Welcome to this week’s installment of “On a Geekly Basis,” a feature that profiles awesome geeky people and things! This week we want to introduce you to Jennifer Hales, creator of Bug and Boy thrift shop art!
Do you consider yourself more a geek or a nerd?
Nerd. I actually use the term interchangeably. To me they are synonyms. I choose nerd because I like the way is sounds when you say out loud it better than geek.
When did you first know you were a geek or a nerd?
When I was in grade school. My dad made sure while I was growing up I was well versed in Sci-Fi genera. When kids would go around quoting the newest Disney movie I would always have some Star Wars line I had picked up. Few kids actually knew what I was talking about when I would tell them. It was also around that time I joined the competitive science club. I began to notice that most girls didn’t love science, and couldn’t quote every line in Star Wars. It sucked then, but now it is funny to know that the stuff that I ostracized for as a kid is now cool. The culture has changed now; I have noticed that there are more nerdy kids now then there were when I was kid. It gives me hope for the future.
How did you get into creating geeky art?
I was first an art major. I graduated with a degree in art, but didn’t really know what to do with myself once I had it. So I ended up in a series of data entry jobs, because I didn’t really have any other skills. When my husband and I decided to start having kids I quit working. This gave me time to get back to art. I have always made up my own little fan fictions in my head for different fandoms, but because I don’t have much confidence in my writing skills I never pursued them to fruition. Then one day I was at the thrift store looking at frames for some of my art. I was going to pull the old picture out and put my own work in. I realized that this piece of art that was in the frame had a story to tell. I thought the story it had, about the intent of the artist who had created it, the people who had it hung up on their wall. Then I decided that though I am not a great writer I can write my own little fan fictions into these old pieces of art. So instead of throwing out these old pieces, I just changed their story making them relevant to the current culture. I make a new story with my paintbrushes. It makes me feel good to save these paintings from the trash, and I get to express my love for geek culture.
What is your favorite fandom?
It is kind of a draw between Dr. Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have always loved Star Trek. It was what my dad and I watched together every week. I have some great memories attached to that show. I will always watch it when it is on just so that I can feel closer to my dad who is states away now. Dr. Who I love because it was how I spend time with my best friend during our first semester of college. It was my escape from the stresses of school and work. I geek out over things more when they are connected to the people I love.
What project or projects are you working on?
I am working in a couple of different directions. I have self diagnosed ADD. I love it because it really helps me with my creative direction, but it also means that I am always working on more than one project. I am making watercolors of my own original art that are channeling my need to do something fantasy based rather than just Sci-Fi, it also serves to keep my free drawing skills sharp making things from scratch. I am also still making new thrift store pieces because I cannot seem to leave the thrift shop without grabbing a new piece. I just can’t help myself some times. And in the last couple of weeks I have started to explore drawing in Photoshop. It is new for me to experience drawing without pencils and paper (we will see where that goes). I try to keep my Instagram updated with my latest artistic creations and experiments.
If you could meet one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Luna. I have always loved me a little quirkiness. I am pretty sure we could just spend a day making weird nerdy little crafts while talking about non-sense. I think it would be rather enjoyable to spend some time that way.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a mother of male spawn, who I am raising to be the most epically amazing kid ever. I am a mother first, artist second. I enjoy all things nerdy and try to employ them in my daily life. My art is a subtle mix of traditional mediums, collage, and iconic nerdy imagery. Every piece of art is a story and every day I get the joy of writing a new one.
Are you a Dungeon Master, gamer, cosplayer, have a geeky podcast, blog, or an extensive action figure collection? Are you a comic book writer/artist or storeowner? Do you make geektastic films or viral videos? Are you into geeky crafts or creations? We want to hear from you for a weekly feature on our blog!
Contact Us for more information on how to submit yourself or someone you know.