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Meet Diana Levin of Ghoulish Bunny Studios in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Levin.

Diana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was 5, I always knew I wanted to pursue a creative career in some way, whether to be a fashion designer or a fine artist. One day in high school, I picked up a book called “Mirage” by Boris Vallejo and discovered a whole world of fantasy art. Before that day, I was not really exposed to fantastic illustration and had no idea anyone could make a living doing it. I began to browse the internet, searching for inspiration. Through websites like DeviantArt, I came upon awesome artists and communities where I got in touch with other like-minded people.

When I was 20 and going to Cal State Northridge, I attended San Diego Comic-Con for the very first time. I have never been more inspired and blown away by all the amazing creative possibilities. Not only did I get to meet fantasy illustrators I have always admired, but I also discovered a whole world of indie creators. Artists were set up with tables full of prints and merch making money doing what they loved. It really inspired me to pursue a similar path. I began to write down ideas and plans for how I was going to get my own SDCC table one day. I threw myself into my art, going diligently to life drawing classes and working on my portfolio.

After graduating college, I worked at various entertainment companies but ultimately did not find the work fulfilling. I always came back to my dream plan. I worked on my art, started promoting online and even opened an Etsy shop so I could sell prints. It wasn’t until around 2011/2012 when I started vending at various local craft and street fairs around Los Angeles. During this time I meet Shawn, my current partner in crime and fellow creative person/horror writer. He was very supportive of my art and agreed to help me with my shows.

My very first comic convention was Long Beach Comic Con in 2012. I was really encouraged by the response I got to my work from the fans there. Shawn and I have been exhibiting at various comic and horror conventions all over the U.S. After graduating college with a BA in Arts degree, I worked as a graphic designer at small indie entertainment film Distribution Company.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning. When I first started vending at craft fairs, I was barely breaking even. It took me quite a few years to find my niche. I struggled for years to find my voice as an artist, torn between what I thought I should do versus what I really wanted to do. There was also this struggle between art and business. I want to make the art I love, but I also need to make money and pay the bills. I had to find that balance.

Please tell us about Ghoulish Bunny Studios.
I make creepy cute/horror art. A lot of my work is inspired by gothic culture, horror films and stories, historic costumes and fantasy creatures. My partner Shawn is a horror writer, and together we work on a horror anthology series called the Ghoulish Grimoire.

Together we travel to various comic and horror conventions all over the U.S. selling my artwork and books. We have an online shop where we sell our work. I’m proud that we can work together so well. The Ghoulish Grimoire has been such a fun project to work on and a great way to connect to other like-minded people.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My first Halloween. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was 5, and we were not familiar with this holiday. It wasn’t until I was 8 when my parents finally let me go trick or treating in the neighborhood.

Me and other neighborhood kids were running around, ringing doorbells and getting candy from costumed strangers. Some neighbors decked out their entire lawns in spooky Halloween decorations and mazes. I remember that first time being the most fun I ever had as a child.

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