If you’re anything like me, you like cutesy stuff. Oh, I know; my rugged good looks, permanent musk of manly sweat and blades hidden in my socks makes you think that I am in fact some cross between Chuck Norris and Tim Curry, but I do have a softer side.
So, at the end of a hard day I’ll spend a few hours looking for online art. Oh, don’t look at me like that; it’s art if there are urns and plinths and shit. I don’t care what you say about my love for ponies and the undead, you’re not my dad!
But anyway, one of the artists I’ve been enjoying recently is Spooky (@Spookypandagirl). Of course she needs more undead, equestrians and BDSM… but she still deserves your time.
Spooky comes with a warning label however: Do not feed sugar. She’s also a hyper active lunatic who loves anime and video games.
When I started this ‘People of the Twitterverse’ thing I knew I wanted a weird and funny artist and Spooky fits the bill perfectly. Not only do I like her art but I also like how she conducts herself on line. In our correspondence she exuded an infectious energy and childlike enthusiasm that bread instant informality. If you every get the opportunity to talk to her do so because she is lovely.
‘I was always artistically inclined,’ she explains. ‘I loved Disney stuff growing up. But I only really got serious in art when I was 11ish. But the Spookypandagirl profile and stuff has only been around for about eight months and I’ve already had so much support!
‘My experience with art has been an interesting one. I made a lot of sacrifices in relationships and education to pursue my love of art, so I guess you could say that there have been a lot of ups and downs. But over all my experience with art has been a great one! I learned more about myself through art than through anything else.’
‘When I have finished a new pic I really feel like my life is worth something. I love the way I feel with art. It is the one time I am ever glad to me. I had tried deviantArt before but I was trying far too hard to do ‘pretty’ art, very airy fairy. It did not do well, in like four years I only got 25 watchers! But then my Fiance (@rydennin twitter) suggested that I start a new profile and try to draw some stuff like I use to. This is why Spooky is called Spooky! My focus was cute/spooky art. I made Spooky to look a little like me at first then I redesigned her to look a little more like me. The response was so overwhelming! It has helped me so much with my confidence! I now feel little to no shame of my art, if fact I feel very proud of my art. I worry about my head getting too big! Thanks to my friends who support me and my art I feel so much better about being me! It has helped me get to therapy on more than one occasion! This time right now is my highest point with art!’
‘I was brought up in a catholic army household,’ she explains, ‘I felt like I had no where I could be safe so I turned to video games (Final Fantasy X in particular) and fell so in love with JRPGs that I wanted to be a part of that life. It gave me a dream to either be an animator or draw characters for video games.’
Unfortunately, although loving and supportive, Spooky’s family didn’t know quite how to deal with their daughter and her diversifying interests.
‘At first they were very supportive and loved to show me off to friends and relatives, which I was never really comfortable with. But then my art went very Gothic for a while, this was mostly due to depression and me trying to find a way to release the feelings I had pent up. My family found that very hard and became very strange with me. It got to the point that they made me feel ashamed; so ashamed in fact that my father got me to believe that I was making my depression worse by drawing and displaying the art. I was ultimately forced to strip my walls and paint my room white. After that I gave it up for a long while. That I think was the lowest point in my life.’
But coloured pens, paint and graph paper run deeply in the blood and the super sayian powers exploded in time to defeat Frieza.
‘I suppose you could say it was like a drug, art had become so ingrained in my personality that I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself. I started drawing in secret, the only one I would allow to see anything would be my fiancé. Thanks to him I became more confident and brave. He supported me though it all!
‘My fav pic that I have made so far is ‘Dance with a Skeleton‘ and I have a few manga ideas in the works. I am also planning on producing speed paint video’s on my youtube channel in the nearby future so look forward to that!’
Naturally Spooky/Goku hasn’t had it all easy in the last few years, even with the help of her fiancé.
‘Last year I was working on the most detailed picture I had ever done, a circus horror kinda pic; I had the jugglers down, the sexy ringleader and I was working on the elephants when the laptop just died! Refused to turn on! Nothing backed up! I’m not tech savvy so I couldn’t recover it. I was almost in tears!’
But, fortunately, more good things are in store for Spooky. ‘We (Spooky and her fiancé) haven’t set a date yet, our current goal is to save up enough to get a little apartment. We currently live in my mother’s attic which is not ideal for a couple. Once we move out we will start thinking about marriage. I don’t mind waiting as the proposal was so sweet! He took me to my favourite Japanese restaurant and proposed to me using Sake; he couldn’t afford even the cheapest ring at that point, so he did the traditional Japanese sharing of the Sake. A long time ago in Japan if two people who are in love share the same cup of Sake it is similar to them being married. So we shared a cup, after I said yeas of course!! We had been together for about 9 years so.’
I didn’t cry. You cried, reader. You were moved and inspired by such a simple and romantic gesture. You were a real pussy about it too. Anyway, manly things, yeah; hurrr, bacon, meat, tits and wine!
If people want to contact Spooky and get a commission off her then all you need to do is message her at @ Spookypandagirl on twitter or go to her page on deviant art; http://spookypandagirl.deviantart.com/. ‘I do sell some commissions, only a few a month. But that is much more than I ever hoped for with my art. I never thought it would amount to earning anything. Maybe I will be able to draw full time, that’s the dream any way.’
Is there anyone Spooky would like to recommend? You bet your ass there is.
‘I am a huge fan of Good Mythical Morning; Rhett and Link always have me in stitches! I also enjoy watching Matthew Santaro because he’s hilarious! I also follow them on Twitter. I would also recommend Shoe0nhead, on both youtube and twitter, if you are against third wave feminism and enjoy good satire.’
And let’s not forget the final piece of information that I always like to get; charity.
‘My fav charity would either be the NSPCC or RSPCA. Love animals and kids and the NSPCC has a special place in my heart as someone coming from a difficult home; I feel that children can be most vulnerable in the privacy of homes.’ As a member of the educational establishment I can thoroughly agree.
My final thought. I like Spooky. As I said before, she exhibits a bright and charming energy in both her discourse and artwork. Check her out, you won’t be disappointed.