If you've ever hung out on NeonMob or on our community site, chances are that you've come across Doodles Castoni. In real life, Doodles is known as Delanie ("Melanie with a D!" she explains), a mother of three and a surgery coordinator at a hospital based in Houston, TX. We chatted with Delanie about the allure of collecting, her former life as a clown and her perception of herself as an artist.
Delanie, it's been so fun watching you all over NeonMob! Tell us about the collector behind the avatar.
Well, I'm a mother to a 10 year-old, 4 year-old and 1.5 year-old, and I collect on NeonMob for fun with my kids. I also collect and sell makeup. I particularly love MAC Cosmetics' Maleficent collection, and I can't wait for the Marge Simpsons collection to come out! It's an exclusive set that involves that nostalgic feeling.
Basically, anything that reminds me of my childhood, I want to collect as an adult. For art on NeonMob, I like collecting something I don't have to horde in my house. I also love the idea of an artist putting so much work into a collection - I want to support that!
Have you always been interested in art? Do you consider yourself to be an artist?
In high school, I liked going to art museums. But then, I came into a place in my life where that wasn't a priority. Now, 20 years later, I'm seeing art in a completely different light. I'm going back and seeing art that I first saw as a teenager, and it's like I'm seeing a completely different piece of work!
While I'm artistic, I don't really consider myself to be an artist. I guess I'm artistic in different ways, such as with makeup and nail polish. Though, it could be said that everyone is an artist in some shape or form. It's just a matter of getting in tune with that side of yourself.
Tell us about how you trade on NeonMob...
I LOVE to trade! When I've collected a set, I want to be the trade fairy godmother! My biggest thing is trading with people who need that single last piece. I want them to finish their set and enjoy it as much as I did. And of course, I return the favor down the line to collectors who have helped me to finish my sets as well.
But, why do you trade and collect?
I'm very social. I love talking and interacting with people. It's not just to have collections for myself but to interact with others. Immediately after I complete a collection, I want to trade with others. That's what keeps me coming back.
As a collector, which collection is your favorite?
I love the 7 Deadly Sins collection! I'm a cat lover, especially black cats because of the superstition. So when NeonMob released that collection, I just had to have it all - and, immediately. Right now, I have all but except one print! There are only 10 of "Pawesomeness [Sketch]" variants, so I have my eyes out. I'm going to give my kidney for that print!
What's the story behind the nickname "Doodles?"
I used to be a children's entertainment clown. Someone showed me an online clown-name generator, and that was the name it gave me!
Anything else we should know about you and about collecting?
You have to love it. You have to enjoy what you are doing. I think that's why people fall out of collections (and other things in life). When you love something, you're going balls out, you are going to collect everything. If you don't love it, you shouldn't be doing it.