Day Jewelry Post. It’s pretty much one of those, “I need this for reasons.” necklaces. It’s a subtle way to show your off Potter pride. I absolutely adore mine!

Shelby also does custom pieces! I had her make a custom Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire cuff for me with the words, “Valar Morghulis”. It came out just as I imagined. It’s thick, but still easily bendable to adjust to any sized wrist. I’m throwing a giveaway with a few lovely items from Show Pony, check out how to win below!

Get 30% off  Show Pony throughout March using: MARCH30 

My Show Pony Jewelry!

My Show Pony Jewelry!

Interview with Shelby of SHOW PONY STORE

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Show Pony- Hunger Games Holding nightlock IIShelby: My name is Shelby Isaac I’m a college student from Maryland, U.S.A. and Etsy is my creative outlet/moneymaker. I have a pet tarantula and a kitten that keep me company while I run my Etsy business.

How long have you been making jewelry?

Shelby: I’ve been making jewelry since 2010, when I opened my Etsy shop.

How did SHOWPONYSTORE come to be?

Shelby: Oddly enough, I started out making my original items out of frustration. My first purchase on Etsy was an overpriced Harry Potter inspired vial necklace. When it arrived, it was broken, leaking through the package, and no “thank you” note was included. I knew I could make something better for a cheaper price, so that’s what I did.

Which have been some of your favorite pieces to make?

Shelby: My “always” doe patronus necklace is my favorite. It’s subtle and still geeky. That’s not always easy to find in jewelry.

Do you have any geeky obsessions? If so what?

Shelby: Any other geeky obsessions… I love Tolkien and Martin. High fantasy is my thing.

What do you think your your patronus be? 

Shelby: It would be a shark! A little one. Like a spiny dogfish/mud shark.

If you lived in Westeros, what would your house name, sigil and motto be? 

Shelby: I already consider myself to be of House Tyrell, so creating my own house is out of the question. Growing strong!

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

Shelby: I would bring the Potter series. Television show that I couldn’t live without: Star Trek. The original series.

Where can we find you on the web? 

SHOW PONY STORE GIVEAWAY!

Show Pony Girl Gone Geek Giveaway

L to R: Harry Potter “Always” Doe Necklace, Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Necklace, Game of Thrones “The Wall” Ring (example shown) and Harry Potter Divination Class Tea Cup Necklace

1. Answer the of the following question: What do you think your patronus be?
2. Like SHOWPONYSTORE on Facebook: Facebook.com/SHOWPONYSTORE (if applicable)
3. Follow @BeansCreations on Twitter (if applicable)
* Please state the item you’d like to win, you can say all items if you’d be happy with all.
* Four readers will win one of the items featured.
* Contest ends Wednesday, March 27th

Harry Potter & Game of Thrones Valentine’s Day Jewelry

Confession: Every time I ran across a Snape/Always piece of jewelry on Etsy I wanted to cry. #alloftheemotions


Harry Potter Golden Snitch Necklace I Love You by spacepearls

Harry Potter Jewelry Golden Snitch Necklace - I Love You

Harry Potter Jewelry  After All This Time by chasingatstarlight

Harry Potter Jewelry - After All This Time Always

You are protected in short by your ability to love by chickylovit

Harry Potter Quote Jewelry Necklace- You are protected in short by your ability to love

Harry Potter Lots of Love Lily Necklace by amartone

Harry Potter Jewelry Lots of Love Lily Necklace

Harry Potter Bracelet I love you like Snape by SpiffingJewelry

Harry Potter Jewelry Bracelet -I love you like Snape loved Lily Cuff

Severus Snape Always Doe SHOWPONYSTORE

Harry Potter Jewlery Severus Snape Always Doe Patronus Necklace

Harry Potter Necklace  I heart Harry Potter by SpiffingJewelry

Harry Potter Jewelry Necklace - I heart Harry Potter with lightning bolt scar and glasses

Harry Potter Inspired Lovers Glass Dome by resinapocalypse

Harry Potter Inspired Lovers Glass Dome Necklace

Harry Potter Font Golden Snitch Always Necklace by SimplyHarry

Harry Potter Jewelry Golden Snitch Always Necklace Steampunk

Game of Thrones Quote My Sun and Stars by ChrisClosetCreations

Game of Thrones Jewelry Quote My Sun and Stars Shekh ma shieraki anni in Dothraki

Game of Thrones Khal Drogo Moon of my Life by ChrisClosetCreations

Game of Thrones Jewelry Khal Drogo Moon of my Life Zhey Jalan Atthirari Anni in Dothraki

Game of Thrones Inspired Hand Stamped Cuff Set by JTSkyDesigns

Game of Thrones Jewelry Inspired Hand Stamped Cuff SetKhal and Khaleesi Game of Thrones  Set of Two by emerydrive

Game of Thrones Jewelry- Khal and Khaleesi Set of TWO Dothraki Rings

Tattoo Tuesday Featurette- Sue-Ann’s Serenity, Stargate SG-1 & Discworld Ink

Sue-Ann’s Serenity tattoo & Stargate tattoo

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write up a Tattoo Tuesday post, so I’m glad I’m back with some awesome sci-fi ink from a reader! Sue-Ann, nickname ysabelkid, is a huge science fiction fan (if her tattoos didn’t already give that away). She shared with me the beginning stages of her sci-fi back piece which includes Serenity and Stargate SG-1 pieces. Sue-Ann and her boyfriend are even planning a Stargate-themed wedding on Pi Day in 2015!

Ysabelkid’s Discworld Grim Squeaker tattoo

She went into depth on her blog about why she chose to have the sci-fi ship and portal, but the short version is, “Each of the ships I will have represent the concept of creating one’s own family, and exploring new places with them. The family idea is most prevalent in Firefly, Star Wars, Star Trek and Farscape, and of course, what better way to immortalise travelling to new worlds than Stargate, Star Trek and Robotech? I’ll also be including a quote from Galaxy Quest – ‘Never give up, never surrender!’.”

Her artist, Ryan ‘Busta’ Bolton from The Golden Tiki specialises in cartoons. She was completely amazed by his attention to detail and intricate shading on these pieces, which she noticed was very different from his normal style. The full back tattoo will most likely take another year before it’s finished. But she’s not done yet! She plans to dedicate a tattoo sleeve of women she adores which will include Wonder Woman, Ripley and Sam Carter to name but a few.
Sue-Ann’s very first tattoo was a Hanie Mohd fan drawing of the Grim Squeaker from Discworld. She plans to match it with the Librarian on the opposite ankle. The Squeaker tattoo was inked by Abigail at Electric Eye Tattoos in Durban. But it’s incomplete since the tattoo artist has since left and she’s still tracking her down.
Sue-Ann tells us why she decided to get the Squeaker tattoo, “Terry Pratchett’s writing means a great deal to me, and with his Alzheimer’s, the world is losing one of the greatest minds that ever lived. So it makes sense to me to immortalise him with some of the characters who mean the most to me.” I can’t wait to see Sue-Ann’s complete sci-fi back tattoo and her strong sci-fi female characters sleeve!
If you’re interested in being featured in a Tattoo Tuesday or Tattoo Tuesday Featurette please email me at jamila@girlgonegeekblog(dot)com.