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Alysha Nett checks in with us as often as her busy schedule will allow to give her insight on modeling,tattoos and art. She even throws in a recipe from time to time. Alysha always makes sure to include plenty of sexy pictures of her exploits, so check back often to see what she’s been up to. This time she has caught up with the gorgeous and multi-talented Venom Blackbird for a sexy photo shoot and Q&A.
Hi Venom! Can you introduce yourself to the Inked readers?
Absolutely! Hello all, I’m Venom Blackbird; rock climber, photographer, SuicideGirl, dog mom, jeweler, adventurer, and that’s as much as I could fit onto a business card.
You’re friends with Malorie (who I also photographed for Beyond the Ink), how did you meet and how long have you been friends?
Best friends! We met right after she moved to California to start college. We ran into each other a few times at yoga classes. Then despite our oil and vinegar appearances, her looking like a pretty pink cloud of fluffy happy joy time and myself being a dark all black everything creature from the deep inky lagoon of don’t touch me, we found common interests in quality goth and metal music, fine teas, and other dark matters, realizing we clearly had been separated at birth.
And you also make some kick ass jewelry like your friend? When did you get in to stone making and silver smithing?
I try! Malorie was actually my liaison into silversmithing. Like her, I’ve always been a rock collector, I was given a rock tumbler at 11 years old, and I’ve been filling up my hiking buddy’s backpacks with rocks ever since! On her own Malorie found some local lapidary—stone working—classes, and after I found out I stormed to her house and demanded she take me with her (by demanded of course I brought her a tea and laid on her floor whining until she finally lugged me there and signed me up). After doing the stone classes for long enough we both realized we needed to put to use all of the dozens of rocks we’d crafted, she enrolled in a silversmithing class and, then when I decided to join in there was no more room at the inn for me, so like a pal, she kindly taught me all of what she'd learned.
We spent many hot summer days drinking lemonade in her backyard shop listening to Sisters of Mercy and Sabbath records, cursing, while trying desperately to not accidentally melt our projects.
Where can we find your pieces?
I’m definitely not as good at selling as I am making, I get a little attached to my pieces and tend to hold onto them. For now, I occasionally post a thing or two on my Etsy, my shop, or spontaneously to my Instagram account as a first come first serve sort of deal. Largely, the work I do manage to sell is commission based from people who’ve found me online, and most ideally with folks who already have a raw piece of rock they’ve found or that comes from somewhere special to them, then I can shape, polish, and turn it into a really meaningful piece of jewelry.
Staying busy seems to come fairly easy to you! Rock climbing?? How often do you climb?
Hah! I keep no shortage of spare time. Yes, rock climbing! I climb as often as I can while remaining reasonable. Usually getting in three/four days a week at the indoor gym and one day outside climbing on real rock. I also work part time at my climbing gym, so it makes up for a large portion of my time spent awake these days.
Where are you favorite climbing spots?
Recently I’ve fallen in love with a brand new patch of rocks on my home turf. A few friends of mine have been developing this neat little area with fun climbs on some good rock, right now it’s known to us as The Grove. It’s always a great time, and I really prefer a small group of good friends, pulling weeds, and looking for routes on virgin rock to the overcrowded established areas. But if it's on someone else's bill, Hawaii is my absolute favorite spot so far! Nothing beats climbing up the volcanic sea cliffs 40 plus feet with the ocean underneath as your “protection," not to mention all the macadamia nut ice cream and hoards of local cetaceans...
Do you have a “climb goal” or somewhere you’d love to go to climb outdoors?
At the end of this last year, I managed to line myself up with a super rad company that specializes in climbing gear and athletic apparel called SoiLL. Having a real climbing sponsor who wants me on their team as an athlete was a pretty monumental step for me! As far as future goals go though, I’m terrible at setting them and tend to just keep a general running goal of want to always get stronger and better. I do have a slightly more concretely plan of getting to the point where I'm sending V10’s outdoors at the least one day, which basically translates to “climbing really really hard climbs” for any non stone junkies out there trying to decipher. As far as dream trips go, I would love to make it out to Thailand, really all of southeast Asia, and deep water solo the giant rock spires that trail alongside the coastline.
When I look at your Instagram it looks like you spend a lot of time outdoors with your dog! I love dogs! Tell us about yours :)
I do! Ghost is my newest addition after the passing of my old ranch mutt a couple years back, he’s only a year old as of December 3rd but he’s already a solid adventure companion! He comes to work with me at the climbing gym and on any trips where dogs are permitted. Ghost is a weimaraner, and like Wegman’s, he’s subjected to many, arguably embarrassing, photoshoots when the mood strikes me. Recently he patiently wore a lovely pink wig styled after Jane Jones from the film Closer. I think he only puts up with my games of dress up because he gets to join me on so many(better) outdoor adventures. Really though, whether it be hiking out in the middle of the desert, or snuggling under the covers watching TV he’s a perfect little friend.
And you’ve had other animals in your life. I saw that you used to train horses. When did you stop doing that?
Oh horses, yeah, they were my lifeblood for many, many years. I used to compete as a hunter/jumper as a preteen and then in 3 Day Eventing all throughout my teenage years. As you can imagine, horses are a very expensive hobby, and my family ended up at the loosing end of a few bad business ventures, so although I was working at the barn to offset all of my horses expenses, in the end she became an asset that my dad had available to liquidate to help stay afloat. I stayed in the sport for a few years after she was sold, mostly working at a barn that specialized in retraining horses with dangerous problems. Eventually the risk didn’t outweigh the enjoyment and I went to work as a horse shoer. During that time did some catch riding on much nicer sale horses in shows for some lovely people, but in the end horses demand all of your time, and without one of my own I found it was my time to put some distance between myself and the sport and move onto, not greener, but different pastures.
What was the best part about working with horses?
The best part has got to be when you finally get to experience all of your hard work pay off. Winning is always amazing, but I have this brief memory from my last competition with my horse that always that pops in my head as the happiest few seconds of my life. We were galloping down a long stretch of field coming to the next combination of obstacles on the course. It was a big bank drop into a water feature, forward through the drink to a tall narrow brush jump, then a sharp turn up another bank, out of the water and over a wide wooden corner jump. It was that moment where the years and of trying to get my opinionated and argumentative horse to cooperate all came to a head and for the first time we felt completely in sync. The combination flowed perfectly, almost without any conversation between the two of us, and for once I could stop thinking and worrying and enjoy the moment in its entirety. I’d say for any one, being connected and in the zone after a long road to get there, has to be one of the best feelings around.
OK, OK, back to the sexy talk. So… who does your tattoos?
My tattoos! Yes! I mainly see Bill Canales at Full Circle Tattoo in San Diego, he has done my chest and my leg sleeve and fixed a few mistakes on some less thought out pieces of mine. But we have an open relationship and I see other artists from time to time. My (arm) sleeve was done in Temecula by Thatcher Demamial, and the rest of my little ones from a variety of shops and artists from Chris Primm at the Grand Reaper to R.J. Grijalava at Black Anvil Tattoo.
Why the blackbird? Do you mind sharing your story?
Well I’ll tell you straightaway, it’s got nothing to do with Edger Allen Poe, so if all inquiring gentlemen could please holster that ice breaker, I’d be thrilled. People are usually disappointed when they ask, because mostly, I just really like ravens. Ornithologically speaking, they are unimaginably smart: capable of intense problem solving, adept with the ability to imitate human voices in an eerily striking manner, they often use non vocal “hand" gestures to communicate, and even show empathy for each other. Aside from them just being all around rad creatures on their own, I’ve always enjoyed how different they are viewed from culture to culture. In a lot of west they are dirty evil trash birds that associated with death and the devil, but in the east they’re wonderful omens of good fortune. So I suppose the raven is like my little misunderstood goth kid friend.
On SuicideGirls we know you as Venom Suicide. How long have you been modeling for them?
That is correct! I’ve been a SuicideGirl for six years now, with 13 photosets that have managed to inhabit the pages of the world wide web.
Any new sets coming out?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I have a really neat set coming out at the end of March entitled “Sea Hag." An LA based photographer from the site, MichaelMae, braved the cold and the wet early one morning for me at a one of my favorite locations on some beautiful rocks that jet out into the ocean. I was dressed in my finest gothic gown made by a friend, Christina O. I’m excited for that one to go live! I feel like it has a lot of my personality styled in.
You also shoot FOR them which is amazing. Any hopefuls we should be looking out for? Who are some of your favorite SG’s?
I do! I love shooting, I think more than modeling at times. It’s always a toss up. There are a few sets on my computer just getting wrapped up, then they should be live on the site in some where around 5 months after they get submitted, there are a lot of girls in line to get their photos put up on the site these days! Right now my two favorite hopefuls are Chi and StellarNebula, they are both super cute, super sweet ladies who I’ve had the fortune of working with.
My favorite SG’s though! That’s a tough one.. Kemper is my one and only, that goes without saying. Callioppe is another, and an amazing friend, I love and adore Anna Lee, Gogo, Dwam, Radeo, King, I mean really, I’ve made so many wonderful friendships with so many amazing ladies from around the world, its impossible to keep the list small!
Last but not least, where can we find you on social media?
I’m on Instagram and Snapchat as @VenomBlackbird, twitter/periscope @_VenomBlackbird, YouTube for yoga and climbing videos, and of course on my own site where I keep some nsfw non set photos and links to all of my various accounts VenomBlackbird.com! And for any one who wants to see the aforementioned pink wigged dog, he’s of course got his own IG account.