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Interview with A.J. Blanton- Take 2: Starlet Revolution Calendar

A.J. Blanton is the Executive Producer of the
Take 2: Starlet Revolution Calendar.  A.J. is the owner of  ABeesCreations in Branson, MO.  She is a partner and artist for AazuBee Artifacts.  She is also a wedding officiant at Shattered Silk Weddings.

A.J. kindly agreed for us to interview her.  She also asked for us to interview a few of the models.   This is the first interview in the Starlet Revolution Calendar interviews.  

GK (GeekyKOOL): The Take 2: Starlet Revolution Calendar is project using alternative models take on the roles of silver screen legends.  How did the idea for this calendar come about? Walk us through highlights of your thought process.

AJ: Well, as an artist I have been doing altered art and digital art featuring Classic Hollywood actresses since 2007. I love the cinema and have always been intrigued by the personas that the actresses of the golden age of Hollywood created for themselves.

A few years ago I began doing creative directing, conceptual design and prop making for several local models and photographers. I wanted to create and developing concepts for photography was a wonderful outlet for it.

So as I announced in October of 2015, I wanted 2016 to be the Year of the Starlet for aBeesCreations. I am taking my love of producing and creative directing photo shoots to create a whole series of photos based on at least 12 Classic Hollywood actresses/Starlets! The idea is to take inspiration from these beauties of the past but showcase them with modern twists. I wanted to embrace the uniqueness of each Starlet and each model. I wanted this to be a true creative collaboration between the models, the photographer, myself and the hair and makeup artists. We didn’t want to exact recreations but wanted to add a modern day look with vintage inspiration. Most of our models would be what most would consider alternative or non-traditional models. We had plus size models, models with tattoos and piercings, petite models and models who had no modeling experience.

GK: What silver screen legends did you select for the project?

AJ: For the calendar we selected: Lucille Ball, Lana Turner, Sophia Loren, Yvonne DeCarlo, Doris Day, Sandra Dee, Anita Page, Clara Bow, Julie Newmar, Greer Garson, Raquel Welch, Ginger Rogers, Dorothy Lamour, Jane Powell.  We also did a Bettie Page shoot as a special Kickstarter exclusive.

GK: Where they actresses that you really wanted for the calendar but either had to cut out or didn’t work?  If so who were some of those stars?

AJ: I started the year with a list of 30 Starlets. The issue was finding models who matched the Starlets. This really determined who made the cut. I posted casting calls and am so happy with our results. Although at times I didn’t find the right model for the Starlet or there were scheduling issues.

I also added a few Starlets based on models who were interested in being a part of it.  Some actresses that I wish we could have included are: Myrna Loy (I really wanted to have her in the calendar.)  Mae West, Jane Russell, and Hedy Lamar.

GK: Is there any personal significance to some of the stars you selected?

AJ: I wanted to include my mom’s favorites since she passed away in 2014. Greer Garson, Doris Day, and Myrna Loy topped that list. We shot 2 of them. 

GK: How did you select your models to represent the Starlets?

AJ: The models had to share some physical traits with the actresses but more than that they had to have a personality trait that reminded me of the actress.

For instance Stephanie was cast as Julie Newmar based on her physical similarities. When I saw a photo of Stephanie I knew she was Julie Newmar.  Maxinne who was our Greer Garson was cast because she has a quiet graceful beauty.

You have a Kickstarter campaign for this project.  Tell our readers a little bit about your Kickstarter , some of the rewards, and how the money raised from the Kickstarter will help in this creative process?

AJ: We launched our Kickstarter on December 13. We have all of our shoots done and now we just need to get some help fund the printing of our calendars. Some of the rewards we are offering are the calendar, posters of your favorite Starlet, and the Bettie Page exclusive package. We also have packages where you can get models to sign your calendar and even kiss a requested date.

GK: Before we wrap up, A.J., please tell our readers about ABeesCreations and  AazuBee Artifacts

AazuBee Artifacts is my partnership business with Toni Globis. We started it this last May. We sell supplies, vintage watch parts, and a wide array of items we make.

ABeesCreations is my art business which I started in 2008. It is my true passion. I create props, art, jewelry and anything else that I feel the need to make.

Both AazuBee Artifacts and ABeesCreations can be found on Etsy here and here.  and on Facebook.
You can also check out more about the Starlet Calendar Project on my blog at http://abeescreations.wixsite.com/starletseries2016. 

GK: Thank you, A.J., for your time.

AJ: Thank you.


More interviews about Starlet Calendar Project from some of the models are coming soon.  
Stay Geeky My Friends!

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