Sunday, 31 July 2011

Science & Places: Blood Falls, Antarctica

Blood Falls, November 2006, by Peter Rejcek for the National Science Foundation 
Located between Taylor Glacier and Lake Bonney in the Antarctic, Blood Falls contains a naturally occurring phenomenon, which makes it look as though the glacier is bleeding. Scientists believe that this sanguine effect is caused by a sub-glacial brine reservoir, as it contains iron that, when exposed to oxygen, becomes the dark red colour seen at the Falls. 

 Blood Falls, by the American Society for Microbiology, 2007
Whilst the crimson colour is quite striking, even more intriguing is that the organisms beneath the glacier can survive entirely without oxygen. This not only makes them extremely unusual, but it could also help to build a case for the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms in other sub-glacial environments such as the Moon and Mars.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Fashion & How-to Guides: Spooky Nail Art

My friend and I were bored last week, so I decided to do some spooky nail art. It was fun and so I thought I'd make it into a how-to guide, just in case you too find yourself with nothing better to do! 

Guide & close-ups of each nail are after the cut below↓

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Videos: Slingshots vs. the Undead

Vampire Hunter Slingshot
What is your weapon of choice in the event of a zombie attack? The traditional shotgun? Genetically modified plants? Your own severed arm? Well, if you happen to be Joerg Sprave there's only one choice...A SLINGSHOT! Sprave's hobby is making and testing slingshots and he makes an array of videos on the subject for his YouTube channel, with help from his wife (and the occasional zombie). 

In addition to his serious testing videos, Sprave occasionally makes more humorous creations too such as the Guillotine and Zombie Brain Smashing slingshots (for zombies) and a vampire hunting stake slingshot.

Joerg Sprave's channel found via: Nerd Approved


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Interviews: Zombie Rust

Horror Shock Lolipop recently had the chance to interview dark artist Zombie Rust about his creations, inspirations and more...
'You're It!' by Zombie Rust
First of all, thank you for doing this interview. Could you introduce yourself for those who are unfamiliar with your work?
Hello, I am Zombie Rust and though this is not actually my real name, I’m still Zombie Rust. I illustrate stuff.

You're a self-taught artist, but what first made you want to start improving and practicing your skills seriously?
I guess I always had that urge to draw. I used to draw cartoons right after I read tons of comic books back when I was very little. That stopped at some point for no particular reason. Later, when Rouble (, my life partner, picked up some brushes and started painting, I got back to it too. We’ve been enjoying that healthy artistic relationship ever since.

'Zombie Kill' by Zombie Rust
Do people ever think more/less of your work because you are self-taught, or is it irrelevant?
I never had a comment concerning that. I guess when people stumble upon some art that they like on the internet, don’t necessarily search the artist’s background, so I believe the self-taught artist factor is more of irrelevant.

Are there any other artists that have inspired you?
Inspiration to me comes from many different levels. Comics, movies, music, real life struggle. My list of inspirational people would be endless and much versatile. To name just a few: Robert Crumb, Basil Gogos, Steve Ditko, Rick Veitch, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Alex Toth, Frank Miller, Brian Bolland, the recently deceased Gene Colan, Alex Ross, Neil Adams, both John Romitas, David Mazzuchelli, Joe Orlano, Daniel Clowes, Scott McCloud… Those are pretty much the greatest artists of all time in comics, but people like Alice Cooper, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Johnny Cash, Woody Allen, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Bob Dylan, Stanley Kubrick and their equals also make the list.

Although you do create some pieces that are unrelated to horror, most of your art is pretty spooky. What drew you to this style?
I really don’t want to be strictly associated with horror only. I guess I tend to it more. I have a dark mind.

Your fan art mostly features icons of classic horror. What do you think of modern horror?
I like modern horror, some times as much as the classic stuff. There are some brilliant people out there right now making movies, some of which will be considered as classics too in some years from now. Sure the oldies are unique and incomparable, but times are changing and every era has its own needs. There’s always been great art in every time period.

'Dr. Frankenstein and the Bride of the Monster' by Zombie Rust
What are your favourite horror movies/books/games?
That would be another of my endless lists too. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974Dawn of the Dead 1978 (the re-imagined 2004 version is pretty neat too) and everything in the Romero undead series, the 1930s Frankenstein series (even the later ones), Halloween 1978, almost everything Hammer Horror produced in the 60s, Herschell Gordon Lewis’ gore, Jack Hill’s exploitation flicks, Italian horrors like Bava, Argento and Fulci. I could go on forever.

When it comes to books I’m pretty much predictable. Poe, King, Lovecraft, Matheson, Barker and definitely horror comics like Eerie and Creepy, Steve Niles’ work, stuff like that.

The most recent horror game I have enjoyed is Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare. Zombies in the wild west, how much more awesome than that could it be? Resident Evil and Silent Hill were always among my favourites too.

'Brains! Live Brains!' by Zombie Rust
Would you like to illustrate movie posters or DVD covers if you had the chance?
Definitely! Record covers too. I’m surrounded by thousands of them in my house and I’ll never get tired of watching them. Combining art with text is always a great challenge.

It's a separate type of art, but would you consider painting horror props and haunted house scenery/sets?
Sounds very interesting and it has crossed my mind in the past but never got around to it. I’m especially interested in masks. If I ever manage to make some I’m going to wear them all the time…

What are the main differences between drawing/painting a stand alone artwork and creating a piece for a comic?
Sequential art requires you to be more disciplined and determined to reach your goal. Finishing a comic page gives me greater pleasure. Knowing that I had worked methodically and succeeded to finish can’t compare to any single piece’s creating procedure, no matter how good it is or how hard I have worked on it.

'Towel Dipped in Blood' by Zombie Rust
Why did you choose to write a comic based on the members of the Manson Family?
I’ve always been interested in the case. There have been so many books about it, films, documentaries and I think I’ve seen and read most of them. I find it truly shocking how those incidents unfolded and one thing lead to another, ending up to people losing their lives.

Have you had any negative reactions to that decision?
Yes, but thankfully not much. I’ve been called a Manson fan, which I’m not. I don’t blame people for being upset over that, it’s a very delicate matter and I don’t expect everyone to understand my intentions. Glorifying crime is not one of them.

Excerpt from 'The Boogeyman's Real'
By Zombie Rust
In 'The Boogeyman's Real', the dialogue between the blind man and the pumpkin-headed figure is quite like the scene between the blind man and the Monster in 'The Bride of Frankenstein'. Was that intentional?
Yes it was. It’s a kind of an absurd tribute to one of my most favourite films. There will be more stuff like this in the comic.

'Halloween' by Zombie Rust
The pose in one frame of that scene looks similar to your digital work 'Halloween'. Are the ideas connected? Did you develop one from the other?
Yes and thanks for noticing that! I like the cliché character I created for this comic. Having the hermit in the place I had in the self portrait, caressing the so called Boogeyman, sort of symbolizes how I care about the character and how the story develops.

Will you be posting more of your comics online soon?
Hopefully. I’m kinda taking a short break to clear my mind for a while, but soon there’ll be more from the already in progress ones, as well as some new ideas I have developed and haven’t talked about publicly yet.

'The Black Album' has a very distinctive dark and sketchy look. Did you use this style on purpose, or was it something that developed by accident?
'Untitled' by Zombie Rust
Indian ink is such an amazing medium. Experimenting with it and a couple of certain brushes that I like only seemed like a good idea for the pieces I wanted to create. I like to see this Black Album style as my art stripped down to the core. So, it’s definitely on purpose.

If you weren't an artist, what would be your ideal job?
Tough call. I guess owning my own comic book store, or record store, or movie store or all-these-in-one store would be nice. No bosses, no problem kind of attitude. But in times when the economy sucks and less people care in buying physical products than downloading them illegally from the internet, this idea doesn’t seem so good.

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to become an artist?
No, I’m not the best of people to do that, I can barely advise myself.

When you're not busy creating, what do you do in your free time?
Reading, watching and listening to stuff, procrastinating, playing video games, quality time with Rouble.

Lastly, could you give a message to fans of your work?
No other than big thank yous to everyone who has supported my art so far in any way. I’m grateful for every single print or tee or whatever I have sold so far and for every little comment I ever had. I intend to get better by the time and feedback is always helpful.

For more information on his work, you can visit Zombie Rust's Website:

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Books & Reviews: Spooky Stories: A Haunting Collection of Ghostly Tales and Creepy Rhymes

'Spooky Stories' is a compilation book, produced by the writers Caroline Repchuk, Claire Keene, Geoff Cowan, Kat Wootton & Candy Wallace, and illustrated by Diana Catchpole, Robin Edmonds, Chris Forsey and Claire Mumford. It was originally released in 1999, but this edition was published by Parragon in 2002. It's comprised of approximately 250 pages, all of which are beautifully illustrated and patterned with fittingly cute, brightly coloured versions of bats, witches' cats, vampires, mummies, ghosts, werewolves and everything else in between that features in the stories and rhymes. 

Obviously, this is a children's book and so it is not going to be challenging reading for anyone over the age of 10. However, if you're a parent, of young children, who is tired of reading Dr. Seuss and Peppa Pig stories repeatedly, then this book is ideal. The poems range from half a page to two pages long, and the stories are mostly under 15 pages, making them a decent length for small children and their infamously short attention spans.

Although I always liked creepy children's tales when I was younger, it's worth mentioning that 'Spooky Stories' is not scary - or really even spooky - but is light-hearted fun with silly puns and terrible Halloween jokes running throughout, making it suitable for any age. Naturally, it is extremely corny with poems like 'Vampire Charms', about a creature of the night who accidentally gets a suntan, and 'The Monster Marching Band', which is about the eponymous band of creatures, but it is supposed to be thoroughly silly. 

Whilst it's not "spooky", 'Spooky Stories', will certainly entertain your little boils and ghouls for a Halloween or two.

For more photos and a complete list of stories and rhymes included, click the cut below↓

Monday, 25 July 2011

Art & Dolls: 'Dig Deep' Holy Death Assemblage by Ugly Shyla

'Dig Deep' by Ugly Shyla
'Dig Deep' is the darkly beautiful, hand-crafted death assemblage, designed and made by Ugly Shyla.
"TITLE: Dig DeepMEDIUM: Vintage gauze fabric fabric,ceramic,glaze and a wooden frame.COSTUME: A stained gauze.SIZE: 13 X 11 inches.NOTES: Assemblage is to be displayed hanging on a wall.The figure stands out a bit from the frame so it looks like she is almost floating out of the frame.Behind the Death figure's head it says "I am trapped in a hole I can't dig my way out of."Piece was partially inspired by Santa Muerte "

The absolutely gorgeous piece is now available on Etsy:

Whilst you're there, make sure to take a look at some of Ugly Shyla's other pieces too as there are many darkly beautiful items in her Etsy store.

Ugly Shyla's Website:

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Art & Comics: Zombie Rust

'Lucky Number Seven' by Zombie Rust

'Little Blood Red Riding Hood' by Zombie Rust
Specialising in horror-themed and morbid subject matters, Zombie Rust is an artist and creator of the comics 'The Boogeyman's Real', 'Towel Dipped In Blood' and 'Cannibal Feast'. As a self-taught artist Zombie Rust has developed a distinctive and impacting style that uses minimal, but striking, colours against backgrounds that are often monochrome or sepia. The heavy shading also makes Rust's works reminiscent of classic horror movies, with their hard lighting and grotesque shadows, which gives the pieces a wonderfully creepy feel. 

This style is particularly evident in 'The Black Album' section, where the images have been created entirely in black & white. Each stroke has a purposefully rough, sketchy quality to it and even if Rust were to depict a cute fluffy kitten with a teddy bear in this way, it would, no doubt, seem gloriously sinister.

'Untitled' by Zombie Rust, from 'The Black Album'

Though largely in black and white, Rust's comics also carry his distinguishing style. There are three in progess comics available for preview on his website; a somewhat non-fictional story about the Manson Family, 'Towel Dipped in Blood', 'Cannibal Feast', a tale of madness and survival, and 'The Boogeyman's Real', which features the pumpkin-headed "boogeyman" from some of Rust's other pieces.

'Certain as the Moon' by Zombie Rust
Rust describes himself as:
"The skull faced, empty eyed, icy handed, dressed in black figure, that soulless façade behind the weird name Zombie Rust is actually a raised by wolves human who came to be a self taught artist obsessed with records, movies, books and comics."

'The Monster' by Zombie Rust
'The Night He Came Home' by Zombie Rust
It is perhaps, then, somewhat unsurprising to learn that his website has a 'Fan Art' section, in which there are several excellent works featuring familiar faces from the world of shocks and scares; Michael Myers of Halloween, Ju-on's Kayako and both Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, to name but a few. In addition to horror legends, the fan arts also depict other stars of the screen like Clint Eastwood and Pam Grier, as well as musicians such as Alice Cooper and The Cramps. Rust's artistic style lends itself very well to such pieces and the portraits/scenes are recognisable and familiar, but equally unique.

'Toe Tag' by Zombie Rust
To see more of Zombie Rust's work and read his three comics, you can visit the sites below:

Many thanks to Zombie Rust for permission to use the images.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Games: Freddy's Mortal Kombat!

It was recently announced at Comic-Con that, in addition to Skarlet, Rain and Kenshi, the next downloadable character for Mortal Kombat will be none other than old razor fingers himself - Freddy Krueger! Or rather, "new" razor fingers, since it's the remake version that appears. 

Whilst it might seem a bit odd to insert him into the MK series, Warner Bros. own both the MK and 'Nightmare on Elm Street' franchises now, so it's not really that surprising. I have to say though, the other new face (Skarlet) was just as out of place, in the sense that she'd never officially appeared in the games or storyline before either. (Skarlet was said to have been created by a colour glitch of Kitana in MK II but didn't previously have a name or backstory.)

However, as with every playable character, Freddy comes with a back story, which fully explains his presence. Whether or not it agrees with the biography created within the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' movies is another matter entirely, but the films don't even seem to agree with each other anymore anyway.

Freddy's Mortal Kombat bio:
"A malevolent spirit of the Dream Realm, Freddy Krueger preys on the souls of the living as they sleep. When Shao Kahn began to steal Earthrealm's souls - souls Freddy considered his own - Freddy battled the emperor in the Dream Realm. But Shao Kahn's will was too strong. He pulled Freddy into the real world, where he was mortal, and defeated him. A badly injured yet determined Freddy fitted both his hands with demonically enhanced razor gloves. Once he has killed Shao Kahn he will find a way back to the Dream Realm, where he will torment Earthrealm's souls for eternity."

 Despite any inconsistencies and the fact that I'm not a huge fan of the be-hatted homicidal dream stalker in the first place, Freddy has his own moveset - including x-rays and fatalities - and, from the trailers it actually seems like he'll be quite entertaining to play as. Besides, he can't possibly be as annoying as Johnny Cage! 

The Freddy Krueger DLC is available from August 9th 2011, on PS3 and Xbox 360, for $4.99/£3.19/3.95 Euros  or 400 Microsoft points or as part of the "season pass" with the other 3 characters.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Events & Fundraising: 'Sponsored Scare' for Russell's Hall Children's Ward

About the Event & Team:
On November 12th 2011, 8 souls will brave a night in the infamous 'Station Hotel' in Dudley, UK, in order to raise funds for Russell's Hall Hospital children's ward. Long-time fan of all things dark and spooky, Becky Hill will lead the team, which consists of ghost hunt novices Lisa & Drew Watson, Carrie Mackenzie and Dudley-based company 'Teet Shirts' (who kindly donated the Sponsored Scare t-shirts) employees Amy, Tony, Gill & Gaz. The intrepid 8 will also be joined by spiritual medium Dave J Williams, who will provide them with guidance and use of professional ghost hunting equipment. Dave J Williams has previously worked with "Help For Heroes, Acorns Hospice, FMS and GBS charities, as well as fundraisers for more local based and private charities".

About the Location:
Station Hotel, Dudley, was initially built in the early 20th century and has a history of famous guests, including Bob Hope, Laurel and Hardy, Bing Crosby and George Formby. Although the original building was demolished, the newer, larger version stands on the same location and is still a beautiful working hotel. 

However, it hasn't all been glamorous at the Station Hotel and various grisly murders and suicides have occurred there over the years. These unsavoury events are said to be partly responsible for the reported paranormal activity, which is said to include poltergeists that shake the beds, move furniture and turn the lights off and on, as well as the spirits of murdered children that scream in the cellar and a girl that walks the halls. The location has gained a lot of attention over the years and previous investigators have included the Most Haunted team and BBC Radio Stoke. 

About the Cause:
Russell's Hall Hospital is part of the Dudley Group of Hospitals Charity. All funds from the event will be given to the hospital's children's ward and, depending on how much money is raised, used to "buy new medical equipment, provide specialist training for staff and improve patient comfort".

Get Involved:
You can get involved by spreading the word about the event, sponsoring the team, buying a "Sponsored Scare" t-shirt or if you work for a company, maybe you could even offer a service or product to help with promotions before the event or even something for the night of the ghost hunt.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Music: New Wednesday 13 album - Calling All Corpses

Scan from FuckYesWednesday13

Big news to all the Wednesday 13 fans out there!

Horror-themed band Wednesday 13 will be releasing a brand new album titled "Calling All Corpses"
The release date is due to October 11th in North America and October 10th overseas.
I'm SO thrilled by this, been wanting a new 13 album for ages!

And here's the tracklist!

‘Blood Fades To Black’ ‘I Wanna Be Cremated’
‘Ghoul Of My Dreams’
‘One Knife Stand’
‘Calling All Corpses’
‘Miss Morgue’
‘Silver Bullets’
‘Bad At Being Human’
‘London After Midnight’
‘Candle For The Devil’
‘We All Die’
‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’
‘Blood Fades To Black (Reprise)’

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Fashion: Kreepsville 666

The UK-based "scare wear" company Kreepsville 666 have recently made over and relaunched their website. Their products are still the ghoulishly fun, horror-influenced items they always were, but now the website is much easier to navigate and purchase from. It loads much quicker too! To check it out, click the picture below:

Interview: Joe Dragt

Joe Dragt, digital, 'Self Portrait'
Arizona based artist and designer, Joe Dragt, has recently attracted a lot of attention with his circuit board paintings series. However, with years of professional design experience, and a natural creative talent, his work is much more varied than that. Horror Shock Lolipop recently had the opportunity to interview Dragt about his creations, his beginning in art and much more...

- First of all, thank you for doing this interview.
Could you introduce yourself for people who aren't familiar with your work?

My name is Joe Dragt. I am an Arizona based professional graphic & web designer as well as an artist that works in several different mediums.Widely known for my on-going painted circuit board series.

- You've said before that you've been drawing since you "could pick up a crayon", but when did you first realise you wanted to be a professional artist/designer?

Very good question. Focusing on art really didn't come until recently. From an early age I knew that it's hard to make a living just being an artist and I needed to find an avenue to make a living. My fall back in life was going to be construction. My father is a master wood worker and owns his own construction company in Michigan. I knew that if I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life, that I would always have a spot working for my dad and that the company could eventually be mine sometime if that's what I wanted.

After working a few summers and some winters with him during high school, I knew that I would not like that as a career. I actually enjoyed it, but did not enjoy some of the harsh conditions such as hot humid summers or cold as hell winters. During my sophomore year of high school, I took a trip to Vo-Tech (extracurricular skill center giving high school credits and and college credits in some cases) and toured the commercial art class. I guess I would say that is exactly when I knew that this was going to be my career. 

Pastel, 'The Devil Inside You'
As for art, I dabbled a bit at a very young age. My earliest memory was when I got kicked out of church. My family growing up definitely wasn't very religious, which my grandmother on my fathers side did not like one
bit. She would bribe taking us to the fair or the circus if we went to church with them. It was around Halloween when I was about 8-10 years old when the last time I went to church. I was too young to attend regular service so I forced into the bible school. 

They gave me a coloring book featuring biblical characters. I was in the Halloween spirit when I started coloring in the little baby Jesus. However, being creative at such a young age, I decided to give the holly one a pitch fork, cape and tail. I was then dragged out by my ear and kicked out of church. I mean really...I was 8 years old, a kid, around Halloween time, get a grip...I was just being a kid. 

Later, around the fourth grade, I had a great teacher named Mr. Conklin who taught us about proportion and perspective and my interest started to peak even more in art. But my true inspiration for art came from Mr. Carey VanderVeen ( I had him for a teacher almost every year of high school. Its teachers like him that can really inspire someone, by making class fun and recognizing and rewarding talent and initiative (he allowed the students who tried or had talent/passion access to the loft and so I did not have to do the regular classroom courses...He recognized the students who wanted to do art, and
those who wanted the easy A). 

Charcoals, 'Salvador Dali'
Now let's fast forward, college, career, life in general etc, put off my art for several years. It wasn't until last year did I really start to get off my butt and start actively creating. It took me being drunk at an art bar in Phoenix (The Lost Leaf) one night and asking them what it took to be shown there. Their reply..."you got to be a kick ass artist". Being humble I wasn't sure if I was or not, I showed them my work, and before I knew it I had a month long showing there. That got me producing a lot more work. 

My friends who have nagged me for years to get back into helped with that too. At some point this year I told myself by the time I'm 40 (32 now), I want to be great; love me or hate me, I want to be a recognizable name nation wide in the world of art. That's when I started to super actively create and market far, it's going great!

- You've previously done portraits of the artists Salvador Dali and H.R. Giger; has their work influenced/inspired you? What/who else inspires you when you're creating something?

I really don't know what inspires me to be honest. Those two are some of my all-time favorite artists, and I don't think I really draw/paint in their style. Maybe a little bit of Dali when I get in a surrealism mood, and maybe Giger inspires my anatomical work, but I really don't think of them or reference them when I create.

- Many of your works have seemingly macabre themes and/or utilise anatomical drawings. Is there a reason for that, or is it purely an aesthetic choice?

Charcoals, 'Anatomy of a Schizophrenic'
Sure is a reason for that. All my life I have been a horror nut. Started off when I was at a very young age. Though we always had a house, food, fun, etc., I grew up kinda poor (No slam on my father, he's a great dad and has always done what it takes to provide for his family). My next door neighbor, Dotti I think her name was, was like a grandma to me. She had cable TV and we didn't. She would always invite me over to her place to watch Nightmare on Elm street, Night of Living Dead, Halloween, etc. We'd pop up some pop corn, turn the lights off, and get scared out of our was a blast....and yes my mother was ok with that, she is one of Stephen Kings biggest fans and almost has all of his books in hard back. 

I still love horror to this day...especially Rob Zombies latest movies. I also think just being an artist, we all have a dark side. Even the lovable Dr. Seuss had some pretty darn dark artwork, you should check it out sometime.

As far as anatomical stuff goes, and this will sound a little morbid, I would love to have access to a cadaver. I think it would be so awesome to study and draw what I saw, dissecting the layers. I have always been fascinated with the old anatomy color plates from the 1800's. Seeing that I definitely don't have access to one, and it's been done already, I enjoy putting twists on them, like the Heart on Your Sleeve piece or the Anatomy of a Schizophrenic.

- You have created artworks on items such as saws, circuit boards and vinyl records. How did you come up with the idea to paint on something other than a traditional canvas?

Oils on circuit board, 'Memory'
Saws have been done before by many artists and they all have some classic country scene painted on them (which I personally think is boring). I was at my neighbors house and they have a decent sized antique handsaw hanging on the wall  and the idea just hit me to do a "bone saw" series combining my interest for anatomical work and the neat look of the saw unframed hanging on the wall. I currently only have two done, with a third one in progress with many more to come, just needed a break from them (that's when the circuit board paintings kinda started). 

After painting on the saws, I found harder and smoother substrates are more enjoyable to paint on, easier to blend, don't absorb the paint, colors are more vivid, and drys a heck of a lot faster (I work with oils and they can take quite a while to dry). After that, I was trolling thrift stores looking for ordinary objects that could be painted on and made extraordinary. Saws and records have been done before, I don't think circuit boards have...if they have, they have not marketed themselves because I can't find anything on the net. Not only is it more fun, but it saves items from the landfill, and in this day in age, it saves to be green. To read more about my circuit board paintings, visit my website (

Oils on circuit board, 'Viral Worm'
- Do the features of these items (grooves of the records, raised areas of the circuit boards etc) make painting on them more difficult?

Absolutely, I have to paint a lot slower and in thinner layers. The grooves from the records caused me to have to paint the image twice essentially fore the first layer just filled in the grooves. Circuit boards go fairly easily until you get to the areas where the ram and video cards are soldered in; then I have to go really slowly and getting a straight line can be hard at times too.

- Do you use such items only as surfaces on which to paint art, or have you considered using a medium that would still allow them to be used for their original purposes as well?

Not really. I think some skate decks and snowboards would be fun, but for me, once it's turned into a piece of art, it needs to be displayed for others to enjoy.

- Are there any items that you havent yet painted on, which you think would make unusual and interesting surfaces/backdrops?

Maybe, but that is my secret. In the art world, you either need to have some good contacts, or an original idea to get on the map. I got on the map with my circuit boards, that is exactly how you guys found me. Before my circuit boards got a lot of press, I was only getting 5-10 unique visitors a day to my website, now I am getting 700+ a day. It is slowly dying down, so if I come up with another great idea, I want to do it before anyone else does to help keep myself in the public eye. 

However, I am starting to build a fan base, so hopefully they will keep me going strong, and I want to thank my fans, for without you, I am back to just painting for the heck of and overstocking my house with my own art. I would love for all my originals to be out of my house, so that I have room for my own collection from other artists.

- Do you always plan out your pieces, or do you sometimes change and develop them as you work?

Typically I have a pretty good idea in my head before I start working, every once in a while I will sit down and go 100% free style.

- Which medium (oil paint or digital painting for example) is your favourite to work with and why?

Oils on saw, ' Just Jack'
Tough question. Just like how my mood may change on what I create, so does the medium. I mainly only work with charcoals, pastels, and oil paints. Lately I have been on a big oil painting spurt. And if you go back through my archives by year, you can see how evident it is...all charcoal, then to pastels, then to oil. My next thing I am going to try working with is invisible UV black light paint. All the colors look white until under the black light, which means of course, I have to paint in black light, and I have to condition my mind a little differently, such as white paint is actually black when laid down using UV paint.

- When you work on a commercial project, is it hard to spend so much time on something, especially when you may not necessarily like the finished outcome?

That is something that I got over a long time ago. It was really tough at first. I would design a web site or a printed piece, show it to my friends or co-workers and they all love it! Then the client comes back and says they basically want it to look just like any other website out on the net and I took it could so many people love it and they hate it. You just have to remember that they are the client. A client can be like a child sometimes. A parent can give you all the best advice in the world, but does the child often take it? Typically no, they go against the advice and learn the hard way...but isn't that what life is about? Learning from your mistakes?

- How does website design differ from other art & design projects?

I hate it honestly. I really do not enjoy web work many items to contend with. With art and graphic design, what you see is what you get for the most part. In order to get that result with a website you have to make sure it looks good and works properly on a Mac, a PC, in Internet Explorer (which is the devil), Safari, Firefox, etc. And just when you have it locked down, they come out with a different browser version, whether better or worse than the previous, which you then have to go back and dig in the code and fix stuff. 

Now smart phones with internet are all over the I need to make sure it looks good on it, do I have to have a different "mobile" version of my website? Too much of a pain for me and it's not fun anymore. So if I agree to do a website for are either a really really good friend, or I desperately need the money.

- Are there any projects you would refuse to work on?

Besides websites lately, no. I would never refuse to work on logo design, but I really don't like doing it....You get a lot of "I know I want but don't know how to describe it" you waste a lot of time trying to figure out what they want when they give you no real direction and they ultimately don't know what  they want.

Pastels, 'The Monster Inside Me'
- What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the world of art & design?

Never quit, and keep going. The biggest mistake I made was taking several years off, or 6 months here or 6 months  there. I felt like I was constantly re-teaching myself techniques that I already was like taking two steps forward, one step back.

- Could you give a message to fans of your work?

Thanks! You guys rock! Sign up for my newsletter on my website (currently located on my circuit board page) to keep up-to-date with everything. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you will get at minimum a two day first crack at new originals, and occasionally discounts on older originals or on prints.

Pastels, 'Shhhh'

Many thanks to Joe Dragt.
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