Oct 29, 2019
Meet artist Nicole Johnson, monster specialist. Since childhood she has been drawn to creepy stories and things – she doesn’t know why. She jokes that “something’s wrong with me.”
She wanted to make realistic art when she was a student. She tried religious art, but it ended up looking creepy. With experience she came to the realization she is better at making cartoonish art. She has devoted herself to full-time monster making. Her favorites are the classics like werewolves and vampires.
Some of Nicole’s monsters were inspired by environmental disasters. She imagined what chemicals in Lake Erie and Love Canal, NY would look like if they were brought to life as monsters. Love Canal was a housing development built on a chemical plant dumping ground. Tragically the chemicals seeped into the water and inflicted serious illnesses on the townspeople.
It would be bad news if one of her monsters came to life. She said, “…my monsters are kind of mean, if you were to bring one to life, he would just wreak havoc…ripping up my studio doing naughty things…”
Nicole and her husband Sean created The Horrified Chicken podcast. Sean doesn’t like horror, but horror-loving Nicole makes him watch them for date nights. Hellraiser was the movie that hooked her into the genre.
Nicole would love to get into writing but right now her time is going into her monsters and kids. Her family celebrates Halloween by turning her yard into a full graveyard with life-size monsters, many of them made from her kids’ old Halloween costumes.
Nicole advises us to embrace what we are good at, “don’t be afraid of it.” She put herself under pressure to do fine art, but things didn’t click for her until she embraced her cartoonish whimsical side.
This is the last episode of Season 1. Join me on Friday, March 13, 2020 for the debut of Season 2.
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