Illustrate with Lydia Burris
Lydia Burris: I’m Lydia Burris. I make art and confuse people. I was raised by trees, and was fed a steady diet of horror and fantasy movies as a child. I’m always looking for a way to bridge the gap between concepts; Fine Art and Illustration, Abstract and realism, light and dark, humor and stark seriousness. I am a midwest girl, but I lived in England for 14 months to get an international Masters of Fine Art. I never want to stay the same as an artist – I am always trying to grow, improve and try new methods. Art is not just a business for me – it is my way of life, and my journey, and the paths I take almost always lead toward a darker realm.
Malice: How long have you been an artist? What first inspired you to walk that path?
Lydia: My mother and aunt always debate on who gave me the first crayon. My mother was an artist and was a huge inspiration to me and always encouraged me to be creative, to do art and not be afraid of the dark. She passed recently, but I will be keeping her website alive – to see what dark dreams I crawled out from, see her site: http://catherineburris.com
Malice: What sort of things inspire you on a day-to-day basis?
Lydia: Dreams, strange psychology, mythology, the books I collect, nature, detritus, faces, words and interesting people.
But that’s not all! I can also add things like discolored photographs, idle emotions, the struggle of self-evaluation, paint drips, the type drawers on my walls filled with the pretty and sometimes broken things that don’t go anywhere else, and the will to stay as creative as possible.
Malice: So you mentioned you have a vampire for a boy friend…how does one end up with a vampire?
Lydia: You stay up late and check out strange basement night clubs. But seriously, he’s the sweetest vampire ever.
Malice: Let’s talk more professionally, how long have you been doing professional commissions?
Lydia: While I’ve been doing art since I was a tiny, I didn’t really start to extremely market myself until after college.
I decided to become professional. I grew a beard and started wearing a top hat and carrying a cane.
That didn’t really work, so instead I started to submit proposals for projects, contacting galleries, reading freelance books… etc. That worked better than the beard and hat. Some fun stuff: I have a permanent 4’ x 8’ oil portrait scene in the city hall of my hometown, Columbus, IN. There is a 9’ x 29’ lightbox of my art in Indianapolis which will stay up till August 2011.
Malice: What kind of clientage have you brought in? I know I saw a magician poster on your blog…
Lydia: Convention folk, magicians, monsters, musicians, movie makers, madmen and more. I do a lot of my own thing, but I love commissions because they usually give me a chance to do something I may not do on my own, thus expanding my experience.
Malice: Have you ever had any “strange” requests?
Lydia: Does ‘A Michael Meyers malkavian vampire who turns ducks into vampires with a prince duck vampire and 4 vampire ducks-of-the-apocalypse’ count? (courtesy of a fun gamer client.)
Malice: Now I here tell you frequent the convention scene. Any appearances coming up?
Lydia: HorrorHound Indy, Days of the Dead!, and I plan on being at GenCon. I’m looking into many more – my convention circuit depends on the success of the previous conventions, winning the lottery, people throwing money at me, and/or inviting me as a guest to their convention.
Malice: How do you like doing the vendor thing at conventions?
Lydia: I love it more than banana cream pie. I wish I could do this stuff full-time. I get to meet the most interesting of people, share my art, and have bizarre and wonderful conversations all day!
Malice: So now it’s time for the mighty sword to fall…”Out-Of-Hat” questions? Let us begin: Do you think that the existence of the “Chaos Frog”…a frog capable of emitting a noxious gas that can turn people insane…should be made more public than just the private sector?
Lydia: I am not at liberty to discuss the ‘Chaos Frog’… however if we want to discuss the multi purposes of the ‘Deranged Dragonfly,’ I’m all game.
Malice: What coolness would it be if you could actually be a Cheshire Cat? You know, like if you could be a werewolf or a vampire…but you know…a Cheshire Cat instead?
Lydia:What are you talking about? I AM a Cheshire Cat!!! Notice my constant eerie smile?
Malice: How cool do you think it would be to have Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets at a convention? Mind you, they can be put anywhere to comment on anything?
Lydia: That would be awesome! Lets put Statler and Waldorf on the back of an Ostrich that just wanders through the entire convention.
Malice: If you could pit any celebrity mom’s in a death match, who would it be? Who would win?
Lydia: Lets just pick them at random and have them smack each other with banjos. I don’t care who wins.
Malice: Are you aware of the Pecking order?
Lydia: Baaaak-bOOOaaaak …. cluck cluck cluck…. baAAAKKKityCLUCK!
Malice: Well as fun as that was, all good things must come to the end. I always wish after my interviews I could give people a Tee Shirt, but you know it never ends that way! At any rate I will give you one last chance to pimp your stuff…so tell the good people where they can find you…
Lydia: I’m an online junkie, I admit it.
You can browse my website: http://lydiaburris.com
You can support my convention habit, buy and request artwork, prints and strange stuff at my etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LydiaBurris
I have a blog called “More Self Drive Please” – all about my art progress – http://lydiaburris.blogspot.com/
I am also on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lydia-Burris-Art-Mystery-Madness/112602985472928
And last but not least, DeviantArt: http://zyphryus.deviantart.com/
Now Freaky Darlings, wasn’t she just a gem!? I hope you all hunt her down and give her some business, because this is one artist that shouldn’t have to wait until post-mortem to gain her fame. Click the links above and show this lady some love. That will be all for this installment…more to come soon…My Freaky Darlings. So until then I bid you fond farewell…