Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I almost forgot again!

      Wow, I have been so busy, I almost forgot to blog again. lol. I promise after "Confusion" I will start taking things at a normal pace, although I just signed on to do work with 2 Large publishers on a regular basis. It's it funny how when you decide that you don't want to do something, it then falls in your lap?  The good news is that I have enough clot now to ask for benefits, such as I will still own all the rights to make prints and posters of the work commissioned. I also can show it on my blog and for video lessons as well. A year ago a large publisher would have laughed at me for asking such things, but my mindset now is, "I don't care if I do it or not, I make plenty of money either way" It seems that just thinking this way has made all the difference in the world, or is it that now that i have returned to oils, my work has REALLY gotten noticed?
   I was finally able to scan 'Dragon Mystress" It takes paintings so long to dry in the cold damp environment here in Michigan. So here is is. (If I am in a hurry I throw them in the over, but Madison freaks when she see's me doing that. lol)
   You can see there is a big difference over the photo's I showed before. Also here is a logo I designed for the agency that represents me now, although that don't really kick off until March when Andie and Tilly are coming to visit me. I am going to take a zillion pictures of Tilly, because my guess this will be the last time she will be modeling. She has already made her millions from modeling and writing, but fortunately for me, she loves my work and is a very close and dear friend. How many artist do you know get to paint one of the all time top models in the world on a regular basis? lol Yes, I am bragging, and you would be to!
I love the logo. I wanted to do something that felt nostalgic and classy with a little mood, and I think I caught that with this one. I am doing a new logo for me right now, I have decided to (with the encouragement of Madison and Tilly) to start branding the name of Nick Rose instead of Wicked Kitty Studio. Next week you will see a new head on the blog and the website to reflect this decision. 
   I don't know about you but we had the most awesome Christmas I can ever remember. I can only hope that yours was wonderful to. Madison got A big Diamond for her hand, and some for her ears. She also got tons of other stuff she asked for, such as books by her favorite writer, and lots of things for her computer and her writing. I also got her lots of things to keep her warm in this Michigan weather, including one of those "Snuggie" body wrap things, and lots of heavy duty around the house thick footie's.
     I got this really kick butt thing that fits on my work chair and heats my back and massages it to, and also something similar for my neck. I got an external hard drive to back up all the files on my Mac, I got about 20 audio books, a New pair of stylise boots to wear when I go out in the ice and snow. New sweats, long johns, some really cool Batman apparel, lot of new brushes and paints (thanks to Mark) and plenty of new work to hang up from Mark and George, and a couple of art instructional books I wanted. I have never racked up like that!  I have been grinning like a possum ever since Christmas. lol
    This week I will have the website back up and get started on the next oil of Madeline and Darius in a Romantic Steampunk kind of thing. I'll have the pencil's of that on the next blog. So until then, peace and blessings. "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

      Hello my friends and Merry Christmas! Above it the 90% almost done version of "Cerberus". It is a photo and a bad one. I decided not to show it again until I can scan it, so that should be in about 2 weeks. I was hoping "Dragon Mystress" would be dry, but the varnish is still a little tacky to the touch, but I will have it next week for sure.  At the moment I am working on a portrait of the kids for one of Madison's Christmas presents. I am going to make this a annual tradition and make prints to give to their Dad and Grandparents.  I love doing portraits, but I wouldn't want to do them all the time. The really good thing about doing portraits is that it is a good way to measure your skills as an artist and how well trained your eye is. For years I wouldn't do them mainly because I wasn't good enough to get it right.  If you want to know where your drawing skills are, do a portrait.
     Christmas is finally only two days away, and I have to tell you, I am glad. No, I am not the Grinch or anything of the sort. What it is, at least in my case, is that I get all worked up the weeks before. This year has been very good to me financially and It is going to be the best Christmas since Clinton's last year as President. I don't remember if I told you in the last blog or not, but I am not having to depend on Disability anymore and can now give back instead of being a statistic.  It is good to know that I can get help if I need it, but now I can work at home and make a good living. With a top notch agent to represent me now, I am guessing the income is going to get better and better. I guess as far as Christmas goes, I'll just be glad to get back to the normal grind.
    I know this, the kids are going to have a heck of a lot better Christmas than last year. We got them everything on their "wishlist"  Mostly because last year, money was a lot tighter and the only income at the time was what Madison made. I am so glad that I am able to carry my share now  and much more now. Knowing that my art is making this possible is one of the best feelings I have ever had in my life. Madison is also having a great Christmas too. We are officially engaged now and plan to wed next December. So she got a very nice shiny rock. That thing is huge and cost a bundle, but honestly, nothing is to good for my girl. She took a lot of burden to bear to get me to the point I am at now. My next goal is that she can be a full time writer. She got a ton of other cool stuff too, but I can't say just yet, because she don't know about them. lol
    Although I'll be glad to get past it, this has been the coolest Christmas ever. I get some of the bizarre Christmas cards you have ever seen. lol Think about who my friends are. Most of my artist friends make their own cards, and I love them. I am going to start doing that next year, but this end of the year I have been busting my fanny on getting ready for Confusion.
    But the main reason I am doing this blog tonight is that I wanted to tell you all that I appreciate you all, and I hope that each of you have the most wonderful Christmas you have ever had. May it be filled with Love, Joy, and may you get at least one present that your heart desires. I pray that you all will all be safe during your travels for the Holiday as well.
   Next week, I will have new art,  hopefully some more tips for you and we'll recap this year. Much love and Hugs everyone.  "May the Darkness Comfort You."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Big Changes in progress!

      Hello my friends. I hope the holiday season is a wonderful one for you. I finished my shopping last week, I hope. Now I am trying to focus on a lot of business things going on, and that includes redoing the website. If you go there, you will see a big red note saying it is  being revamped, and I have cut off all links. I am hoping to have it back up on Dec 23, because on the 24th I am putting the Imac in the shop for upgrades. So for the week between Christmas and New year, i will not be on line much except to check for business mail on Madison's laptop.
    I will be so glad once we get through January. There is so much to do to get ready for traveling to the conventions and art shows. We are making a large inventory of prints, T-shirts, Trading Cards, Post cards, and lord knows what else.  There is also a ton of framing to be done, along with Matting a ton of prints as well. We also have to figure out a way to decorate our space, prepare signs and banners.
   Another big deal that is going on right now and I will announce all of the information involved once all the contracts are signed.  This month, this interview is also out with me at Horrornet.com, and I am doing a new one with another on line Magazine called Liquid Imagination.  Tilly also told me that she wanted to do a follow up interview on Main Street magazine in the near future. Working with Tilly has just been one of the most awesome privilege's  I have ever had. I will be starting on a new painting featuring her in January.
    Here is some photo's of the new painting in progress. I had to take a couple days off from painting because I was starting to feel burnout. But I am much better now!  lol 
    In the one above, you can see since the last blog, I put a layer of orange acrylic paint over the whole drawing and then I start going over the drawing with oil paint.
    Here I have started the background. It is supposed to be Hades, so I figure it needs to look hot. lol
    and here you can see the foreground painted, so I will start painting the beast and adding little details here and there to the foreground as I go.
    I know a lot of you are wanting to see lessons, but right now with all that is going on, I just haven't had time of the brain power to work one up. I am on the verge of panic because of all the things I am trying to do between now and Confusion. After that, I am hoping I can focus on other things again, so please be patient with me please.
   Where we live the snow is really piling up outside, and is not supposed to stop until Tuesday. Such is life in Michigan. lol I wonder how bad it is for my friends in Canada? Wherever you are, I hope you are managing to stay warm. It is 10 degrees here today with windchill of 20 minus, so you know this southern boy isn't leaving the house. lol The bad thing about working in the basement is that it gets colder down here that the rest of the house, so I have to wear 2 layers of clothes to stay warm. But on a up note, I am much more use to the cold now than when I was 2 years ago when I came to Michigan.
    I had a friend send me a box of books the other day on cooking for a diabetic, I was very touched that someone would go to that much trouble for me. Thank you Lisa, that was very sweet and big hearted of you. Another thing I have been getting alot of is audio books. Ever since i said I like to listen to them I have gotten huge collections of them to listen too, including I think everything that Stephen King has ever wrote, including the "Bachman" books.   It just blows me away. Right now I am listening to Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire" which makes the movie blow chunks. I have listened to the first four "Harry Potter"  books, and they are so much better than the movies. I will go back to them in the new year. I still have "Half Blood Prince" and "The Deadly Hallows" to go.
   When I was younger, I used to read all the time. I love books. But the older I have gotten, I have found I have little time to read. My friends always want me to read their new books, and I wish I had time. But hey, when it is out on audio, I will listen to it while I work.  I know one thing, I have been blessed in so many ways since I came to Michigan. I would have never dreamed my life would be my dream come true when I came here. I bought Madison a very expensive Diamond ring, and we plan on getting married next December. I have even been able to get off of disability now. I know now that as long as I can paint, I can make plenty of money. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying.... It sure beats the heck out of the years I had to sell my Plasma just to buy art supplies( the scars from the large needles are craved into my arms as a constant reminder of what it took for me to be where I am now.), and my main diet was dried beans and rice.
   I do have a game plan for the lessons when we continue. First we are going to learn to draw, step by step and how to train your eye to see better. Then on to painting, but  we need to start with the basic's first and your drawing skills transfer over to your paintbrush.
    After the "Cerberus" painting is done, I am doing a romantic steampunk sorta thing with Madeline and Darius. That will be very different, but after that back to the Dark Side! lol Much Love my friends. Stay warm and safe! "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Holidays, Love and Happiness.

       Hello my friends. Much love and blessings to you all. As always, I am very happy to have you join me again, and please don't forget to click on the advertisement to the right under the visitors map. I say this every week, because on average we get 50 new readers each week. Each time you click on it, one cent goes to the Shriner's Children Hospital.
      Here is a photo of the finished "Dragon Mystress" painting. I will have a finished scan of it for you next week. The newspapers where talking about this painting before I even finished it. Here is one of the articles. I thought I was getting a lot of press before, but now that Tilly and I are working with each other, her international fame is getting me noticed in really big ways.  I want to thank Jake Roberts and the "Canada News Now" for writing about me again. I appreciate the kind words and all the interest. This is the first of a series of 4 paintings based on the Dragon Mystress theme, and I promise you I will be painting Tilly Rivers for years to come.

     Next up is the private commission of "Cerberus." Here is the pencil work for it. I will start painting on it later today. I will have some in progress photo's for you next week.
     I haven't added a lot of details yet or wont until I start the under painting, hopefully today, but i am very sick with a bug. That is why the blog is a day late. The background will be very hellish with hellfire and all, or "Hades" fire. lol  I know, I'm easily amused.
    I still have 2 other paintings to be done with by the time we attend "Confusion" in January. After "Cerberus" will be a steampunk love thing featuring Madeline Frost and Darius.  Both will be in attendance with me at Confusion.  An interesting fact about Darius is that he was the personal bodyguard to a General while serving his country in Iraq. A very impressive young man indeed.
    After that will be the 2nd Tilly painting. It will be a much darker piece than "Dragon Mystress"  It is about a Dark Fairy. It is really going to dive into the dark side again.  I've noticed here lately since I have amassed a huge library of audio books and that I am becoming much more interested in magical creatures. I am loving this Cerberus painting and have an ideal for a dark unicorn painting featuring Tilly also.  But I am also getting into all the creatures that Lovecraft created in his stories, so look for a lot of them in the future as well.
    I am really happy about acquiring all the Dragonlance audio books as well, including all 7 of the Deathgate Cycle  novels which I read years ago. Life is so amazing right now.  I cannot believe all the good fortune that has come to me. I got some more major news this morning, and it means I have going to have pic up the pace a little more now. Even more work, but I couldn't turn it down. It's another dream come true.
   Okay, I really need to not have to think now, and just try to do motor actions, lol. I love you all, oh did I tell you I bought Madison a diamond so big that I had to buy a wheelbarrow too just to move here hand around in? lmao. Not that big, but for a starving artist type, it is a big deal to me.  Peace and Blessings. "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better.......

    Hello my friends.  I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving. We did, although we both worked. Of course for Madison and me, it really isn't work when you are creating, it is an act of love. The painting above is called "Heaven and Hell" and it features Horror Diva Dia Green. It will be shown on "Horrornet" to accompany a new interview with me, and a good one. I know I have done 13 interviews now in 14 months, so I do my best to make each one different and the readers can learn more about my dark past and future. I have the 14th interview coming up in January. The publicity I am receiving is just mind blowing.
     I just got a new scanner and have much better scans of the new oils I am doing. Here is the scan of "Hellcrow"
      as you can tell from the version a few post ago, this is a HUGE difference in quality.
     Outside of showing you what I am doing and tips here and there, I will not be able to continue the "lessons" until around the first of February, and those will be video's from now on. Right now I am swapped with things. As of later this week, I will be revamping the website, and most of the digital art will be gone forever, except for a few pieces we plan on marketing or we make good prints of. The lever of prints are going up. I just spent a small fortune on a new scanner and printer.  This printer will print up to 13 x 19, and this are the nicest prints I have ever seen that a artist can make at home.  Since now Tilly is going to get my work in galleries as well, we will be doing large, very high quality limited edition prints as well. They will sell for several hundred dollars a piece. All the things that will be happening in 2011 are just mind bogging and far exceed any dream I ever had for my art. I will tell you about them as they are happening.
     Here are more pictures of "Dragon Mystress" in progress. First we have the background finished and the background dragons done, and then a close up of the baby dragon with the soon to be painted Tilly.
     and here is a close up of the Dragon.....

    The next painting coming up is a private commission from one of my collectors and friend. It is my take on the Mythological creature "Cerberus"  At night after a 10 hour day of painting, I sketch while I sorta of watch a little TV. Here is the first study I am did trying to work out the bulk and proportion of a 3 headed dog to prepare for the painting. There will be plenty more sketches of it in the next blog, and the "Dragon Mystress" should be done as well. The Cerberus also be appearing in a book as well published by the client.

    On other news, my health improves every day, and I am more motivated and inspired than I have ever been. Madison and the kids are very proud of me. Our daughter is quite the artist herself at 11 years old. The other night, she pulled a chair behind me and watched me paint for 3 hours straight.  The kids and I have really bonded this last year as well, and I know they are not my children, but i fell like they are, and I love them like they are.
    It seems like I can't say enough about Tilly. I just found out from reading her blog that she is like a quarter away from getting her Law degree. That floored me. Not only will she be representing me, but she is also capable of taking care of the legal matters that may arise.  Her Agency will be one of the top ones in the world. I have no doubt and I am extremely honored that she wants to represent me.
     The truth is that if you have a good business mind, there is a fortune to be made if your work is popular.  The problem is that most artist don't have time to pursue the things that will make them the large amounts of money and paint too.  So now, I will have the best of both worlds.
     The art tip I want to share with you is a bit profound and I don't know if you will understand just yet. When Daniel told it to me, I didn't get it until 5 years later. One of the first things he said to me when I told him how grateful I was for what  he was teaching me, he told me "I'm not teaching you, I am simply unlocking the knowledge that you already have." I didn't have a clue at the time to what he meant, but with all the things I have been through since then, and now returning to my roots, my confidence in my abilities has gone off the charts, where as before, after the Dark Angel nightmare really made me doubt myself.  But with the support of Madison and allllllllllll the fans encouraging me, my confidence started to grow. (Not Ego) Now when I paint and draw I find that I am doing things that I was never taught, but for some reason, I just understand them and how to do them without even thinking about it. It is like I've always known how to do these things. Daniel's words now make perfect sense to me.  One day they will to you too if you believe in yourself.
    This is the first Christmas since 1998 that I am actually able to buy things for the people I love, including my friends and family. I am so thrilled about that, and I am very excited about the holiday.  We are putting up the tree tonight with the Kids. I can't believe how I went from being a hermit for 8 years and not wanting anyone in my life to having Madison and the kids and them being a huge part of my heart. I love them more than I ever thought I could love anyone. Finally after 52 years of living a nightmare, I have found happiness, love, and more success than I ever thought possible.
    Much Love my friends. "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Happy Thanksgiving my friends. I hope that each and everyone of you have had a wonderful day filled with good food, much love, family and friends. Please  do not forget to click on the ad under the visitor map on the right. Every time you do, a penny goes to help the Shriner's Children Hospital. It will only take a few seconds, and if you do it every visit here, it will mount up to a lot of money. I think we have over 1200 readers now?
    Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, and I know they where plenty of years that I didn't feel like I had much going for me.  My real family is spread all over the country, and with the exception of my younger sister and her offspring, I don't hear from the rest of them. But this year has been a miracle, a real miracle for me. Those of you that read regularly know of all the wonderful events that have happened, and the things that are coming are even more exciting and wonderful. I now have a agent, and she is in my opinion the best I could ever hope for. She is a wonderful woman with a strong business sense and most important, we trust her. So doing business with me has changed forever, now I will be sending folks to my agent to discuss commissions and whatever else I can do for them. She is a celebrity in her own right, a top selling writer, a ex model, a photographer and publisher, Tilly Rivers.
     She understands what it is I want to do and what I hope for the future, and I know she can make it happen. I believe in this lady 100% and will stand behind any decision she makes.  So I am very thankful for this. Now I know that have a home to call our own, and that we will be able to send the kids to college.  
    It wont be much longer that I will  not need disability, and will be able to give back to the state that helped me through a very difficult time. This year has been a fantastic year and I/we are very grateful to all involved. Enjoy your turkey everyone. Much love always. "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am so wired.

      Hello my friends, until after Christmas I am not going to be detailed lessons, but once I have the video camera I will be much easier for me to do them and I believe you will be able to understand what I am trying to teach you better as well.  So until then, I will just keep you up to date on things and show you step by step of the paintings I am doing.  I have decided to start showing you my sketchbook work that I do that precedes a painting.
Next is drawing out the whole ideal and mounting it to Masonite....
and then the start of the underpainting. I am doing something different in this one, I am underpainting it in oils.
      This painting is called "Dragon Mystress" and it features one of the most famous models in the world, Tilly Rivers.  Tilly and I will be doing a lot of work together.  She has also agreed to be my agent, which we are very excited about on so many levels.  Unless you know who Tilly is, you don't have a clue to how major this is going to be.
     I also bought a huge printer to make prints at home. It prints up to 13 x 19 which is a huge improvement over the 11 x 14 ones I have made in the past.  We are so working on having much larger artistic prints made of the new oil paintings as well.
    My scanner bite the dust, and I have a newer and much better one on the way, so you will be able to see much better versions of the work I am doing now.  One of the things I am very excited about is that all the work I did during my training days is now owned by private collectors, including sketches. An I am being commissioned to do new pieces for them. At this rate, I will not have to be on disability much longer.
    I've got to run for now, but I will see you next week with the progressing of the painting in progress.  Much Love everyone.  "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saving Money part one.


 Hello my friends.  I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was great and I got a lot of work done, as you can see.  I did this painting in a total of 10 working days which I am very happy about, and I didn't sacrifice the quality in any way. Now on to a quick pencil of Horror Hostess Roxy Tyler, then on to my next painting "Dragon Mystress" Another thing is that I have really been studying the work of Catherine Jones, one of the most amazing artist I have yet to see. I am starting to do some things I have picked up from her, like doodle sketches (and I will be posting some of those soon) with a pen in my sketchbook, just concentrating on the dynamics of a figure. It also helps to understand contrast in your work better and I cannot express just how important that is to any piece of illustration.  It is far more important than how you use color.  If you are not familiar with Catherine's work, look for her on Facebook and friend her. You will be glad you did.
    Here is the scan of the painting I did for Halloween, it is an oil and it is called "Hellcrow" I was finally able to scan it.

     This year as you all know, I have been rebuilding my studio basically from scratch. Most of it I had to leave in NC when I moved to Michigan and the rest was stolen from me. That is one of the main reasons I did digital art for 2 years, simply because I had to replace all my traditional art supplies and equipment.  We all know that artist are not rich people and buying a new tube of oil paint is a big deal for us. lol  So this blog and a few more are going to be about how to save money on the things you need.
    The first and easiest thing to get is plastic milk crates. (see the pictures below)  You can make tables out of them, desk, storage bends and so on. I got these from Wal-mart for a dollar each and I know they will last forever. If you have a friend that works at a food store, they probably can get you some of these as well.
     The table pictured above is made out of 12 crates and is very sturdy. I just covered it with a cheap black cloth and it fits right it to the studio. I have 4 more similar type of tables built of these crates as well.
    Since Madison has to sleep during the day, and i at night because of her job, I keep my everyday clothes in the studio. I used 9 crates to serve as a dresser.
    On these next pictures, please remember I am not a carpenter, lol  I built these shelves for storage of paper, artwork, masonite that I use for painting, and tools. I spent around 50 bucks on all the wood to make them with, and that includes liquid nails and screws. I haven't painted them but probably will when we move into our own home in the future. These also save a great deal of space and allows you art to lay flat.

    I did buy one of my chairs brand new, but if you go to a used furniture outlet, you can buy them pretty cheap. I still need to buy one more for the drawing area. Right now I just switch chairs around as I need them.
      I thought while I was taking pictures I would take one of my published work.  The top 3 shelves are publications my work is in or I did the cover's for. An during the move, one large box of my published work got missing, so actually it would fill the whole shelf if I had that one.  No use crying over spilled milk.  If I knew that I had to go through all that i did to be where I am right now, I would choose to take this path again. Even the bad I would embrace knowing how it would all turn out.  I have become a working madman, lol. I haven't been on Facebook or any of those kind of places lately.  I have to much work to do, and honestly that is all I want to do. 
    I hope to see you next week and I will have plenty of new work for you to see. Much love my friends, and "May the darkness comfort you."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Push the button please

   Folks, please don't forget to click on the little ad under the visitor map on the left hand side. Every time you do a penny goes to the Shriners Children's Hospital at the end of each cycle.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Much Love to you all.

     Hello my friends. This will not be my normal blog, but a short one. I had trouble last week passing a kidney stone and it threw a monkey wrench in the works. But I did manage to work through most of it. This is a painting I call "Heaven and Hell"  I have done versions through the years of it, but never got it right. I think when I post the finished picture of it, I will post as many of the past versions of it that I can find. The Model for this version is none other that Horror Diva Dai Green. I am hoping to work with her  more in the future for she is a wonderful model. I feel like my skills are finally to a point to where I can do some of the old idea's I have had but just lacked the skill to do them properly.  Here are some of the in progress photo's of it.

     Right now, the background is almost done and I hope to finish that today, and all I will have left to paint in Dai. I hope to get back to the lessons in the  week afters blog, and please write to me if there is something specific you want to see or for me to talk about. I am getting a video camera for Christmas and that will really help me show you things in much more detail than I could ever explain.
    My time is going to be tight the next 2 weeks. One reason I want to finish this painting and get to the next, but I am also doing the biggest interview to date, and I am really spending a lot of time on it. It will be reaching a 6 figure readership, so like all the interviews before, will bring us new friends and much more business.  I am very blessed that I can pick and choose what work I want to do these days. Money isn't even an issue anymore so I am allowed to be a"Artist" now over being and Illustrator, although I will still be doing Illustration. I have one coming up soon that I am very excited about. It is a painting of "Cerberus"  and the publisher is given me the freedom to do it anyway I want. Painting the 3-headed dog guardian of Hades should be a blast! Plus outside of it being in the book, it will also be offered as limited edition prints  as well from the Publisher. This hook up is one of the best so far. He pays well, and is a collector of my work on top of that.  It is exciting to have people who collect my work.
    For my friends that have known me for a few years know that I am not bragging by any means, but I am just a big kid that gets excited about all these things, and now to have all these really wonderful things going on, it is just wonderful. I am truly living my dream. I wish you all could, I really truly do.  There is even so old friends that hate me now that I truly wish all these wonderful things would happen for them, I really do.  Perhaps then their hatred would fade into passion for their art.
     I have a couple of quick tips before I get back to painting, one I've told you before, and really listen because it can save you a lot of money. Don't buy all those fancy high dollar cleaners from the art store, just buy a orange cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle like windex, and only cost a couple of bucks at the family dollars. After you clean your brushes in turpentine, swish it around in a container of the orange cleaner. It keeps your brushes really nice, and if you have a brush that has dried paint in it, let it set in the orange cleaner overnight, and the old paint will come right out.  Another tip is if you work in pencil much you probably buy a fixative to spray on the  finished work so the pencils wont smear. From the art store, the fixative is expensive. Use a aerosol hairspray form the dollar store. It is the same thing.
     Okay my friends, I have to get back to work. Much love to you all and "May the Darkness Comfort You"

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm Back.

       Hello my friends and I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. I've got a lot to show you in this blog, including step by step on how I go about a painting up to the underpainting part. On the next painting, we will cover the painting part. First up is the finished scan of the painting I did of Suzi Lorainne, and I can't tell you about the endless letters from friends and fans telling me to keep painting in oils, and I had already made my mind up to do that when I was working on this one.  So here it is.
  Up next is the Halloween painting I just finished in progress step by step.  But first I want to talk about something.  I told all my Facebook friends that I was also going to do a digitally parody and I was really excited about doing it, and then Madison and I had a talk about it. The piece is wonderful and funny, but the subject of the painting is a copyrighted character known the world over. One of my pet peeves is artist taking characters like Godzilla, Elvis, and so on, and do a painting of them, calling it parody and not giving credit to the copyright owners or paying for the licencing rights.  They claim the law protects them from prosecution from the owners because it is either Satire or Parody.  An if you sell prints of them, that don't fall under fan art either. In two cases I did fan art (I painted characters from movies and gave full credit to the movies they appeared in and did not and will not sell prints of them.)
     The whole thing is a ethical issue and it is up to each artist to decide their feelings about it. Mine are this. Just because there is a law that says you can doesn't make it morally right, in my eyes, your still a thief. But that is for each artist to decide, and I have decided not to do work like that, unless I have purchased the rights to do so.  How would you feel to see something you created stole by another artist  and changed it just enough to where they can get away with it and make a ton of money off of your idea? I am in no way or no means picking on anyone here, I am simply making a point from my point of view, and I feel like I owe the 1000's of fans a explanation to why I didn't do the piece I told them I was going to. 
     Madison also pointed out to me that a lot of folks out there look up to me, and I don't want to set a bad example. I'm not saying I will always do the right things, but at least I am trying. I had to start a second FB account last week, because I was having to turn away to many folks from my original one, and it one week, it is close to having 1000 friends already. I am guessing that a NickroseThree and Four are in the near future at this rate.  Something HUGE is going down in December, and at that point I don't know what where going to do to keep up with all the friends we are gaining.
      Now back to art. I am going to show you in step by step photo's how I start a painting all the way to the oil glaze before I paint. So here we go.
Day one:  
   I had Madison take a series of photos of me from different angels and poses to find the one that best suited what I was seeing in my mind. This is the pic I choose.  From there I started sketching.
 First I did the one on the left using my picture, but starting to exaggerate the body pose.  Then from there I started the one on the right. One thing I have found out from experience is that you have to learn to see your idea with the eye of an movie director. You do a sketch, then ask  "How can I improve this"   This is something I have just started doing, but was taught to me by Daniel several years ago. It does make for a much more dynamic picture, and drama is one of the key things you are after.
Day 2:
  So the next morning, after thinking about how I wanted the image to appear, I started over as in the top drawing, and in the second drawing i started adding the details. You can see that the paper is starting to "bubble" on me, but I pressed on so I can get to the 3rd drawing which is where I actually mounted the paper onto  a piece of prepared Masonite using Elmer's glue.  Then let that dry, it took about 2 hours, and applied 2 layers of Matte Medium and let it dry overnight. In the near future I am going to show you how to mount the paper to the Masonite but I am going to have to use a video camera, and I am getting one of those for Christmas.
    Daniel told me how to do it on the phone, and I figured I knew how to do it until I did it.  It was a nightmare, so that is why I want to show you with a video camera so there will be no confusion, or bubbles caught in the paper, and the other problems that can happen until you get the hang of it.
     Also a quick tip for you, if you shop at places like Hobby Lobby  and buy your prepared Masonite from them, you know that a 16" x 20" sheet cost about 7 dollars. You can go to Lowe's and buy a full 4' x 8' sheet of the prepared Masonite with the gesso side for 11.97 and they will cut it to any size you want. I had them cut one for me today into 10 18 x22 pieces and they don't charge to cut it and will do it while you wait. It takes about 5 minutes. If I had bought the panels from the art store it would have cost about 70 bucks plus tax, and they don't even have the size I like to work.  You save 58 bucks and get exactly what you want. You can also buy Orange cleaner there as well. It is the best and cheapest thing out there to keep your brushes nice and soft after putting them in Turpentine all day. You can also find it at Big Lots.
Day 3; the under painting.
To me, The under painting is a way to do a value study.  It is not the way I was taught to do it, but I do what works for me. Catherine Jones told me the other day that she didn't under paint or do a value study. She just puts down a few lines and starts painting. If you have ever seen her work you know it is amazing. Another living Master. I have a few canvases laying around, and I think just for fun one day, I am going to try it her way and see what happens. 
    All of you should remember that art is an adventure, and for each artist it is different. Take the path that works for you. Just because I say to do something a certain way doesn't mean you have to do it like I do, or how another artist does it. As Daniel told me,  "Take what you want and leave the rest." Do what feels right and works for you. You are an individual and what you do is unique just like your art.
  And now I add a glaze of Liquin and Magenta.  I added about a tablespoon of Liquin in a plastic cup and about a quarter inch of paint from the tube and mixed them well to they looked like this
and put one coat over the whole painting. By using the Liquin I know that it will be dry enough for me to get going in the morning.  As I have said, I prefer Linseed oil as my medium and only use Liquin for things like this.  It is also good for putting a layer over the dried painting to make the whole thing shine instead of just parts.  Another note is that on this painting I did the under painting in Acrylics, but you could do it with oils if you wanted. But Acrylics are more particle for the task since they dry so fast.
    Here is a photo of the finished painting. Hopefully by next week I will be able to scan it for you and have the pencil work of the painting I am doing of Dai Green.
 I hope you enjoy this, it will look much better when I am able to scan it, and please remember this, what I say on this blog is in no way intended to insult or point fingers at anyone. That is why I never mention names, but as with todays blog I simply wanted everyone to understand why I didn't do the piece a lot of folks where expecting to see. I have to learn to practice what I preach, and I by no means expect folks to always agree with me. I am very old school and I know the younger folks see life different than the way I do, and that is fine in my book. 
    I hope your week is filled with love, magic and creativity. "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy as Heck!

      Hello my friends, first things first. I have decided to let some companies put ads on the blog.  The first one has. If you scroll down the right hand side, there is one just under the counter. If you click on it, a penny goes into an account for Wicked Kitty Studios at the end of each year.  This money will go to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, so please get in the habit of clicking on the add every time you come to the blog. It is a wonderful way for us all help out children in need.
      I am going to have to ease up on the lessons till after Halloween. I am swapped with work right now, and short deadlines. I will still try to share tips until I can get back at making the lessons. They generally take me a day to do.
     I have some new works to share with you.  This was a piece I did for performer  Sally Zom Bie.   

and up next is my first oil painting in almost 3 years. The paint is still wet, so a photo of it will have to do for now. I got a huge reaction from my friends on Face Book.  They said that oil is my element. I am starting to think that is true and I am starting a new oil today. In the first blog after Halloween, I will show you the step by step of bringing it to life. I am going to put off the color studies for now, because I am thinking of what Todd taught me about learning values before adding color.  So i am thinking I should do the same for you.
and before I forget, the model is Suzi Lorainne and the two beast are her cats Loki and Monki. The next time I paint Suzi, she will be "Vamprilla"   
     The next 2 paintings I am doing are based on old ideal's that I have tried to do several times through the years but lacked the skills to do it right. I am hoping my skills will be good enough now. The first one I am starting today (and will be used in the next lesson to show you step by step) is called "Hellcrow"  The one after that is based a painting I have done at least 3 times in the past called "Heaven and Hell" and will feature Horror Icon Dia Green, and their is some major news that goes with that, but I will tell you all about it when the time is right.
    My health has been awesome. I have went a whole month without feeling bad. That is a new record for me. The insulin, exersice, and watching my diet is really paying off for me.  I really appreciate all the letters and notes you have sent me praying for me and my health.  That is just so awesome (my new favorite word) of all of you. 
   I'm sorry I don't have much for you this time, but please bare with me, and we'll get back on track after Halloween.  Peace and Blessings. "May the Darkness Comfort you"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Painting flesh tones part 2

     Hello my friends.  I am glad to be with you once again. As promised, I have the second part of flesh color mixing for you, with pictures.  The bad thing is that I am not a good photography, so hopefully you can bare the photo's I took for you.  But first other things that are going on. I posted a special blog a couple of days ago with the interview I did with Tilly Rivers for Main Street Magazine, who is also an awesome model who is modeling for me as well.  Darn, I am getting all these very high profile and beautiful women modeling for me.  We have  Madeline Frost, Suzi Lorainne, and now Tilly Rivers.  Here is a picture of each of them in the order I named them.

 Here are 2 of Madeline, one of the pictures I shoot during a photo shoot with her and Darius.
   and here is Suzi....
and last, but no means Tilly Rivers.
    If you want to see more pictures of them, look on links to the right of the page and you will see a box that says "Models I use".  These are some wonderful people to work with and I would recommend them to any artist in search of models.  Now if a fellow can't do some good paintings with wonderful models like these to work with, he just doesn't have what it takes yet. lol
     I wanted to showcase the lady models today, and I will show case the fellows on another blog. 
     Now to what we are all here for, art. I hope you all remember the lessons from mixing flesh tones part one, because here is part two.  If you remember the mixture I told you to start with as your base, these pictures will help. I did have one problem though.  It had been 2 years since I mixed up the base color, so it is a little off. I needed to add more yellow ochre to the mix. So what i did was add it to side of the palette and added it to the mixes as I used it. I am sure that you will that you will have the same problem from time to time. Luckily I made the chart below from the last oil painting I did 2 years ago, if you click on it and enlarge and print it, it is the exact the way the paints should look after the mix. I also added sap green, yellow ochre and orange.
  The first 2 lines are the actually flesh colors.  Put your hand beside the chart, and you will be able to find these colors in your skin.  The next series of pictures are how I mixed the colors and made them to the value scale. I am sorry that the pic's are a little fuzzy, but you still can get the ideal.

      The colors I added are orange, sap green, red, blue and a neutral gray.  It the second picture you can see where I was mixing colors on the pallet, basically adding yellow ochre to the flesh tones as I went.  The next picture is the painting still in progress, but it will give you an ideal of how the colors work together to make flesh.
     There are still a lot of things to finish on the painting, so please don't be judgemental until I am done which I am hoping will be this week. Depends on how the week goes.
 The only time you ever use pure white, and I prefer zinc white is for the gleam in the eye or on a tooth and there are times that you want to use a black, then use Payne's gray. It is as black as black but will not muddy up your other colors when you blend, other wise use the dark I thought you last week for your flesh tones.
     Next week we will talk about how to paint and a little on color and how to mix and use them. By all means, if you do not understand what I am telling you, send me a comment or a letter and I will do my best to explain it better.  So until then my friends. Much Love and "May the darkness comfort you."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Main Street Magazine Interview.

  I will be posting my normal blog on Monday, but I wanted to share this interview with you done by Main Street Magazine.  It is a print magazine based in Canada.  The blank spaces are where photo's and pictures are in the publication, but I couldn't cut and paste theme for the article. If you want to see the article as it actually appeared, you can go here  to download it for free. I hope you enjoy!
Main Street Magazine had the opportunity to interview “Nick”, and we are happy to have him in our 
first “ART IN ACTION” article! We know too that as you read his story, walk in his shoes and get to the 
man, the artist and the vision of “Nick Rose”- that you too will love him as much as we do! 
“I was born with the name William “Nick” 
Johns”, Nick told MSM, “but after becoming a 
professional artist, I decided to go by a name I 
had used in my days of doing fandom art, Nick 
Rose. I always have had a love for roses, and I 
felt like my life was a lot like a rose. After a long 
time I bloomed into something beautiful, but 
still would draw blood if you were not careful. 
That’s one reason I named my blog “Every Rose 
has its Thorn” like the song by Poison. If you’re 
interested in reading it, you can find it at 
I talk about my life as an artist, the work I do, 
and share the lessons I was taught by 2 of the 
greatest artist in the world, Master Daniel 
Horne and Fantasy legend Todd Lockwood. Like 
myself, I realize that there are a lot of talented 
artist out there that never got the chance to go 
to an expensive art school and learn the things 
that “famous artist” learn, but mostly don’t 
want to share. I understand why a good 
percentage of artist don’t want to share the 
knowledge, (They don’t want any more 
competition than they already have) but in my 
eyes, I feel that the knowledge should be 
shared with anyone who seeks it”. Daniel 
reached out and offered to help me after we 
had known each other for several years. He is 
truly one of the all time greats, and a wonderful 
man. His paintings, sculptures and Monster 
masks are amazing, and he does do some on 
line classes as well. The lessons he taught me 
where handed down by the very first American 
Master, Howard Pyle. So there is a lot of pride 
and history there. One day I hope to do a book 
or a long article on the linage of how the 
knowledge was passed from one student to the 
next. I know the Master that trained Daniel is 
named Ken Lagger. 
Daniel introduced me to Todd Lockwood to 
learn the basic rules of drawing and painting. 
Todd is an awesome man and artist, but he 
explained to me he didn’t have time to blow 
smoke up my butt, and if I wanted to learn, he 
didn’t have time to waste so I did everything he 
told me to do. It was like going to boot camp, I 
love Todd to death, but he didn’t cut me any 
slack. At one point he told me I had no business 
painting, because I didn’t even understand how 
to draw. I’m not ashamed to admit it, he had 
me in tears. Up to that point I had been working 
in small press and had at least 80 illustrations 
under my 
belt, 20 of those being covers, and at the time I 
could not understand why he would say such 
things to me, but now 4 years later, I 
understand why, and in his shoe’s would have 
done the same thing. One thing is for sure, 
without the help of these two wonderful men, 
my career would have been very different. 
A self taught 
artist does not 
know those 
basic’s, you can 
read about 
them, but until 
actually takes 
the time to go 
over them with 
you with 
examples, questions and answers you really 
don’t “get it”, or at least I didn’t and most of my
friends that I came up through the ranks with 
didn’t either. It’s like when I was a kid and I 
wanted to learn Kung Fu, and I bought some 
book full of pictures on how to do it. I studied it 
and I thought I knew what I was doing, until I 
got out of the Army and studied Martial Arts for 
several years. The real thing, and I what I 
thought I had learned from the book where two 
very different things. So this is why outside of 
doing my own art and projects that passing this 
knowledge on is something that is very close to 
the chest with me. I want to equal the playing 
field, and give everyone the same chance I was 
given. If Daniel and Todd hadn’t helped me, I 
would be someone that only a few people have 
heard of. I am also putting all this information 
into several books and DVD’ that should be 
available around 2014, and we are going to sell 
them very cheap compared to the 100 grand 
you would spend at an art school. I’m thinking 
just enough to cover the cost, plus a few dollars 
for the work put into it, and of course the 
money we donate to children’s charities. That is 
something very important to Madison and I. 
MSM: Your artwork is considered by most as 
being on the dark side. How do you describe it? 
What some see as dark and scary, I see as 
beautiful, mysterious and consider to be part of 
who I am. I often tell the young folks that I was 
“Goth” before people had a name for it. I am 
not a person of evil, a devil worshiper or any 
such thing. I just see the world in a dark light, 
and I consider that a gift. You can’t have the 
light without the darkness. Most the images I 
paint are a reflection of how I see some of the 
real life monsters that have always found there 
way to me ever since I was a child, or the ones I
see on the news, and pass by on the street. The 
painting of the ghost girl (Spooky) to me is a sad 
painting. A poor little girl’s spirit left behind for 
whatever reason, just wanting someone to 
spend time with, but people run in terror from 
her because she is different and misunderstood. 
Like all things the majority of the human race 
doesn’t understand, they either kill, or 
experiment on. I have dreamed about her on 
several occasions and often wonder if she is 
Over half of the work I do comes from my 
dreams, and a good bit comes from writers who 
I am hired to illustrate a cover for, but things 
have changed now. If I do work with a publisher 
or writer, it really has to be something that gets 
me excited and I feel like was made for me. I 
have reached the point to where I can pick and 
choose the work I do, and the really dark work 
is yet to come. One of the projects I am 
publishing myself is going to be called “The 
Book of Rose” It is a story told, with countless 
drawings and paintings by me, and it will be 
very dark. The faint of heart will have 
nightmares from it. But that is all I can say for 
now. Perhaps when I get it completed and 
published, I will tell more then, but honestly, I 
have a few people out there that like to steal 
my ideal’s, and this one no one is going to have 
a clue about until it is out and everything is 
trademarked and copyrighted. I am creating a 
role playing game based on it as well and there 
will be many volumes of “The Book of Rose” to 
come. This is one of those projects that will 
keep on as long as I am alive, perhaps even 
To me the darkness is like a blanket. In it, I feel 
protected and free from harm. When I am hurt, 
it is where I go to heal. I remember when I was 
a young teenager; my stepfather would get 
drunk and beat either my mom or me. I still 
have the scars under my neck from where he 
threw a glass at me and it shattered in my neck. 
My mom wouldn’t take me to the hospital, 
because she was afraid of what he would do. 
Instead, she picked most all the glass out of my 
neck with a pair of tweezers. I was lucky that it 
didn’t hit a main vein, after that I ran into the 
woods to a place only I knew about and hide in 
the darkness. The moon was out, and I could 
feel something around me giving me comfort as 
I shook with terror from what the monster had 
done to me. I didn’t come out of 
the woods the next day until he 
had left for work. That was the first 
time I can remember not being 
afraid of the dark, and felt safe in 
it. That is why my tag line is “May 
the Darkness Comfort You”
How did you come up with the name "Wicked Kitty Studio?" 
Well, the truth is, it just kind of happened. I’ve 
always loved cats, and anything to do with 
them, including cartoons. Shortly after I moved 
in with Madison, she got a cat for her daughter 
and named it Misty. We had no ideal how old 
Misty was, because the family we got her from 
had found her a few years earlier in a church 
parking lot. At that point she was already full 
grown. But the couple who had found her told 
us that she didn’t “Play” well with other cats 
and hada lot of “wild” left in her. They finally 
had to get rid of her, since they had several cats 
and Misty didn’t want to share the food with 
the other cats. 
She was declawed, so she could not scratch us, 
but she had one mean bite. I had also noticed 
that she seem very sensitive in the back half of 
her body, so I am guessing that she was hurt at 
some point and 
was never given the medical attention she 
Misty took up to me like I was her long lost 
owner, but she would play rough with Madison 
and the kids, so 
as a joke I 
started calling 
her “Wicked 
Kitty” and one 
night when 
everyone else 
was in bed, I got 
a wild hair and 
did a sketch of a 
cartoon like cat 
with an eye- 
patch, scars and so on. A few weeks later I did a 
quick painting based on the sketch, and I added 
the words Wicked Kitty Studio, and the Studio 
was born. It was about this time that Madison 
started forking out a ton of money for some 
very expensive equipment for me to use, and as 
the year went by, she had invested a lot into my 
career and gave me the chance I never had 
before. So Wicked Kitty Studio became a 
publishing company as well. Once we knew that 
we where going to be married and spend our 
lives together, I made her the owner of 
the company, so everything we build will be 
protected. By the time people are reading this, 
it will be Wicked Kitty Enterprises LLC. 
Would you say that Nick Rose is the alter ego of William Johns? 
Now that is a very interesting question. 
Maybe William Johns is the alter ego of Nick 
Rose, my secret identity. Lol. Seriously though, 
that is something to talk about, and I have 
never really thought about it until now. Back in 
the day, when I was working doing fandom art, I 
had to install floors to support myself. So I 
created this switch in my mind and when I got 
up in the mornings, had my coffee, got in my 
van, and drive off to bust my tail all day putting 
down carpet, working as hard as I could just to 
get home to the things I loved. By the time I got 
home, I would be tired and frustrated. One 
thing about being an artist is that you hate 
doing anything other than creating or you get 
‘upset” when you can’t do what your heart 
desires to do. Anyway, when I got home, I 
would take a shower, set the alarm clock to
sleep and hour, and when it went off, the coffee 
was brewing, and I would walk into my studio. 
At that moment I would become Nick Rose, and 
I would draw and paint until quit often I would 
fall asleep in my 
work chair. Then the next morning I would wake 
up and be William Nick Johns again. I know that 
sounds strange, but it worked. If I went into the 
studio and still had the dirt and sweat on me 
from installing carpet, nothing creative could or 
would happen. 
When I was Nick Rose, I wouldn’t take a 
business call, it was like having on a suit of 
armour to protect me from all the bullshite of 
the real world, and I wouldn't let anyone in. 
When most young people where out partying 
and dating, I was very happy in my studio letting 
my imagination take me to dark and happy 
places, other worlds, and just forgetting all the 
pain and memories that continued to haunt me 
to this very day. 
Throughout my career I have used the name 
Nick Rose, and very early on, I went by the 
name Gypsy, which was a nickname my friends 
had given me. It’s tattooed on my right 
shoulder. When I started training under Daniel 
and Todd, a close friend talked me into using 
my real name, William Johns, because as they 
convinced me, it was the proper way to show 
respect. I agreed and believed it to be the best 
thing to do, but I soon realized what a horrible 
mistake I had made by doing this. It was like 
showing all the wounds from the pain I grew up 
with that never healed. Some people poured 
salt on those wounds in a matter of speaking. It 
was the worse psychological mistake I ever 
made. I showed that beaten, terrified child to a 
cold word full of people who hated me because 
I had been given the chance that Thousands 
dream off, to be trained by a Master. I spent 3 
weeks in the hospital because I almost 
committed suicide. 
These days, buried somewhere deep inside of 
me is William, but Nick Rose is who I am now, 
and will always be. It’s the only way I can deal 
with Monsters and pain. I have been seeing a
Therapist this last year, and I don’t know if that 
will help me or not. I don’t know if I want to be 
helped, but I have learned to forgive, but I 
cannot forget, and as long as I can not forget, I 
will always need Nick Rose. So Nick Rose is not 
an alter ego, it is who I am. 
Who are your biggest fans? 
This is one of the big surprises that I never 
expected. To have fans for one. Just on 
Facebook alone, when you count my friends, 
the number of people in my fan club, and the 
followers of my blogs, the numbers are over 
11,000 fans and friends, and all of this has 
happened in just this last year. I prefer the word 
friends over fans and from what I can tell, my 
audience is about half male and the other half 
female, and there is no certain age bracket. The 
fans range from 18 to 70. 30 and above buy 
more prints, which Is normal, because most 
young folks can’t afford things like that yet. 
I had a birthday a couple of days ago, and I got 
over 400 happy birthday wishes from my friends 
on Facebook, and probably another 1000 in 
private letters or regular mail. Two years ago, I 
got one Birthday Card and well wishes. On 
Facebook, I took the time to thank each person 
that wrote Happy Birthday to me. It took me 2 
long days to respond to all of them, but I did. It 
was important to me to let them all know I 
really appreciated them. Madison told me that 
I should just say one big Thank you and in the 
future I may to do that if the numbers keep 
growing, but right now I want people to know 
how much I appreciate the kind things they do 
and say for me. This last year I went through 
some serious health issues, and if wasn’t of the 
love of Madison and the children, and the 
friends I have made through my art, I don’t 
think I would have made it. I did though, and 
now I am healthy as you can expect from a man 
with my health issues. I keep promising 
everyone at least 30 more years of new art and 
teaching, and I don’t break my promises. 
I’ve had to go through some bad things in my 
life (But we all have) but if I had known that it 
would all bring me to right here and right now, I 
wouldn’t have changed a thing. This has been 
the happiest year of my life. 
You had some personal battles in your life regarding drugs and alcohol, is your art a reflection of those 
I am really glad you brought this up Tilly. It is 
not something that I am proud of, but I really 
hope the young people out there listen to what 
I have to say and take it to heart. 
Yes is the simple answer. My life is my art, the 
things I’ve done, the people I have known, the 
people I have loved, the places I have traveled 
and the drugs I have taken. What I am going to 
tell you is the truth, and I’m not proud of it at 
Back in 1975, when I was in High School, a girl 
who I had a major crush on, I think her name 
was Missy, offered me a joint one night on the 
way home from an after school acting class in 
what I thought was the coolest van I had ever 
seen. I smoked it with her, and I keep smoking 
until I was around 40 years of age which was 
about 13 years ago. The day I walked away from 
drugs after pot had been a major 
part of my life for 23 years. In those 23 years I 
had also done mushrooms, acid, speed, 
downers and hash. It was my escape. I didn’t 
drink much, as a matter of a fact back then I 
was a lightweight, after 2 beers I was sick and 
done. So my escape from reality was pot 
mostly. The other stuff was just here and there, 
very rare for the most part. 
I discovered my art talent while I was in the 
army, I was a late bloomer, and my art and pot 
became one and the same. You know, like 
peanut butter and jelly. I could not, or at least I 
thought I could not, draw or paint unless I was 
stoned. That is probably the main reason I 
wasn’t able to make art my career until 
recently. After I got past the pot, I took up 
drinking. As I got older I found out I could drink 
much more than when I was young. I just went 
from one addiction to another. I honestly 
believed that without my “high” I could not 
create. During all of those years, I also smoked 
cigarettes. Two Packs a day, every day. 
When I look back at this part of my life, some of 
it I can blame on the horrors of my childhood, 
but the real truth is, I did these things because I 
was not happy. I was your stereotype artist, 
having a tortured soul and all. I hated my life. I 
hated having to work for other people, 
especially step family, and I really hated being 
on my knees all day installing different types of 
floors. All I could think about was getting home 
to draw or paint. That was the only time I felt 
alive. There was no doubt in my mind that I was 
meant to be an artist, but of course everyone, 
including some of my family thought it was just 
a silly dream, and I should grow up. 
Now here comes the reality break, I could have 
changed my life if I would have had a clue to as 
which direction I should have took, or had the 
courage to move to New York City. Again, 
another reason for 
my blog. It was the year 2000 before I 
discovered the potential of the internet. By this 
time I had given up drugs, except for speed and 
was nothing more than a working alcoholic that 
hadn’t drew in about 5 years. I had given up. I 
was drinking myself to death. Then I saw that 
with the internet, I could reach 100s of 
publishers with samples and go see all the 
artists that had inspired me through the years. 
To be brief, I paid to have a website built for 
me and then I sent e-mails out to 5 publishers 
with samples. Within 3 days I got back 5 letters 
from those publishers, offering me work. Within 
2 weeks, I was invited to 2 conventions as a 
guest in NC and VA. Now 11 years later, things 
have never stopped, and I have countless fans 
and I paint for a living. Almost 2 years ago, I 
finally quit smoking, and a few months ago I had 
my last drink. During those years, I did a lot of 
damage to my body, all because I was not 
happy. Now I am happy and I have given up all 
the bad things. Because of all those bad things I 
now have COPD, Diabetes, Ulcerative Colitis, 
High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease to name 
some of the Hell’s I created for myself. The VA 
even tells me I have PTSD from my childhood. 
So no matter how you look at it.
My body is a mess. It is recovering, and getting 
stronger, but I will never be whole again. The 
best I can hope for is that I keep doing the 
positive things I am doing for myself and with 
the powers that be have mercy on me, and let 
me be with you all for another 30 years. The 
number of paintings I could paint in 30 years 
and the students I could train is very motivating 
to me. 
The thing is this, if I had just focused on my 
work, instead of how miserable I was, things 
would be very different now. For one, at 53, I 
would be healthy. What I am hoping people 
realize is this, if you just keep working hard, and 
don’t be afraid to open any closed doors, your 
dreams will come to you in time. Don’t torture 
your body; it’s not its fault. Most problems with 
our world, especially in the states is that 
everyone wants it all right now, and there is no 
honest way to do that. Live by these words if 
your a creative person “Live your life and follow 
your heart. Never give up on your dream. 
Learn all that you can and work very hard and 
most important have patience. That’s the 
biggie, Patience. Listen to only what your heart 
tells you and hold it dear. Don’t listen to the 
people that tell you to grow up, or “Get a real 
Find a job that allows you to have more free 
time to work on your craft. For instance, get a 
job where you work 3-12 hour days a week. If 
you can find a mate that supports and believes 
in you, instead of putting extra stress on you 
or/and calling you a loser, if you can’t, worry 
about making your career happen first instead 
of listening to your hormones.” Above all 
though, don’t torture yourself because the 
world hasn't accepted your work yet. It takes 
time, and always remember your ego is your 
worst enemy. You’re never as good as you think 
you are, and always be kind and well mannered 
to the people who publish and promote you. 
They could have just as easily published another 
artist instead of you. 
Besides Spiderman- who else is your hero? 
Without a doubt, that would be Madison. After 
that I would have to say Daniel and Todd. In the 
last several years I have been lucky enough to 
meet some really awesome people, and all of 
them I would call Hero’s. In my heart I pray 
everyday for the soldiers that give us our 
freedom and safety, as well as the people who 
watch over us and keep us safe, such as 
Firefighters, Police officers and the people who 
work for the health industry. The Shriners are 
personal hero’s of mine for the work they with 
When I was growing up, Spiderman was my 
favourite hero. I am a huge fan of many comic 
heroes’, but Peter Parker I could relate to. He 
was just your normal geek with a load of 
troubles, but he could become so more than 
that when danger lurked around the corner. As 
a child the only hero’s I had where the ones I 
would read about. Spidey got me through.
Going back to the beginning of your art-what were the reactions of your close friends/family when they 
saw your works? 
I didn’t take an interest in art until I was in 
the Army. Once I got out of the army, I went to 
a local community college for a year. To do that, 
I had to work a full-time 3rd shift job, and then 
go to school all day. I had gotten married while I 
was in the army, and soon after we had a 
daughter. My ex was going to school to be an 
accountant, and she did that at night, so I was 
living on about 4 hours of sleep for several 
months until my body finally just said “No 
more” I haven’t seen my daughter since she was 
2 years old. Her name was Beverly Elizabeth 
Johns. Her mother and I had gotten married 
way to young, we where still children ourselves. 
After she moved out, I never saw Beverly again, 
and I didn’t have the means or money to track 
them down. 
That is when I really started doing Fantasy art, 
and I hung out with a group of friends that I had 
meet in a Science Fiction Fan Club called 
“Starcore”. Those were some very wonderful 
days. We always went to the midnight movies 
and always were together. A few of the 
members where artist as well. They really 
encouraged me which was wonderful, because 
no one else did. Some of my family, including 
my mother would always tell me,”Why don’t 
you paint flowers or barns, you know the things 
people like and buy.” (That was another reason 
I started using Rose as my last name. I sure 
wouldn’t want to embarrass my family. Lmao) 
and of course my brother was a Southern 
Baptist Preacher, so you can imagine the things 
he would say about my work. As I got older, 
things didn’t change much until I did a few years 
of commercial work for the sports teams 
around my hometown, Charlotte, NC. I even did 
some work for Sea World and greeting card 
companies as well. Now, the family all liked 
that, because that was “Normal” but I left that 
behind because the nightmares inside of me 
where dying to come out. Until that point, most 
of my work had been Fantasy, but I wanted to 
sink my teeth into something really dark and 
scary. I was just worried that it wouldn’t be 
received well. You have to remember most of 
my life I lived in the Bible belt and I seriously 
was concerned my house would get burnt down 
or other terrors. In those days, people probably 
would have considered me the Anti-Christ if 
they saw the work I was doing these days. 
I live in Michigan now, and love it. People here 
are much more friendly and encouraging.
Is there any negative feedback regarding 
your works? 
Not that I am aware of. I do have a few 
crazed people who harass me here and 
there, but that is to be expected. Ever since 
I started training with Daniel and Todd I 
have had people threaten me and recently 
even Madison. We don’t worry about them. 
They have issues, not us. 
Outside of that, everything is very positive. 
This year alone, I’ve done 8 interviews with 
very reputable publications. I’ve also 
done a radio interview, and I am doing 
another one on Halloween. I was filmed for 
a documentary called the “Kings of Scream” 
but I don’t know where that stands right 
now. We have had tons of positive publicity 
and honestly, I know now how it could get 
any better. 
I am sure in the years to come I will do 
some pieces that will “upset’ some people 
out there, but that’s fine. I welcome that. I want my work to “disturb” people, at least then I know there 
paying attention. 
If you had to choose between drawing fantasy or horror- which would you choose and why? 
That wouldn’t even be a contest. Horror hands down. As far as my horror art goes, I am just getting 
warmed up. I will be doing some “Dark” fantasy art, but very few to be honest. I am very interested in 
the “Steampunk” look, and I will be doing some work along that line as well, with a “Dark” touch. Like I 
said, I have a gift for seeing the Dark side of life, and I am finally getting to the point where I am not 
afraid to show it. Twenty years ago, I don’t think the world would have been ready for it, but these days, 
the Dark Days, people are starting to relate to me more and more. 
Do you see any animation in your future? 
Well Tilly, I’m not an animator, but I would be open to a company using some of my characters for 
animated work if they wanted I recently had some doors opened to me in Hollywood, so at this point, 
anything is possible. I am looking forward to doing character designs and movie posters; In fact I am 
thrilled to death to have this chance. Working in the movie industry has always been a dream for me
and this last year I was approached by several Indy film makers about doing work, but nothing ever 
came from them. 
One of the models I do a lot of work with, Scream Queen Suzi Lorainne has started producing movies, 
and so I hoping to do some work with her. She has a movie coming out next year called “Won Ton Baby’ 
it is an Indy film and I am going to do a promotional painting for her of the movie. It should be a lot of 
fun, and I just love working with Suzi. She is a wonderful model and friend. 
The Hollywood job I mentioned is on a much larger scale and I am hoping to have a chance at 
impressing some movie makers with my imagination and skills. There are so many things I want to do 
with my art, and after all these years I am finally getting my chance. Please keep your fingers crossed for 
Some of your characters would make some awesome video game heroes, is this something you would 
consider doing? 
Yes. I am planning on having a video game and RPG’s made of my “The Book of Rose” project in a few 
years, and I would be open to any RPG or video game based on my work. I think that would be a blast. 
The funny thing is that for every character I draw or paint, I have a story that goes with it. I always have. 
If life gives me a chance to use all these gifts I was born with, I think people will get what they are always 
saying they want something new, things that no one has ever seen, stories that have never been told. If 
life will give me another 30 years like we talked about, I will leave behind one hell of a legacy. 
Final thoughts.... 
First and foremost, I really appreciate you taking an interest in my art and doing this interview with me, 
and I hope your readers found it to be interesting. I came from the world of hard knocks and working 
hard. I was no golden child born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Like the readers and my friends, I’ve 
had to work hard all my life, but now my I am living my dream. It took me a lot of years to make this 
happen, and without the help I got, it would have never been possible. But please take this to heart, if 
you work hard, stay patience, and get a break or two your dreams will come true to. Drugs and Alcohol 
are not the answer, believing in your self is. There is no quick route except for a path of evil. Stay off that 
path, or you whine up where so many before you have, no where and forgotten. 
Whatever your gift is, treasure it and work as hard as you can at being the best you can. Never put fame 
over your passion or you will lose both. Make a note of my blog and join me there. I will share with you 
whatever I possible can, and I will encourage you when no one else will. One last thing, please check 
out my website at http://www.wickedkittystudio.com we do have prints for sale at very reasonable 
prices, and please check out the link page as well. You can visit the websites of the models I use, my 
artist friends, and other great things.Many blessings and Much Love. “May the Darkness comfort you” 
~Nick Rose~