The Cloud Orchid Crew is home to a variety of artists. Crew member Ophelia Darkly moved to Portland with her partner Davey Cadaver to seek a more creative lifestyle. Her labors have brought forth an amazing project: The Coffee Monsters art book. We are excited to bring our fans this exclusive interview with Ophelia about the project creation. Be sure to support their kickstarter, and bring their monsters to life!
We had a lot of different inspiration for this book. It’s difficult to name just one. I suppose that much of the inspiration came from within us. Our dreams pushing us forward and into a collaborative project. We were inspired by ancient fairy tales, animals, and many many beautiful things inside of the world and beyond. We also [found startling inspiration through] nature. Davey’s paintings began with coffee flowers and landscapes and then, transitioned into monsters. We would take walks and write and paint outside for hours at our favorite place in the forest (Witches’ Castle), [or] at coffee shops. I was intrigued by the paintings Davey was creating, and [I] had been writing more than ever. One day, I came up with the idea to give these monsters a life through stories. It seemed like they desperately wanted that.
As far as the paintings go, they are all done on archival watercolour paper. Davey uses coffee (of course), ink of all different kinds, a straw (and his breath), paintbrush, and pens. I take an archaic approach, and write out all my stories [by] hand, and then type them later. It makes the entire process more organic and free flowing. Sometimes, it feels sort of like automatic writing. The actual connection of my hands with the paper and pen is incredibly important. I can’t obtain such a thing typing on the computer.
The great thing about this project was that it could virtually be done anywhere at anytime. There was no extravagant set up. Basic materials and our imaginations were all that was needed. Sometimes we would listen to music, talk to each other, or work in silence. It just depended on our mood. Many of the initial monsters were created listening to Cinema Strange, who ended up in the video for our Kickstarter entitled “Nature’s Revenge”. Davey would splatter the page with coffee and pull out what he saw. He never forced any of the monsters to come out. If he didn’t see anything, he would move on to another paper. After he made these monsters, I would place the physical painting in front of me (which was very important to my process as each piece had a very specific energy) and listen to what it was saying. Then, I would write.
All the characters are individual monsters that are linked by Davey’s unique style and my specific way of writing. They all stand alone, but there is some sort of collective unconsciousness among them all. Another common thread is that they are all modern day fairy tales. All of the monsters are both dark and whimsical.
The most enjoyable part was definitely being able to work on a creative project with my fiance Davey. We both are incredibly creative people with big aspirations. We each have different art forms that we explore and it was absolutely wonderful to join our forces together to create something beautiful and unique. We had the same goal and our energy fed off of one another when we were creating. It was such an amazing feeling. I would encourage everyone to find a way of collaborating creatively in some way with their partner. The results are limitless. I also enjoyed seeing the monsters being created and then writing the stories. The entire process was wonderful and exciting, and it’s still going!
The most challenging thing about this project was to keep going despite financial roadblocks. It’s easy to fall into a trap of trying to make money and cast aside creative endeavors. Regardless, we were able to keep a strong vision and not let anything stop us . We didn’t have a budget for the book, so we created a kickstarter to make it happen. We didn’t have a budget to make the kickstarter film, so we used our imagination, digital camera, and phones to make it happen.
Many of our friends contributed ideas or props to us, all of whom are credited in the film. And with the Kickstarter up and running, we have gained so much support for this project. Each day we get closer to making our goal. We are so incredibly thankful that we have such great friends and fans. We couldn’t publish this book without them.
I think we very much inspired ourselves in this way. We knew that we were more powerful than any financial issues. We wrote, directed, acted, filmed, created sets, props, costumes, and edited the film by ourselves. We didn’t have a budget for flyers, so we created them at home and put them up. I think it will inspire others to actually follow their dreams instead of just dreaming them.
We are striving towards making our Kickstarter goal, but there is no doubt in our minds that we will not make the goal. We also want the book to be of the highest quality and exactly what we envisioned. T his was the main reason that we decided to self publish this book. We wanted complete creative control and knew that we had the ability to successfully sell the book on our own without the help of a publisher. We want this book to go big. We want to do interviews, have readings, go on book tours, and have the world read it. We also are thinking about doing a Coffee Monsters 2 already, but that’s a secret…
Writing these stories inspired me to write even more. I’m currently working on multiple book projects and thinking of teaching my own creative writing workshop. These paintings inspired Davey to teach his own coffee painting workshop here in Portland, Oregon. His next workshop is in October with an emphasis on monsters! We both have always wanted to teach, but never pursued it until now. The book has also encouraged us to do more creative projects together as a couple.
Everyone should watch our video and read our kickstarter and book. This book is going to be epic and will go viral. All contributions matter. Even if your contribution is sharing with your friends. We are so thankful for our fans and so passionate about this book.
Never give up on your dreams. Always strive for more. Make wishes and act upon them.
If you support these ideas, please show your support. It is greater than this book. We need more art in this world that knows no boundaries and is raw and pure. We need modern day fairy tales. We need creative passion. And we need hope. Not idle hope, but active hope. Passionate hope.
We at COM are happy to be a part of that active hope and support Ophelia and Davey in their endeavors. Please show your support, and like their Coffee Monsters Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thecoffeemonsters?fref=ts
Sign up for Davey Cadaver’s private coffee monsters art classes here: http://www.daveycadaver.com/#!art-workshops/c8ow
Learn to model professionally from coach Ophelia Darkly at her Double Dream Workshop: https://www.facebook.com/Doubledreamworkshop?pnref=story