Ode to the FAHns: Eclectic Art
Nadine Day Talks Mini-Mascots, GIFS, FAHn vids & All Things FAH Related!
My first introduction to Nadine was through her brilliant fahn vid "Foil and Arms are the 2 Banditos" (which she discusses below). I didn't yet know her at all, but in fact, hers was the very first fahn vid that I watched in my early weeks of researching Foil Arms and Hog in June of 2020. Her vid was a wonderful introduction to both the creative art of the fahndom and the fahndom itself. It is still one of my absolute favorite FAH tribute videos and I go back and rewatch it quite often when I just want to feel happy. And I think that is a good way to discuss Nadine's eclectic FAH art: her work makes people happy! In all of her artistic endeavors, she devotes much time and energy to creating something fun and interesting. She has a range of skills that she applies to everything from her mini-mascots to carving FAH pumpkins. She is devoted to her craft and is a definite perfectionist. Certainly, not a day goes by that I don't see one of her wonderful and creative FAH GIFS used by fahns on a social media site. Her work is ubiquitous in the community and much loved by everyone. And as we can see from this wonderful picture here (taken by the artist herself), FAH are happy and proud to display these fabulous mini-mascot figures that Nadine created for them, front and center on the stage where they performed back in 2018 in Exeter. What an honor for Nadine to have her work acknowledged by FAH in this wonderful way!
Along the path of becoming totally immersed in all things FAH, I gathered that Nadine was and is one of the very first true fahns in our little community. When she subscribed to my own fahn website, I felt truly honored. Throughout my time in the fahndom these last two years, Nadine has always been kind, incredibly warm and positive in her support of me and other fahns. She is a true gem of a person, an artist with a warm heart and such a caring soul. Sometimes I call Nadine "our fearless leader!" but in her modesty she eschews such a role. Still, I believe she offers all of us the kind of loving and giving spirit that is at the heart of the fahndom. She is always balanced, ready to lend a helping hand to anyone and embodies the sort of generous integrity that FAH exhibit themselves.
Read on to learn all about Nadine's life as an artist, how she approaches her projects and how she came to be known and supported by FAH. As well, she shares in which sketches FAH have used her mini-mascots and other art and what it feels like to see her work on the screen.
How long have you been a fahn and a follower of FAH?
I became a FAHn back in September 2017. I was in a really low point in my life, things weren't going so great for me. I was very depressed and was having some suicidal thoughts. I remember I was in tears one day just in my room on my own and was just browsing social media. I happened to open Facebook and was about to close it when a recommended video popped up on my screen. I remember stopping scrolling instantly and being very engaged with these attractive young men I saw before me. The video was "The World is F***ked". I noticed Foil 1st as he speaks 1st on the video, then of course Arms. And my instant reaction was, oh my god they're Irish! I love the Irish accent, always have done. So I was instantly drawn to their charm. And for the first time in a long time I felt a smile on my face. I felt happy. The tears turned to laughter. And then to my surprise another one of them popped up and of course said "hi, we're Foil Arms and Hog" and the rest is history. I spent the next couple of days binge watching all their videos!
Have you seen FAH live? Where? When?
I have indeed! 4 times in fact. Would have been more but Covid hit so I missed out seeing them by just 2 weeks. I saw them for the first time in Exeter Corn Exchange in 2018, Bristol Old Vic in 2019. Vicar St. Dublin in February 2022, which luckily was also the filming night for the Swines DVD & Exeter Northcott Theatre 2022, which was a 2 year postponed gig.
What drew you to making art about FAH?
I wanted to show my love and support towards them by making them as Mini Mascots because they just helped me so much. They took me 4 months to make on and off in between work. I knew I wanted to give [the mascots] to them at the Exeter gig in 2018 and I managed to get them done just in time! I had some craft bits I was waiting on to turn up to put on the stands and they turned up the day before the gig! Was certainly lucky and meant to be! I sent the lads a message asking if I could meet them before the gig because I had a gift for them and I didn't know if Bouncers/Security would allow it or if there was going to be any at all because I'd never been to a gig before. But Arms said he'd be happy to receive it before the gig or if we didn't get a chance to meet he would let Security know to expect it. Well luckily we managed to meet before the gig (first time meeting them so I was very nervous) but we chatted for a while and I handed them the box to take into the venue with them. Whilst me and my friend Taryn were waiting in the queue I received a Instagram notification, the lads had posted a picture of the Mascots on their page! And to my surprise when we went into the venue to take our seats, the Mascots were on the stage on top of the lads' light box! Was one of my proudest moments seeing them on stage with FAH.
What inspired you, specifically, about FAH that made you want to create something for or about them?
Just how happy they made me feel. I felt like I wanted to give something back to them and the Mascots didn't feel like enough, so I started creating GIFs because there was only about 6 I could find online that were made by Maeve Sheeran. That’s how we started talking because at the time I couldn't really find any other FAHns and we instantly bonded and became good online friends. We've since met in person and it was wonderful. Can't wait to meet her again one day!
But yeah I feel they have just done so much for me over the years that I also don't want to stop doing things for them, so I will carry on for as long as I can to thank them for literally saving my life. I will always be eternally grateful to them.
Did you take any classes in school that focused on art, video making, knitting or anything of this sort?
I didn't really have the best time in school to be honest. I was bullied a lot and never wanted to be there (which is the core center for my depression and anxiety) but when I had the chance to be blessed to pick a few lessons of my choosing I opted for Woodwork and Electronics. If I had my choice I would have chosen more Design and Technology lessons but I could only pick 2 maximum. And According to my teachers I was the only person in my whole year to pick 2 D&T lessons.
Did you grow up around art or are there any family artistic influences that you know of?
Yes lots! My family are very artistic. There is, quite a lot in fact! My whole family are very artsy and crafty. My mum is very good at watercolour paintings, drawing, airbrush, knitting & crochet . My Dad is always making something; he loves carpentry and making miniature sculptures, he can pretty much make anything, my old man. All of my DIY skills come from him. My sister Geraldine is also an artist. She studied it in college and University. My brother Quentin is also good at drawing and creates a lot of metal work. He's been having a play around at doing a bit of Blacksmithing on the side of being a Mechanic and he's made many things, even car parts. And my other brother Kelvin is, again, good at drawing. He's probably the least creative of the family but he could be if he wanted to. My Grandad Eric was also always in his shed tinkering away building something. And my Grandmother Marjorie, used to Knit and crochet a lot. So yes I guess you could say we are a very creative family.
I know that you work in many artistic mediums focusing on FAH – gifs, mini-mascots, videos. Can you speak to each medium and why you chose it?
Crocheting came quite naturally to me. I was able to pick it up fairly quickly and made a Mini Mascot in about 2 days, which was Captain Jack Sparrow (I still have him). I went on to make a few more for people so when I was fairly confident I went on to make the lads. Knowing [the mascots] would be going to them personally was a challenge but I feel they have been my best yet!
The GIFs started off as a bit of fun because I wanted to use them myself, personally. So when they started to get a lot of attention from FAH I just kept going. But it got to the point where I had over a thousand and no one else could use them unless they went to my Giphy channel and saved them to their device, which even Arms himself started doing so I asked him if he wanted to create an authorized Brand channel where I could upload the ones I had already made and carry on creating them for their (Foil Arms and Hog) personal channel so they could always be live and searched for. He was more than happy to oblige but it did take me months to get it all sorted out with a few sleepless nights with constant uploading, but I finally made it!
The videos were a fun thing to do. I had always wanted to make ones for the lads but never thought I really could. I've a lot of ideas that I wanted to do but it was just having the patience and time to do it. I would like to try and make some more in the near future.
I also sometimes do a bit of photoshop or picture edits that are even sometimes requested by other FAHns and I'm always more than happy to help. But I often do it for myself for a laugh and mainly to give the lads a giggle. My photoshopped pictures of Foil as David Bowie and Arms as Napoleon spring to mind. I still need to do a decent one of Hog.
How did you come to choose the particular artistic mediums that you work in?
I just like to try and dabble in all sorts of Designs or Craft side of things. I've just recently purchased a Cricut Maker, which you can make many things with. So keep an eye out for other types of artistic mediums in the near future from me because I have a lot of ideas currently circling around in my head.
Do you have a favorite artistic medium?
I do love my crochet Mascots. It's about the only thing I feel I can actually take pride in. Like a lot of people can make a GIF or a video. Many people can crochet but everyone has their own style and it's nice to finally find something I'm good at and be like, "that's mine, I made that" and hopefully people will recognise them as my work. The lads have given me so much support in making them, especially Foil, he loves his little guy. He's the one that's been able to keep his most presentable on screen nowadays. The others are clearly "well loved" shall we say. It's nice to still see them all now and again though.
What was the first piece of FAH art that you made? What inspired you to make it?
My first piece was actually a drawing I did of them as the Mini Mascots. I was inspired after watching their first Live show on DVD and I wanted to incorporate some FAH pieces into the picture so I added Foil holding a net for "The Net People", Arms was holding a microphone for "Boarder Control" and Hog was holding Clippy for "Window's Life". The picture can be seen on the wall on the background in a couple of sketches.
Can you speak to each medium that you work in and say what it offers you as an artist?
The Mascots obviously take me a bit longer to create than a GIF or a video so they always feel a bit more rewarding. But then when I create a GIF I know they are going to be used daily by FAH, FAHns & even worldwide! It's so lovely seeing them pop up in random places from people who probably don't even know who they are.
How does creating FAH art make you feel?
It makes me feel happy when I've created something FAH related for someone else or sometimes even myself. When I've finally completed something it feels like such an accomplishment. I'm usually a procrastinator, I'm not going to lie. There's many projects that I've started or many ideas I've got that I want to do but it's just getting the motivation or time to do them. Like when I've finished making the GIFS from a Thursday video each week I feel relieved that I've caught up with them and a sense of achievement that, right, they are now done and ready for FAH and the rest of the world to use.
What has the reaction been to your fahn art in the fahndom and outside the fahndom?
It's been amazing! There's so many people that have shown love for my art in and out of the FAHndom. I have incredible support. People say to me that they can't wait to see my next creation because they all know I'll be making something FAH related. It just takes me a while to get things done. Even friends and family are impressed with my work, I think. I usually feel useless and that I can't do anything so I surprise them and myself with some of the things I create.
What do you hope others see in your artistic creations?
I'm hoping they see how much detail I put into my work. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I have a bit of OCD so everything I make has to be just right or exact. If it's not right I will probably start again from scratch. Like the hat I made for the Gerald mascot, it took me 4 attempts to get right.
Has FAH seen your work before and what was their response?
They have! They of course own the first bit of FAHn art I ever made being the mascot picture and their own Mini Mascots. They have shown and given me so much support in all my work. Every piece I make, even if it's for another FAHn, gets their seal of approval and they usually help me with some designs if I'm stuck when making a mascot.
9 times out of 10 I get a response from them with something I've created and it's just always so lovely to have them like and admire my work. I do it for them. They congratulated me when the Mascot business took off and I created a proper logo (I gave them some stickers & business cards). I like to think they're my biggest FAHns, so to speak.
I’ve seen your mini-mascots show up in FAH’s sketch “Brexit Divorce.” Can you say what this felt like to see your art used by them in their vid?
It's amazing! It is an incredible honour and such a lovely surprise. It really warms my heart to see them make a guest appearance because then it feels like a part of me is in the sketch. Immortalised forever. I'll be able to look back in years to come showing people the sketch and be like look I made that, little old me!
Has your art shown up in other FAH sketches or in other FAH environments?
Yes! Quite a few actually. Foil's Mascot can be seen in the background at the end of "Waiting for a Package" and can slightly be seen in "What Your Car Says About You" too. The picture can be seen on the wall in "Parents When you are Sick" and at the end of "Influencer Dad" in the outro. There's been many an appearance of the Mascots in Patreon videos, one being when they did a Q&A and they included the little guys in answering my question. I've never felt more love from them.
But even just odd gifts that I have sent them over the years have made guest appearances. I've designed a few things to be made for them and they have also made a few debuts over the years. I bought them a matching set of Tie, Braces & Bow-Tie. The Tie and Bow-Tie had little pigs on [them] but I couldn't get them made in blue to match their logo so I coloured them in with a fabric marker, so as not to be so pink which worked out quite well but I couldn't find braces to match, so I had some little pig charms left over from when I made the Mascot stands and sewed them on each piece and some little 4 leaf clovers to bring them luck so they would all match. The Tie & Braces can be seen on the Live DVD 'Craicling' and Foil wears his Tie on "Body Parts have a Meeting" when he plays Kidneys. Still yet to see the Bow-Tie make an appearance, Hog did tell me he couldn't remember how to tie one and he's probably lost it now. Such a shame they don't get used anymore as they did cost me a lot of money, but at least 2 out of 3 have been captured on a Live DVD so I must look at the positives.
I also designed a Guitar strap for Foil, which he now uses on his guitar, a Wallet for Arms and a Belt for Hog (again, still to be seen). And I've bought them all t-shirts, which do get worn a bit so that's nice to see. I also made them little Lego figures, which can be seen in their office on some Patreon or Behind The Scenes videos.
Do you think about a particular audience – fahns or FAH – when you’re making your FAH art or are you just trying to please yourself?
A bit of all of them I guess. When I create something I do tend to think to myself I hope the lads like this. Whether if it's for me, them or another FAHn. But every year on Halloween I do carve the lads a pumpkin and I always hope they like it. Last Halloween (2021) I carved a FAH pumpkin during a Live stream with some other FAHns and they all loved it because I kept it a surprise until the end of the stream.
Why did you choose these particular artistic pieces to include in this interview?
The Mini Mascots were just a bit of fun really. I never expected them to be as popular as they have been! There wasn't any FAHn art that I knew of at the point when I started watching them and I felt that it was the only way I could truly show my love and support towards them. I had made a few Crocheted Mascots in the past so I just decided this is what I wanted to make for them. I guess I wanted the lads to know they were appreciated more than they knew so making the little guys had to be perfect! I have been so surprised with how much love and attention they have gotten not just from the lads but from the FAHns as well.
Making the Mascots: I do have a pattern to follow for the base of it that I wrote up myself so like the head, body, arms & legs but other than that I just tend to wing it. I’ll just look at the picture and crochet. They are all just created using Double Knit Wool with a 5.0mm crochet hook. I try and colour match the best I can but sometimes I’m limited to what I can find in a shop. I once had to buy 3 different colour balls of wool online before I found the perfect colour for the Snob's turtleneck jumper. The stands are all homemade too, designed entirely by myself with the customer's input. Sometimes people just say to me to design the stand, which I’m happy to do. But sometimes I design something elaborate, not thinking, and then if they like it over a simpler design I’ve also given it as an option. I then think to myself, "shit I’ve gotta paint this now!"
The FAH mascots took me 4 months to make on and off, but it depends who I'm making. Each mascot takes a different amount of time. But I do like to add details to them as best as I can. It’s the attention to detail I crave the most. "If something's worth doing, it’s worth doing right", is what my old man always says to me. It's always a worrisome and anxious time when the person sees their mascot for the 1st time! All that runs through my head is, "oh, god, they're going to hate it or pick fault, but it is always the opposite. The outcome is always so wonderful. I just need to keep telling myself that. I once had an issue when I tried to sent a mascot overseas and it kept coming back to me, which was very frustrating. So now I'm always so worried when I send them. I nearly said after [this happened that] I would only send to the UK, but I didn't want to let anybody down.
Including the FAH mascots I have made 13 altogether and that’s also including 2 Anne Flanagans. I have also made their Manager James ‘Duck’ White, which he has on display on his mantelpiece. I will quite happily make any of their characters, but there is a rule that I will not make the lads in their stage attire because I wanted them to have the only ones. Like a limited edition, so to speak. But after people seeing them it seems everyone went mad for them and I couldn’t keep up with the orders! I had to shut the shop down at one point to allow myself time to catch up and I’m still behind now. Don’t worry if you’ve ordered one, I will get to it, I promise! Just don’t expect it to be made instantly. I’ve only the one pair of hands, I need to start hiring people to help me make them, I think!
2 Banditos: February 10, 2020
The 2 Banditos video was very much just for fun! I absolutely loved the comedy music trio called The Lonely Island whilst I was in college and I recently started listening to their stuff again and instantly fell in love with this crazy song and at the time I knew I wanted to make a music video of the lads so I listened closely to the lyrics of the song, remembering clips I could use and just went with it. It's not to everyone's taste but boy did I have fun making it. It got a like from the lads too so that was a nice relief.
I couldn't pick just one GIF out of the 3800+ that I have, so I thought I would do my favourite GIF of each lad. I believe the Arms winking one was the first one I made all those years ago because again there were no GIFs at all until Maeve Sheeran made a few La Bullshat ones from his first appearance. Which then Arms gave us a little shoutout on the radio for creating these GIFs of them.
The Hog one was another very early GIF that I used A LOT! It's how I always respond to the lads at the end of messages and sometimes still do! The Foil one, of course, is just a personal favourite for many reasons, as many of you well know. Gotta love a man in uniform! And I demand they make more sketches like this and 'The Worst Job on the Battlefield".
This is always just a bit of fun and one that I enjoy thoroughly. I've always just done photoshop for a laugh, but to be able to do this kinda thing on a phone. I'm not trying to burst my own bubble but I've impressed myself on most of them. [My inspiration is] just usually a random idea that pops into my head whenever I'm watching a particular thing of the lads. Like the Napoleon one was from the Patreon live stream of November 4, 2021 [Arms Rambunctious Magazine Show.] Yet Foil as Bowie was just because I wanted to transform Arms into Adam Ant and then I was trying to think of another music icon and I saw the picture of Foil and thought, "hey I could turn him into David Bowie." I turned Hog into Marc Bolan but that was just terrifying 😂
Tie, Braces & Bow-tie
For the Tie, Braces & Bow-Tie I just randomly decided one day that I wanted them to have a matching set to which Foil did say to me when they opened them that they wanted to do something like that. I looked for ages for the perfect ones. I looked at getting some printed myself but the least you could order was 50 of each item so that was out. I came across the Tie & Bow-Tie where they also had them with multi-coloured pigs and one of them being a blue pig! So I emailed the company and asked if they could make them in just blue and help me to create some braces. Of course the answer again was no, so I decided to buy the Tie & Bow-Tie with the pink pigs and find some good quality dark navy blue Braces to match that were plain.
I coloured in the pink pigs with some fabric pens & left a few odd pink pigs for balance and then wondered how to link the Braces. I had some little pig charms left over that I had ordered for the Mascot stands, so I sewed them on the front (having to guess the placements just right) and I also sewed a little 4 leaf clover charm on the back of each one to bring the lads good luck.
Foil Arms and Hog Pumpkins
The FAH pumpkins I started creating back in 2018. Again, I just started doing them for fun as it's my favourite time of the year and I guess it was just another excuse to get crafty with FAH inspired [things]. I do love carving pumpkins, I'm not going to lie.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start creating art or even FAH art?
Just do it! You've no idea the outcome. And even if you don't like it yourself you always find there's at least one person out there that absolutely loves it. That's the beautiful thing about art, everybody has their own taste and their own flare when it comes to art that you can never do it wrong. It's your way. Your style and some people love that.
Please include anything else that you think is important or necessary to help readers understand your art, why you create, or your relationship with FAH.
I've made a few other things, from a cushion to a necklace. Like I said, I am always creating something FAH related. There isn't anything that I won't try making, to be honest. My own FAH merch is next on the list, as some of you may have seen already.
I believe my relationship with Foil Arms and Hog or Foilmaster, Armstrong and Hoggle, as I call them, has only gotten stronger over the years. I think they know me very well by now! Probably too well.
I will say this though, I never expected in a million years that people would see me as a . . . well, I don’t want to say Number 1 FAHn or most popular FAHn because that's not me. I don't feel the lads give anyone a ranking, in my opinion, it doesn't seem in their nature. But I can honestly say I'm very flattered when people do say these things. With my history I've never been the most popular. To [loosly] quote Hullington I feel "underserving of such an incredible honour". I just like to help everyone I can, as do all FAHns because we are a lovely, loyal and incredible bunch of dedicated people. And that is why this FAHndom means so much to me. I want to thank everyone who has given me so much support over the years and more so the little FAHm I can call my own.
It's a real joy hearing how Nadine sees her art and the FAH artistic creations that she's made over the years. As well, I loved working with her on this Ode to the FAHns interview, it was loads of fun! I'm extremely grateful to Nadine for being so thorough and open in this interview and for also sharing so much of her personal history with FAH. If you would like to see more of Nadine's art or connect with her about her mini-mascots or her FAH GIFS, check out her social media sites! Keep a look out for more interesting fahn interviews coming soon!