Wiseguy Attitude

Edition: #09
Name: J.D. Ellenberger
Date: April 27

Instagram: @jd_ellenberger
J.D. is wearing the Crazy Horse Flex Brown Herringbone Wide Suspenders No. F2126.


Hi J.D.! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My main profession is as a filmmaker with my company Seafaring Pictures. I am also a published author, Internationally published model, musician, and pyrography artist with my company Hope And Anchor Customs.

Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by?
I wouldn’t say that I have a “philosophy” per-se. I just believe in living each day to the fullest. And doing everything that you have ever dreamt of, without fear.

What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day is waking very early and brewing coffee, which I enjoy for roughly two hours before beginning my work. I am a workaholic. I suppose it is because I love what I do, be it film, woodburning, modeling, writing, or creating music. I generally pull a 10 hour day, and then crash out early under a blanket of four cats.

What activities would an ideal day include for you?
An idyllic day for me is spending it with my pets, or any animals that I possibly can. I am a huge animal lover.

I was used to the rock n roll party lifestyle and I suppose I carried that over to my early film career.

Was there a moment in your life where you chose to change it all up? Have there been any big leap of faith moments in your life so far?
There certainly was. I started making films in 2010, and despite my first short winning a short film festival, I never took it seriously. I had never expected to be a filmmaker. I had been a musician and in bands since I was twelve or thirteen. I was used to the rock n roll party lifestyle and I suppose I carried that over to my early film career.

In 2014, I moved out of my home state and left my film crew behind. My career in film was questionable because of this. In 2014 I decided I would set about to make a feature documentary on the world of Indie Horror. And that got me my first offer for a major distribution deal. It was at that point that I had to have a serious heart to heart talk with myself. I knew that if I wanted to continue making films, I really needed to discipline myself and invest more in my craft. And if I couldn’t reign in the party aspect of it, then I needed to walk away from it.

I chose to get serious and accept the distribution deal. And with that I also changed up my personal style. I went from dressing like a lifelong punk rocker to more of an early 1920s era gentleman.

If you’re ever in not such a great place, are there any specific things you do to pick yourself up again?
I am seldom down. Believe it or not. Generally, if I am down I just do a lot of extra work. I am one of those people who when upset have to stay busy with work or cleaning. And generally that does the trick. I can’t sit idle.


Can you tell us something about the different types of art you make and work you do?
I fear that I probably already elaborated on that too much. Hopefully you disagree.

I write dark, psychological stories. And the same goes for my films. My newly finished, but yet to be released film Lachrymose Primrose is based off of a short story I had written. And my next film will be a psychological horror trilogy also based on three short stories I have written. And with my wood burning art, I am mostly commissioned for the pieces that I work on. When I first started woodburning, I was mostly commissioned for horror art. My first major piece was doing an official Night Of The Living Dead Ouija board. I’ve done a lot of horror icons, Vincent Price, Poe, 80s slasher characters. But I also get commissioned for a lot of family and pet pieces. As well as some memorial pieces.

As someone with a diverse range of creative interests, I'm curious to know how you've found the experience of combining them. Have you discovered any unique opportunities or challenges along the way?
As expressed, I get to combine my writing with my films. But luckily, I also get to combine my music with my films. When I went headlong into film, I had to give up being in a band and a touring musician so that I could dedicate my time to the films. I am a keyboardist and primarily write dark, orchestral scores. I have not been in a band since. Which I miss. But I do get to compose some for my films. I would like to compose more but since I write, direct, produce, and edit my films, it leaves little free time to compose as much as I would like.

I'm intrigued by your passion for the thriller/horror genre. Would you mind sharing with us the source of your inspiration? Additionally, which particular works of art or artists have had the greatest impact on your creative vision?
If I had to choose one person who really influenced me, it would be Edgar Allan Poe. I first began reading Poe when I was ten or eleven. His writing deeply affected my style, although I have never tried to emulate him. But with that said, my debut horror novella Neverlasting was hailed by TE Magazine as “The modern day Edgar Allan Poe”. While I appreciate the honor and accolades, there can only be one Poe.

I can only write when it is very late at night or early morning. When the rest of the world is asleep. The witching hour, so to speak.

Are there any routines you have developed to feed your creativity and inspiration?
I can only write when it is very late at night or early morning. When the rest of the world is asleep. The witching hour, so to speak.

Hopefully this next response does not come off as too eccentric, but when I write, I free my mind and spiritually go into another realm. I generally do not feel as though I am the one doing the writing. I feel as though a lost soul is speaking through me and I simply relay what they wish to convey.

What sparks your drive to start a new project?
I truly feel as though I am suffocating if I am not creating. I need to create to live. To thrive. And the only time depression sets in is when I am not working. So perhaps I work to keep the depression at bay. Or a combination of both?

Has your current (or past) profession taught you any ‘life lessons’ that you’d be willing to share with us?
I have learned so much. Probably more than you have time for. But probably what I have taken away from it all the most is never be afraid to try. I have accomplished so much and everything that I have done I almost didn’t attempt for fear of failing. We all have those thoughts. But then I go back to my original philosophy at the beginning of this interview, and I just jump in with both feet. I’d rather fail sinking into the abyss, than to sit frozen in fear on the banks of the river of creativity.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up that you’d want to talk about with us?
Aside from Lachrymose Primrose, my following film, a trilogy, will be entitled, Tales Of Bedlam. But I try not to talk too much in detail about future works because I always fear I may jinx it if I do. Murphy’s Law loves to remind me not to be too overzealous.


How would you describe your style? Has it changed over the years?
My style is very nineteen-twenties/thirties. It has changed. When I was younger, up until 2013, my dress was very 1950s greaser and Rockabilly.

Do your creative interests shape your style?
My style changed when I started exploring my ancestry. I come from mostly Irish and German working class families. And during prohibition, some of my ancestors were moonshiners who also ran a speakeasy. I discovered old photos of them dressed in their suspenders, flat caps, panel caps and fedoras. Now, truth be told, I had worn all the above for over 20 years, however my style had more of a mid-century look mixed with contemporary. But after seeing images of my ancestors and falling more in love with the era, I felt in my soul that it was fitting for me to start dressing that way daily.

Do you have any style idols?
I do not. I actually do not have any idols. We are all human. We can be both sinners and saints. And I feel that if you idolize anyone you are sure to be let down.

What are some of your evergreen pieces of clothing or accessories? Are there any items you wouldn’t want to be seen without?
You will seldom catch me without a panel cap. I have a serious hat fetish. Presently, I have roughly thirty to forty hats.

When did you start wearing suspenders?
I have worn suspenders casually for over twenty years, but for the past 13 years I have been wearing them as my main dress accessory.

What’s your favorite pair of Wiseguy Suspenders? And do you have a preferred way of styling and wearing them?
My favorite so far are the Crazy Horse Flex Brown Herringbone Wide Suspenders with the rabbit-ear straps to attach to my bachelor buttons.


Any fun anecdotes about yourself which most people don’t know about you yet?
I would have to say my love for comedy and sense of humor. I would say that based on my writings and films, people expect me to watch nothing but horror. But truth be told, I watch much more comedy. When I was a child, my first love was stand up comedy.

Is there anything we didn’t ask you, that you would like to share with us?
Not that I can think of. But I do have to take a moment to express how in love I am with Wiseguy suspenders. I have had several pairs of leather suspenders from other brands and they were just terrible. I believe that both pair fell apart just months after purchasing. But the Wiseguy suspenders are durable, and fashionable. Built to last. I have strong convictions and only endorse what I believe in. I honestly could never wear any other brand.

Never let you down.