We had the good fortune of connecting with The Asylum Countess and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The Asylum Countess, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose an artistic career because it’s what flows naturally from me. Art has always been a part of who I am. Growing up, my face was always stuck in a sketchbook, scribbling away, pulling inspiration from literature and people around me. I heard that I was talented a lot as a kid. People were always asking me if I wanted to pursue art as a career, but I also heard other voices remind me that art “wasn’t a real job”. I tried desperately to cling to some form of creative venture or another, but I wouldn’t allow myself to just be an artist. It got to a point where I was living a depressing life–an exhausted and unfufilled make up artist for Sephora who would come home and paint until my fingers were aching and my fingers were numb. I had to choose. Jumping into the unknown as a full-fledged freelance artist? No guarantee of money? No guarantee of being able to pay rent?…Or security and misery? I couldn’t allow myself to live as a zombie anymore. So…I lept. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. Being a part of a chaotic flow has allowed me to delve into a more meditative and peaceful life. I work from home alone, and while there is loneliness, there is a tranquility. As an extroverted introvert, I find that I work best in solitude, and on occasion I crawl out of my little purple cave and create something extraordinary. So, in short, art is what makes my soul glow and gleam.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would love the viewer to get lost in a world of Halloween with me as they browse through my work. I hope that the right weirdos will feel the nostalgia, mystique and horror of the holiday and know that there is another haunted soul out there who understands what its like to be an outcast. I am The Asylum Countess, and there is no mistake for the word “Asylum” being there. I’m quite nuts, you see, and an asylum is a place for the nutty to be at peace. So may the purple bats and neon pumpkins give you a comfort and a laugh. Especially during such maddening and stressful times.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are some amazing things to visit all over GA, but in Atlanta I would definitely recommend Little Five Points where you can spot quirky pop-art murals and grab a bite to eat at The Vortex with, frankly, the coolest doorway entrance ever. You are greeted with a larger-than-life, grinning skull with swirly red and black eyes. Next, if we head down to Stone Mountain, we’d have to of course go to Netherworld (I might be biased, though?) to check out their incredible escape games and House of Creeps museum that’s open all year ’round. For the witchy friends, Phoenix and Dragon is an especially nice place to stock up on herbs, crystals, incense and books. They also feature free-roaming therapy cats that simply adore attention and have probably the softest fur ever. Finally, I’d recommend the Bodies Exhibit. This is definitely not for the weak of stomach. They have room after room of dried and dissected human bodies, complete with a room full of fetuses in jars. If you’re into gross things, or just have a fascination for science, it’s a really cool place to check out. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d absolutely love to give a shout out to Netherworld Haunted House (Stone Mountain, GA) and the creepy crew there-in. I simply adore this beautiful house of creepery. It’s your worst nightmare, and holds probably the world’s largest collection of Lovecraftian-horrors! I have been working as an actor and painter for Netherworld for almost 7 years now, and my weirdness, creativity and quirks were always welcomed. This place was and is like a family full of freaks, weirdos and misfits who are knitted together in a love for all that is macabre. The owner, Mr. Ben Armstrong, has an eye for fine art and the quality of the sets and costumes is what sets us apart from other haunts. This place satisfies the grand trio for me: Theatre, Horror and Art! So for that, I am truly lucky to be a part of this fabulously spooky place, that shall soon be celebrating it’s 25th year anniversary! If you are a fan of horror and love to be scared, be sure to come visit us this autumn! (Check out www.fearworld.com for more info!)
Other: Teepublic: http://tee.pub/lic/x9bPcjRviXQ
Portrait of myself with Jack o Lantern: Alanna Webb. Netherworld Temple of Dagon Set – Netherworld Haunted Attractions.