Public figure Wednesday Mourning hails from San Antonio, a large yet conservative city in Texas. Her obsession with the strange and unusual started at a young age and was both supported and shared by her mother, a well known local artist. Her formative years were spent in art galleries surrounded by bohemians and other creative types. As a voracious reader her interests included Gothic novels, fantasy, science fiction, and mythology. An obsession with all things dark and esoteric started at quite a young age.
2014 Interview by Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born?
I was born in San Antonio, TX and moved to Austin when I was twenty years old. I’ve lived in Austin most of my adult life but did a five year stint in Los Angeles just to change things up.
How would you describe your experience living in San Francisco?
I moved to San Francisco four years ago and I love it. It’s unlike any city I’ve lived in before. At 7 miles by 7 miles it is tightly condensed with a myriad of different cultures. Throughout the course of day I may hear a dozen different languages from all walks of life. It’s great for people watching. Due to this diversity the population is very accepting of differences, it really is a haven for the strange and unusual. I feel quite at home here.
We love you on the Science Channel TV Show ODDITIES SAN FRANCISCO. How has the experience of being a TV star been for you?
Thank you! My experience being on TV has been an interesting journey. I’m touched by feedback from the fans of the show and very proud to be a part of something that so many have enjoyed. I especially love receiving letters from children that have a new found interest in science and history (we have quite a lot of young watchers). I’d say that overall this experience has been a positive one.
What was the most memorable show on Oddities for you?
That’s a tough question to answer, so many adventures were had. My favorite episode was “Eye, Robot”, the final version was edited in such a way that it seemed quite a bit magical to me. When it comes to memorable, walking onto UCSF’s gross anatomy lab with over 30 bodies laid out was pretty memorable. I’ve been in anatomy labs before but never one quite so large.
Tell us about your online esoteric bookstore “Orphic Vellum Books”:
I have been an avid book collector for the last 20 years and I have recently created an online store to share my collection with the rest of the world. Within you will find a variety of subjects that interest me from the Occult to Weird Fiction, with a special focus on antiquarian books from the 1800’s.
You also added a blog section to your website for strange history/science stuff. This sounds very interesting can you enlighten our readers more on this:
In my personal research of various unusual subjects I tend to come across some interesting facts that I feel are curious enough to share. Usual topics include strange Victorian customs and disputed bizarre historic claims such as the giraffe rape of Locusta. I try to make each entry short and digestible for the the current short attention span (TLDR) public, though I always list sources for further research.
You have an interest in mysticism and mythology that’s resulted in several collaborations with like minded artists. Please fill us in:
I had many opportunities to collaborate with several talented individuals during my modeling career. In 2008 I embarked on an extensive art project, “Mythos Esoteros”, with the talented designer Kambriel providing wardrobe and fashion photographer Rebekah Boyle behind the lens. We explored the different personifications of Circe, Medea, Pandora and various women of mythology. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience and hope I can revisit such projects in the future.
Your unique “doll faced” appearance lends a timeless quality to your work and your classical look is reminiscent of silent film actresses of the 20’s and 30’s. What was your inspiration for this style?
I have always been inspired by the “femme fatale” in books, film and folklore. The silent film era specifically loved to portray these “vamps” in alluring ways. This look, combined with the era’s monochrome color scheme, has definitely been a source of inspiration.
Have you had experience in the fashion world? What were some of the highlights?
Though I have experience modeling for the alternative fashion industry I have not been involved in mainstream fashion that much. I’d say one of the highlights of working in the alternative fashion world was walking in Skingraft’s first runway show in 2006. I had only seen a few samples of their work but I could tell they had an interesting future ahead. It’s been great to watch them explode onto the fashion scene since.
If you could invent a technology to enhance the world what would your invention be?
I’d love a way to invent a software program to prevent cyber bullying without infringing on people’s free speech rights. I feel that online negativity is detrimental to self expression, creativity and self esteem and I would love to see this end.
What have you been listening to?
I’ve been on a Sisters of Mercy kick lately. I also have a lot of Pandora stations that I listen to: Dead Can Dance, Fields of Nephilim and Death in June would have to be my favorite stations at the moment.
Let us know some of your future plans:
I plan on devoting more time to Orphic Vellum and blogging since I’ve received plenty of positive feedback from both of those projects. I wish I could say I have some long term nefarious plans afoot but at the moment I take each adventures as it’s placed before me. This past year has been very exciting and I’m curious as to what new opportunities wait me in 2014.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
In short, an appreciation for the dark aesthetic. Finding beauty in the unusual and embracing non-traditional forms of expression. Your magazine exemplifies this and I’m honored to have been asked to do this interview. Thank you!