Sunday, August 9, 2015

Not All Goths Are Center Stage

I thought this deserved at least a short pondering-in-print.  Recently, a young woman was sharing her lamentations about being "an unsuccessful Goth". Her concern was that no one knew her, that she wasn't visible and that no one took her seriously for her "hobby."  So I asked her what she thought being Goth meant.  Like most of us, she relayed her love of dark things, fancy things, more than a touch of morbidity, the colour black, and anything artistic and creative along those lines. Then I asked her, based on her definition, and the fact that these are things she loves, aspects she has added to her own day to day life, how she felt she was unsuccessful. There was a long pause before she smiled.

The simple fact is... being Goth is simply that. Being. Not proving and not displaying (unless one wishes to. One's "gothness" should not be, and seldom is, judged by other goths based on the size of one's gothy wardrobe, alternative hair colours, or lack thereof, whether they make a living as an artist, a writer, or some other artistic pursuit, or how much band trivia they can spew in a conversation about "The accepted" Goth bands over the decades. It's a state of being and a love of gothic things. In addition, it cannot be cancelled out by a love of other things, too. I've known quite a few "cowboy goths" over the years. Last I heard, we add a second or third word to our "Goth" self-description as a way to express the breadth and width of our horizons, our love of many things, and our preferences. It is not meant to compete, exclude or narrow in any way, our place in the world.

As it turns out, like most of us, this young lady was comparing herself to others in her search for her own identity. Like the person who compares themselves to others, "Am I thin/curvy enough?", "Am I tall enough?", being Goth is a huge part of her self-identification, and as is natural, she had stumbled into that trap, but was quick to catch it and ask.

That same question lends itself to the fact that not all Goths are the center stage performers, the famous writers, artists or DJs.  Not all Goths are famous YouTube celebrities with a regular vlog, the most popular shop in New Orleans or other metropolis that has been identified with the Goth scene. Behind every well-known or up-and-coming Goth performer is an army of stage hands, costumers, etc. who are a mixture of Goth and non-Goth. Those well-known and adored writers also have editors and publishers, publicists and experts who are a mix of Goth and non-Goth. We are quite literally everywhere. Some of us support Gothic arts in an advisory, promotional or technical role. Others of us support Gothic arts as consumers.

Being Goth has one common thread, as I have found, and that is a love of Expression, in its many dark, or surreal, or non-mainstream ways and through countless mediums. We feel deeply, even though many seem quite aloof (and if you've been in their shoes, you'd understand how the two are connected), and enjoy emphatically.  It may or may not show on the surface, but it is there, and it makes no one less or more Goth.

Enjoy your Gothness, your Wickedness, your Twistedness and your Spookiness. Fly your black flag, and if it includes trimming in red, purple, emerald green, royal blue, or even some white stripes (mine includes lace), excellent!!

Be, Live, Enjoy, and Keep it Spooky,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hallowe'en Shopping Season is Upon Us

The BIG countdown begins... are you ready?

So now that we are "under the gun" so to speak, with fewer than 100 days until All Hallow's, who has been receiving their Hallowe'en shopping catalogues in the daily post, or the much anticipated emails that Autumn and Hallowe'en products are in and ready to be ooh'd and ahh'd over, but most importantly, bought up in a frenzy of Autumnal Anticipation and Spooky Preparedness?

To help, I have assembled a list of just some of the retailers with this year's haunted goodies ready and waiting for new haunted homes.

Pottery Barn...

Grandin Road...

Tombstone Factory...

Dapper Cadaver (This site has TONS for the more gore-inclined)

Pier 1...

Victorian Trading Co....

And let's not forget all the best staple places for picking up bits and pieces. Most have their Autumn and Hallowe'en trinkets appearing on shelves now.
Joann Fabrics
Spirit Store
Cracker Barrel (Checked the site and it does not do their in-store stock justice by any means)

Where have you begun your Hallowe'en preparation shopping? And don't tell me you haven't begun... I'm guessing... last November 1st? I'd expect no less... I am so proud. *snifs and wipes a tear*

Feel free to share your latest retail Hallowe'en shopping finds!

And now I'm off to continue finessing more posts focused on our artists, crafters and dark dreaming creators to share their wares with you.

Am I the only one feeling the excitement build?

Til next... Keep it Spooky,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

ArmadilloCon 37

So THIS is where I left it! Time has certainly passed since I was here, and for that I do apologize (again). Seems every time I think I am going to be able to focus on the EVGA blog, life steps in, things come up, and excuses aside, good old Shiny Object Syndrome kicks in and I find myself in the middle of several other projects. The good news: Most of the projects currently consuming my time involve writing, with one or two nearing completion so that I can get back to what I love most: All things Dark, lace-trimmed, ghostly and nocturnal.  

Now before I go into all of the things I have planned for resuming this journal of my shady eccentricities, I owe a huge thank you to the individual, the friend, the artist, who gave me the necessary nudge to peel myself away from other pursuits and get back to being Me.
I was recently asked to do something I had not done in ages, and in this instance especially, I must say, it was quite an honour. This weekend is the 37th ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX. Borrowed from their site, the best description of this gathering:
"ArmadilloCon is an annual literary convention sponsored by the Fandom Association of Central Texas, Inc.. The primary focus of ArmadilloCon is science fiction and fantasy, but we also pay attention to art, animation, science, media, and gaming. Every year, dozens of professional writers, artists and editors attend the convention. We invite you to attend the convention, especially if you are a fan of reading, writing, gaming, and generally having fun. 

This year's Artist Guest is the infinitely talented Rocky Kelley. It was my honour to provide a more-extensive-than-usual bio for the event's program book. I have been a great admirer of Mr. Kelley's work for many years, including, but not limited to his Dark Romantic pieces produced as Ashen Gray. We are currently in the process of an artistic collaboration, and as I am able, I will provide updates. 

I have been very fortunate over the years to have been able to get to know such talented individuals who represent Art in all its many forms. While I am not currently able to attend Cons as regularly as I would prefer, it is through these genius souls that I get to see and appreciate the size and scope of the creative community and the lives of its members. For now I am more than content to share the brilliance of their work through blog posts, photos and the occasional giddy Facebook post when I am able to add a piece of their work to my collection (and insanely cluttered office decor). 

And this leads me back to my plan.. we are now fewer than 100 days from our beloved All Hallow's Eve. Time to knock the dust off of the blog, take some time to post in the midst of other writing projects, and come out of my cave.  

Again, a huge debt of gratitude owed Rocky Kelley and the kind organizers of ArmadilloCon who will be publishing my written bio of this fantastic artist, as well as a short bio of this reclusive not-yet-old Crow. ;)

Keep it Spooky and I shall see you all soon,