Dani Nelson: Where Spooky and Sweet Commingle

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AmbitionsDesignEven in the sweltering heat of July, I walk with the ghost of Halloween. While I was hunting for the spirit of spookiness, I stumbled upon its crafty embodiment practically in my childhood backyard. Ambitions Design is created by Dani Nelson who is also the founder of SpookyTimeJingles, an eclectic craft blog dedicated to all things Halloween-inspired. Ambition Designs is located in Titusville, NJ-a quaint, Norman Rockwell-esque river town that borders the Delaware River. Dani is a contemporary folk artist who works in mixed medias, with a strong affinity for the vintage and playful side of the Halloween. Mrs. Nelson took the time to tell us how the gory and the sweet commingle in her paperclay creations:
1) What is your design process? Sometimes I work from sketches, books or internet inspiration.  But by in large I just start sculpting or painting and see what comes up.
2) When and how did you first start your craft? Although I have been involved in the arts over the last 12 years or so, I got very serious with sculpting when I discovered Paperclay (air dry clay type) which will be 2 years ago in August.  I knew it was for me because I took to it relatively easy.  I have not looked back since.  3618504230_fe631e5f5cI owe the discovery of working in air dry clay to an amazing artist named Janell Berryman of Pumpkinseeds Folk Art.  If not for her help, I hate to think of where I would be artistically.
3) What are your influences? By in large movies.  I base most of my work largely from the inspiration of the movies Beetlejuice, Monkeybone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, etc  I am a big fan of Henry Selick & Tim Burton for the animated films.  But I am also a big Horror movie buff, so I will take the coolest creepiest goriest, drooling creature and make him into my signature sweet and spooky styled character!
4) What advice do have for others just starting to promote their craft? Don’t expect to make a piece that is always a “homerun” because you will always be disappointed.  Keep working and trying and challenging yourself.  Find inspiration (internet is a great source) and that will help guide you, just be sure to make it your own.  If you like a particular artist, use certain elements but be sure to change it up in your own style.  I also suggest joining an online art group/forum.  It is a great place to ask questions and learn things much quicker vs. taking years to figuring it out on your own.  There is no shame in seeking.


Written by corvusblue

July 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

One Response

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  1. Thank you for thinking enough of me and my sweet and spooky friends to post about us. Hugs~
    BTW. SpookyTimeJingles.com has its 1st anniversary at midnight when it turns into the 13th of the July. BIG spooky goodies to be had! Hope you will come for a visit.


    July 4, 2009 at 11:43 am

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