Devil and Mouse
The Gothic Rock genre tends as a rule to attract the creative and inventive into its fold. We are often filled to the brim with new poets, musicians, sculptors, painters, and a host of other artists. By nature, we are recreating the world in new ways and adding our own touch to what we feel is a broken landscape using what we know to use. Frequently, new artists rise to attention of our community with their unique take using classic mediums. Creating new works from seemingly common materials and making new works of beauty.
Devil and Mouse designs are a recent and welcome addition to the dark rock field with their new take on jewelry creations. Creating truly intricate and unmatched designs of wearable art using polymer clay, hand painted morbid genius, and a host of heavy inspiration. Recently coming to the attention of the dark rock community, Kim, (aka Mouse) and Marc (aka Lokkust) began their company Devil and Mouse just a few years ago. Now having an established jewelry art company, they are poised and prepared to stretch out into other wearable art mediums for your ghastly pleasures.
Doc: Can you give us a brief history of Mouse and Lokkust?
Kim: My name is Kim, aka Mouse. I am a Los Angeles-based artist and I met Marc aka Lokkust 11 years ago in Montreal. Marc is a musician/writer/graphic artist who moved to Los Angeles from Montreal four years ago. After we got married we decided to put our creative talents together to form our company Devil and Mouse in 2005. We currently live in Los Angeles with our dog Buster and our yellow bird Sparky.
Doc: Tell me what got you into design? Do you have any formal art training?
Kim: I was always interested in the arts and it was something I felt that I could be good at, but growing up, I didnt have many art classes in school. It wasnt until university that I had the chance to immerse myself in art and design seriously. I studied it for many years and have a fine art degree in drawing and painting. All the skills I picked up in art school make the jewelry designing so much easier.
Marc: I have no formal art training. Ive always had an interest in visual art and design. My stuff tends to be a little more serious than Kims but I think our styles compliment each other.
Doc: Can you tell me about any major clients youve worked for in the Dark Rock scene?
We havent had the opportunity to work with any major clients...yet!
Doc: What goes into the production of your unique jewelry?
Kim: All of my jewelry is handmade from polymer clay in an array of colors and are adorned with hand painted designs. Each piece is individually hand painted with a great attention to detail. I spend a lot of time painting these little images with a tiny brush! I like the fact that no two are alike making each one a wearable piece of art.
Doc: Do you plan on creating other designs besides Jewelry?
Kim: Yes, we would like to produce t-shirts with Marcs original artwork as well. He does all the graphic work and advertising for the business and Ive always thought his amazing graphic designs would look great on a t-shirt. I think it will be a really cool addition to our product line and it will also give Marc a chance to put his designs out in the forefront.
Marc: Yes, we will have some t-shirts with some original designs. A lot of black and white stuff, images of sexy nuns and possessed chicks. Hopefully by next year we will have a limited line of various demonic delights for boys and girls alike.
Doc: Tell us about the company design name Devil and Mouse?
Marc: Actually Kim came up with that. She was just throwing names around and she said Devil and Mouse, and it instantly clicked. Kim is definitely Mouse. People automatically assume that I must be Devil. Sometimes I am. Besides, Lokkust and Mouse doesnt sound as catchy. As for the Lokkust moniker? I used to experiment with audio collages and noise recordings that I would release on tape back in the day, and the tag I ran that under was Locust, until I found a European artist already using that name. I still liked the sound of it and its representation so I didnt want to give it up. I just decided to write it with two Ks instead. I used it as kind of a signature for any project I was doing at the time, audio, visual or literal. I guess it kinda stuck.
Doc: Have you been featured in other publications?
Yes, Tattoos for Women magazine and New Witch magazine.
Doc: Can you tell us a little about your companys philosophy in creating works of art?
Kim: Its really important to us in this world of mass produced clothing and accessories that everything we make is individually handmade and made with great care and attention to detail. I think that is what makes our jewelry special and unique. We also want to come up with new ideas every now and then to keep things fresh and avoid getting stuck in a rut. Ive learned that you have to be able to evolve and grow with your art and take as much as you can from things that spark your creative inspiration. Since my inspirations come from many places, I am very much open to different sensibilities showing up in my work.
Marc: As an artist you have to evolve, thats what fuels creativity, otherwise youre just going through the motions. The hard part is balancing a commercially viable business with artistic integrity. For now we are still small enough to offer a truly original piece of art at a very affordable price. We have a loyal following of fans that realize and appreciate that, and they are collectors of our works. By customizing a piece you truly make it your own, and even buying a pre-made work it still remains a one of a kind piece.
Doc: Whats the strangest request youve had for custom work?
Kim: In our line of designs we have a coffin portrait pendant which features images of dark personalities like Vlad Dracula, Edgar Allan Poe and Elizabeth Bathory. I didnt think this was that strange at all but one portrait request I had was a double sided circle pendant with Dolly Parton on one side and Tom Waits on the other. The imagery was a bit different from what I was used to but it came out really beautiful and is actually one of my favorite custom pieces.
Doc: Have you ever had to make anything you didnt feel comfortable producing?
Kim: So far every custom order Ive had to produce has been something that I felt totally comfortable with. Id like to think I can work around pretty much any idea.
Doc: Tell us about being featured in New Witch Magazine? Is Paganism an important part of your artistic expression?
Kim: We are not pagans ourselves but were flattered to have had a little write up in New Witch magazine along with other Etsy
sellers that produce handmade goods of a dark nature. New Witch supports small business artisans and I believe that they saw our jewelry would appeal to their readers.
Marc: Religion and spirituality are lifestyles in as many different ways as there are followers. Representations of symbols that represent these beliefs can easily become fashion statements by either showing support, defiance or simply wearing something for aesthetic purpose. I personally dont believe in anything, but I love the imagery, its very strong and powerful and can be worked with at so many different levels. If anything we do calls out to you and mirrors what you want to represent, all the power to you, thats what its all about.
Doc: Have you experimented recently with music as part of your artistic expression?
Kim: I wish I could say I was a musician now but Im not. I unfortunately never had the discipline to continue with it even though I played a couple instruments when I was younger. As far as being a listener, I think that music plays an integral part of the art making process. I dont think Ive ever made a painting, drawing or piece of jewelry without music playing in the background. Its like an inspirational guide that gets you through it. And I think listening to a variety of music can produce different sensibilities that show up in the work which I am always open to.
Marc: Ive started experimenting again with music in various projects. Its something I havent really done seriously since I moved out here four years ago. Ive met many talented people that have inspired me to pick up where I left off; Ill see where it takes me. In the meantime I do have many recordings that had been released in very limited quantities that I would like to re-release in CD format and make available through our site. A few are very harsh nihilistic soundscapes of noise and despair and Im not sure whether the Devil and Mouse crowd would be very receptive. It would definitely represent the Devil part of our name though. Well see...
You can find Devil and Lokkust and their fine creations at their website, devilandmouse.com
or at their Myspace Page