Introducing... NEON HORROR!

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Hello Friends!

It has been a MINUTE since I've blogged. It's for all the best reason, and I'll be 100% transparent; The time I was putting into the blog was not warranting the engagement I was receiving. Yes, the intentions of my blog were to be an expression of myself or something along those lines, BUT when it started becoming another chore, I knew it was time to re-think it. And that does NOT mean that my blogging days are over, in fact, it helped me re-focus my energy. 

The last few months have been extremely busy for Bradfordley Illustration and Design. I've picked up some really cool illustration and design gigs that have kept me busy and look forward to moving ahead with several new clients on the horizon. 

I realized something that became confusing when I would talk about my business: T-Shirts and Swag vs Illustration and Design. People would say "How are your t-shirts going?" or "Oh, that's your t-shirt site". While this is all true, t-shirt design and designing swag was a motivator to keep me in the digital conversation. I LOVE making shirt designs and swag and coming up with fun mashups and punny things, but the core of my business was Illustration and Design. But there is NO WAY I'm leaving my tee designs in the dust. To be honest, they've been more successful than I anticipated and I want to push them into new territory. That's when I decided that my pop culture craziness needed its' own brand. A brand that can be used for tees, swag and a brand where I could share articles, thoughts on pop culture references, and be absolutely irreverent without it taking over the focus of my Illustration and Design business. This is where NEON HORROR! was born. I always tell anyone who will listen that my personal design aesthetic is at the crossroad of whimsical and macabre. This is the meeting of Neon and Horror, which is also how I view pop culture. The culture of celebrity is like a sparkling train wreck; Most of us can't seem to keep from watching it even though we know our focus should be somewhere else. 

So with that long-winded explanation, expect to see NEON HORROR launching soon, with all of my shops rebranding to NEON HORROR. So don't flip out if you go to my Bradfordley shops soon and see that they've changed, I was not bought out (wouldn't that be amazing lol), I have simply retooled as I navigate my ventures moving forward. 

Neon Horror can be found at NeonHorror.com and is linked directly to my Bradfordley page, as sub-section! 

Please feel free to drop me a line and leave some love in the comments! 

A Bradfordley Briefing

Hi Everyone!

I do plan to revisit my art-driven posts in the future, as I already have some things sketched out. Things have been BUSY!! But I thought I would take time to talk about my shops, what my art means to me, and why I love the concept of combining the whimsical and the macabre. 

The biggest fear I had when launching my brand, including the site and shop, was that it would fail, or be judged harshly. And we're still very early on, so that's very much a possibility, and that's also ok. Let's be honest, I'm no spring chicken. I'm also not some old fart that's been ready to hang up his hat (or "hats" because I have a lot of hats). Art + Music have been my ENTIRE life. I've been lucky enough to have done both as a career and to be involved heavily with Marketing, which also keeps me busy and happy. 

Over the years I have spent an inordinate amount of time working to please a select group of people or trying to make sure I was accepted within a group of influence. I think a lot of us can relate to that, and we are almost always let down. Inevitably though, the person we're spending the most time with is ourselves, so I needed to actually "like" this person I was with all the time. The quest to find my best self, started by being ruthlessly honest with myself and trying my best to examine myself with brutal objectivity, which is still an ongoing process. Once I started this process, I began to discover I had things I wanted to share. Not necessarily opinions (though I do that often lol), but a point of view, a perception, and a dialogue with my world. I knew at the end of the day, I'd be happy I tried something. The voices of self-doubt can still be deafening, and I doubt they'll ever go away, but I jumped into keeping myself busy with artistic abandonment. Before I knew it, I was having the time of my life, and that's only in the last 7 months! I started to embrace ideas that my inner sabotaging self would try to negate. I began to believe in myself a bit more, and I looked ahead with optimistic potential. I am still finding it 100% true that the energy I feed is the energy I will produce, and keep it top of mind.  

How does this lead to "Whimsy" and my obsession with Neon and Necro? It's not really that difficult for me to explain. I think there's nothing more important I can do than face the things I fear and stick my tongue out at them. Clearly, I love skeletons. I love skeletons because when everything is stripped away, that's what we all are. Combining them with my love of the colorful and silly is at the heart of my aesthetic. 

The world is incredibly beautiful, but also very dark, and often REALLY STUPID. There are things to be taken seriously, for sure, but if we don't lighten up, we're not very fun to be around. And if life isn't fun, what's the point? That's the message of the majority of my original art. I'm incredibly flattered and frankly surprised that my shops and art have been as well received as they have, and it encourages me to move forward. I've also enjoyed helping friends and colleagues with their design/illustration needs and look forward to what the next year holds for Bradfordley. Remember, support art, support creativity, and challenge yourself to be your best self :D. Thanks for reading!  

Re-Imagination Pt 4: Dazzler the Pinup Bombshell

Hello Friends!

This one took me a minute, as I explored a style I had never attempted before, an old "bombshell" style illustration. I knew I wanted to do something with the X-Man Dazzler and thought this might be a good fit. 

Dazzler is, to many people, a lesser known X-Man, but I think she's amazing. She was created to be a crossover with Marvel and Casablanca records during the disco craze. There was to be a movie and record, the whole sha-bang. That didn't pan out, but Marvel still moved forward with Dazzler comics. Her most notable power is turning vibrations into light energy, and she typically works with sound vibrations. As a pop star she could provide her own light effects, what a cost saving ability!

Here are a few notable Dazzler looks (she's had WAY more than this, but this isn't a total Dazzler history, use google for that):

 

Here she is in an inaugural appearance! 

Here she is in an inaugural appearance! 

Here's a classic late 80s - early 90s look. 

Here's a classic late 80s - early 90s look. 

She got to be one of the stars of the X-Men arcade game!! 

She got to be one of the stars of the X-Men arcade game!! 

Now, here is a sample of the "bombshell" look that was my inspiration for this re-imagination:

This is probably racier than what I set out to accomplish, but it was the style I was looking at...

This is probably racier than what I set out to accomplish, but it was the style I was looking at...

Here she is... maybe I will attempt this style again, I feel like I learned a few things that I could apply to a better version, but for this blog my point is made, haha. ENJOY! DAZZLER!!

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Re-Imagination Pt 3: The Misfits

Hi Again!

Hot on the heels of my re-imagining Jem & the Holograms in the late 60s era of mod fashion, now we have the Misfits (and a surprise at the end). 

A brief Misfits history: They are the rival band to Jem & the Holograms and do everything they can to thwart any of their plans, whether it be ruining their concerts, videos, and there was even a time they kidnapped one of the Starlight Girls, yikes. Somehow they were always able to buy themselves out of any legal repercussions, as Pizzazz, the lead singer, is extremely wealthy. Ok, onto the Mod-era "re-imagination" of The Misfits (whose songs were better):

Here is the lead singer, Phyllis Margaret Gabor, aka Pizzazz. She's spoiled, competitive, conniving and ruthless. For some reason, when I started this I knew I wanted to save a "twiggy" type style for Pizzazz with the harsh babydoll lash extensions and hard lines of the fashion. It's been neat seeing how 80s fashion actually often borrowed from the mod-era, too. 

Here is the lead singer, Phyllis Margaret Gabor, aka Pizzazz. She's spoiled, competitive, conniving and ruthless. For some reason, when I started this I knew I wanted to save a "twiggy" type style for Pizzazz with the harsh babydoll lash extensions and hard lines of the fashion. It's been neat seeing how 80s fashion actually often borrowed from the mod-era, too. 

Here we have Roxanne Pellegrini, aka Roxy! Her style has always been kinda wah wah to me, so I wanted to make her more interesting, but I actually thought her original leggings lend themselves to mod fashion well, so I kept them. I saw a reference photo of a FANTASTIC asymmetric bob and thought that it fit Roxy's edginess well. 

Here we have Roxanne Pellegrini, aka Roxy! Her style has always been kinda wah wah to me, so I wanted to make her more interesting, but I actually thought her original leggings lend themselves to mod fashion well, so I kept them. I saw a reference photo of a FANTASTIC asymmetric bob and thought that it fit Roxy's edginess well. 

Now we have one of my FAVORITE Jem characters, Mary Phillips, also known as Stormer! The flower in her hair reminded me of a 60s beach party, so I went a little off script with her and kept it in the 60s but married mod style with 60s beach fashion. And then I gave her a large orange boa, because I thought it went well, and she's giving us a very "laugh in" era look with the flower over the eye. Get it Mary Phillips!! This was probably one of my favorites to create. 

Now we have one of my FAVORITE Jem characters, Mary Phillips, also known as Stormer! The flower in her hair reminded me of a 60s beach party, so I went a little off script with her and kept it in the 60s but married mod style with 60s beach fashion. And then I gave her a large orange boa, because I thought it went well, and she's giving us a very "laugh in" era look with the flower over the eye. Get it Mary Phillips!! This was probably one of my favorites to create. 

BONUS TIME!! Here are some extra characters, just because I was having so much fun:

 

With all the ladies' fashion, I really wanted the opportunity to also show one of the guys, though the cartoon is primarily dominated by the ladies. This was a great addition in the 1980s as the animated landscape was dominated by cartoons aimed at boys (I also loved those cartoons). Here is the love interest of Jem/Jerrica; Rio Pacheco. There was a very weird love triangle going on in the show, as he didn't know that Jerrica was also Jem, but would sometimes fall for Jem, even kissing her... what a SCANDALOUS KIDS' SHOW!!! I actually went with more of the color scheme of his action figure with the yellow shirt and then gave him a 60s casual suit. 

With all the ladies' fashion, I really wanted the opportunity to also show one of the guys, though the cartoon is primarily dominated by the ladies. This was a great addition in the 1980s as the animated landscape was dominated by cartoons aimed at boys (I also loved those cartoons). Here is the love interest of Jem/Jerrica; Rio Pacheco. There was a very weird love triangle going on in the show, as he didn't know that Jerrica was also Jem, but would sometimes fall for Jem, even kissing her... what a SCANDALOUS KIDS' SHOW!!! I actually went with more of the color scheme of his action figure with the yellow shirt and then gave him a 60s casual suit. 

Here's our titular lady herself, only when she's not disguised as Jem. I wanted to really differentiate the two a bit more than the cartoon did. It also gave me the chance to do a less "outrageous" look and something more casual, and I'm pleased with the look. I also really dialed back the makeup. Now Jerrica, tell Rio you're Jem already, jeez. 

Here's our titular lady herself, only when she's not disguised as Jem. I wanted to really differentiate the two a bit more than the cartoon did. It also gave me the chance to do a less "outrageous" look and something more casual, and I'm pleased with the look. I also really dialed back the makeup. Now Jerrica, tell Rio you're Jem already, jeez. 

Is this the end of the Jem "Re-Imagination" series?!! Well... I do have some sketches for a few of the other characters. So you may see a bonus tacked on here with Raya, Jetta, and Clash, or there's still the other rival band the Stingers! I'm not sure if there are many other properties I will dive into with such enthusiasm as this property. 

A HUGE thanks to everyone supporting the blog and giving me great feedback in the comments and on social media. This blog is a labor of love for me and gives me a great creative outlet. If you ever have suggestions on "re-imaginings" please don't hesitate to drop me a line! 

Re-Imagination Pt 2: Jem & the Holograms!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry to keep you waiting, I'm sure you were holding your breath wondering when I would EVER release another Bradfordley blog!! Well, I have a great reason, because this one I really DOVE into to! If you've been following you know that I was inspired by the recent wave of movies that are re-imagining classic cartoons/properties that I decided to do concepts for how I would re-imagine some of my favorite cartoons. Last week I brought you Skeletor, and wished I had developed some of the other characters, and maybe I'll come back around to Masters of the Universe. But I was chomping at the bit for my next inspiration, an 80s FAVORITE of mine... JEM & the Holograms!!

For those of you unfamiliar, Jem & the Holograms was a line of dolls created in the 1980s and Hasbro wanted a episodic cartoon to go along with them. They enlisted a female writer, Christy Marx, who had been writing great stories for G.I.Joe and she developed the storyline for Jem & the Holograms. The cartoon is about a woman and her friends who run a girl's home. The lead, Jerrica, and her sister Kimber have a father that runs a record company, Starlight Music. When he passes away he leaves the record company to Jerrica. There's drama that ensues as a ruthless protege to her father wants the company, and also the girl's home is going belly up. As all this is going on, Jerrica stumbles upon her dad's secret computer that can create holograms, Synergy. She enlists the help of her friends, who are also very musical to become the rock pop group Jem & the Holograms. She uses Syngergy to disquise herself as Jem, as they play gigs and contests, and etc to make enough money to keep the girl's home afloat. That's the quick rundown. Oh and each episode had music videos that went with the story. It was so unbelievably 80s.  

In fact, there are few things more 80s than Jem, that I couldn't imaging re-conceptualize it in that decade. Staying true to the focus of their tagline "Glamor & Glitter, Fashion & Fame" I decided to move the story back to the 1960s, with the era of mod fashion as the inspiration. I kept the color palette the same for the most part, as it is part of the charm. Side Note: IDW comics has a modern re-imagining of Jem and it is FANTASTIC. Sadly, like many good things, it is ending soon, but if you're intrigued by Jem, or a fan of the old cartoon series, it's really worth checking out, especially in how they illustrate women of all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds. But for now... onto MY RE-IMAGINATION of JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS!! To help the unfamiliar, I am also showing you the outrageous changes I made from their 80s counterpart, a before & after, if you will: 

First up is Aja Leith, Jem's friend and lead guitar player. There was an episode where she wore a beret and I really dug it, so I gave her a nice clean mod look with a pom pom adorned beret and a stylish cape. Show them how it's done, Aja!!

First up is Aja Leith, Jem's friend and lead guitar player. There was an episode where she wore a beret and I really dug it, so I gave her a nice clean mod look with a pom pom adorned beret and a stylish cape. Show them how it's done, Aja!!

Next up, Shana Elmsford, the fashion mogul and drummer for Jem and the Holograms (later the bass guitarist upon her return, she leaves for a bit to pursue her fashion design dreams and they replace her, the DRAMA!!!) For a fashion designer, she often wore some drab looks, but I always loved her hair. I wanted to make her one of the more fashion forward with a stylish mod kimono with a funky print and a sleek asymmetrical up-do. This Shana takes chances and is not afraid of a good orange blush and blue eye shadow combo. Don't come for her unless she sends for you!  

Next up, Shana Elmsford, the fashion mogul and drummer for Jem and the Holograms (later the bass guitarist upon her return, she leaves for a bit to pursue her fashion design dreams and they replace her, the DRAMA!!!) For a fashion designer, she often wore some drab looks, but I always loved her hair. I wanted to make her one of the more fashion forward with a stylish mod kimono with a funky print and a sleek asymmetrical up-do. This Shana takes chances and is not afraid of a good orange blush and blue eye shadow combo. Don't come for her unless she sends for you!  

If you know me, you know that Kimber Benton is MY FAVORITE Hologram. Therefore, I gave her one of my favorite hairstyles from the mod era; the under-curled pageboy. Kimber is the KEYTAR player of the group. In the 60s I imagine she'd play the organ, or something piano-like and funky. For her look, I turned up the proportions and she is giving us EVERYTHING! She is young and can be impetuous, so I thought she might take more risks and let Shana experiment with her fashion a bit more than the other girls. 

If you know me, you know that Kimber Benton is MY FAVORITE Hologram. Therefore, I gave her one of my favorite hairstyles from the mod era; the under-curled pageboy. Kimber is the KEYTAR player of the group. In the 60s I imagine she'd play the organ, or something piano-like and funky. For her look, I turned up the proportions and she is giving us EVERYTHING! She is young and can be impetuous, so I thought she might take more risks and let Shana experiment with her fashion a bit more than the other girls. 

How would Jem's supercomputer Synergy look in the 60s? I imagined she'd take the fashion and push it to the extreme. Plus she always kinda had a Superhero look, so I gave it some of that as well. I'm also in LOVE with fashion sketches from this era and I imagined Synergy as being a sort of walking fashion sketch. 

How would Jem's supercomputer Synergy look in the 60s? I imagined she'd take the fashion and push it to the extreme. Plus she always kinda had a Superhero look, so I gave it some of that as well. I'm also in LOVE with fashion sketches from this era and I imagined Synergy as being a sort of walking fashion sketch. 

Now we have the titular lady herself; Jem! Jem is to be the total package, so I combined some of the best of 60s hair, a babydoll dress with a large modern graphic, and topped it off with some sheer shiny leggings and wide fishnets. 

Now we have the titular lady herself; Jem! Jem is to be the total package, so I combined some of the best of 60s hair, a babydoll dress with a large modern graphic, and topped it off with some sheer shiny leggings and wide fishnets. 

I had such a blast working on this, that I am NOT DONE! Next week, look for the Misfits (the rival Band of the Holograms), Jerrica, and Rio (the Jerrica/Jem love interest). Thank you for taking time out to look at my geeky retellings, it's honestly been such a great and challenging project. And if you've ever attempted a blog, you know that content can be a the hardest part. With my love of the 80s and geeky things, combined with my infatuation with new concepts, this has been a sort of imagination vacation. 

DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE ME SOME LOVE IN THE COMMENTS!! I HOPE I HAVE HELPED YOU HAVE A TRULY TRULY TRULY OUTRAGEOUS DAY!! Until next time... 

Re-Imagination Pt 1: SKELETOR

Hello Friends! 

Apologies that it's been a few weeks, I assure you I've been hard at work at lots of great things. 

These last 2 weeks I've been busy with many freelance projects, but did manage to find the time to see a few movies. I realized that the last 3 movies I had seen were all re-imaginings of properties made popular in the 90s: "Beauty and the Beast", "Power Rangers", and "Ghost in the Shell". All these movies took popular elements of the source material and reimagined them. The thought occurred to me... what would I do with many of my beloved childhood favorites if I were given the chance to put my spin on them? Thus kicks off my blog series: Re-Imagination. I will take properties and characters that I love and reinterpret them in new ways. 

PART 1: SKELETOR

Skeletor is the main antagonist in Masters of the Universe, the arch-nemesis of He-Man. He has a long and sordid history that I could get into in this blog, but if you really want to read all about, I'd suggest checking out his wikipedia page here

For a rundown of his visual history, here's a quick guide (this does not include all the variant action figures, statues, comics, etc... this is the most basic of histories):

 

Skeletor began as an action figure, seen here (though this is a very cleaned up version, they didn't typically have this great of a paint job, truth be told).

Skeletor began as an action figure, seen here (though this is a very cleaned up version, they didn't typically have this great of a paint job, truth be told).

Skeletor in the animated series, here he is giving a very sexy, Burt Reynolds style pose. Awwww yeah...

Skeletor in the animated series, here he is giving a very sexy, Burt Reynolds style pose. Awwww yeah...

Here is the short-lived (FOR GOOD REASON) New Adventures of He-Man. I like to pretend this Skeletor never existed, and for most people, he didn't. 

Here is the short-lived (FOR GOOD REASON) New Adventures of He-Man. I like to pretend this Skeletor never existed, and for most people, he didn't. 

In 2002, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was updated with some detailed action figures and a new cartoon series that did a great job of working to make sense of the lore and character histories. I love this series. 

In 2002, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was updated with some detailed action figures and a new cartoon series that did a great job of working to make sense of the lore and character histories. I love this series. 

Skeletor was most recently seen in a great commercial for "Moneysupermarket", I'm not sure what that is exactly, but this Skeletor was really really fun... 

Now, with my own take on Skeletor, I decided I wanted to keep the color palette the same. I really like his blue and purple getup. I thought about his invasion of Eternia through a portal and the amount of dark magic it would take to create this rift. In my version, Skeletor hears of the sword of power at Castle Grayskull in Eternia and believes that he needs it to obtain the ultimate power. He knows that creating a portal to travel there will take more power than he can muster, so he barters with his master Hordak to grant him additional power that will allow him to survive the trip through the portal. Hordak grants him this power but warns him that he will need the power sword and the magic it possesses to return. There's only enough magic to open the portal once, so without the sword, this is a one-way trip. When Skeletor arrives, he has almost completely dissipated and is barely functioning. He manages to find a sanctuary of dark magic under Snake Mountain and by harnessing what's left of his power in two stones, one on his chest and one in his staff, he manages to rebuild himself. He is now a being consisting of his Skeleton and dark energy. The idea would be that the more powerful he becomes the less transparent he is and the more he becomes the sorcerer he once was. He knows that he now needs the power found at Castle Grayskull to become himself again. So that's the explanation, and here's my modern version of SKELETOR!

 

Let's Do the Pub Crawl Again!

It's that time again! Time for another week in the whimsical world of Bradfordley!

On Friday, March 3rd my friend Gerome and I embarked on a pretty special pub crawl. The crawl's destination? Following the light over at the Frankenstein place. That's right, it was the 2nd Rocky Horror Pub Crawl! Not only did the event sound fun, but more importantly, it sounded like a reason to get in COSTUME! So, without further ado, come up to lab, and see what's on the slab... 

Backstory: I decided originally that I wanted to be a crossplay (gender bending) version of the character Columbia, seen here:

This costume... no words... <- except for those words I just typed. 

This costume... no words... <- except for those words I just typed. 

I pieced together a fun little outfit on Amazon, for fairly cheap.  Even though the notifications said the costume would arrive on time... it did not. So, I ran to the two Atlanta Costume shops that I frequent. Usually between the two you can find a great selection, and I know people who work at each, so it's always good to go and catch up with friends! Well... Although I was finding what I wanted for Columbia, it was going to cost exponentially more. So, in a last minute decision I decided to scrap Columbia and do my own take on the character Magenta. This would require only a french maid outfit and accoutrements I already owned. Original Magenta can be seen here:

"You're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're all lucky!"

"You're lucky, he's lucky, I'm lucky, we're all lucky!"

I needed to put my own spin on the costume, though. I'm never one to do a "source perfect" cosplay, because I like to add my own point of view. I decided I was going to do neon hair, and potentially keep my beard. But only if I could get my beard to match the hair color. I did a few test runs and was confident the beard could stay. After all, if there's one thing Rocky Horror teaches us is to break the rules. Onto the makeup process, I see you shiver with ANTICI...

First I started with whiting my beard out. I used a white spray that you would commonly find around Halloween. After this layer dried, I went over it again.&nbsp;

First I started with whiting my beard out. I used a white spray that you would commonly find around Halloween. After this layer dried, I went over it again. 

Next I gave the beard two layers of HOT PINK spray. I actually kinda wish my beard were always this color. Sigh...

Next I gave the beard two layers of HOT PINK spray. I actually kinda wish my beard were always this color. Sigh...

Next was time to put a pale base of foundation on my face, keeping with Magenta's original appearance.&nbsp;

Next was time to put a pale base of foundation on my face, keeping with Magenta's original appearance. 

Next I used contouring to up the drama a bit.&nbsp;

Next I used contouring to up the drama a bit. 

The finished face. I threw in some contacts, matching eyebrows, dark eyes with top and bottom lashes, and a blended red/black lip. Most people with dark or hairy brows have to cover their brows. This is a rare instance when I'm glad I have very little eyebrows.

The finished face. I threw in some contacts, matching eyebrows, dark eyes with top and bottom lashes, and a blended red/black lip. Most people with dark or hairy brows have to cover their brows. This is a rare instance when I'm glad I have very little eyebrows.

The finished look with wig. WOOT!

The finished look with wig. WOOT!

...PATION. A quick mirror selfie with Gerome (who was doing a great job himself with a very sassy Janet Weiss).... 

Now onto the crawl - no not the Watermelon Crawl - the Rocky Horror crawl, the crawl I've been talking about the whole time. The reason I'm wearing a costume. Each stop included a themed Rocky Horror shot, and there were 5 stops. The last stop was a screening of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the Plaza Theater. The crawl was too much fun, we made many new friends, entertained some folks, and we both ended up winning in the Costume Contest! I got 2nd place and Gerome placed 3rd. If you're wondering what could possibly defeat us, I will tell you: A fantastic Frank N Furter surgical gown costume that tore away to reveal the "Sweet Transvestite" look. It was SPOT ON, and we couldn't argue with what a great job this cosplayer had done. Let's take a look at some of the highlights of the night:

My first Magenta sighting!&nbsp;

My first Magenta sighting! 

My second Magenta sighting!!

My second Magenta sighting!!

More Magentas!!&nbsp;

More Magentas!! 

We interrupt these Magentas with some Janets, dammit. Excuse their beauty... Oh, and Gerome is a pro in those "six inch heeeeeeeeeels", ZING TING A RING ALOHA!&nbsp;

We interrupt these Magentas with some Janets, dammit. Excuse their beauty... Oh, and Gerome is a pro in those "six inch heeeeeeeeeels", ZING TING A RING ALOHA! 

Another Magenta... There were a lot of Magentas. Like, all these Magentas. So many Magentas. We were the Magentiles.&nbsp;

Another Magenta... There were a lot of Magentas. Like, all these Magentas. So many Magentas. We were the Magentiles. 

It's time for the movie!! Where dem big sangin lips?! "Science Fiction, double feaaaature..." Wait the movie's not starting, there's a costume contest first!&nbsp;

It's time for the movie!! Where dem big sangin lips?! "Science Fiction, double feaaaature..." Wait the movie's not starting, there's a costume contest first! 

2nd Place, WOOT! I'd be lying if I said this was the first time I've won a costume contest at Rocky Horror...

2nd Place, WOOT! I'd be lying if I said this was the first time I've won a costume contest at Rocky Horror...

It was a fun Friday night, filled with leather, lace, the macabre, and neon, why can't every Friday night be like this?! I've saved my favorite pic of the night for last...

Here I am out IN THESE STREETS, doing the most. Thanks for stopping by, I hope I didn't scare you away unintentionally! If I did, it was totally intentional. Until next time, remember "it's just a jump to the left..." 

BONUS: Here's a little illustration I did to commemorate the evening!

HAPPY 30th DREAM WARRIORS!

On February 27th, 1987 a journey began... my journey... into HORROR!

This was the release date of "Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors"! Also known as the first horror movie I ever successfully watched all the way through. Before even viewing, I had become obsessed with the movie having seen posters for it at the movie theater, and creeped on articles about it in Fangoria Magazine when we were at the grocery store. It looked SO COOL.

I never dared to ask to rent it though, because I had never asked to rent a horror movie, knowing the idea would most likely be shot down. I was known for browsing the horror section and looking at the various VHS case art, imagining what kind of amazingly scary and grotesque encounters were to be seen. Titles like "Basket Case", "Chopping Mall", "Ghoulies"... all looked so intriguing, but none looked as mesmerizing to me as Dream Warriors. I mean, just look at the poster:

My comic loving heart went nuts... are these super-powered teens taking on Freddy?! Here's a little fact about this poster for those unfamiliar with the movie: None of the characters (outside of the girl in the middle with the white streak in her hair) actually look like this in the movie, and there is no mace-wielding ANYWHERE to be found. It would have been a bummer, had the movie not been so spectacular to me. And I guess if they put the really cool elements/scenes on the poster, it would ruin the surprise!

Back on track though, to how I came about seeing this. My mom's friend had rented it, unbeknownst to me, and was about to watch it. She was going to watch it in another room, so she didn't scare us kids. When I found out, I BEGGED my mom to let me watch this with her. She reluctantly agreed on the condition that I could NEVER wake her or my dad up in the middle of the night talking about how scared I was. Remember when I said this is the first horror movie I had watched the whole way through? Well, that's because I had gotten a sneak peek at "Halloween" once, and saw a few scenes from "Poltergeist" that maaaaaaay have resulted in some nights sleeping with Mom and Dad. But I was rejoicing that I was able to watch this movie, and it did not disappoint. I'm not sure if it was the parental threat of not being allowed to be scared, or the fact that the movie isn't what many would call "scary", but I was HOOKED. The creativity, story, and characters were so enthralling to me. And not to mention there was that FANTASTIC "Dream Warriors" song by Dokken, that fulfilled my other obsession of the time... hair metal.  

After viewing this movie I immediately went on to view the two "Elm Street" movies that preceded and eventually moved on to other slasher franchises and horror movies. Horror movies no longer scared me and were the bulk of what I began renting at the video store. I also began drawing my own Nightmare on Elm Street comics (which were terrible) and making up my own Nightmare on Elm Street stories (also terrible). 

For this special 30th anniversary, I've been inspired to add to my fan art collection by doing a tribute illustration of one of my favorite characters from the film, Taryn. Taryn's dream power allows her to be a bad-a$$, mohawk sporting, leather goddess with switchblades. So 80s. So Good. She is known for her line "In my dreams I'm beautiful... and BAD." 

Without further ado, here is my illustration celebrating 30 years of DREAM WARRIORS!!

If you have a specific fandom you'd like to see me do an illustration for, or blog suggestions, please don't hesitate to leave those in the comments, or email me! I am also available for commissions. 

BRADFORDLEY BEGINS

Hello! 

Welcome to my first OFFICIAL post (besides my website announcement - it was only like a few sentences, so let's not count that, and if you're already going to judge me then this is probably the best place for you to stop anyway). 

I have many blog entries and ideas in the pipeline, some more GRANDIOSE than others, but the hardest part is simply getting started. I will attempt to explain my thoughts...

Why a blog? Why now? Well, I don't have all the answers, but someone that randomly rings your doorbell with a publication called "The Watchtower" might. However, I am always fascinated by the creative process, by new creative things, and what others are doing that I find intriguing. My goal is to roll all of that into a blog experience, like a creative hot pocket...

I'm so excited about the things to come that my head could spin, but I'm spacing the developments in a way that is manageable, because I'm an adult now and that's how adults do things. Like when we spend our hard earned money on action figures and costumes, am I right?!

I have three major loves in life: Art + Music + Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (and more minor loves than I can get into, because those are the subjects of future posts). My life has been influenced heavily by my childhood when I was obsessed with pop music, cartoons and horror movies. So my inspiration is found somewhere near the intersection of Elm Street, Electric Avenue, and the Smurf Village. 

My life has been a complete exercise in the creative, the whimsical, and the random. A short history lesson: I grew up in Eastern Kentucky in a small town named Raven. I always said it was near Pippa Passes because there was a college there and more people had heard of it. If you need to know geographically where that is, think Loretta Lynn "Coal Miner's Daughter" Country:

(Side Note: I did buy this coloring book a few years back when I visited Butcher Holler.)

Growing up in Eastern Kentucky came with a share of challenges, but I would not change it. My backyard was the mountains, we swam in the creek, we played with our neighbors and we rarely locked our doors. I myself was a Coal Miner's Daughter... err... Son (depends on who you ask I suppose). My escape, like many artists, was my imagination. I was almost always coming up with original comic book characters, adding my own mythos to existing comics/cartoons, and making up original movie trailers with my cousin (with whom many claim I share a brain). I would also write original songs, that were often sang by me and my friends on the school bus. I went on to study Art, while still loving music and performing. When life gave me a crossroad after college, I decided to primarily perform and do Art on the side. Now life is totally different, but I am thrilled with how it is all playing out.  

My goal is that my blog can become a welcome friend every week, that I can add a bit of my own brand of whimsy to your day, and that you come away learning something new (whether or not it's something you wanted to know will be up for debate). And if my blog knocking at your digital door isn't what you're looking for there's still that rando with "The Watchtower" publication.

If you have any suggestions for blog posts, things I should elaborate on or try, please free to leave that in the comments (or in the comments on my facebook page, which you should be following facebook.com/bradfordley). Next week we jump in, see you on the other side! 

SPUD, I'M A DOMAIN!!

Hi Everyone!

I'm very excited for the next endeavor of my artistic career. After riding on a digital portfolio for years, I've decided to take the leap into my very own site. A site where I can express my creative world in a more immersive way. The site will be evolving dramatically in the coming months, so keep checking back in! HERE WE GO!!!

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