I was a serious My Little Pony addict as a kid. You could keep your Barbies, your Care Bears, your Cabbage Patch dolls; let me have my herd of bright haired ponies. I made little bridles and saddlecloths, and covered a blanket on the floor with a river of tiny horses escaping from the He Man and Voltron action figures I borrowed from my uncles.
There was a point when I wanted to customize my ponies. I cut their hair, painted them, and (unsuccessfully) tried to swap heads and bodies. I really, really wanted a pegasus with a black coat and rainbow hair, and my efforts to make one fell far short of what I wanted.
So when I saw Heather V. Kreiter’s art at C2E2, I may have giving an embarrassingly loud squeal. I had seen her art online before, but here was a whole booth of twisted ponies! It also turned out that the artist was a lovely, kind person, and her love of dark things combines perfectly with the cuteness of ponies. Heather took some time out of her busy schedule to talk with me.
Greetings everyone! I’m Heather V. Kreiter, the creator and twisted mind behind My Little Demon, the Dark Side of ponies! I’ve been a professional illustrator for almost fifteen years and have worked in the gaming industry for thirteen of those. Some of the games that I’ve done work for are Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, Legend of the Five Rings, and the World of Darkness line of books, to name a few. All of my work is created in traditional mediums, such as oils, markers, and colored pencils. Yes, I’m a dinosaur and still do everything by hand!
Tell us about your latest project. You just finished a Kickstarter, right?
I did indeed! I just finished running my 4th Kickstarter campaign, this time to have three of my Demon characters, Electro Cutie, Frostbite, and Cupcake Chaos, brought to life in plush form. I was lucky enough to not only have the initial 3 funded, but my first stretch goal, Sin Blossom, funded as well! We were very close to funding the second goal, Squirty Pie, an octopus/Demon pony hybrid. I’m offering a pre-order for her right now on my website that will run until the end of August. I need 131 pre-orders and am currently at 34. Her prototype is just about perfect, but we still need to tweak it just a bit!
Can you talk a bit about how you came up with the idea of My Little Demons?
When most people see the Demons, they often assume that I hate ponies! The truth is that I’m actually a vintage My Little Pony collector, but I’ve always loved villains and the darker side of things. Back in 2007, I was printing out MLP coloring pages for my daughter. I took one, scanned it into Photoshop, and added little horns and fangs to it. I thought, wait a minute … I’m quite capable of drawing my *OWN* ponies. Thus, Corpsey Puff was born! The Demons just started out as something that I did for shits and giggles. They were fun to draw and made me happy. I never expected so many people to share my twisted sense of humor, but the Demons have become so successful that they’re all that I create now!
What are the steps you take to start designing a new demon?
I almost always start with the name first and then build the Demon around it. I have a notebook at home that I call the Demon Bible. It has all of my ideas and names written down so I don’t forget them. I used to have a page with two columns in it, one of sweet cute words the other with dark twisted words. I would crisscross words until I found names that sounded fun! Nowadays, the names and ideas come to me when I’m on road trips or having conversations with fans. I’ll hear a word or phrase and it’ll rattle around in my head for awhile until I come up with something. I try my best not to repeat poses, but with fifty plus Demons in the “herd,” that’s getting harder and harder to accomplish!
What are two of your favorites?
That’s easy! I’ve loved unicorns since I was eleven, so my two favorites are Cupcake Chaos and Porny Delight!
I’ll be spending the better part of the rest of the year creating the customs that were pledged for during the campaign. I’m also trying to add more Demons to the line as I haven’t created anyone new since the beginning of 2014. In various stages of completion are: Lil’ Shroomie Swirl, Lil’ Sin Blossom (in her blood bath), Fhtagn Fluff (a Cthulhu Demon), Arch Anemone (a hippocampus Demon), and newly finished, Cookie Cutter.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to work as an artist?
#1 is to keep drawing as much as you possibly can! It’s the only way to continue to get better. #2 is to do what makes *you* happy. For years I would take on any project that would come my way simply for the paycheck and to see my name published. I put out a lot of bad art! I discovered that if I don’t truly enjoy what I’m working on, it’s going to come out like poo. So, do what you love and the rest will fall into place!