Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pheaturing Jasmine Becket-Griffith

'Pom your honor. Welcome to the Peverett Phile, how are you? I just spent a week in Kentucky, kids, and I did not see one blade of blue grass. They love England there though. everywhere I went someone had a UK hat or shirt or jacket on. That was weird 'cause when I went into McDonald;s the guy behind the counter said, "You're not from here, are you?" I told him I was from England and he said, "We never had anybody in here from England before." A woman customer said, "I never met anyone from England before." True story. They had a Wal-Mart in the town, but they didn't have a Target. In fact, the only target they have are deer... and elk I guess. What else is going on? Oh yeah, Kim Kardashian was married for 72 days and now she's getting a divorce. They were bickering at the altar and now they're fighting over custody of the cake. Would you like to be Kim Kardashian's next husband? You can! Just sign with any professional sports team and you will soon be called to a free agent meeting at the Los Angeles Convention Center by Kris Jenner. Even by Hollywood standards, 72 hour's not long. I don't know why some people get worked up about gay people marrying. It's not gay people who are "ruining the sanctity of marriage," it's celebrities. More than 3 million people from Maine to Maryland lost power because of the snowstorms last weekend. In New York, the Occupy Wall Street protesters were thinking of changing the name to “I'm freezing my beard off.” When Herman Cain was in charge of the National Restaurant Association, there were allegations of sexual harassment. They have revealed one came from Sara Lee. President Obama had his annual checkup and everything looks good. His cholesterol is down, his blood pressure is down, and his approval ratings are down. When Regis leaves his show, they're going to try out replacements. It's the same thing Kim Kardashian will be doing now. People say that Rick Perry may have been drunk at an appearance. Well, take a look at those poll numbers. I'd be drunk too. While you were laughing at the last joke, I'm told Kim Kardashian got married and divorced again. Lindsay Lohan is going back to jail again, for 30 days. On the bright side, if she goes back to jail one more time, she gets a free sandwich at Subway. Anyway, 30 days isn't that long. It's like half a Kardashian marriage. Not even. A Los Angeles woman claims she has Justin Bieber’s love child. The woman will have to take a paternity test, then everyone will know once and for all who the real father is: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Anyway, as I said, we went to Kentucky and I was so excited to find out they have an inspiration poster there. Take a look.

We didn't eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken believe it or not, but we did eat at a Chinese restaurant. Take a look and see what it was called. 

That's crazy! I am just kidding, of course. This is actually a restaurant in China. Those crazy Chinese. And now for some sad news.

Joe Frazier
January 12, 1944 - November 7, 2011
He went straight from The Thrilla in Manilla to The Quiver in the Liver.
Andy Rooney
January 14, 1919 - November 5, 2011
3 minutes on the air once a week? And we called this guy a journalist? Car chases get more airtime than that.
Dorothy Rodham
June 4, 1919 - November 1, 2011
Aside from being Hillary's mom, she was... wait. Why is this chick famous again?

Okay, on the way to Kentucky and back to Florida we had to drive through North Carolina and South Carolina. I was wondering how come the Carolina's are two states and not just one. So, I thought I would invite a friend to the Phile to help explain. So, here we are, once again, it's...

Well, everybody already should know this story from historee class. Near the end of World War Two, John Wayne's cousin, Wanda, that's Wanda Wayne, married a half black Mexican name of Sammy Montenegro, and they opened a seafood taco restaurant. The taco "shack" happened to be in Northern Carolina, but many of the white housewives would drive up to seventy miles to sample some of Sammy Montenegro's "goods" in a rare display of unity, the elder statesmen living in the southern part of the territory (Carolina did not become a state officially until the 1963 World Series) held a meeting for secession at Linsey Park in Kingstree. It seems the men of the "southern cities" could not abide their wives driving to a half Mexican taco stand and at three a.m. in March 1944 officially seceded from Carolina becoming
Southern or South Carolina. The Northern part of the state promptly reacted and changed their name to Northern or North Carolina and banned the sale of rubber soled shoes, for 19 years. Later most of Northern Carolina was leased to that Jewish fella with the big nose, and turned into a Disney styled Christian theme park for good Americans. Wanda Wayne & Sammy Montenegro later moved to Buenos Aries where Sammy made an unsuccesful bid for the Presidency of the Argentine, but Wanda and her fifth husband Colonel Avida Sanchez Coron, later became the prime distributorship for the Colonels 11 herbs and spices throughout Latin America. And that my friend is how the Carolina' split in two.

Hmmmm... that's not exactly what I thought the story about the Carolina's were. LOL. Okay, let's move on. Today's guest is the sixth artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. She will next be appearing at the Sarasota Medieval Fair here in Florida November 19th & 20th. Please welcome to the Phile... Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Me: Hello, Jasmine, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Jasmine: Doing well, thank you!

Me: You're from here in Central Florida, is that right? What part?

Jamsine: I live here in Celebration, Florida - right by Disney World, south of Orlando. It's the planned city that the Disney company designed, actually! Originally I was from Kansas City, Missouri but moved here to Florida as soon as I grew up. I really like living in Florida.

Me: Recently I believe you met my sister at an art show I think. My sister explained told me, and I was all confused. I thought she met Michael Banks first, then Danielle Soloud and then after talking to Michael it suddenly hit me she met you. Tell the readers what happened. It's very very weird, and is a small world.

Jasmine: I sure did! I was in my tent showing my work at the Celebration Art Festival and Matt (my assistant/husband) was running a customer's credit card and noticed the name "Peverett" and made the connection. He said "Hey, this is the guy Michael was just telling us about who might want to interview you" or something like that. It really is a small world after all!

Me: I mentioned my friend Michael who has been her on the Phile, Jasmine. How long have you known him?

Jasmine: I've known him online for a couple of years, I think. I knew his artwork (neat stuff!) before I knew him personally. Then he came out to an art festival I was at and introduced himself, and then I went to his Sweet Nightmares show, and then of course he showed work at my Alchemy Unleashed show a couple of months ago. He's a cool guy and does great work!

Me: Okay, let's talk about your art work, as I am sure that's why you're here. Your specialty is fairies, am I right?

Jasmine: Yes - I think that is what the majority of the public knows me for - my fairies! To be honest they aren't necessarily representative of the bulk of my work, but just about everything I paint has a fairy/fantasy-like quality to it.

Me: Have you been into fairies all your life?

Jasmine: Absolutely!

Me: Have long have you been drawing them?

Jasmine: Since I was a little girl I've been into fantasy art, and always had fun creating my own. When I was little I would draw a lot of things from fairytales, fairies, mermaids, dinosaurs, unicorns, etc. Then when I was a bit older (middle school) I discovered the world of Dungeons & Dragons and that definitely was a huge influence on the things I would draw - particularly dragons, of course! When I was in my mid-teens I started to get into more lowbrow art, street art, pop surrealism, etc. And then in college I minored in Art History and got very nerdy about fine art from centuries passed. Looking back, I think all of these elements mixed together really have defined my style & genre.

Me: I always thought Tinker Bell was a pixie, and now Disney is calling her a fairy. Is a pixie and fairy the same thing?

Jasmine: It's a semantic quibble, and since we haven't yet found biological evidence for zoological classification it's really hard to say. In my personal world view though, I would say that all pixies are fairies, but not all fairies are pixies - that the therm fairy encompasses all kinds of faery-folk. I sometimes refer to mermaids as being fairies too, so take that with a grain of salt.

Me: I am guessing with all your fairy stuff you draw, most of your fans are female. Am I right?

Jasmine: Actually it's a pretty mixed bag really! For example with my original paintings - my collectors are pretty much 50/50 when it comes to gender. But with merchandise like dolls, figurines, etc. it is definitely predominantly female. I also have quite a wide range of ages - collectors up into their 90s, all the way down to the "under five" crowd!

Me: Do you draw any manly stuff?

Jasmine: Some of my stuff isn't really gender-specific, but nah - I don't think there's anything of mine I'd really call "manly."

Me: Speaking of fairies, you kinda look like a real life fairy. That's a compliment by the way. Your husband is a lot bigger than me and I don't want him to kick my ass.

Jasmine: Thank you very much! One of the best compliments I could get. To be honest a lot of my artwork is self-portrait to one extent or another (I think a lot of artists paint themselves, whether intentionally or not!).

Me: I like having artists on the Phile, Jasmine, as I always wanted to be one myself, but all I do is just doodle in my notebook. I don't have the patience to draw or paint. You must paint and draw a lot. How many hours a day to do you work on your stuff?

Jasmine: I paint a lot. I'll preface this by saying that I am an obsessive person, and painting is a very strong compulsion for me as well as a source of enjoyment (and income of course). Typically I paint somewhere between 10-18 hours a day, usually about 14 hours a day.

Me: Do you ever get sick of it?

Jasmine: Not at all. When I'm not painting, I'm always missing it at least a little.

Me: I mentioned you met my sister Leila at an art show... do you do a lot of those, Jasmine, art shows that is? Do you only do shows around the Orlando area?

Jasmine: I do several shows a year - mostly in Florida (last month I did three!), but I do some in other parts of the country as well (especially conventions like Dragon*Con, FaerieCon, etc.). This past fall I'm even did a show in the UK - that was be my first "in person" international show! I have a lot of fun watching people enjoy my artwork in "real life" after mostly being internet based.

Me: You are very unique when it comes to artists I had on the Phile, you have dolls and statues out of your characters. First thing, how are they made? Do you sculpt as well, or do they get made from copying your art work?

Jasmine: It depends quite a lot on the project, and on the company I'm working with. Sometimes it's quite easy from me - a company will simply license the rights to one of my already-existing paintings, and they can take it from there! Often though a company will want to commission me to create original works exclusive to them, or will need a lot more involvement on my behalf (anywhere form full 3d work or sketches from different angles). Sometimes I even have to meet in person and travel (which to be honest is usually pretty fun!) for brainstorming, etc. It's such a great feeling though when I finally see the the finished production work - it is like seeing one of my paintings coming to life!

Me: And you signed a deal with the greatest company in the world (I have to say that as I work for them) The Walt Disney Company. Explain what your relationship is with them. You draw and make dolls and statues for them, is that right? Did Disney approach you, or do you approach them?

Jasmine: I am a complete and utter Disney fan, so it has been pure joy to be involved in any way! For Disney I was actually approached through the Bradford Exchange - I was already doing some projects with the Hamilton Collection/Bradford Group, and they thought that a co-branded Jasmine Becket-Griffith/Walt Disney line would be a great idea for a line of collectibles! It was a lot of fun getting the opportunity to put my own spin on some of my favourite characters in the world. It mostly involved sketching, painting & concept work. I was especially happy that I got to work on Tinker Bell - so far there are about a dozen little Tink figurines of mine available - I love them! There are some more projects in the cards too....

Me: Now I read something you do called Strangeling. What is that?

Jasmine: Strangeling is actually a nickname my husband gave me back in high school, while we were dating. He explains it as a combination of "strange" and "changeling." When I was about 17 (back in... 1997) I first decided to start my own website to showcase my artwork. I wasn't sure what to call the website, so when I was choosing a "dotcom" I went with Strangeling.com for the website. It just kinda stuck! I often use it for a moniker or brand or online name when there isn't room enough for my full name (Jasmine Becket-Griffith is sorta unwieldy sometimes!). It is also a generic term I sometimes use when I'm referring to the characters I paint - I call them strangelings.

Me: You can actually buy costumes based on your art work as well? You are a marketing genius, Jasmine.

Jasmine: You surely can! I can't take all the credit on those though, hehe. A couple of years ago I was approached by a company called California Costumes who really liked the look & feel of my work, and the imagery of clothing in my paintings. I never really thought of myself as being a fashion designer, but I do think there is a lot of cross-over between clothing & costumery with the art world. They flew down and showed me various fabric samples and other materials and we came up with a great lineup of Halloween costumes! At first it was just a few designs, aimed mostly at younger customers in the Tween market/sizes. Now though we have begun adding ones for adults as well as some new designs coming out this year. It was an unexpected development but it has really been a lot of fun! It was just too cool when I was at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party at Disney this Halloweenand I saw a couple of different people wearing my costumes. I wanted to run up and say "Hey! I made that!" but I didn't want to freak anybody out, LOL.

Me: A lot of your art work is featured in different books I noticed. Do you have any books of your own? Do you write stories, or are your books picture books?

Jasmine: My art is indeed in a lot of books. Often my work will be included in collaborative or compilation books, but I also have (currently) four different "solo" art books too ("Fairy: The Art of Jasmine Becket-Griffith", "Portfolio One", "Portfolio Two", and "Portfolio Three"). My solo books really just portfolio-style books - just reproductions of my paintings along with a bit of info about them. I have however written a couple of art books - "Gothic Art Now" and "Vampire Art Now" (along with my husband Matthew David Becket, who is a writer) - these aren't about my art specifically but rather they are non-fiction books about contemporary art in those genres. Those were a lot of fun to write! One of my fans told me that the college she went to required Gothic Art Now as a textbook for an art course she was taking, and I thought that was pretty neat. Mostly though I'm pretty much just a painter - not a writer. My sisters are both writers, and my husband as well, so I mostly just stick with making pictures! I'm in the process currently of working with a publisher on doing a huge coffee-table sort of book based on my work though that will be including things like poetry & short stories (written by my sisters, not me) - that should be very cool when it's finished. You can see all of my current books here: www.strangeling.com/books.html.

Me: What about tattoos? Do you have any of your art work, or anything else? Have you ever met anybody who has a tat of your artwork?

Jasmine: I don't have any tattoos! I would have to put a lot of thought into it, and I think my personal preferences simply change too frequently to commit to a design yet. However- several thousand fans have tattoos of my artwork! I have hundreds, thousands of photos up on my Facebook from folks who have gotten tattoos based on my paintings. That really is a great compliment for me, as an artist! I've seen a lot of people in person with tattoos of my work - usually whenever I do an art show or convention I'll end up seeing several, it is pretty fantastic really. I love it when poeple get tattoos inspired by my work!

Me: Jasmine, you have to draw me a Peverett Phile fairy. Hmmmm... or something more manly like a dragon. Is an elf manly?

Jasmine: Hehe, I think this might be a boy... hard to tell though, since he's missing his skin... 

Me: Yep, that's a boy. LOL. Thanks so much for being here, Jasmine. I hope this was fun. I am pretty sure you have tons of websites and stuff to promote so why don't you go ahead and do that?

Jasmine: Thanks so much for thinking of me! Oh my yes - bring on the shameless self promotion: My Website: strangeling.com. My eBay store (I sell a lot of Original paintings on eBay): stores.ebay.com/Strangelings-Art-Gallery. My Facebook (I post here ALL day long with whatever I'm working on, new projects, etc.): facebook.com/pages/Jasmine-Becket-Griffith/47932244366. My Zazzle store (I love Zazzle!): zazzle.com/strangeling*

Me: Thanks again, and keep painting. You don't need me to tell you to do that, do you?

Jasmine: I'm painting right now!

There you go, another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Cameron and of course Jasmine. As I said last week, the Phile will be updated all week long. Tomorrow it's Alumni Lee Negin. Then on Thursday it's Alumni Tiffany Thompson, on Friday it's my good friend's Alumni the guys from Whiskey Saints, and Saturday it's Alumni Charlotte Sometimes. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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