Do you like things that are simultaneously cute and creepy? Then you will love the art of Andrea Von Drakenstein, the owner of Drakenstein Art and creator of a ton of beautifully made and adorably creepy creations. I had the opportunity to chat with Andrea about her dolls and her concepts and creation process, as well as horror films and what’s next for her. Check out our conversation and take a look at some of her amazing art!
PopHorror: It’s obvious by looking at your art that you are a huge horror fan. What are some of your favorite films and directors?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: Its hard to narrow it down because there are so many out there. But I’m an all time fan of George Romero, Lucio Fulci and Clive Barker. My favorite films are Night of the Living Dead, House By The Cemetery, Dagon, Amityville Horror, American Werewolf In London, and Dawn Of The Dead.
PopHorror: You make these wonderfully cute yet creepy horror-themed dolls. How long have you been making them and what inspired you to start?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: I’ve been making my dolls since 2011. It all started with one FrankenBaby doll and one SugarSkull Baby. From the reaction I got from people around me, they started placing orders and it grew from there. I was then asked to have my SugarSkull dolls exhibited at the Chimaya Art Gallery in East LA. After that, I created a small supply of dolls and enough courage to book my first big event at Days of the Dead in Burbank, Ca.
PopHorror: What was the first horror-themed doll you made and how long did it take?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: My first horror-themed doll… that’s hard to remember. I think it was Sam from Trick R Treat. He was a huge hit. Now, Sam takes me about 6 hours to complete, but when I first started, it took me about 2 days. Whenever I make a new character for the first time, it always takes me the longest. At most 12 hours, depending on the sculpting, the props and the outfit because everything I do is handmade.
PopHorror: Out of all the dolls you have made, what is your favorite and why?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: My favorites do change, but right now I have to say Leatherface is my favorite. And since now I’ve made him his own environment, he’s just the cutest little killer.
PopHorror: From concept to creation, how long, on average, does one of your dolls take to make?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: It can take me about one month from concept to creation. I have a million thoughts going through my head on what materials to use on how to make the props, how it’s going to appeal to the eye, will it withstand handling… you know, children. I have to make sure it’s quality work or its just a failure. For the first 3 years, I only did acrylic paints. I then progressed to sculpting, I was quite leery of the quality and if it would last. My first doll I sculpted was FrankenBaby. He made his first debut at Midsummer Scream in Long Beach, CA. I wanted to get people’s reactions. They wanted to buy him, but I said no, because I knew his quality was bad, as he was my first ever prototype experimenting with clay. After that, I made a better quality FrankenBaby and he’s still one of my best sellers, along with his bride.
PopHorror: Do you do custom work? If so, how do people go about getting a custom piece made?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: I do take custom orders. Most contact me through messenger at my Drakenstein Art page on Facebook, or they message me on Etsy and also Instagram. Right now, I have 3 custom orders never before made: Pennywise the clown, the fierce Diety Link from Breathe of the Wild and SPLICE the alien baby
PopHorror: Do you make any other art besides your dolls?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: Right now, I’m creating lit up signage on glass. Its custom sandblasted images etched into the glass. Then I’m making a base with LED lighting inside to reflect and illuminate the sandblasted image. Those will be up for sale in 2018. This I have been pondering for about six months now. But I do have my first 3 prototypes in the works.
PopHorror: Do you have an online store?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: Yes I do: Etsy Store
PopHorror: Any upcoming dolls you are planning that you are excited about?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: I’ve been wanting to make some new characters for awhile. During Christmas, I do Jack and Sally, so to accompany them this year I want to make Lock, Shock and Barrel.
PopHorror: Any other projects you are working on?
Andrea Von Drakenstein: I am actually working on my costume for Krampus Los Angeles. Last year I attended the workshop and created an awesome Krampus mask, and this year, I will join the Krampus LA troupe for the Krampus Ball and for Krampuslauf as we march through the crowd, dressed head to toe in Krampus gear handing out beatings to those in our way.