So there I was walking through this year's Halloween "Chiller Theatre," when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the coolest Christmas ornaments EVER!
HNN recently caught up with the artist responsible, Michael Riehl.
Horror News Network: You do all sorts of hand painted ornaments, what started the "Halloween" ornaments?
Michael Riehl: We had such great success with sci fi ornaments, I thought that may be just a chance that there were horror fans who just might like horror ornaments. I saw that local craft stores sold those twisted trees and thought how great a Dracula or a Freddie Kruger might look on them. I painted about 100 different horror ornaments booked a table at Monster Mania in 2009. I was apprehensive. There were tattoo artists, horror masked, models and tee shirts even custom made fangs.. rough stuff! I thought we will not fit in here we are to "crafty". To my surprise people went nuts at Monster Mania our first horror show and we sold out. I was painting hand over fist just to keep up with what we sold.
Horror News Network: Have you always been a horror fan?
Michael Riehl: Absolutely I live for the monster movies of the 40's and 50's
Horror News Network: You have painted everything from Dracula to Jigsaw, how do you choose from the array of horror out there what to take on? What inspires you?
Michael Riehl: Customer feed back is one way.I listen to people when they say, "You have Jason, but I do not see.. well then I paint it. Also with all the new horror characters coming out in movies, I will paint one or two just to see the response. Sometimes they are a hit and sometimes they are not.
Horror News Network: Are there any new horror ornaments on the horizon that you haven't painted yet? Will we see a "Human Centipede" ornament for 2011?
Michael Riehl: Ideas are swarming in my head as we speak. You will have to wait for Chiller in 2011 its only 5 months away.
Horror News Network: Being that each one is hand pained, how long does each one take?
Michael Riehl: It really depends on what I am painting. If it is Godzilla, it could take fifteen minutes if it is Dracula or Freddie it can take a half hour. Portraits of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff take much longer, its the detail and likeness I have to capture, plus I am critical of how the ornaments turn out. If I do not like them ...Into the trash they go.
Horror News Network: Where can people learn more about you and how to order these one of a kind collectible ornaments?
Michael Riehl: They can go to my website www.theornamentguy.com, or to order email me at email@example.com and see the ornaments on our Horror page.
Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say about these ornaments to our readers?
Michael Riehl: As an artist I am so blessed to be able to share my enjoyment of sci fi and horror with others by painting on the ornaments. Every time we set up for a show I have my gallery of at least 300 to 1500 hand painted ornaments for people to look at and enjoy. I love being able to paint for people on the spot and have them walk away with something they will have for each and every holiday. Artists dream of finding their niche and it can take them a lifetime, sometimes they never find it at all. I found my niche 27 years ago when I first gave these as gifts to friends and family one Christmas, and have enjoyed every minute of it since.
Horror News Network: Thanks for your time Michael! Comment on this interview here or on our forum.