Our final interview for this year's Thir13en For Halloween is a rather interesting young lady from Toronto, Ontario, Canada who calls herself Ghoul Friday: an artist, writer and blogger who has been featured at several art shows and horror conventions in and around Canada, including the Bazaar Of The Bizarre, the Dia De Los Muertos Festival Of The Arts, and a spot at Rue Morgue's Festival Of Fear. In addition to maintaining a blog containing personal ruminations, spooky recipes, and DIY Halloween tutorials for eager young haunters, Ghoul works in a variety of mediums to create Halloween-themed art. While "Halloween art" to some people may just mean several different ways to carve a jack-o-lantern, Ghoul Friday's artworks are not only sufficiently seasonal but also deliciously dark, combining elements of both the sinister and the warm-hearted, and I think you'll agree when I say that we saved the best for last. Below is my account of this Friday with Ghoul.
Darling, thank you so much for participating in our little Halloween soiree. Please tell our gentle readers about yourself and what you do.
My name is Ghoul Friday. I've been an avid Halloween enthusiast since a young age, ever since my mother allowed me to spray paint a tombstone on our basement wall when I was little girl for my 4th grade Halloween party. As an adult, I share my passion for the holiday and share tutorials with the public on www.ghoulfriday.com so they can create their own monstrosities for the season.
A most delightful diversion, indeed! But you term yourself a "Halloween artist." Please explain.
Two years ago I made the move from large scale decorations for my yearly Halloween parties to making smaller, more artistic items. My main focus is Halloween-themed pieces, but I've begun branching out and exploring other darker creatures - from little minion creatures to Plague Doctors.
What mediums do you work in to create your artwork, and what things inspire you the most?
I dabble in polymer clay, but the mediums I favor are paper clays and papier-mache. Many of my pieces incorporate fabrics as well. As for inspiration, I think stumbling upon the unexpected gives me the best creative boost. Ideas for creations often come from the most unexpected sources, even the most mundane scenarios. But something triggers a thought, which triggers an image, which often leads to a story about a creature. And then they are born.
That definitely sounds like something my friend and colleague Frankie Franken could appreciate. But you are also a writer, and have written a book, Brains Vs. Coffee. Share a bit about that with us, please, and what inspired you to write it?
One dreary morning in February of 2009, I slowly shuffled over to the computer. Still groggy, I signed into my Twitter account online and typed the following statement:
"Coffee...*stumble*...coooffee...*stumble*...braiiins...hm? *shakes head* COFFEE…"
I found myself starting the day addressing the same question: Brains or Coffee? What's a ghoul to do? Can coffee really help me resist the urge for brains as I wake in a zombified state? I began posting the pros and cons of each side, examining subjects such as ease of use, storage, and disposal. At first, it was simply for my own entertainment. Slowly, others showed interest in the subject, providing feedback and even their own points for each side. Before I knew it, I'd written 100 entries. That's what you'll find in the book.
Hmm. Your predilection for brains seems to indicate an interest in zombies. What dealings have you had with these creatures, and do you have a favorite zombie horror movie?
I think I'll save my personal zombie encounters for my memoirs (to be published once I'm dead...or undead, as the case may be). As for a favorite zombie movie, that's a tough one. I'd have to say Shaun of the Dead.
An excellent choice. So let's talk about the Day that is upon us. Describe your fondest memory of Halloween.
My fondest memory was a caterpillar costume my mother made for me when I was 7. Everyone thought I was an alien or a monster. I thought they were crazy. And how I loved that costume.
Well, not so much to worry about on my end as far as costuming, since vampires are perpetually in costume. What are your plans for celebrating the Ghost Wonderful Time Of The Year this Halloween?
This is the first time in... I don't know how many years, that I'm not throwing a Halloween party. Many things have led me to taking a year off, which was a difficult decision but the best one to make. So it's the first time where I've been free for the celebratory weekend and I have had the worst time trying to figure out how to celebrate it. So far, it looks like a party at someone else's house on the Saturday, and then I plan to carve pumpkins on Halloween Sunday, followed by a tour of local haunts, an evening in a small lounge consuming martinis, and then finishing the night by watching the premiere of The Walking Dead on TV.
And I'm sure we can all agree that Ghoul should have a much-deserved (and possibly long-overdue) rest. Do visit Ghoul's lovely blogsite (merely click our title link above) and share in her ongoing celebration of the wonderful and weird, and obtain a copy of her book and perhaps even buy some of her artwork, which is on sale at Etsy from time to time.
In closing, the other Grrls and I are delighted to have been able to celebrate Halloween with you this season, and we are very grateful for your patronage. We wish that all of our readers (and the new fiends we made this season) have the most wonderful Halloween ever.
The Mad Doctor will be in soon with our last post for The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween, so do stop in on the 31st. Happy Halloween to all!
Warmest regards,Bethany Ruthven
POST-MORTEM: Ghoul Friday was kind enough to review the Mad Doctor's first chronicle of The MonsterGrrls, in addition to a fun and fanciful product from Write On Riot. View her review here. --B. R.