CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
ERK: I'm a 31-year-old teenager who lives for Warped Tour, loves annoying people, and would consider sexing up a carnie if it meant I could travel with a carnival and ride the Zipper all summer.
I live in Pittsburgh with four cats, a 4-year-old son who requires a muzzle and restraints, and a super fantastic boyfriend who does everything but breathe for me and wipe my butt. (I'm only saying nice things about him today because he bought me lavender gelato and I have a real THANG for lavender-infused food.)
Things I might accept from you:
• Mixed CDs
• grilled cheese (especially when made with fancy cheese on pumpernickel)
• Draven shoes in a size 7.5
• Anything to do with The Cure
• a date to watch horror movies
CZ: What type of items do you sell?
ERK: I sell outsider art, paired with cautionary tales; pendants of said art; photographs from photoshoots I do involving plastic lens cameras and animal masks (those come with stories too); serial killer Valentines and Christmas cards.
CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop and what keeps you motivated?
ERK: I'm inspired by lyrics of bands I like (currently Pierce the Veil, Chiodos, Emarosa, Dance Gavin Dance, & Circa Survive will come into play the most) and of course how I'm feeling about life. I'm actually taking a break from the art side of my Etsy ventures. I had a rough falling out with a good friend and she was always my #1 fan, so it's kind of depressing for me right now to hold a paint brush.
Hopefully I will reach the point where that WILL be my motivation to persevere!
CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
ERK: A few months ago, I totally got a convo from some lady who said she assumed I was a teenage boy based on my writing style and that she was "surprised" she ended up liking my art anyway. I laughed about that for hours. Then punched my head.
For real though, a customer returned a few weeks ago and asked that I make a miniature version of the Cupcake Couple I had previously painted of her and her fiancé, so that they could use it as the cake topper at their upcoming wedding.
CZ: When did you first realize that you weren’t “like the other kids”?ERK: I guess I always knew, maybe since middle school, because I found things funny that weren't supposed to be. But I was always good at keeping my thoughts to myself. However, I remember in high school, sometime in 1996, I wrote a satirical essay on funeral homes for English class. Most of the kids in my class were like, "What the f**k is wrong with you?" but my teacher was dying at her desk when she read it out loud. It was always the teachers who were "getting" my humor, and not the kids.
But probably mostly it was 7th grade when I realized I was the only one raiding cemeteries for dinner.
CZ: What’s a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
ERK: This Darksider spends the first half of her day praying that her child won't suddenly develop the ability to kill people with his thoughts. If I'm lucky, he'll let me catch up some of my DVRd shows (like The Real World, I won't lie). Then in the evening, I put on my super-professional facade and sit at a desk at a super-professional downtown law firm, where I assist attorneys in the Conflicts Department. Basically, I scan s**t into pdf's.
If I'm lucky, I will get time to write obnoxious tales in my blog, spy on my neighbors, and maybe get in a nice sweaty run at the cemetery. I love exercising in cemeteries. There - that's something about me.
CZ: Zombies or Vampires?ERK: I love both, but I think I'll go with vampires. (Not Twilight, don't worry!) Lost Boys will always be my jam.
My son is the household zombie fanatic.
CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most and why?
ERK: I don't think this is so much identifying with as much as I want to have his unkillable baby, but Michael Myers. I am oddly attracted to him. In fact, I started dating my boyfriend nine years ago because he was a delivery driver at the company I worked for, and when he wore his blue coveralls, he reminded me of good ol' Mike.
Every haunted house I go to, it's like Michael Myers just KNOWS he could get into my pants if he wanted to, so I'm always singled out. One of them had me pinned to a wall one time and it was like porn for me. Meanwhile, the person behind the mask could look like Clay Aiken and I wouldn't care.
CZ: Which elusive creature do you believe is more likely to be real: El Chupacabra or Sasquatch?
ERK: Sasquatch, totally. That's why I won't go camping. Well, that and because I'm a priss.
CZ: What scares you?
ERK: Outer space, the ocean, glaciers, Alaska, water towers, power plants, being murdered, stumbling upon a shipwreck, open closet doors at night.
CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
ERK: With you, but please make sure I don't take a bullet to the head. I'm not good at paying attention.
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