NOTE: Can we all appreciate the irony that I sent out an email about learning from your failures, and I completely botch it? That’s some next-level meta humor right there. 

Hey kiddo,

Let’s talk about failures.

So we’re getting close to the release of Love Bites (February 10th). Back in November I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to make the Valentine’s Day deadline I’d set. I just had WAY too much to do, and too many holidays in the way. Add on top of this some motivation-killing depression, and it was pretty much set in stone that it wouldn’t get done.

The upside of giving up is, it takes off a lot of pressure. No longer dreading the missed deadline, I was able to focus a little more and get done as much as I could. With more time, I could try to do some harder things, like photographing the album cover.

I mentioned in the last Spotlight update my photography escapades, but I wanted to give you guys a little more insight. Cause the more we can learn from our failures, the more successful they are!

My original idea for the Love Bites cover was a big, juicy heart, with a fat stake in it. With it being a Valentine’s Day release, I wanted to put a vampiric twist on your standard valentine. So I needed a heart, a stake, and a way to photograph it well.

The stake was easy. Grab some spare wood from the garage, carve it up, give it a black wash to make it all old and used.

Here’s a shot of it all finished:

Not too shabby, huh?

Much trickier was a heart. Turns out China seemingly has a lock on fake hearts, and all shipping from China would take until late January. Not enough time. So I had to think of another way to make a heart.

I looked into buying a cow heart from the butcher, but it turns out they are fairly expensive, and ENORMOUS. (But let me know if you need any cow heart recipes. I found plenty of those.)

While looking for a fake heart, I came across heart-shaped jello molds. This seemed like the most plausible path to pursue, so I ordered two of them.

But what do you put IN a mold to make a fake heart? Plaster of Paris is the easy answer, but I can’t put a stake through a stone heart. So how about silicone? Works for sex toys, why not a heart? Problem is, again, that stuff is expensive, and shipping time was prohibitive. So, I found what I hoped was a happy medium. Paint-on liquid latex rubber. It’s designed to make mold of small things, so you can make cookies or ornaments. It’s meant to be layered on top of an object, painting a thin coat over and over again. I was going to try and fill a 12 oz mold with it.

The first day I would paint a thin layer, wait three hours, and then paint another thin layer. I wasn’t even sure if it was drying. That night I just poured the rest in there, and left a heater blowing on it all night. I let it sit for a whole day, and the top of it seemed pretty firm and sturdy. S I tried to pull it out…and it was a total disaster. The middle of the heart was as liquidy as the unused stuff in the container. Even a bunch of THE VERY FIRST LAYER was still wet.

Two days lost.

Back to square one.

Well, I had no intention of writing a novel here, so let’s stop there, and I’ll pick up with the rest tomorrow. I can assure you, this ends happily, and tomorrow I’ve got a special surprise for you.

Keep being awesome,
Vlad, your Vampire Step-Dad