Become A Patron of Caryn Drexl Photography


So! I have signed up at Patreon!

For those who don't know about Patreon it essentially allows people, namely artists, musicians and the like, to find people who would like to pledge money to help support their work, basically becoming their patrons. Everyone can set it up differently, with different levels of pledges, each having no incentives or perks, or many. Creators can ask to get pledges per creation, or per month, and patrons can even set caps on how much they're willing to spend per month, so they don't end up being broke helping others out.

At first I was super hesitant and weird feeling about, I don't know why, but after a lot of waffling I figured it wouldn't hurt. Even if only a few people sign up, it's still something. And something is something! (Aren't I deep?)

I did hit a wall of sorts when it came to incentives, so those might end up being modified at some point. It's also hard to know what i'll be able to manage, so i'm not offering a lot of monthly incentives at the moment. If anyone has any insights or suggestions on that i'd like to hear them! (Like say you might pledge 20$ a month if it included a vial of my tears. I'm not going to do that, you're weird for wanting it, i'm just saying let me know if you have any such suggestions!)

Doing it the way I am also means there are things that only patrons will see, or things that patrons will get first dibs at. I'll be doing behind the scenes posts, sneak peeks at upcoming shoots, putting images there before anywhere else, offering patron only giveaways and sales, first crack at one of a kind mixed media pieces as well as limited editions for sale, stuff like that. Sorry to those who can't take on being a patron, but i've got to give them something!

And while i've been super quiet this past year photo wise, i'm taking the summer off from school to focus solely on shoots, mixed media pieces and non-photo based side projects. So once i'm done with this semester in about 2 weeks i'm aiming to kick my productivity into over drive, meaning there will be a lot going up on patreon first.

And that's about it. Let me know if you have any questions, or again, suggestions!

Cada - My latest mixed-media art doll

I've FINALLY finished my second doll. This one way more hands on than the first, and since I hate hand sewing I dragged my feet when it came to getting her done. Right now it's still only available to Patreon patrons, however none of them have yet to express interest, so if any non-patrons might like it let me know.


Unlike my first doll, very little of Cada's original clothing was used; I chopped off the majority of her dress, with only the bust area and sleeves remaining, though they are now almost completely covered up. I made a "dress" (not the best) from two fabric prints of one of my cicada still life images, which was attached to the remaining collar area of the dress to keep it in place.

Each wing is double sided, so 16 fabric wings in total were used to make up the 8 that cover her arms and part of her back.  (22 if you include the lone little wing that's "fallen"  and the two making up the ear flaps on the hat.) These were made from closeup photos I took of the cicadas on a white background years ago which were printed out on fabric and sewn together, then sewn onto her.


The bonnet is also handmade, I used leftover bits of the fabric I print on that were blank and the same pink thread I used on the everything else. Two leftover wings were added as ear-flaps to give it an aviator cap feel. (They look more like one when the flaps flip outward, but I really loved how the wings looked flipped in and framing her face.)



Everything was hand stitched, and then I "crocheted" (to the best of my very limited abilities) chains using the same thread. I distressed the edges of many of the fabric pieces. And i've placed her on the stand in a way which has her feet hovering just above the base. Not pictured yet is the bell jar I plan to buy to display her in. I might also have to glue and/or sew some bits into place otherwise she stands the risk of getting pretty messed up in transit to her new owner.



Right now I'm thinking 135$ plus shipping without a display jar (She really should be displayed in something though, not left out in the open.) or 160$ plus shipping with the jar.

Mixed-media fun times

I've been doing my best to work on mixed-media stuff a little each day, since I have some down time from school at the moment, and of course am not moving, nor am I shooting.

One new idea I had involved canvases and prints on fabric, and it went down in flames. (Almost literally, I thought for a minute about setting it on fire.) The final result wasn't bad, just not what I wanted:


I had an extra fabric print of the same image that had come out a bit wonky because I forgot to change the print settings, and when I unearthed my craft bin I came across two old embroidery hoops, so I figured i'd try the same basic idea with that instead, and it went a million times better: 

Caryndrexl-0-1 Caryndrexl-mixedmedia

While technically this was a test piece, and still not exactly what I was shooting for, the plan now is to continue on in the same vein. I'm just waiting on bigger pieces of fabric to print on, as well as more hoops to arrive, and I need more bits and pieces of lace and fabric and the like to use, since I left that stuff in Florida. Like an idiot. (P.S. Donations are welcome!)  I also came across some chair pieces (the arched pieces that go on the back) at a local thrift/salvage place and am thinking about going back for them to do some non-hoop wall hangings.

I also finally started working on my second full body doll, Cada. I'm making about a million wings to go on her (maybe? my finger is already bruised and I've finished 4 or 5 in the span of...... many months. I refuse to count how many.)


I have to admit that sometimes I feel more at home doing mixed-media stuff than I do photography. But, for as long as I can remember I've done crafty stuff, thanks to my Nana. There was a continuous wave of embroidery and rug hooking and weaving bracelets. That and game books were her go to when she wanted to busy us, but it was also something she enjoyed doing herself. I have her to thank for my odd button fixation. She had jars and jars full of vintage ones and I would spent a ridiculous amount of time as a kid just sifting through them and organizing them by color, only to toss them back in the jar. (I have my own jar now, despite still not sewing. But I'm definitely seeing a sewing machine in my future. Who is going to come over and teach me how to use it / not break it like every sewing machine I've touched in the past?)

So anyways, it's a comfort thing, I'm sure. And much more friendly to my crafting A.D.D. When I'm bored or frustrated with one I can just switch to another. The good news is that it's probably going to be crossing over into my photo work when I get started back up. It ties in to what I've talked about in the past, how I'm impatient and jump into doing simplified versions of my ideas, which I never really LOVE because they aren't what I really wanted. This is teaching me to take more time, and I think creating more props and the like by hand is something I can easily put into rotation with the mixed media pieces, making it that much easier to accomplish fully. And that way, by the time I can finally get back to shooting, I'll already have some major things done!

It's SO nice feeling productive again.

2015 Year in review

2015 was a mixed bag for sure. While I finally made my way out of Florida and into an area that felt more like home, and things went well health wise for most of the people in my life, cancer still nabbed one of B's cousins, and living without Rowan around was hard. And though being here is great, being so far away from everyone I know and love has become increasingly hard, not helped by the fact that we are still going month to month at a tiny little rental we were only supposed to be in for 3 months. (We're now past 8 months!)

That said, we've switched focus, and if all goes to plan should be in a much better living situation in the not too distant future (just have to wait at least 6 more months.) And a new little pup entered our lives in December. So as usual, life continues it constant up and down.

Art wise, 2015 was greatly lacking. First my focus was on moving, and school as per usual now, and living here doesn't provide me much space to shoot in. (They also have this thing here called Winter!) And of course a lot of my photo stuff is back in Florida waiting patiently. But I did do more mixed-media stuff, as planned, just not as much as I was hoping. (Which never fails!) But that means I can post big images instead of  bunch of teeny ones!



The Memory Collector - Everything in its place.

It took me a year to think of a name for this! That's a first. All I can think of when I look at this is the splinters that shelf gave me and how I almost burnt the house down and will not do indoor shoots with fire ever again. Or, maybe just for a really, really, long time. And not until after I own a fire extinguisher! I just need to remember that fire + metal can burn your models. Fire + plastic will eventually go up in flames entirely.



Sweet little (batty) Betty. I have a bunch more busts I need to get started on.



Penny, who i'm happy to say just found a new home! I just started back to work on her sister, Cada, but that one will take me a while.




An old fabric print I played around with.

Otherwise life has just been about exploring the mountains, dealing with a puppy (more on him in a second) and school. Boring, basically.

Last but not least:



My adorable little mutt monster, Asher. He's 5 months today.

 To view more of my day to day going ons I suggest heading over to my instagram.

Previous years: 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005

Nothing ever goes as planned!

I've settled into North Carolina........ kinda. We found it hard to find a place when we were still in Florida, and this area doesn't ever have a whole lot rental wise at one time, so we made the decision to do a 3 month lease at a small apartment while we looked, leaving behind some non-essentials, as well as most of my photo/studio stuff.

After almost 6 months, a whole lot of ups, downs, and one serious house related heartbreak later, we're still going month to month at the apartment. And since we're entering winter we're not super hopeful we'll find something until next year.

AND I still don't have a dog either. =( That might be even worse. It has been more than a year since Rowan passed away and it's getting more and more difficult to live a dog free life.

That said, as frustrating and anxiety ridden as this whole thing has been, I love being here. The mountains! The weather! (Well, the summer was very Florida-esque, but given that there are 4 seasons and it left when it was pretty much supposed to, I'll live with it!) All the old houses and downtowns! Proper downtowns! Florida can suck it!

I mean, it's not perfect, but I feel more at home here. I couldn't ever really say that about Florida.

While I do have my camera with me at least, lets just say my general emotional state has left me lacking in the motivation department, especially when I don't have all my props and stuff. Plus I haven't figured out yet where outdoors I could shoot without getting shot, you know what i'm sayin'?

BUT! That doesn't mean I haven't done anything! I've been working on more mixed media pieces, including dolls! Here are pics of the few i'm completed so far:

Penny, mixed media, art doll, surreal photography, public domain images, porcelain doll, vintage, heart, lungs, bones

This is Penny, and she's still available. If you click on the image you can go to her listing on Etsy and see more images. Or, you know, purchased, it feel compelled to. (Patreon patrons can get her at a lower price, fyi!)  She was time consuming, but I really loved doing it. And miraculously I managed to NOT bleed all over her! (Needles, man!)

I have 3 other dolls similar to her, I call them her sisters, and while I've started the second, Cada (can you guess where that is going?) she'll be even more time consuming. Definitely won't be available until sometime next year.

And this is Betty, who has already found her home:

Betty - mixed media, art doll, bat mask, public domain, images, black and white

You can see more pics of her (here)

I've already purchased a few more busts, so there will definitely be more like this as well. They don't take as much time so it's nice to work on them when I need a break from the full body dolls. I just keep facing the problem where the bits and pieces I want to use on them are with my props in Florida. That's not irritating at all.

Using test bits I've had sitting around for a while I've been creating a few new mixed media pieces on fabric and paper, but I haven't 100% completed them yet or taken proper pictures of them. But here's one decent shot from my phone of one of them:


mixed media fabric photo print, big eye, portrait, glass tear drop

I'd wanted to get this, and another, up in the shop in time for Christmas, but thanks to school (end of the semester fun times) that's not going to happen.

So yeah. That all pretty much sums up the last 6 months for me. Hopefully something gives soon. I've learned that I don't do well without stability!