Ghoulish Bunny Studios: An Interview with Diana Levin
FINDING A BALANCE BETWEEN ONE'S PASSION AND THE PRACTICAL,
AND DREAMING OF BLOOD-SOAKED ALBINO BUNNIES.
It was right before Easter when I discovered Diana’s bloody bunnies. I was searching for bunny-themed artwork which strayed from the common cute ones that always popped up on my newsfeed on Facebook. Don’t get me wrong. I love bunnies and I wouldn’t want to see real live photos of ones hurt or bloodied. I, however, was getting tired of the cute animated photographs of them filling up my feed. I was getting that itch for the dark arts again. I knew it was time to search for Circus Living’s next macabre artist to feature and that’s when I discovered Ghoulish Bunny Studio’s adorable yet gloriously grim creations.
Certainly, bunnies, especially Diana’s horror-themed ones, aren’t just perfect for the Easter season. Fans of creepy and cute, horror film aficionados, gothic art, and spooky literature will appreciate her various wickedly weird works accompanied by Shawn Given’s horror writings in the form of ghoulish grimoires all year round.
I had the pleasure of getting to know more about Diana, her artistic process, and how Ghoulish Bunny Studios came to be.
Ever since I was 5 years old, I have been doodling in my notebooks in school and working on craft projects. I majored in illustration and design in College and took lots of figure drawing classes to improve my drawing skills. Six years ago I exhibited for the first time at a Comic Convention in Long Beach. Ever since, my husband Shawn and I have been traveling all over the US to various Cons.
One day Shawn and I were driving through the desert coming back from a Con and got to talking about a good name for the company. We wanted something that encompassed everything that we wanted to do...my artwork and his horror writing. And so we came up with Ghoulish Bunny Studios.
I am often torn between going with what is familiar versus new and challenging. I always try to have one foot outside my comfort zone so I can push my skills to the next level. I always experience a certain level of angst because of this.
I’m not sure how surprising this really is, but I am a very private person. I don’t like to share my personal life with too many people and I’m often very happy being at home in my studio on a Saturday night. I’m very much an introvert.
I believe that macabre culture especially appeals to people who always felt like outsiders or outcasts. It just really calls to us.
Usually I start with a drawing, maybe a few sketches to work out an idea. Sometimes it goes somewhere and sometimes not. If I like a concept, I will either scan it and create a painting out of it using Photoshop or do a finished drawing with Pen and Ink and Marker. Sometimes an idea pops into my head and I have to do something with it. Sometimes I don’t really have any idea what to create so will google words related to horror or fantasy and see if I can find photos to inspire me.
I love my neighborhood. I live in Los Angeles, in the Burbank area. There is this mom and pop horror book store on Magnolia Avenue called Dark Delicacies. Shawn and I visit there frequently. Mostly because we travel so much, I love to just be in my studio creating.
Even if you don’t know how you will get to your goal, make a commitment, set a date and work towards your goal one baby step at a time. Eventually you will get there.
Every person has an ego, artist or not. We are all susceptible to the pitfalls of it.
Finding that balance between doing work I am most passionate about versus what will pay the bills.
Like any niche, like-minded people form communities where they can talk about and share the things they love. Art is the most direct expression of that. I believe that macabre culture especially appeals to people who always felt like outsiders or outcasts. It just really calls to us.
I am planning on starting a Patron so I can have a more intimate connection with my fans. I will be posting more videos of my art process such as live drawing and speedpainting. We are also planning to get more books.
Oh wow. I always imagine an albino bunny with blood-soaked fangs. haha
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