BallerinaDark is the mastermind behind blogazine Gothic Divine, which has been running since 2009 and whose motley crew of spooky staff post on just about every Goth-related topic you can think of. This gorgeous Goth of colour was kind enough to chat to me about everything from fashion, to blogging, to the dark alternative scene in her home, Italy.
What inspired you to create Gothic Divine Magazine? Have you learned anything from the experience?
Well, a bit embarassed here but, yeah, everything started from a doll dress-up game site! It's very famous now and it's called Stardoll.com . I know, it seems childish at first but when you start playing and create your doll-self with you own style it becomes quite addictive. I happened to meet a lot of people there of all ages... and a lot of goths! In that site, beside playing there's the chance to create forums where you can chat with the other players and I created GothicDivine. From there, the idea of gathering all of that we've been talking about in a blog. It wasn't supposed to be a Magazine... I just loved how the name sounded. In fact as you can see it's not structured at all as a magazine. Writing for the blog is a beautiful experience! I learned a lot of interesting stuff I didn't know either of goth culture! Anything I see or hear that's even slightly goth related, I write about and make little researches over the topics. It's fun and it is also a proof that goth culture is more than meets the eye.
Would you describe yourself as a net.Goth? What do you think of the Goth community online (e.g. is it friendly, elitist, etc)?
Yes I think I can be considered a net.Goth. as I spend a lot of time on the internet! I love reading other fellow goths' blogs and take inspiration from them. All the other net.Goths I've "met" are all friendly. I don't think there's a serious elitism problem on-line as it would be pretty pathetic... you know... from behind a screen...
In your blogazine you give advice and information on all Goth-related topics from music to art and everything in between, but one of your most-discussed subjects is, of course, fashion and beauty! What are your top tips on style and make-up for other Goths?
Yes that's definitely the most loved subject. One of the things I like most about gothic culture is that there's no limit to creativity in both the clothing and the make-up! The only tip I can give then is: keep exploring for new looks! There are so many, why stopping at one? ;) More specific tips on make-up, hair and everything else can be found in GD Magazine, of course! :P
Who or what inspires you (in fashion or otherwise)?
I actually get inspired by anything and anyone that surrounds me. I always try to find the positive side of all things and people, and try to add them to my style!
How would you describe your personal style?
I think RANDOM is the right word to describe my style. I don't really force myself to fit into a certain style, wheter it's Victorian or gothabilly. I just find myself in it. That's why I never look the same.
What sort of responses does your look receive from friends and family?
My family is fully supportive! They taught to be myself all the time and not to let people change who I am in anyway. For instance, my grandmother LOVES my gothic looks! She's always there pushing me to wear my gothiest clothes even in occasions when it's definitely not a good idea to be dressed gothic..! My friends are ok with the style too.
What sort of experiences have you had with strangers based on your style/appearance?
Mostly good experiences! I always receive compliments for my gothic looks. I remember for example once I was taking the bus to get back from work and I was wearing my lovely Alice Coat by Poizen Industries which is definitely in gothic lolita style, and there was this lady who said "Oh! I wish I could wear that too!" with her eyes looking like this --> *-* and other people got along and started asking me where I bought it and they wanted to see it closer! I can say it's even nicer when it's non-goth people appreciating you!
How did you discover Goth culture?
Through music. I was a metalhead/rocker before becoming goth. So while exploring all the sub-genres of metal and rock I ended up listening to gothic rock and from there I started to get interested in the culture and began looking for info about it.
What is the Goth scene like in your area? What are the best and worst things about it and are there any events you recommend?
Italy in general is not very supportive of alternative cultures which is very bad because in the other European countries like neighbour Germany the situation is very different. Not many big gothic events to attend. When I was younger (I'm 23 now so I'm talking about late 90s) to see goths around was pretty sporadic. Now, I noticed there's way more around! Probably thanks to the internet which made it easier to get in touch with the culture, also the people are more open-minded nowadays and you are not necessarily pointed out as "the devil" just because of your different looks. Lately a lot more goth-friendly clubs opened in my area and I'm very happy about it, of course. There's definitely a spark of hope for goth culture in Italy.
What does 'Goth' mean to you?
eheh I expected this question! I don't really have words to explain what goth means to me. Just... MUCH. ^^
What bands are you into at the moment? Any new discoveries or little-known acts that you recommend?
At the moment I'm listening to 80s bands mostly. I'm getting more and more nostalgic about that good 80s music and so I got back to listen to Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. A band I recently discovered and deeply recommend is Ladytron. I'm in love with their songs "Black Cat" and "Ghosts". A little known act I recommend is the band Witching Hour UK which I also mentioned in Gothic Divine Magazine recently. I like their 80s trad goth sound.
Other than Goth culture, what are your greatest passions and interests?
I love singing and bass playing. Music has always been a big part of my life! Then Ancient Egypt has always been among my interests too. I like reading books about it! I also have a thing for the 40s and 50s..the fashion and the music from those years are just amazing. I'm also very interested in art! My favourite artist is Salvador Dalì! And another thing I'm definitely into is ghosts and other paranormal phenomenas!
What is your 'goal' in life? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years' time?
Goal... I don't really have a goal yet. I'm not sure of what's going to be of me in the future. I just hope I'll be proud of me when I'll look back in the days.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Maybe a little shoutout to all people reading. I know it sounds always the same boring statement but BE YOURSELVES, don't do things just because someone tells you to or because society imposes so. Think with your own minds ;) And also a big thank you to all Gothic Divine Magazine supporters! and to you Amy for this interview! ♥