Artist Interview: Christopher Lovell

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Christopher Lovell’s official website is www.christopherlovell.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

At what point in your life did you feel an inclination to create dark art, and was there a particular inspiration for that?

Creating “dark art” was really a natural progression for me. My interest in this area of my art developed subconsciously over the years. My inspiration has come from everything from dark movies, forests, nature to occult imagery. I just found myself connecting to that kind of stuff more and the endless ways I can incorporate these elements into my work. There are some aspects of fantasy art that can come across as cheesy, don’t get me wrong, I love this style, but I found adding a darker, macabre twist to things kept what I was creating a little more edgy and maybe in the outer realms of fantasy art. I love how I can draw a simple image of a beautiful naked woman, for example, yet add a few bones and some macabre elements and the picture starts to tell a story and I love to go to town on that aspect of things.

When you began to create darker art, how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

My friends and family have always known me to be dark in a lot of ways, I wouldn’t say personality wise, but very much in terms of what inspires and interests me. To be honest most of my closer friends (or people I regularly interact with) don’t have any interest in my art, so its usually the reaction of the public and people who do that gives me the indication of whether what I create is well received or not. If anything it appears the darker the better in terms of response. I often find myself holding back in some ways, as I could go too dark and it might be too much for some. Not in a gore way, but in more sinister terms that could open up all kinds of interpretations. However with the personal work I plan to do over the rest of the year, I plan to not hold back as much as I have previously. My family has always been encouraging of what I do. Growing up, my parents saw me drawing monsters and immersing myself in comics, anime and horror films, so they were aware that I had a strong interest in darker art and encouraged my need to create.

What do you feel distinguishes your style from others?

With my personal pieces I believe I have a distinctive style that shines through. My work can be very detailed and elaborate at times. I’m trying to find more of a balance lately with extreme simplicity and hyper detail only where necessary. I find it helps the images breath more and draws the eyes in to the right places. My aim is to engage the viewer so they come up with their own interpretations and stories to the images. I like to litter my pieces with various focal points that create a vibe and potential story to the viewer. This is an aspect of my work I plan to take much deeper now. I guess I want to be a storyteller with my art and hopefully that will help me carve a strong identity.

How long does an average project take, and do you prefer to work digitally or manually?

In all honesty I have very little interest in creating images digitally, it gives me a lot less satisfaction than working traditionally. I like things to be tactile, and alive before my eyes. I have never really had any interest in digital art, I purely use it as a tool in terms of various client work and prepping things print wise. However it was through digital art I got my brake and this helped kickstart my career. Digital art has great advantages, I love being able to test ideas risk free and tweak colours. I often feel very detached from digital pieces however, like I sold myself short when I see it existing as numbers behind a screen when it could have been a physical piece hung on a wall. Where I can however, I will always draw out the images in pencil and ink first and scan them in for colouring. Then I can play around with things and prep stuff accordingly to the clients needs.

The time scale of projects can vary quite considerably depending on a number of factors. Ideally, I like to spend no more than a week max on a client commission. Sometimes, there are revisions that can take a lot longer than desired but thats part of the game. If I am enjoying creating a piece then It becomes a blur of productivity, as I get into a creative zone until the piece is finished. Naturally there will be some briefs that I don’t thrive off and that week can feel like a month!

Do you listen to music while you’re working? What are your favourite songs?

I watch a lot of movies from a projector onto the wall above my desk, but find movies can be a bit distracting. I watch an awful lot of toy reviews and nerdy things on youtube too. Again very distracting! Music however helps me get in to a groove where I am at my most productive. Film soundtracks, ambient drones and soundscapes are great. Band wise, I love everything from extreme metal to Chris Rea. I’m obsessed with two bands in particular, Savatage and Byzantine. Savatage are an old school prog metal band that has been the soundtrack to my life for years. Byzantine are my favourite metal band for about 10 years now. They are incredible musicians and songwriters. Their music to me is a perfect blend of groove, heaviness and melody to get me into a nice artistic flow. I’m doing the artwork for their next album too which is a nice personal pat on the back for me  🙂 Always a great feeling to do artwork for bands you adore.

Are there any artists out there who inspire you? Do you have a favourite?

Without doubt my favourite artist is Simon Bisley. His name comes to mind instantly when I am asks that question. His imagination, art dynamics, ability and style blow my mind. Truly one of the best artists on the planet. I also have the pleasure of calling him a friend. Other artists I love are Ian Miller, John Blanche, Paul Bonner, Les Edwards, Jim Murray, Brian Bolland and of course HR Giger RIP.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

God what a tough question… almost impossible for me to answer as I would struggle to put together a top 20. I would say The Terminator is a perfect film and a very strong contender, not sure if Its really a horror though. The music, mood, atmosphere, cast and endo skeleton are such perfect examples of genius film making.  Alien and Predator are both incredible in atmosphere and tension. All three of these have exceptional villains in them. I love nostalgia and the childhood memories these films bring back. I could probably draw any of these characters pretty much detail perfect from memory as I drew them hundreds of times as a kid and teenager. I really can’t chose one. I could talk about horror movies and monsters all day long!

Which piece do you feel was the one that earned you the most recognition?

I would say things really started to gather momentum when I started posting a few of my “Dark Nature” personal pieces on my Facebook page. These seemed to go viral and really helped me develop a strong and supportive fan base for my work. I think it was my “”” that made a lot of people react positively. The slightly occult hints in the artwork and macabre elements seem to arouse interest in people and provoke reaction. I’ve also noticed that my fan base engage far more in my traditional personal pieces, than the typical digital client work I produce.

Of your whole gallery, which piece is your favourite?

Hmm tough question, in a weird way I kinda quickly go off each piece shortly after its done, nearly every piece is my favourite piece as I create it, but once its finished and I’ve moved onto something else i find them quickly forgotten. I’m very fond of a number of Horror icon pieces I created, such as Jason and Michael Myers. They are great fun to do in a nostalgic sense and I love the challenge of trying to capture the character and essence of the film in an image. Horror fans are die hard and can be very hard to please, so its very rewarding when you get positive feedback and even people getting tattoos of the images. Maybe if I had to choose one it would be my “Pulvis Et Umbra Sumus” piece, as it is a nice mix of everything I love to draw and has an ornate theme running through it and despite its darkness it has a gentle beauty to it. But in all honesty my favourite piece is the one I’m creating next.

Disqualifying commissions, are there any factors that influence how you choose your next art piece?

There are many factors that influence my personal pieces. I took a big plunge recently and relocated to Spain to get inspired and focus on exploring my  development as an artist, without being clouded with commission work and deadlines. My current studio is isolated and free of distractions and I am surrounded by nature and beautiful scenery, which is the perfect environment to inspire me. I have a dozen large blank canvasses which I am dying to get my paint and brushes on. I take influence from anything and everything, I always take reference photos of things around me wherever I go and I collect images online of things that jump out and inspire me. I’m never short of ideas and on these canvasses I really plan to push myself to new limits.

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Artist Interview: Gerald Brom

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Gerald Brom’s official website is www.bromart.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

At what point in your life did you feel an inclination to create dark art, and was there a particular inspiration for that?

I have always been drawn to the darker elements, never a conscious choice, it was born in me. There is just an inherent drama in “things that can hurt you” that I have always found fascinating. A good example would be if you were to ask a group of school children to draw a toaster what would the do? Most likely they would groan and moan. But if you asked them to draw an evil toaster instead, then suddenly everyone is very interested to both draw the image as well as see what everyone has come up with. Again, it is that inherent drama in things that bite.

When you began to create darker art, how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

As a child my entire family enjoyed horror films. My older brother had a library of fantasy and horror magazine and novels. Much of what I do today was inspired by those early films and books. I was fortunate that my family always enjoyed my dark humor and sensibilities.

Which horror magazines and novels did your brother own?

This was in the seventies. We not only collected the classic Creepy and Eerie magazines, but also the really campy, debased titles such as Tales of Voodoo, Terror Tales, and Tales from the Tomb.

Which of those did you enjoy most?

When I was younger I tented to the more graphic stories, as I entered into young adult hood, it was magazines with better art, such as Richard Corben, Bernie Wrightson, Mobius, such as underground comics and early Metal Hurlant.

What’s your favorite horror film?

Hard to answer that. I love so many films. I tend to like the silent classics a lot, such as Nosferatu and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

What do you feel distinguishes your style from others?

I believe every artist’s voice stems from the individual way they interpret what is around, their experiences and influences, for me I believe it is a unique combination of horror, fantasy, fetish, punk rock, and old world illustration.

Not many artists use black in their work as effectively as you do. I’ve often found it gives the subject matter way more definition than you’d find in most other dark themed works. Whenever I look at one of your paintings, the way you use black to add darkness, or to contrast is very distinctive. Could you perhaps expand a bit on how you choose your palette?

I cheat. I tend to paint things very monochromatic then add bits of color to the area I want to add emphasize on.

How long does an average project take, and do you prefer to work digitally or manually?

The average painting runs about a week from start to finish. I work traditionally in oils and acrylics.

Do you listen to music while you’re working? Do you have any favorite songs?

I listen to music and audio books. A wide range, but when painting I prefer moody immersive dramatic music with a strong narrative, like Nick Cave, Joy Division, the Horrors, the Handsome Family, or Johnny Cash.

Are there any artists out there who inspire you? Do you have a favorite?

The list is ever growing, a few dead artist I like: Waterhouse, Mucha, Howard Pyle, Norman Rockwell, Frazetta.

Which piece do you feel was the one that earned you the most recognition?

That’s very hard to say. I am most proud of the works I created for my own novels, such as the Plucker and the Child Thief. The Plucker was inspired by common childhood beliefs, such as toys coming to life in the land of make-believe and monsters under the bed. I was fascinated by the idea of the two happening in the same room. With Child Thief I was captivated by the idea of Peter Pan told in a gritty visceral way, to show what it might be like for a child to be stolen and taken by a charismatic sociopath to an island where they would have to kill to survive.

Of your whole gallery, which piece is your favorite?

I really enjoyed bringing Krampus to life for my latest novel Krampus, the Yule Lord. Probably my favorite images to date. Published in German by Knaur: http://www.amazon.de/Krampus-Roman-Brom/dp/3426653346

Could you tell us a little more about what led to you writing Krampus, The Yule Lord? Did you grow up knowing about Krampus? How do you feel about the fact that Krampus is becoming more popular?

I only discovered Krampus about a decade ago. I love that Krampus is becoming more popular. Christmas evolved out of Yuletide, and the Yule goat was the original form of Krampus. Krampus preceded Santa Claus by hundreds of years so he deserves his place in our holiday cheer. And that is a lot of what inspired the novel, my fascination with the roots of myths and legends. When I first heard about a Christmas spirit that beat naughty children and put them in sacks I was smitten. And the more I researched the more I discovered just how ingrain Yule and Yule tide traditions are in our modern Christmas celebrations. The novel itself is about Krampus coming back to modern times to reclaim his holiday from Santa Clause. He is tracking down Jolly old Saint Nick to do him in.

Disqualifying commissions, are there any factors that influence how you choose your next art piece?

I respond to the things around me, a fleeting glimpse of a figure or image can inspire my mind to fill in the blanks, leading to invention. Most often it is the latest vision or dream that pops into my head.

Artist Interview: Luis Diaz

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Luis Diaz’s official website is luisdiazart.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

At what point in your life did you feel an inclination to create dark themed art, and was there a particular inspiration for that?

I think watching scary movies and Halloween were the things that navigated me toward the direction of the darker stuff. I think the two scary movie franchises I watched as a kid (that I loved to see over and over again) were Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th. I was scared of the two villains, and I had many nightmares about them. But one night, I decided to stop running in my dreams and be friends with Freddy and Jason and since that night on I hardly ever had any nightmares I can remember, but I still respected the two. I also began to listen to rock groups like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Guns and Roses and a lot of their albums had really cool album artwork. I began to draw my own Vic and Eddie and skeleton guys. I was around 11 years old when I started and I got into comic books early on mostly because Marvel was doing a monster-themed saga called Inferno that ran through most of it’s titles like X-Men and Spider-man. If that didn’t happen I wouldn’t have gotten into comics at all. I also loved this skateboarding comic called Shred that had a lot of monster stuff and a skeleton vigilante. Looking back it was kind of cheesy, but I thought the side stories in there were really fun to read.

When you began to create darker art, how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

I won some school contests and it seemed they were cool with it. I did a Halloween Carnival poster with Freddy and later on hundreds of blank typing paper I drew weird animal versions of my favorite horror monsters. I think it keep me from leaving the house so they can watch over me so I think my parents didn’t mind. Rather than skateboarding and getting into trouble with my friends. I has an uncle who gave me my first Berol Prismacolor Markers and it was so fascinating to have something you knew professionals used to make art instead of the cheap ones you get at your local drug store.

Can you tell us the story of your Universal Monster series?

I worked on 3 paintings that combined the faces of Frankenstein, Dracula, Bride of Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera and The Mummy. It’s an ongoing series. 2 of them are 3 feet by 4 feet (914mm x 1,219mm) and I’m still working on doing the large Bride of Frankenstein. I wanted to create a new image by combining two faces. It’s an illusion of two faces, but at the same time it’s a new unique image. You have to look to the two faces, but you can only really see one at a time. They are called Creaturas (creatures). I painted these in acrylics and the color sketch of The Bride and Frankenstein is in watercolor. I also did a sketch card series this year for The Art of Robert Aragon which had a lot of the stars from the classic monster films. I loved painting Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and his son. I got to paint a few in character, too, but because of copyrighting issues I couldn’t paint a lot of the monsters I wanted to paint. So that is why I do it for myself in these large paintings.

What do you feel distinguishes your style from others?

There is a lot of preparation and referencing and trial and error before I paint. Sometimes these “mistakes” open up new doors in my artwork. I work intuitively after the initial drawing is on the canvas and let things happen with the paint and water. They kind of have a battle on the surface and sometimes the water wins and other times the paint. I let the colors drip sometimes to the floor. Sometimes I let the drops drip onto another piece of paper and use that as inspiration for my work. I think I’m really a fine artist, but since I grew up loving all these creatures and comic books I kind of went into that direction. I think that is why most people won’t get my work. It takes a little more time to get into it. Most people like things easy.

How long does an average project take, and do you prefer to work digitally or manually?

Since I learned to create work digitally at a job doing daily news for television I was able to make the computer help me prepare work and do finished artwork on it. Today I move through both, but usually a good portion of my preparation is on the computer. I still use the old techniques of projecting a sketch and then painting on an easel. I like to work large and I like to work small. When I do too much of anything I like to switch. Sometimes just drawing in pencil and other things sketching things in the computer. I used to find it hard to get into the computer, but I find certain things come out better in the computer while having build up of paint is important to do with paint. Either way today you can pretty much make anything look tradition on the computer or make something like like a print on canvas. It depends what I’m looking for.

Are there any artists out there who inspire you? Do you have a favorite?

I go through artists from time to time picking up things from here and there. I think would get into an artist and later find out who probably inspired them until you keep going back and find out a lot of it came from Frazetta or EC Comics. So my tastes change a lot, but in general I really got into painting from two guys Simon Bisley and Brom. I wanted to do what they were doing. Their stuff looked so much fun and their art was everywhere in the 90’s. A lot easier to get than Frazetta at the time. I didn’t know who Frazetta was in high school, but I knew Bisley and Brom’s work already.

Which piece do you feel was the one that earned you the most recognition?

I have a lot of variety in my work so I get different pieces that people like. I haven’t made one image that has been revered as a masterpiece yet, but that’s the goal of the artist to continue working on making the next piece better. I had been doing cartoon stuff for a while and now I’m getting back to my dark stuff. It just feels better so I hope to make some more creepy stuff in the next couple of years.

Of your whole gallery, which piece is your favorite?

I always look back at two pieces that seemed to open my head to the possibilities of doing this stuff for a living so I always like the stuff I did when I was learning to paint. Massacre of America (1998) and Simian Operation (1997) are two of my favorites. One was a mixed media piece on paper and the other oil on illustration board. I think I got some confidence doing the two. For a long time I was struggling with color. I think I didn’t get it. So These two opened up my mind to the possibilities of doing more work in this kind of way.

Are there any factors that influence how you choose your next art project?

It’s always been a struggle for me to do the artwork I wanted to do.. I think in my 20’s I was always doubting myself and getting depressed and my father was always telling me to get a job so I was always trying to prove to him I could so this for a living. I worked doing all kinds of artwork. Cartooning and illustration work and because I was able to do a lot of different stuff I moved around depending on what people wanted. I had a hard time in my 20’s. I am glad it’s over. Today my girlfriend who is an amazing abstract artist gives me all the support I need to create the new works I’m putting together. So things are a lot better these days and I don’t have to take the projects I don’t want to do anymore. I think next year I will be getting back to the work I want to be working on and they are the things I want to do and not governed by outside sources. My best work comes from me.

Artist Interview: Justin Erickson

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Justin Erickson’s official website is www.justin-erickson.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

At what point in your life did you feel an inclination to create dark art, and was there a particular inspiration for that?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, and have been attracted to the darker aspects of art/life just as long. I think it started with seeing movies like Star Wars, Krull, and too many horror films very young. Usually in film the evil characters are infinitely more interesting and visually appealing. That’s where it all started.

When you began to create darker art, how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

My parents were always very encouraging of my interest in the arts. To this day they’re still some of my biggest supporters. Some other family members don’t really understand why I’m more interested in drawing ghouls and monsters than drawing a dog or flowers, though. Initially my family wasn’t sure it was something I could make a living at professionally, but it’s working out okay so far.

What do you feel distinguishes your style from others?

I’m not really sure my style is really that different from others, but that could be because I can see all of my influences in my art when I look at it! I try my best to put my personal spin on pieces since oftentimes I’m working on something that’s been drawn to death by hundreds of other artists. The goal is to find a somewhat unique way of spinning or representing something old.

How long does an average project take, and do you prefer to work digitally or manually?

It really depends on the type of project, and sometimes the style of a piece is determined solely by the deadline. If I have a lot of lead time I can get really into the detail but that rarely (read: never) happens. A poster can take anywhere from 3-7 days from concept to completion. Music packaging can take longer simply because there’s more art to create. Comic covers usually take around 2-5 days. Since my industry is ruled by deadlines I work digitally for the most part, but I still try to work with real media as much as possible. If I’m not working on a digital illustration I try to sketch something for fun.

Do you listen to music while you’re working? Do you have any favorite songs?

I listen to music rarely when I work, actually. For the most part I listen to movies (usually appropriate to the project I’m working on) or TV shows (like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel or Supernatural), but what listen to while I work most often are horror radio shows. My favourites are Arch Oboler’s Lights Out, Inner Sanctum and my absolute favourite is a Canadian radio show that aired on CBC Radio called Nightfall. It came out in the late 80s so it married a lot of the best things of classic horror radio with the horror stylings contemporary of the time. I highly recommend tracking them all down especially if you’re a fan of the classic horror actors such as Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre as they were frequent guests on classic horror radio shows. Others of note are Suspense, The Shadow, Vanishing Point and so many more.

Are there any artists out there who inspire you? Do you have a favorite?

I’m finding new artists that inspire me daily! While I don’t have one favourite, some of my favourites are Frank Frazetta, Martin Ansin, Mike Mignola, Gary Pullin, Jason Edmiston, Olly Moss, Alex Maleev, Greg Capullo, Drew Stuzan, Reynold Brown and so many many many more.

Which piece do you feel was the one that earned you the most recognition?

I’m not really sure, but the pieces I get the most emails about are my Mondo poster for The Burning, Back to the Future trilogy, and Halloween vinyl OST. I’ve also won four silver Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards for my posters for The Cabin in the Woods and Godzilla.

Of your whole gallery, which piece is your favorite?

I don’t have any favourites, but when I look at my portfolio I’m drawn to the ones that have a story behind them. Such as if the project was extremely difficult or I experimented with a new technique. With the projects that were more difficult than others, you feel like you really accomplished something and put a lot of yourself into it. An example would be Godzilla because the client stated that they didn’t actually want to see Godzilla. The challenge was to figure out a way to show the big guy without actually seeing him. Once a concept was approved the turnaround time was incredibly quick. I pretty much lived at my drawing desk for 4 days to get it completed on time.

Disqualifying commissions, are there any factors that influence how you choose your next art piece?

It’s mostly based on my schedule, if I can do something interesting with the project and who the client is. Budget comes into it of course because I have bills to pay, but it’s not the most important factor. If the project doesn’t interest me artistically then I’ll often pass. Working with the right clients makes the job infinitely more enjoyable and rewarding. In that I’ve been very lucky and have worked with and continue to work with amazing clients.

Could you tell us about how you got the job as art director at Rue Morgue, what your experiences there were like, and what you’ve been up to since then.

Before getting the Art Director job at Rue Morgue, I was the graphic designer for 5 years under the founding art director, Gary Pullin. Those years are some of my fondest because Gary is a incredibly talented art director and the family atmosphere at the magazine. Gary eventually left the magazine to pursue freelance and I stepped up into the role. Working at a magazine like Rue Morgue really fine tuned my eye for different visual styles of horror and my ability to work within the all important deadline.

Could you tell us a little about how Phantom City Creative came about?

I’ve always been a movie nut, and more importantly a huge fan of movie poster art. It made sense to combine my need to do art and produce movie posters. The company was founded in 2010 with my girlfriend Paige Renyolds who is a fine artist and visual effects artist. One dark and stormy night we decided to start a company geared entirely towards producing art and design for film, television and music.

Could you tell us a little about your work on the Halloween soundtrack?

John Carpenter’s score for Halloween is one of the most recognizable and influential soundtracks in film history. Getting to design the the packaging for the vinyl release was incredibly exciting and terrifying at the same time. Earlier I talked about having to come up with new ways to portray something that’s been drawn to death? Michael Myers. He’s been drawn by every horror artist out there and a million ways. I nearly went crazy trying to come up with something unique and went through something like 30 concepts before one stuck. Something that’s different about creating packaging for a film score versus a poster for the film is you need to capture the feel of the music over what happens in the movie. With that in mind I tried to make the art very dark and minimal to match John Carpenter’s subdued score.

Artist Interview: Gary Pullin

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Gary Pullin’s official website is www.ghoulishgary.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

You’ve done a score of work since your last interview in 2006. Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?

There’s certainly been some big changes since then! To catch up, I left Rue Morgue as art director in 2010 to start my own company and pursue other projects. It was a difficult decision because I felt my artwork has had a big hand in the success of the magazine and it was my identity for over a decade. I was worried that I may lose my following, friends that I have made or even contacts within our little industry, but luckily, the exact opposite happened. I couldn’t be busier and I’m doing all kinds of things that I never had the time for in the past.  I’m doing more conventions now and getting my work in front of as many people as I can. The good news is, I’m still very much a part of the magazine. I write a monthly art column for them called The Fright Gallery, and I occasionally still contribute artwork and ideas. I often feel as though I haven’t left. Working on my own has been nothing short of incredible though, and at times, it can be a lot to handle by myself, especially now that I’m printing and shipping my own posters. But, thankfully I have an amazing wife who helps me with the business. I’ve been able to work with many different companies, make new friends and work with old ones. Ultimately though, I’m mostly proud that I’m able to work every day and contribute creatively to the genre that got us all here in the first place – HORROR.

I’m curious to learn the history of one of your more recent works: The ‘Survive’ poster you did for Fright Rags in the fight against domestic abuse. Could we discuss what inspired that, and how you chose the look?

Ben Scrivens from Fright Rags knew I was a big Friday the 13th fan and felt I would be a good fit for it. It was for a great cause, so I was even happier to contribute. I knew I had to feature the first four “final” girls from the film, and wanted to them to look a bit classical, so I have them lots of wavy hair and added the boarder. I sometimes try and sneak in some hidden details or a “hook” to the concept, such as the Camp Crystal Lake sign or Jason’s mask in the reflection of the water. I always love it when I see things like that in other people’s work, and as  a fan of most of the stuff I get to work on, I get a lot of pleasure out of watching people react to it.

Could you tell us a little more about your experiences with Tales from Beyond the Pale? Aside from the logo design, did you handle all the cover art? What was your favorite episode/piece to design for?

Larry Fessenden and Glenn McQuaid approached me with their concept for audio horror. I love those old radio shows like Inner Sanctum and War of the Worlds, it’s a different medium so the nature of the project sounded fresh and really interested me. They are innovative guys and have contributed some amazing things to horror so when they asked if I would create the art for the show, it was a pretty easy decision. I created all of the posters for season one and and half of the posters for season two. I really liked doing the poster for Trawler. I liked the episode a lot but I’m a lot but I’m also a sucker for underwater creature features.

On your website: Is the demon priest logo on your website a nod to the family priest that gave when you your first set of pencils and felt-tip pens?

Yes, the priest is a nod to that. That’s an older logo but I’m planning to rebrand in the new year.

When you began to create darker art, how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

My parents and family were very supportive of my interest in horror and are to this day. They get it. Both of them enjoy the films and as long as I wasn’t watching something too extreme, they pretty much let me rent anything I could get my hands on.  my mother was always reading Stephen King novels so at an early age I would read them when she was done. In school, most of my teachers encouraged it – I can remember one of my teachers let me skip a class or two to draw in the library posters of Freddy and Jason so she could hang them around the class room at Halloween. I had to use an overhead projector to do it.

You previously mentioned you had done your first silk-screen with Mondo. What was that like for you? Did silk-screening alter the way you approach your creative process at all?

It was a challenge and a little tricky but thankfully, I have a lot of artist friends to ask advice when I need it. You never stop learning new ways to do things with silk screening.

Is there any ground (i.e. a particular film or medium you’re still curious about.) you haven’t covered yet?

It’s really inspiring to see so many of my friends becoming filmmaker”s so I do want to direct a film one day, perhaps an animation. I got a taste of it when I created the illustrations for the animated sequences in the George Romero documentary, Birth of the Living Dead. I worked closely with director Rob Kuhns and Larry Fessenden and I had a lot of input into how to tell the story. I really enjoyed it. I’m lucky to be in an industry where when the time comes, I can hopefully call on people and work with them on something. I’d also love to do a coffee table art book, I have a proposal a good friend wrote up for me, so a I just need to get motivated again to pitch some publishing houses.

Artist Interview: Dan Mumford

Posted in It Came from Another Magazine! on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

[Author’s Note: This interview was originally printed, in German, in a 2014 edition of Virus Magazine. As with all of my interviews, instead of bombarding the reader with images, I prefer providing links to the artist’s website and social media, so that the reader can view and follow the work via the appropriate channels. Dan Mumford’s official website is www.dan-mumford.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.]

At what point in your life did you feel an inclination to create dark art, and was there a particular inspiration for that?

DM: Its pretty much just been something I’ve always been interested in. Growing up, I loved horror and Sci-Fi films, video games and comics, I also played in metal bands and was part of a really active music scene at home. It was just a natural thing to create artwork for as it fitted with everything i was interested in. As much as it might disappoint people though I actually just try to create beautiful artwork, that’s more important to me, and in my personal work these days the dark aspect is definitely toned down, and at the very least its more alluded to than actually graphically illustrated.

When you began to create darker art how was it received by your family and friends? Were your gifts encouraged?

DM: When I started to illustrate properly and had taken it up as an education choice and went to university, my family life became quite distant apart from my dad and sister, and they have only ever been supportive of me creating artwork. This was nothing to do with the artwork, just the status quo in my life at that time. I’m sure to an extent that fed into my work. I’m not sure my greater family quite understands what I do other than create art, but everyone has always been very supportive.

What do you feel distinguishes your style from others?

DM: I would like to think it’s the way I create art and compose an image. I also think my use of colour is quite distinct. I generally use quite vibrant colours where others might tone it down.

How long does an average project take, and do you prefer to work digitally or manually?

DM: I work almost entirely digitally these days. It’s easier and allows a lot more freedom. I love to create art with pen and ink, but the reality of it is that digital illustration technology allows me to do the same thing on a screen in a smoother way, and i don’t think it impacts my style at all. The transition from pen and paper to computer and tablet, for me, was pretty seamless. As far as how long it takes, that can vary wildly – from a couple of days to a whole month.

Do you listen to music while you’re working? Do you have any favorite songs?

DM: I actually tend to listen to podcasts or watch reruns of TV shows like Seinfeld in the background. Its a bit weird, but i really like to have something that you can just dip into and not focus on, comedy works well for that. It also takes my focus away from the image and allows me to get into a weird sort of trance like state with the work. I can’t really explain it, but it works for me, and before you know it, hours have passed. Music works too, but not as much these days, it washes over me.

Are there any artists out there who inspire you? Do you have a favorite?

DM: Of course, there are many amazing artists out there, too many to name, everyone working in the same world as me is amazing in their own way. Its a weird niche that only a few people understand, and it’s always nice to talk to fellow artists about it. If I were to name one artist though, James Jean has always been fascinating to me, incredibly beautiful work – He creates work that I can’t deconstruct. Most pieces of artwork I can look at and understand at least to an extent how they were created, but James Jean has such an incredible way of working that you just can’t replicate.

Which piece do you feel was the one that earned you the most recognition?

DM: It would have to be the Gallows artwork for ‘In The Belly of A Shark’. For some reason that piece just clicked with the masses. I’m always asked about it and I’m extremely proud of it. It captured a time and a place for myself and the band.

Of your whole gallery which piece is your favorite?

DM: I don’t have a favourite. I cant really answer that question easily. I struggle hugely with enjoying my artwork after its been produced. I can only ever see flaws where others wouldn’t even think about it. Its really annoying actually, and I’m slowly starting to overcome that. I’m proud of all the work I have released as prints in the last year, I think that’s the best answer I can give! Each one has been a stepping stone for me – learning and trying new techniques, and spending as much time as each piece needed on it without rushing anything. As a whole collection they are some of my favourite pieces.

Disqualifying commissions, are there any factors that influence how you choose your next art piece?

DM: Not really. I have a huge list of ideas and things I want to create. It generally comes down to what idea is feeling good for me at the moment when i have some free time. I try to move between a few personal pieces all at once, so that when one gets a bit stale I can take a break and move onto something else for a week or so.

Version 1.2

Posted in Of Celluloid, Space, & Time on November 17, 2016 by The Horror In Blog

Welcome to The Horror In Blog! I’m horror author, journalist, and assistant editor, Moaner T. Lawrence. You may remember me from such esteemed macabre publications as Rue Morgue: Horror in Culture and Entertainment, Virus, or Pseudopod, the world’s largest horror fiction podcast.

[Crickets chirp.]

…More likely, you have no clue who I am, and your being here is the result of a porn search gone awry. Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us. Just go wash your hands, come back (yes, in that order), click the back button a couple of times, and quest onward!

…You’re still here? …wow. …you sure? …Okay. …Ummm, then let’s go over some fine print. The devil’s in the details! The Horror In Blog (THIB) is the personal creative space of me, Moaner T. Lawrence. All are welcome here until they wear out their welcome – then I’ll ban them. The views expressed herein will not always be the views of the parties I am affiliated with, and at no time are they intended to offend. My views are my own and I take full (gleeful) responsibility for them. Also, just in case the intial porn joke didn’t make it obvious enough, the material on this site is not intended for children. Therefore, if you are a minor, Uncle Moaner’s page is not for you, sorry. I’m not here to discuss politics, or sell you anything, and I expect the same from all of you. If you try using my blog as a soap box; hate megaphone; to discuss things outside the context of the horror genre; or to advertise something without my permission, you will be blocked.

THIB’s mission is to discuss the all-encompassing horror genre, and to ask ourselves how we might advance our knowledge of it. I can already hear the first question: Mr. Lawrence (That’s what the voices in my head call me. They’re so formal.), what makes you an expert? Great question guys. The is answer is: I’m not an expert! I don’t consider myself an expert in anything except maybe procrastination. I see myself as a student and enthusiast of horror, and that goes double for writing. The most successful men and women I’ve ever known choose to proclaim their ignorance over pretending wisdom, and they managed to ride that choice into yachts and mansions. I’m here to put the little I know out there so that others may benefit from it. If you see something I’ve declared is wrong, or you think something needs to be added, please, tell me! I’d love to make this blog as complete as possible.

As a bonus, I intend to periodically update THIB with older articles. Even if you’ve read an article by me in the past, chances are that for magazine space, we had to cut down certain responses. Those pieces will be added back in. If it’s possible, I’ll even update articles to showcase a subject’s current work. If you enjoy my work, I would encourage you to subscribe. I also have a Wattpad for free fiction, a Twitter for rants under 140 characters, and a Facebook account for rants over 140 characters.

That said, the fine print ends at my passion. My heart is a thumping disco-inferno for all things dark and morbid. Clap your hands and say ‘yeah’ if you like to party on Halloween! Cry Hallelujah if you think Stephen King rules! Can I get an ‘amen’ for the amateur horror writer?