A while ago, I started a love-letter series, drawing people that inspire and influence me, and I finally managed to finish another one for this series! This one is going to be focused on Liz Nistico: She's currently making her solo debut as Revenge Wife and was the vocalist of brat pop duo HOLYCHILD, which is currently on an indefinite hiatus.
Liz has been releasing a series of hauntingly beautiful music videos, and I've been itching to draw her for a while. When "Manifest" came out, I knew I had to draw something.
I love how Liz went for a raw, chilling, even possibly triggering horror theme in her videos. That's exactly my jam. I can only imagine how difficult but fun it must have been to shoot these on her own.
My favorite scene is the slow-motion chase with the red light. I really want to grab my iPhone and do something like that myself for fun sometimes. It's just mesmerizing! I played with the composition and tried to include my favorite part of the music video, but I couldn't quite make it work. It did work for a cute little social media post, though! I really liked the visuals of the beginning of the video, where she's tied up - in regards to the lyrics, I thought it would make a fantastic choice. "I'm always struggling" "I'm ready to grow." Breaking free? Yeah. I like that.
They say manifest, fuck that. The middle finger? Well, I mean... I think that's self-explanatory, haha... I pray Liz doesn't hate me for drawing her flipping people off happily.
I also really enjoyed the outfits in the video, created by BIRTHDAY GIRL. Something about those patterns just caught my mind's eye, and I knew I wanted to include those bright and happy motives in the piece I'd be drawing. I felt like I couldn't do the mushrooms justice with how I drew the shirt, and the tights also didn't fit many of the kissy lips... so a background had to do!
I redrew the cute pattern myself, and ALL credit goes to BIRTHDAY GIRL. Check out how dang cute the original pattern looks on their clothing on Instagram! Since Liz's boyfriend wears the floral outfit, I went with that - so he's represented as well!
And finally, a little close up for the insanity that is my way of coloring.
Alrighty... go listen to Manifest!
Okay, and now let's get to the gushy part! A little history for this entry in my Loveletter series...
I've admired HOLYCHILD since Spotify blessed me with their genius in my Discover Weekly queue somewhere around 2015. I instantly fell in love with Money All Around and began looping their tracks on Spotify day and night. As fate would have it, they opened for a Ryn Weaver concert I attended the same year, and I've been hooked ever since.
I remember laying my eyes on Liz Nistico for the first time: crazy golden pants (which totally came off later on!), the coolest white harness, and a super cute green wig.
Liz was a vision in neon green.
I told you, the pants came off!
Her spirit captivated me in an instant, and my love for HOLYCHILD's unique music exploded through the roof! It was so neat to see the duo behind the music that consistently accompanied me throughout my latter twenties.
I'm not sure how to put it into words, but the vibe and emotions of this pop duo perfectly synchronized with me. To me, HOLYCHILD's music has always been hauntingly beautiful, provocative, and raw.
So I made sure to attend the next concert I could get my hands on! It would be a few years, but I finally got another chance in 2018!
By this time, HOLYCHILD's music had become a big part of me, soothing and empowering me through life, so getting to experience another performance by Louie and Liz was a real treat.
The Theatrical Death of Julie Delicious stole my heart, and it will never let me go. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to experience my favorites live! So many bangers, Hundred Thousand Hearts, Fight For Me, Saturday, and let's not forget Bathroom Bitch!
This concert happened at a point in my life where I reached a dead end and had to turn things around drastically. It's been extremely successful so far, and I'm still working on that - but seeing artists like Liz and Louie absolutely engrossed in their music was like watching a miracle. Seeing someone, you admire up close and personal humanizes them.
They are no different than you and me. It became clear to me that if I wanted to pursue a goal, I could reach it. I'd have to make the first step, though.
I underwent a complete lifestyle change shortly after...
Then in 2019, I saw this... Ouff.
Of course, I grabbed my tickets and made sure not to miss this last show... It just happened that everything went kind of insane in February 2020! The concert took place on February 21st, a few weeks before L.A. went into lockdown, and this already felt absolutely surreal. I am so so so grateful that this concert took place before all that...
I remember sitting in front of the venue waiting for the doors to open and marveling at how surreal life has become while giddily awaiting a brief moment of bliss - just dancing, singing, and getting lost in those flashing lights. Oh, and it started to drizzle! With rain being so rare here, I felt like it was a sign, haha...
Of course, the show was every bit as amazing as it was emotional. Knowing the music I've come to love so much would not expand anytime soon got me teary-eyed before HOLYCHILD even got on stage, haha...
I have to admit. I bawled my eyes out. This only intensified when Liz grabbed me and held me close during one of my favorites, Fight for Me.
After the show, I hung around because Liz and Louie both hung with the crowd after their last show, so I thought I'd see if I can get a goodbye hug, and luckily once Liz had a moment, I managed to do just that .... oh and she let me know she was working on her future solo debut! My ears perked up, and I kept a vigilant watch on social media.... until Revenge Wife popped up on Twitter!
Soon after, her Patreon popped into existence, and then the demos dropped! Boy, I got addicted to those tracks. I highly recommend the Revenge Wife Patreon for a look behind the curtains, directly into Liz's heartfelt thoughts and music.
Growing up, I never would have dreamt of talking directly to these artists that I look up to, but with the internet, it seems that we are all becoming more and more connected, and you actually have a chance to reach out.
At this point, I had done some AI Dungeon live streams based on HOLYCHILD's music, running a sad adventure that had repeatedly brought me to tears, and even created artwork based on it. I decided to take the plunge, reach out with a question and show just how much their music means to me.
Talking to Liz after her concerts, or on Patreon, or just tuning in during her live streams on Instagram or Twitch is just... magical! I remember running through the apartment screaming to tell my husband that Liz responded to my DM. The heart fluttering when I type up my feelings and pray they don't sound all that cringe. Running every word through Grammarly, praying there are no typos before finally taking that deep breath and hitting the send button...
Watching her going through her solo debut, creating her own music videos, fighting with the same insecurities, being an artist... it is so... humanizing? Enlightening? Inspiring? Mindblowing? I don't think I have the ability to put it into words other than writing more fangirl cringe... I think I've reached the limit on that for now, though...
So I'm hyped to see what other amazing art Liz is going to bless us with.