Written by Mandy McGee
Atropines Creations and Oddities is artistry made by Atropine Steele who currently resides in New Jersey. She designs Victorian Gothic jewelry, hair accessories, wearable taxidermy, alters clothing, and other various oddities. Atropine also sometimes sells vintage, hand painted clothes and custom made creations. I am going to get her to make me a necklace with a picture of my brain from my MRI. I will show off the picture once it is made.
Atropine by Forma Photography
Mandy: How did you name your company?
Atropine: Atropines Creations and oddities is the name I give my artwork. I couldn’t decide between creations or oddities so I used both. I know the name is a little long but it’s unique.
Mandy: Where were you born?
Atropine: I was born in a little town called Mineola, its somewhere on Long Island.
Mandy: What kind of art do you make? Why?
Atropine: I like to make Victorian Gothic jewelry. I usually let my brain take over, it seems to feel complete when creating this type of art. I also enjoy abstract stuff, but more an a canvas as opposed to a necklace. I also enjoy modeling.
Mandy: Have you always been an artist?
Atropine: I’ve been an artist since I was able to hold a marker. I can thank my loving mother for letting me use her supplies as a small child. She was the one that encouraged me.
Mandy: How did you learn your craft?
Atropine: I taught myself how to make jewelry. In fact, that’s how I learned most of the different mediums I like to work with.
Mandy: What has been a seminal experience?
Atropine: My entire past has been a seminal experience. Growing up in the type of household that I did really molded me into the person that I am today. My parents had undergone the worst divorce I had ever heard of, this is back before divorces were popular. I took a turn for a negative direction forcing me into creating art. I can thank this terrible experience for my artworks.
Mandy: What materials do you use in making your art and why?
Atropine: I like to use metal, bones and paint as these are some of my favorite things. I chose theses materials because they are fun and easy to use. Sometimes I go back to my roots and play with acrylics and a big old canvas.
Mandy: What work do you most enjoying doing?
Atropine: My favorite medium is acrylic paint. I just wish I had more time to paint these days. I am a busy girl, I have many names
Mandy: How has your work changed since you started?
Atropine: Since I started making art, my work has changed drastically since I get bored easily. I used to only paint. I guess the mediums have changed more than my actual work. I feel that I am a better artist today than 10 years ago, I have more time and knowledge on my side.
Mandy: What’s your favourite piece that you have done?
Atropine: My favorite piece is the reproduction of Odd Nerdrum’s “the back”. I think thats the name.
Mandy: Do you listen to music when you are creating? What do you like to listen to?
Atropine: I do listen to music, mostly 80s Goth music and some 70s Goth. 70s Goth is similar to disco but it’s so awesome.
Mandy: What do you think is integral to the work of an artist?
Atropine: The most important thing to me is making people happy. If a something of mine finds its way to someone and they love to wear it, it makes me happy.
Mandy: What role does art have in society?
Atropine: Art in society plays many roles as we are influenced by it daily. Just listen to the radio or watch tv, the stars will be wearing the latest creation from the hottest designer. Without art there is nothing really.
Mandy: What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
Atropine: The strongest Memory in my childhood, hmmm. I remember lots, sadly they are always bad things that happened. Never the good things. I remember when I fell and scraped my knees on orange bricks that were decorating my Mother’s garden. I think I was 2.
Mandy: What’s your scariest experience?
Atropine: Scariest experience. I’d have to say it was when I almost fell off the side of a mountain while skiing when I was young. I was too close to the edge of the cliff and I slipped. I somehow managed to not fall off, dodge some trees and almost smash into a boulder. My Father saw the whole thing and was amazed at how I didn’t die.
Mandy: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Atropine: A real life situation that inspired me was my parent’s divorce. It really fueled my fire.
Mandy: What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Atropine: I’ve had many embarrassing moments, like walking into tables. I do have to say when I was 7 I was afraid of the tupperware lady and ran head first into the corner of a mirrored wall. Blood was gushing everywhere. My poor Mother.
Mandy: What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Atropine: I have had many jobs, mostly because I get bored. Once I can’t move up anymore I find another job and continue my learning. One of my favorite jobs was being a jewelers apprentice.
Mandy: What is your favourite or most inspirational place?
Atropine: My favorite place is Arizona, mostly Sedona. When I am there I feel at peace. If I can’t get to AZ I’ll take a nice, quiet hike in the woods.
Mandy: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Atropine: Memorable responses to my work. I’ve had people tell me they love their pieces so much that they would wear them everyday.
Mandy: What is your dream project?
Atropine: My dream project, to create an entire line of products so that name brand stores could carry them. Everyone should own an Atropine’s original piece even if it is mass produced.
Mandy: Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Atropine: I don’t wish to be compared to anyone. I am not here for competition, just to make others happy.
Mandy: What artists do you most identify with?
Atropine: My favorite artists of all time are Odd Nerdrum, Dahli, Ralph Steadman, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Mandy: What superpower would you have and why?
Atropine: Superpower, to heal people. I hate to hear or see people in pain and there is nothing I can do to help. If I could heal, my life would be complete.
Mandy: Professionally, what’s your goal?
Atropine: My goal professionally is to get my products into name brand stores, I want everyone to own one of my artworks.
Mandy: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given and what advice would you give others?
Atropine: Best advice. Be yourself, wouldn’t you rather be a leader than a follower? It seems there are too many sheep and not enough shepards. I would tell others the same thing and let art tell you what to do, its a way to express yourself and release your inner demons.
Thank you for interviewing me!!
Places you can check out Atropines Creations and Oddities
She wrote this on her facebook page and I really like it.
"I have to give my mother the credit, she taught me to be myself.
At a young age I was given markers to play with, I would doodle endlessly.
Most kids were playing and making friends, I was hiding in my room, drawing, alone.
I was never like any of the other kids at school, they would call me names.
I was told I was too crafty by another student, like it was a bad thing.
I was a loner.
I would always find comfort in art, it was my safe place.”