Thursday, 21 August 2014

My Boudoir Photography Interview

Model: October Divine. Make-up: Sarah Elliott.


My Boudoir Photography is Nicola Grimshaw-Mitchell. Nicola specializes in classic pinup and boudoir photography. 

Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in photography?

Nicola Grimshaw-Mitchell: I studied biochemistry and chose photography as part of my modular degree - I turned professional in 2000 when I started shooting weddings.

Sinical Magazine: Who are some photographers that inspired your work when you first started?

NGM: I've always loved Jeff Ascough's wedding work and also Cecil Beaton. I loved all theold silver screen actresses and was slightly obsessed with Bette Davis!


Model: Evie Wolfe. Make-up: Sarah Elliott.

Sinical Magazine: What type of camera equipment do you use?

NGM: I use a Canon Mark 2.

Sinical Magazine: What type of lenses or focal length do you prefer for portrait work?

NGM: I use a fairly wide angle zoom lens as I like to work really quickly and I prefer 2.8 or lower.


 Model: October Divine. Make-up: Sarah Elliott.

Sinical Magazine: When creating a composition what is your main focus?

NGM: Always the eyes! Although depending on the image sometimes the lips or boobs!

Sinical Magazine: How much planning goes into a shoot?

NGM: I tend to let my models influence my direction somewhat. If I have a particular theme that requires special lingerie or outfits/props then I get designers on board as soon as I can - most of preparation is done the morning of the shoot - setting up and scouting round for props!


Model: October Divine. Make-up: Sarah Elliott.

Sinical Magazine: Do you work with speedlights or continuous lighting?

NGM: I've always used continuous lighting. It just suits my work flow although I do find it limiting sometimes especially with gels and modifiers.

Sinical Magazine: What are some lighting set ups that you like to use?

NGM: I love a hard key light with softer side lighting. To be honest, I change my lighting set-ups so many times during the shoot that I don't have a favorite!


Model: Ava Castle. Make-up: Sarah Elliott.

Sinical Magazine: Does music inspire your work? What do you listen to?

NGM: Ha ha! I'm known for my eclectic taste in music and often find myself apologizing when something really uncool comes on my iPod! My fave is Disco and dance music from all eras - as long as its got a funky beat I'm all over it!

Sinical Magazine: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to models or other photographers?

NGM: I'm often confused by some photographer's inattention to detail. A bulging stocking top can ruin a photo for me! Time-keeping and good manners maketh the model!

Sinical Magazine: What is the most interesting that’s happened during one of your photo shoots?

NGM: I always love it when I involve my French Bulldogs in my model shoots - they're so cute and well behaved, especially if treats are involved!

Sinical Magazine: Do you have one tip that you would recommend to any aspiring photographer?

NGM: Practice, practice till your fingers bleed! It takes a long time to get to a good level and you need to keep pushing yourself all the time.


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Anastasia Volodina Interview


Photograpy by Elena Iglaness


Anastasia Volodina is a fetish model based in Moscow, Russia. This interview/pictorial was featured in Sinical Latex. Print copies can be purchased here.

Sinical Magazine: When were you born and where? Where are you currently located?

Anastasia Volodina: I was born on August 5th 1992 in Moscow, and I’m still living there at the moment.

Sinical Magazine: What was the first fetish/or alt. magazine that you came across that made you want to become a model? If not a magazine, what inspired you?

Anastasia Volodina: I like “Marquis” magazine. Perhaps some of you hasve seen me in issue no. 60. It’s a great honour for me! Also I’m a fan of retro fetish photos, so I love old magazines like “Atomage.” I cannot give you a clear answer about my inspiration. It comes from within, and not from books or movies.


Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in alt/fetish modeling?

Anastasia Volodina: I never thought to become a model, I just liked to create images for myself, and dress up in fetish clothes. Three years ago my friend invited me to do a photo shoot and I liked the result. Many photographers contact me about doing shoots now, but I cannot call myself a model. It’s a hobby, but I’m happy to get positive feedback. It’s simply amazing! Some people send me their artwork that is inspired by my photos. A person from Japan created statuettes of me. It’s shocking!

Sinical Magazine: From a model’s perspective, what do you think is the most important aspect of a photo?

Anastasia Volodina: Good makeup, stylish hair, and professional lighting.



Sinical Magazine: How do you think the alt/fetish modeling scene has evolved since you started?

Anastasia Volodina: To be honest, I do not follow the news of alt/fetish scene, but I think now you can see more and more girls with tattoos and synthetic hair in latex clothes.

Sinical Magazine: What are your measurements?

Anastasia Volodina: My height is 173 cm. Bust: 93 cm, waist: 63cm, hips: 94 cm.



Sinical Magazine: What is your shoe size?

Anastasia Volodina: 8 (USA)/ 38.5 - 39 (EU).

Sinical Magazine: The fetish clothing focus of this issue is on latex. What do you like about latex fetish clothing?

Anastasia Volodina: I’m rubber fetishist, so I love the second skin feeling. My passion is to be fully enclosed in rubber clothes, with a gasmask and cape.



Sinical Magazine: What type of music do you listen to?

Anastasia Volodina: My favorite musicians are Klaus Nomi, David Bowie, and Mylene Farmer.

Sinical Magazine: Besides modeling, what do you like to do for fun?

Anastasia Volodina: I love reading books. At the moment I’m reading “The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann. Recently, I have started riding a bicycle. I also like collecting scary dolls and I have developed a large collection.

Sinical Magazine: Do you have any other upcoming projects you would like to mention?

Anastasia Volodina: I will not talk about future projects. You’ll see everything in the near future! |


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Morrigan Hel Interview


Photography by Murder Mile

Latex by House of Harlot


Morrigan Hel is a fetish model, professional Dominatrix, and a vocalist in the band Nemhain. This interview/pictorial was featured in Sinical Latex. Print copies can be purchased here


Sinical Magazine: What was the first fetish magazine that you came across that made you want to become a model? If not a magazine, what inspired you? -

Morrigan Hel: As far as magazines go, I used to collect Ritual and Skin Two, I still have the first ever edition of Bizarre Magazine and Redeemer. Marquis Magazine is a firm favourite of mine too.

Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in alt/fetish modeling?

Morrigan Hel: I went out to my first Fetish event when I was 15 years old. I was completely awestruck and I soon became a regular on the scene. I was asked to model in Fetish fashion shows and shoots, and it all went from there.

Sinical Magazine: What do you think makes a model stand apart from others?

Morrigan Hel: For me I’d have to say attitude, charisma, and a sense of humour is definitely a plus! I also admire people that do their own thing, carve their own way and don’t just jump on the band wagon.



Sinical Magazine: From a model’s perspective, what do you think is the most important aspect of a photo?

Morrigan Hel: I wouldn’t say that there was only one aspect. I think a good picture is made up of lots of different factors. The position of your body, the outfit, how comfortable the model feels, what is being conveyed in the models eyes and obviously lighting, angles and perspective. It’s a bit like a recipe or potion, when all of the ingredients are just right... bang! there you have it.

Sinical Magazine: How do you think the alt/fetish modeling scene has evolved since you started?

Morrigan Hel: The scene has evolved massively since I started out back in the dark ages. I remember when having tattoos, piercings and crazy hair was still seen as pretty unacceptable. I was among one of the first UK alt/fetish models to put a modelling web site up, there were so few of us around back then. You used to have to physically take your portfolio to castings, or send physical copies of pictures to magazines, everything is much more instant now due to the internet and the scene is positively thriving.

Sinical Magazine: Clothing wise, what are your fetishes and why?

Morrigan Hel: I absolutely love leather, the smell and feel of it. I used to ride horses as a child so it may have something to do with that. I also adore latex, particularly catsuits, the way it feels on your body. I got some of my first corsets from Vollers and Velda Lauder.xI started corset training when I was very young so that’s another one, and of course beautifully crafted high heeled shoes and boots.



Sinical Magazine: You are also a Dominatrix, can you talk about this aspect of your personality?

Morrigan Hel: I used to tie my brothers friends to trees when I was growing up in Wales, so I started out pretty early. Films like Preaching to the Perverted and Personal Services also influenced me as a teenager. I’m absolutely fascinated by the psychological aspect of it all. I use Psychodrama in a lot of my sessions.

Sinical Magazine: How did you get started in a career in professional Domination?

Morrigan Hel: I took the plunge when I was about 20 years old on my first trip to NYC. I was shooting for the cover of a tattoo magazine and the photographer gave me the contact details for a dungeon in Manhattan. I’d never engaged in a professional session before then, only within my private life. It is very instinctive, though. I just threw myself into it and haven’t looked back

Sinical Magazine: What are some of your specialties?

Morrigan Hel: I enjoy most aspects of BDSM, but as far as specialities go: Ritual initiation, mind control, foot worship, sensory deprivation, CP and bondage.



Sinical Magazine: Do you have any favourite BDSM devices or toys?

Morrigan Hel: I think there are far too many to mention, but I’ve just acquired a new inversion rack which I love! My bondage wheel is pretty awesome. I have various smaller items like my snake whip, dragon cane, latex deprivation hood and remote puppy training collar which gives out little shocks when your puppy misbehaves! I also have a straight jacket, which I like to use before I lock my slaves away in the prison cell.

Sinical Magazine: What can a client expect from you in his first visit?

Morrigan Hel: It really varies, there is no typical client. Every session is different. I always offer a consultation before the session starts to go through limits, interest and any health issues.

Sinical Magazine: Can you talk about some of your various websites?

Morrigan Hel: I have my website which promotes me as a Domme. I then have which is my Fetish photographic/filming studio and dungeon for hire. I set this up five years ago and everything has been built from scratch. It was a pretty big project, but very rewarding. We have everything in from music videos, band shoots, fetish films, private sessions, couples hire, aerial studio, alt modelling groups, parties and even an (un) convention. So it’s a pretty flexible space. We also offer photography and makeovers, the pictures for Sinical are taken by Murder Mile Photography. I then have which is my rock band and last but not least Hel & Sophia, my fire performance duo.


Sinical Magazine: What type of videos are on your Clips4Sale page?

Morrigan Hel: Fetish and BDSM clips. There are solo clips of me enjoying my latex outfits & clips where I am dominating my slaves. I also do custom clips, I was commissioned to film a fantastic clip last winter where I ate cheese and crackers & wiggled my toes in tan pantihose.

Sinical Magazine: The fetish clothing focus of this issue is on latex. What do you like about latex fetish clothing?

Morrigan Hel: I love the way it hugs the curves of your body, it’s a cliche but it really is like a second skin. The lubing up process is pretty enjoyable, especially if you get a friend to help.

Sinical Magazine: Do you have any upcoming projects or events you will be appearing at you would like to mention?

Morrigan Hel: I’d like to say thanks for the interest and support. I will be shooting a brand new cover with a certain legendary Fetish magazine this month, so keep an eye out for that. I will also start filming for a new horror movie called Blue Noon next year in Capri, other than that I am working on finishing the second album with my band Nemhain and expanding Murder Mile. |


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Kelly Eden Interview


Photography by Redrum Collaboration

Hair by Miss Rockwell DeVil
Gown by Ashley Rose Couture Designs

Kelly Eden is an alternative model, fine artist, and a former tattoo artist. She is from the metropolitan Denver area, but is now based in West Hollywood, California. This interview/pictorial was featured in Sinical 15. Print copies can be purchased here.

Danny Stygion: When did you know you were an artist?

Kelly Eden: I was engaged in art at a very young age, it was something I was always attracted to. It was like I was born with a natural passion and dedication for artistic expression. Ever since I can remember, I have been obsessed with drawing and painting. I would always get into trouble at school for drawing all over everything- the desk, my shoes, my homework, my arms.

Danny Stygion: What inspires your art work?

Kelly Eden: That’s a good question because there’s not much in this world that doesn’t inspire my art. I usually paint portraits of my friends and incorporate details of their history with hidden elements. I love to tell stories but I also like to leave enough open for the viewer to interpret their own meaning. I always paint figures because I love to use human emotion to express myself. Most of all, I’m in love with juxtapose. Images and themes that contrast each other are very sexy to me. It could be as simple as chiaroscuro lighting or the heroine falling in love with the villain. There’s something about it that pulls my heart strings. I enjoy exploring the deeper psychological meanings of my “addiction” to juxtapose.



Danny Stygion: Which painters influenced your work?

Kelly Eden: Some of my closest friends have inspired my technique greatly. My tattoo artist, Nikko Hurtado is a perfect example- I’m always inspired when I visit his gallery. I also love the work of Michael hussar, Kevin Llewelen, Kukula, Casey Baugh, Will Cotton, etc.

Danny Stygion: Can you explain your painting process?

Kelly Eden: I always work in layers. My painting techniques are very similar to my makeup techniques. I’ll start by mixing a dark grey gesso as my foundation. I like working off grey because it’s the one shade that shows color purity. Then I’ll do a light wash of raw umber and Indian yellow to map out value or shape. After that’s dry I’ll start blocking in color and scuffle it together.



Danny Stygion: What type of brushes and paints do you use when painting?

Kelly Eden: I mostly work with oils but I use acrylics now and then for an under painting. I actually use a lot of my old makeup brushes for painting. Working with so many different makeup companies really paid off because brushes are VERY expensive.

Danny Stygion: How did you get started in alternative modeling?

Kelly Eden: My first shoot was supposed to be simple portraits for my Company’s online website. I was a full time Tattoo artist back when I was 18 years old, still finishing college. My shop hired a photographer to take quick candids of the artists for our profiles. What should have taken 3 minutes turned into two hours of shooting. It happened naturally- the photographer and I were both on the same page creatively. I wasn’t nervous at all, it was almost like second nature to me. Again, when I started my career it was just for fun.



Danny Stygion: What do you think makes a model stand apart from others?

Kelly Eden: Models come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and styles. The ones that stand out are the ones that can tell a story with their eyes. It’s not about being “pretty” or “perfect”, it’s about being an actress in a static image.

Danny Stygion: From a model’s perspective, what do you think is the most important aspect of a photo?

Kelly Eden: I think the most important aspect is the visual evidence of passion. It’s a model’s job to convey emotion and concept through her poses and facial expressions. It doesn’t matter how beautiful a model is, if she looks like a deer in headlights in every photo; she’s not doing her job.



Danny Stygion: Can you talk about some of your tattoos?

Kelly Eden: On my leg, I have a portrait as David Bowie and Jennifer Connolly from Jim Henson’s “The Labyrinth”. This was my all time favorite movie growing up, I was obsessed with the storyline and endearing characters. I’m a huge fan of all things fantasy and androgynous villains.
My arm is an arrangement of makeup around a realistic Barbie portrait. Aside of my obvious passion for makeup, Barbie was a pretty big deal in my life. My sister and I spent every summer playing with barbies in a ditch when our parents dragged us to my brothers baseball games. My sister and I are really close, playing with dolls was one of the many ways we connected on an almost spiritual level. It was our escape. We went on countless adventures with Barbie for many years. I still like to stop by the Barbie aisle in the stores, just to see what she’s up to.

I have a portrait of Lady Gaga. I’ve always been a fan of her music and what she stood for as an artist. I always admired her determination and willpower. She’s someone I can respect because she can fearlessly push the envelope and make a statement. She’s a fellow cartoon girl, I can relate to her because she fabricates her own persona and character too.

I would have to say my most significant tattoo is the portrait on my shoulder of my mom when she was 5 years old. In 1964 she was featured in the very first easy bake oven commercial by Kenner toys. She was also printed on the box, which is what I got tattooed. My mom is really special to me. She’s a wonderful woman who would sacrifice anything for her family. This year she lost her husband and her mom. I wish I could do more then a tattoo to show her how much I love her.



Danny Stygion: Apart from painting and modeling... what other things are you into?

Kelly Eden: I love to cosplay. I’ve been an anime fanatic since elementary school and had a fascination with making it “real”. I’m learning how to sew and craft full outfits together using various materials. I love to do high fashion, artistic takes on the characters I cosplay. I have a really wonderful group of friends who dress up with me at anime conventions at events. It’s so much fun!

Danny Stygion: Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to mention?

Kelly Eden: I’m focusing more on my art this year. So, I have some big art shows coming up that I’m really excited about. In June I have my first showing in La at Copro gallery. On July 5th I’ll be showing all new work at the “moon crisis” show at Rothicka gallery. I’ll also be showing there during the art crawl on August 9th.



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Simone Smith Interview


Interview by Jones Grey.

Humboldt Photography. 


Encounters with death aren’t always traumatic, at least not in a purely negative way. For artist Simone Smith, her first interaction with an animal corpse brought about a rather beautiful way to make reparations with her experience. “This obsession-turned-career started the day I hit a squirrel with my car. It was the first animal I had ever run over,” Smith recalls. “I cried for a bit and then thought, I might as well not let him go to waste.” Simone, a resident of Northern California’s artsy nook Eureka, has been hooked on breathing emotion and intimacy into “anything without a heartbeat” since the day she laid eyes upon that first roadside specimen. “As a taxidermist, I get to know each individual animal very intimately and it forms a bond. Opening up and seeing the inside of the animals I pick up is about as intimate as you can get,” says Smith of her unique connection with the art form. For Smith, a well-rounded creative whose work has been featured in the La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, the process is anything but morbid.“I surround myself with death, but I feel that in working with death I am breathing new life into into the animals I find. It’s a beautiful process that I put my whole heart into."



Jones Grey: How did animal carcasses make their way into your art?

Simone Smith: In a way carcasses have always been a part of my artwork even before I became set on taxidermy. I’ve switched artistic mediums so many times, from painting to photography to digital artwork. In college I would photograph dead animals and road kill, and at one point I started bringing in small birds and mammals to my dorm room to photograph in various positions for my digital montages, putting them in various poses and studying their beautiful features then leaving them in drawers between classes much to the dismay of my room mate at the time. I had to quit school when I found out I had a rare bone tumor in my femur and that’s when I lost interest in most artistic mediums, I was in a very dark place in my life after going through such a painful surgery and long recovery. It was then that I became completely obsessed with practicing taxidermy. Instead of just photographing an animal and throwing it out to rot I felt this deep connection with dead animals and wanting to fix them up and give them, in a way, a second life. I guess you can say it was therapy to put my own fears of mortality and pain into preserving the memory of animals that were at the side of the road with broken femurs of their own. There’s a real connection when you look into the lifeless eyes of an animal and appreciate it knowing you found it on the worst and last day of it’s life, and take it home with such loving intention.

JG: Have you ever worked with a traditional taxidermist to perfect your craft?

SS: When I first started practicing taxidermy there were no traditional taxidermists near me that were willing to teach or apprentice me. The few taxidermists around were from an older generation that kept the business in the family. I became completely self taught after reading every book I could find on the subject including books published one hundred years ago to present day manuals. The Internet has also been an absolutely amazing resource for information and I’ve met a lot of wonderful taxidermy artists that have helped me along the way through forums on the subject.

JG: Does your personal style become incorporated into your creations?

SS: Absolutely! So much time, care, and dedication go into each piece that it would be impossible for my style to not be reflected. As far as my wearable pieces like jewelry and hair fascinators, I didn’t start making them with the intention of selling them, I created them for myself and started selling them when I started getting requests to purchase my work. As far as my taxidermy mounts my personality mixed with dark humor can definitely be seen in a lot of my pieces. It’s impossible for me to face mortality without some sense of humor so many of my pieces turn out quite morbidly comical. My current mood definitely sets the theme of what I’m working on.

JG: What kind of clients take an interest in your work?

SS: I’ve been quite surprised at the clients that take an interest in my work. A lot of “alternative” types take interest but my clients span such different lifestyles and range from morbid personalities like myself to conservative soccer mom types to a few celebrities, even people in educational fields that purchase my work to keep in classrooms.

JG: What kind of clients take an interest in your work?

SS: I’ve been quite surprised at the clients that take an interest in my work. A lot of “alternative” types take interest but my clients span such different lifestyles and range from morbid personalities like myself to conservative soccer mom types to a few celebrities, even people in educational fields that purchase my work to keep in classrooms.

JG: Do you channel the aesthetic of any of your favorite visual artists?

SS: Though I don’t commit to any one aesthetic, I definitely channel the Victorian Taxidermist Walter Potter the most. He was a major reason I started practicing taxidermy in the first place. He created amazing anthropomorphized scenes with animals dressed in clothing acting out human behaviors. He was by far not the best taxidermist but he was very much self-taught and his work is still some of the most famous and intriguing by far. I fell in love with his work and thought if he could teach himself the art then I certainly could. A lot of my work is very anthropomorphic, I love giving animals human personalities and dressing them up. When I find an animal I never quite know what the end result will be but as I start to work with it by the time I’m done they’ve almost given themselves a personality of their own.

JG: Have you ever received negative attention for your use of animal parts?

SS: I’ve received negative attention to the extent of threats before. Taxidermy isn’t for everyone, but I always do my best to educate the public about my code of ethics and respect I have for the animals I work with. Absolutely no animals are harmed or killed for my work, my work is not just an art form but also a way to create a better appreciation for wildlife. I’ve had some amazing experiences come from the negative ones. A few times people that absolutely loathed me and my work later came to me telling me they grew to finally understand it and became very interested in pursuing taxidermy themselves. Moments like these make my work so rewarding.

JG: How do you predict taxidermy art will evolve as it becomes popular in mainstream circles.

SS: Taxidermy’s popularity seems to ebb and flow in cycles throughout history. At one point taxidermy was mainly for study or hunting trophies and now the ethical taxidermy movement that rejects killing for the sake of killing has become popular with very creative non-traditional mounts taking center stage. The massive popularity it’s seeing right now may fade again but will certainly make a comeback as it always does. There are so many amazing taxidermy artists right now that I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Most of all, what the movement is teaching us right now is that taxidermy is no longer a profession with secrets being held onto by a few elitists, if you’re interested in the art form find yourself a book, a scalpel, and the mouse your cat dragged in because it’s a rewarding hobby for anyone that wants to learn more about animals and preserve them to be appreciated and enjoyed for future generations.

JG: What can we expect to see from Half Embalmed in the future?

SS: Half Embalmed has evolved so much since I first started, it all began with a squirrel on my dining room table and now has grown to larger mounts, jewelry and accessories, wet specimens, and bone cleaning. It seems to have evolved almost on it’s own and I hope to continue learning new preservation techniques as well as continuing to use my work to educate the public not only about taxidermy but the appreciation of animals that they may never see up close the same way. |


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Cover model: Bianca Beauchamp.

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Sinical, No 15

Cover model: Kelly Eden.

Photo by Redrum Collaboration.

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