Blog Soldiers - Lipstattoo
Rachel aka Lipstattoo (due to having the Rocky Horror lips tattooed on her stomach) is qualified in art, design and computer manipulation. She has worked in photographic development and now runs her own store on Etsy, selling horror based accessories. Some of her designs are going to be modelled by Scream Queen Bianca Barnett. As well as her online business she writes for Horror Extreme and has her own blog.
What made you want to begin writing a blog?
To be honest, it just started as a personal creative outlet and because I'm a huge horror fan and love talking about films. I had read a few blogs but there weren't many talking about the kind of films I like (I like my films tacky, trashy and sleazy); many seem to focus on new releases and my tastes are firmly based in the 80s. I also just wanted to share my love for films such as Crimes of Passion and Kalifornia, I know these films inside out and thought that if I could pour all my passion in to writing about those films, then maybe it was something I could do on a regular basis for other films I love, and maybe other people would enjoy them too.
Had you read many blogs before you began writing your own?
I wasn't a huge blog reader, I got my most of my information and news from sites such as IMDB and IGN and of course the big horror websites, but since I got on to twitter it opened my eyes to this huge blogging community and now I have about three blogs I read religiously.
What do you think makes a good blog?
The personal touch. I can't stand bland, boring reviews and writing that just states all the facts, figures and statistics about a film; I need to see some love and passion in a post. After all a blog is a personal opinion and why wouldn't you want to express that on your own platform? I also look for humour, if something is funny and witty then I'm more likely to read on and then bookmark the site.
What have been the most positive and negative experiences of blogging?
The most positive has been all the wonderful feedback and support I have had from Twitter users, Myspace followers and friends. My blog is not professional, I don't know how to make all the graphics and links - hell I don't even have my bio page up and running! - BUT I'm honest and I love the subjects I'm talking about, so hopefully that is why people are coming back to read. On the flip side, there are some very nasty and bitter people out there who seem to begrudge anyone else having success, and I have had to deal with some very sad individuals. As many lovely people as there are in the horror blogging community who are genuine fans and supporters, there are the same amount trolling, bitching and backstabbing anyone who dares to be slightly successful.
You also have a store on Etsy selling weird and wonderful horror accessories. How did that start?
Well, Lipstattoo Designs has been running in name since about 2001/2002 when I got on to Myspace at the suggestion of an ex-boyfriend. I started designing flyers and posters for bands such as Dead Glamour Girl, Spit Like This and The Cemetery Swingers, but I really wasn't making enough money just doing that, so I decided to branch out into painting leather jackets and bags and selling them on Ebay. Everything else has just progressed from that.
How have you found running an online business?
It's been great fun and very rewarding, but I'm not going to lie and say it has always been completely plain sailing, as anyone who has run their own business will know only too well. Since the credit crunch sales have dropped and the profit margin is lower as the price of materials has gone up, but I'm still here, I'm just going to ride it out and carry on doing what I love.
Which item that you have made are you most proud of?
That's really hard as there have been a few, but I would say that the first batch of merchandise I made for Devilish Presley which was 20 hand painted bangles, they went down a storm on the merch desk at gigs. It was also a bonus that I am now very good friends with the guys in the band. I'm also very proud of the severed finger key-chains which I made for Steve at Horror Extreme; I make sick things for sick people haha!
You have also interviewed people in the horror industry. Is it daunting to interview people you obviously admire?
It can be because I don't want to offend the interviewee with asking the same old questions that every other person has. I have interviewed a couple of horror artists and being a creative type that was quite daunting as I have massive respect for them and their talent.
Which interview has made you the most excited to do?
Well I have been extremely lucky to interview Bill Moseley and Tim Sullivan in regards to their new film 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, which I saw the London première of and loved. Both Bill and Tim have been nothing but lovely and very accommodating and I'm totally starstruck, as sad as that might sound!
What tips would you give to anyone thinking of starting a blog?
Just write about what you love, don't start off trying to review all the new releases as everyone will be doing that. Carve out your own personality and gain fans for your individuality. I started writing about erotic thrillers, not many people were doing that and I got noticed because of it. Plus, promote your blog, get it out there and known, and use tags so people searching on the net will find you.
Which blogs do you read yourself?
I currently read Argh Zombies, Gorepress and That Horror Thing