Tag Archives: Halloween

Fiendish Masks

Oy, so sorry for slacking with posts – BUT – I have some exciting little tidbits to share! First of all, seems like Fall has come early this year. I’m bummed, but I did snag a few beach photos while chasing surfers at the beach with Shark Mask. But, if it’s getting colder, time to start thinking about Halloween. On that note… Masks are now sold at Desert Island, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Also, in the past week or so, Matt Donohue of A Tana Studio did a photo shoot with the masks while collaborating with an awesome urban apparel label On the Lam NYC. The combination of dusty urban street atmosphere and models is perfect. Next time, we’ll have to stage a bank heist! The location may have been at an undisclosed alley in Chinatown, but who am I to say? 

And FINALLY, let me just follow up this amazing all-masks update by giving a shout-out to the aspiring rapper – Bas –  from J. Cole‘s Dreamville collective, and member of the Super Mookin’ Fiends. Today, Jay Z’s Life+Times released the fresh music video by Bas – “Mook II” Ft. Hemdi… and it looks SO GOOD (special thanks to Oakshades for being the fiendish director)! Now I know where my masks belong – the super mookin’ rooftops in Queens. Here is the video:

– Tory 
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#Sharkfacegang! Macklemore Eat Your Heart Out

You may not know this, but I’m a little bit of a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fan. Me… and all their angsty teen followers fall into Macklemore’s coined twitter term #sharkfacegang. Before hearing their music (being too busy with Torynova Monster Masks at the time), I had conveniently created the Shark Attack mask, which I now sell in my etsy shop. So when their song, Thrift Shop became an online sensation, I got familiar with the duo and their entourage. Needless to say, the next obvious step was to create this…

Shark Face Mask
Inspired by Macklemore’s #SharkFaceGang

Shark Face Mask by Torynova Macklemore

In a perfect world, I would be able to show this awesome mask to Macklemore and get it selling in his merch shop so all the #sharkfacegang fans can wear Shark Face to represent their favorite Seattle rapper. Till that happens, I will be rollin’ out these masks into the Etsy shop, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks! And be sure to get your hands on a copy of The Heist.

! UPDATE ! | Shark Face Mask is now for sale!

Shark Face Mask is now for sale!

– Tory
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FALL, my favorite season, ART, my favorite activity, and MASKS, my favorite accessory have merged together! *Cackles, thunder & lightning* Ok, ok. So last year I was a little late on the whole Halloween-merch-bandwagon, but this year, oh no! This year, I have illustrated and designed an entire heap of masks for people of all ages and eclectic personalities to wear!

There are several hilarious characters to choose from thus far:

  1. Cthulhu (shout-out to H. P. Lovecraft; recently on South Park)
  2. Shark Attack (every surfer’s worst nightmare)
  3. Eyeball (…pretty effin’ weird…)
  4. Frankenstein (zombie apocalypse is upon us!)
  5. Skull (morbid with a sense of humor)

The best part about these creepy, toothy, bloody, funny, weirdos? They are super duper comfortable! Say good-bye to that awful rubbery smell-of-death circa whenever rubber silicon masks were first created. These fellas are made of 100% baby soft organic cotton knit! So they’re gentle and stretchy and fit properly over the ol’ noodle, no matter the size of one’s big sexy brain. Also, they are like the best deal ever! Original, one of a kind, limited edition, and will solve all of your pesky costume-getting problems come Halloween. Just between you and me, it would be totally cool to wear them in the winter as ski masks (HINT).

I’m so proud of these creepy head dudes and it makes me thrilled to offer them to you, THE PEOPLE. Keep your eyes peeled for even more masks to surface before Halloween (not to start any rumors, but I’ve got a plethora of ideas floating around). The best place to find out any new intrigue, would be to follow me on instagram or twitter – @torynova. If you’d like to stock these masks in your store or know of a place where they really ought to be available, let me know and I will make it happen. Yes. Just like that.

– Tory
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La Casita

Torynova Couture is now being sold at La Casita, a little gem of a boutique in the center of Ridgewood, NJ. The owner Elena and her staff are supporters of local artisans and are in possession of a unique collective of work that really caters to women of different ages. Their shop has been around for over 20 years! Hopefully their loyal customers will enjoy seeing a splash of illustrated flare in the window display!

If you’re in the area, go check it out! They are currently carrying a variety TNC merchandise, including both long and small square silk scarves for Swan Lake, Carmen, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Annabel Lee. They also have two men’s ties and the gorgeous front-runner Annabel Lee dress that seems to be “stealing the show” in the front display.


– Tory

Masquerade! Paper faces on parade.

Halloween is right around the corner!
As always, I am in a frantic search for the perfect costume…

Option 1 will always be to become a Wearable Story from my selection of artistic interpretations by Torynova Couture. Speaking of which, I should mention that by the end of this week I will be unveiling 2 more art designs in 2 styles of dresses with matching men’s ties. They’re going to be pretty rockin’ hot! To get an idea of what to look for, read up on the 12 Labors of Hercules as my inspiration. Funny tidbit: so the actual size of the painting by Antonio Pollaiuolo in that wikipedia article is like 4 x 6 inches. I stumbled onto that sweet little marvel at the Uffizi gallery in Florence.

Option 2 is to MAKE A COSTUME! This has been my tactic since oh so many years ago in senior year of high school, which was the first year I actually ever dressed up for Halloween (insert sad story about immigration-related cultural clash). Mostly I just purchase components like paint, hair, fabric, fangs, etc. The end result is a hodgepodge of creative fury strategically combined to form a new identity as a Harajuku girl, vampire, mime, Sookie (OG True Blood fan) etc.

This Year I’m making masks! So far, I have 2 looks down: Frankenmonster and Skullmonster. I feel like a pioneer in the illustration/mask industry; after all, these masks are made with my copyrighted artwork and produced under my company label. I still can’t decide if they’re scary or adorable. The fabric is 100% organic cotton knit, which feels baby soft against the skin, looks vintage, has stretch, and best of all, can be washed and reused! It’s the perfect material, way better than paper, plastic, or worst of all rubber (yuck!).

If you’d like to purchase one, they’re currently available in my Etsy store in an ADULT SIZE (age post-pubescent-growth-spurt and up) and in a CHILD SIZE soon-to-come. If you’d like to receive one before Halloween, I will try my hardest to make it happen. I say “if” because there are people, like myself, that really wouldn’t mind wearing a costume once in a while to spice up the ol’ daily routine. Regardless of whether or not someone else finds them cool, I will be wearing one proudly come October 31st. However, I will probably be going to fancy masquerade parties wearing a sexy TNC dress ~ HINT!

So, the question is, what are YOU dressing up as for Halloween?

– Tory

And, in case you’re curious, the title is a line from Phantom of the Opera’s Masquerade scene/song.

Who doesn’t like Vivaldi?

It only took two weeks in Europe to feel my senses fully replenished from a year’s worth of tedious labor, aimed at making something sensible out of Torynova Couture. I know there is so much more to be done and I face a long stretch of road, but for the time being it feels ok. Overflowing with inspiration, my drive will be the source of all that is to come – and believe this busy beaver when she says that there is a LOT of fight left in her.

So, not that anyone’s noticed, but oh hey, it’s Autumn! Sure feels weird outside. Rain, cold, warmth, sun, rain, cold, warmth sun, rain/sun/cold/warm. What is going on planet Earth? It was incredibly hot in Florence – high 80’s in the first week of September, and low 70’s in the 2nd week in Paris. That difference was definitely felt. Seasonal change is inspiring, because it’s sudden and creeping. For instance, when I go outside these days, I still expect the leaves to be on the trees, not starting to gather on the ground. Damn.

Well, ode to the great Vivaldi and his Four Seasons:

On that note, some related new painted necklaces:
Summer seems so far away [again]. Oh well, time to hit the pumpkin patch in search of the Great Pumpkin.

– Tory

Be sure to stop by Torynova Couture for some spook-tastic fashion treats:

Illustrator’s Day!

This past weekend I was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Princeton with the SCBWI’s NJ Chapter. It was a small event by comparison to the annual SCBWI Winter and Summer conferences but it was pretty informative for both writers and illustrators interested in children’s books. Saturday was the Mentoring Picturebook workshop (with Leeza Hernandez) and Sunday was Illustrator’s Day (for writers it was Writer’s Day).

Saturday’s workshop was fun – it was my first time meeting Leeza! She really tried to cover all the basics of what the creative process is like for children’s books by offering her own experiences as examples to connect with. As wonderful as Leeza was in explaining the craft, Sunday was even more informative because it specifically targeted helping illustrators.

After signing up for this weekend with Kathy Temean (and paying the fee to attend), each attendee was emailed a “homework assignment” to work on for the mini conference. The homework was basically a manuscript provided by an art director that each attendee had to inspect, choose a scene, and interpret into a two-page spread that would be brought in and discussed on Sunday. The title was “Halloween Dude” =) very cute. So Sunday, we were divided into groups with the two art directors, in which we discussed each person’s work one by one.

This is my spread (sketch and final) – I think it came out looking pretty good! (and the art director seemed to agree):

Afterward we had a one-on-one portfolio review with the art directors and a final closing ceremony where we got prizes (yay!) from the coordinators.

Last year, I had gone to the Winter conference where there were like… 1000… attendees that all wanted to network and suck each other’s blood. This event was much calmer and intimate, allowing for a kind atmosphere where each person was given a fair chance of getting their questions answered and their work reviewed. I definitely recommend going to one of these smaller gatherings if you’re interested.

– Tory