Amazing Pumpkin Carvings from Villafane Studios!

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Villafane Studios was brought to life early this millenium, when sculptor Ray Villafane found that his unique talents were drawing attention all over the world.
Born in Queens, New York to Reinaldo Villafane and Virginia (Guzman) Villafane, he spent his childhood on Long Island and was raised alongside two sisters and one brother.
Ray graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1991. However, also having a passion for children, he elected for a career in teaching. From 1993 to 2006 Ray taught Art for students grade K-12 in Bellaire, Michigan. It was during his teaching tenure that Ray began “dabbling” in pumpkin sculpting, initially as projects with his students. After several custom-carved requests from students’ parents, Ray realized he was on to something with his pumpkins and started offering them to local hotels and restaurants. It became his fall hobby for several years.

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Ray’s hobby of pumpkin sculpting was brought to an entirely new level in 2007 when he was contacted by High Noon Entertainment and asked to participate in the Food Network’s Challenge Show, Outrageous Pumpkins. Ray competed as one of four professional pumpkin sculptors, impressed the judges enough to sweep all three rounds and was awarded the Grand Prize. Outrageous Pumpkins logged the highest ratings of any other Challenge episode, and a second invitation was extended to Ray in 2009. They wanted him to come back and defend his title in their Outrageous Pumpkins Challenge II. Ray defended his 2008 title and took home the 2010 Grand Prize from the Food Network’s Pumpkin Challenge II.

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Using only common clay carving tools to sculpt his pumpkins, Villafane explains his artistic method: “Not all pumpkins will look good and the most important thing about a pumpkin is its weight. You need to pick the meatiest pumpkin… I also like a pumpkin with character. One with nobly ridges is good, so that I can utilize that in the carving procedure, like with sculpting noses.”

The exposure of Ray’s style, talent and creativity amassed an all-new appreciation for pumpkin carving, and his artistic take on the traditional jack-o-lantern has granted him invitations from across the globe for VIP Galleries (Very Impressive Pumpkins). From the President’s quarters in the White House to Bermuda’s Sousa’s Gardens, Ray’s pumpkins have gathered a cult-like following.

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Ray has now partnered with illustrator Andy Bergholtz, a  well-respected designer and sculptor for Sideshow Collectibles. Together they have built a “Dream Team” of amazing artists with Trevor Grove, Chris Vierra, Alfred Parades and Patrick Burke, and are ready to take over the world!

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Take a look at the gallery below, and prepare to be blown away!
Keep up with the team at Villafane Studios on Faceboook and of course their official site for all the news and latest updates!

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Earlier this year, Ray and his team traveled to Ocean Park Hong Kong to create a unique display in time for Halloween! They flew between 350-400 pumpkins to Ocean Park (over a dozen of them ranging between 300-1,100 lbs) and had a team of sculptors working daily on the attraction.
Some remain there preserved in tanks, making it the largest display of pickled pumpkin sculptures ever produced!

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Great stuff!
Check out Ray’s appearance on Martha Stewart’s show from last year below, and be sure and visit the site for more amazing images and tools, tutorials, and even pumpkin vine arms and legs for sale to help you become the next master pumpkin sculptor!

Doomsday is coming. What are you going to wear?


The Dark Art Of Chet Zar

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220px-ChetZarHeadshotArtist Chet Zar has been making a name for himself through his incredible artwork for many years now. According to the biography on his website, Zar’s interest in the darker side of art began in the earliest stages of his life. A natural fascination with all things strange fostered within himself a deep connection to horror movies and dark imagery. He could relate to the feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation that they conveyed. These are themes which had permeated most of his childhood drawings and paintings and are reflected in his work to this day.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe combined interest in horror films and art eventually culminated into a career as a special effects make up artist, designer and sculptor for the motion picture industry, designing and creating creatures and make up effects effects for such films as, “The Ring”, “Hellboy I & II”, “Planet of the Apes” and the critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band Tool. Zar also embraced the digital side of special effects as well, utitlizing the computer to translate his dark vision with 3D animation for Tool’s live shows and subsequently releasing many of them on his own DVD of dark 3D animation, “Disturb the Normal”.

1383464_736676759691417_1357059210_nBut the many years spent dealing with all of the politics and artistic compromises of the film industry left Zar feeling creatively stagnant. At the beginning of 2000 (at the suggestion of horror author Clive Barker), he decided to go back to his roots and focus on his own original works and try his hand at fine art, specifically painting in oils. The result has been a renewed sense of purpose, artistic freedom and a clarity of vision that is evident in his darkly surreal (and often darkly humorous) paintings.

533017_10151501676450115_546109562_n Now, coming soon, a documentary about the life’s work of this unique artist entitled “I Like To Paint Monsters” will display his process for all of us to see! 1013466_10151717221730115_1129021508_n

According to the film’s synopsis :
This is your opportunity to take a journey into the mind and life of Chet Zar. Explore his origins, childhood experiences, and memories as well as the memories of his family members. Become acquainted with his thoughts, motivations, and reflections of the past as well as his projections of the future. Hear his philosophies on art, life, and culture. Delve into his experiences in the film industry, his transition from early special effects into the world of computer animation, and, ultimately, his evolution into the distinctive artist he is today.

See the trailer below!

The film looks like a must see, and you can stay up to date on the status of it here.
In the meantime, be sure and check out Chet Zar’s official page on Facebook, and please enjoy the following gallery of some of my personal favorites from this talented and prolific pioneer of dark art!

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The Unique Artwork Of Nathan Jackson!

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Australian artist Nathan Jackson is a talented guy I have been keeping my eye on for quite a while now. His work takes some of the coolest horror and cult film icons and reinterprets them in his own unique style.
I was lucky enough to have the chance for a brief chat with the artist recently, to find out what interests him and inspires his work.
Enjoy our conversation with Nathan Jackson!

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HH : Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Please tell the students of Horror Homework a little bit about yourself.

NJ : My name is Nathan Jackson. I am from Melbourne, Australia. I’m a pop culture junkie who just happens to make art in my spare time. I love film in particular. From a very early age, I’ve been obsessed with film and drawn towards the darker side of it. Some of my favorite filmmakers include Kubrick, Friedken, Raimi, Craven, De Palma, Cronenberg, Verhoeven, Romero, and Coppola. I’ve dabbled in art over the years: drawing, painting, and digital art, mostly.

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HH : How did you get your start in the art world?

NJ : At the beginning of 2012, my friend, artist Matty Taylor put me on to a Facebook page called “Ozcomics”, run by artist Darren Close.
Each week on the Ozcomics page, there would be a new subject introduced. The challenge would be to produce art based on that subject in a specific time frame. After a while, I found that making art was becoming my favorite way to spend my spare time.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to step it up and create my own art page on Facebook. Since then, I’ve been drawing all of the characters that I love from film and pop culture and putting them up for everyone to see. I’ve had a really great response so far. I’ve met a lot of like-minded and passionate artists and people. I’ve also had a few of my pieces shared by some of the subjects I’ve drawn which has been really cool, too. Earlier in the year, I did a portrait of one of my heroes, Clive Barker. I was very humbled to have him see it and share it with everyone.

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HH : You have a very distinct and recognizable style. Have you tried to make your art differently, or are you interested in cultivating your own style?

NJ : It’s not something that I really think about. Obviously, my comic influences have had a huge impact on my drawing style. Every artist wants their work to stand out and be seen as their own, so it’s a huge compliment when people comment on my “style.”

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HH : Speaking of comics, are you interested in doing comic book work?

NJ : I really love the idea of working in comics, I just don’t think that I’m ready yet. We have a really great comic community here in Melbourne. I know that when I decide to jump in, I’d have plenty of good support and advice. Comic artists that do sequential artwork have my utmost respect. It’s a daunting prospect for me. Comic art needs to be consistent, and at this early stage, I’m still experimenting with my process to find the best result, which is why I like focusing on one picture at a time. I’ve done a few practice layouts with material written by Elizabeth Howell, some of which I’ve posted on my Facebook page. She has got some great ideas for stories and is a fellow horror buff (who also admins the awesome Facebook page Horror, Metal, Punk and Stuff). So, if and when they do eventuate, you can expect a fair bit of blood, gore, and craziness.

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HH : Who are some of the artists that inspire you?

NJ : On the comic side of things, my biggest inspiration would have to be Frank Miller. His work on ‘Sin City’ has had a huge influence on my art. The art of Fiona Staples, artist for the ongoing comic series ‘Saga,’ has also had a big impact on me lately. I use similar processes for my pieces. I think I’ve learned a lot from her. Mostly, though, I’m inspired by all of the new work that I see on a daily basis from artists that I know personally and others that I’ve met through Ozcomics and the art community in general, some of which I’ve discovered through Horror Homework.
You’ve got such a great community of talented artists and passionate followers. It’s a real pleasure to be a part of it in some way.

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HH : You are very obviously inspired by many fictional characters. Who is your favorite character to draw?

NJ : My favorite to draw would have to be actor Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon from the television series, The Walking Dead. I like drawing faces with lots of character. If anyone has that, it’s Rooker, especially now with age. All of his character lines make him really fun to draw. He is such a badass! One of my favorite pieces so far was the “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer/The Walking Dead” mash-up from last year. It was awesome to have him share it on all of his social media pages, too.

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HH : Do you have a favorite horror film?

NJ : It is tough to single out one horror film over them all, but if I had to choose, it would probably be ‘The Shining.’ It really does represent everything that I love about horror and film in general. It’s a feast for the senses. Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite filmmakers and he is at the height of his power with this film. Of course, Jack Nicholson’s unhinged performance is just mesmerizing. I get something new out of it with each viewing. The blu-ray transfer of this film is absolutely stunning, too. It’s like watching it in a whole new light. I highly recommend the HD upgrade. Honorable mentions go to Romero’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘The Exorcist’ for missing out on the top spot by a whisker.

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HH : What kind of music do you listen to while you create your work?

NJ : Well, I’ve always been drawn to extremes in entertainment. Music is no different. I love heavy music. High in my rotation at the moment are the latest albums from Pig Destroyer, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cult of Luna, Cattle Decapitation, The Acacia Strain, Fit for an Autopsy, Arsonists Get All the Girls… I could go on. Brutal music is soothing for the soul. It helps me relax. I’ll also listen to film soundtracks. The latest one that I’ve been obsessed with is Cliff Martinez’s score for ‘Only God Forgives,’ which is also my favorite film of the year so far. It’s dark and atmospheric, perfect for creating art.

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HH : Where would you like to see your work take you in the future?

NJ : Honestly, I have no idea. I’m just really enjoying making art at the moment. I feel like I’m improving all of the time. Having the great response from everyone just makes me more determined to keep at it. I’ll go with flow and see what opportunities present themselves. Making a living from art is something that every artist wishes for, but the reality of that is quite difficult. I do it for the love it. I don’t rely on it to pay any bills, so there is no pressure. Comic books, pin-ups, t-shirt design, and concept art are all possible avenues for me to explore in the future.

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Big thanks to Nathan Jackson for taking the time to talk to us. Be sure and stay tuned to his Facebook page for consistently new and impressive work from this talented and prolific artist!

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“It’s Alive!”, a collection of re-imagined Frankenstein busts.

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This is old news but I just discovered this awesome project from 2011 called “It’s Alive”. This was arranged to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the release of James Whale and Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein.
Eighty different artists were
invited to paint, transform, re-configure and re-imagine a bust of Karloff as The Monster. All proceeds from sales of these unique busts went to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, an organization devoted to cures, treatment, means of prevention and outstanding patient care for children suffering from pediatric catastrophic diseases.
As a huge Frankenstein fan, I am sorry that I missed this original show in Orlando in November 2011, but the images still exist and I have decided to bring you a gallery of my favorite ones!
Check them out below, followed by a sneak preview of the 2014 project, which may prove to be just as interesting!
Enjoy!

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Robert Cametti Frankenstein Heads art project for St. Jude's Charity
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Robert Cametti Frankenstein Heads art project for St. Jude's Charity
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Robert Cametti Frankenstein Heads art project for St. Jude's Charity
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Well, a few years have passed now, and teasers for the 2014 project are popping up, like the video embedded below!
Stay tuned to the official website and the “It’s Alive!” Facebook page for more news and updates!

 

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Awesome artist Lee Howard and his “Quiet Room Bears”!

581049_319168734833386_212709402_nHi everyone!
I recently had a chance for a quick conversation with artist Lee Howard, looking for a little insight into his twisted mind. He is a self-taught freelance artist who gladly takes commissions and would love to create something specifically for you!
Aside from being a very talented painter, he has created a whole line of custom horror-inspired teddy bears called “The Quiet Room Bears”, which are incredible.
In fact, he has been hard at work on five brand new Quiet Room Bears inspired by Hellraiser, which will be unveiled exclusively on Horror Homework at the end of this post!
But first, let’s take a look at some of my personal favorites below, and try to get inside the mind of this gleefully deranged artist!

6272_544427362285837_791467471_n1148798_557823877612852_1855480981_n317451_510154915713082_683651522_n1004830_557823874279519_1908807672_n1148804_557829454278961_966038134_nHH : Your art seems greatly inspired by the slasher films of the 80s. Who was your favorite horror icon growing up?

Lee Howard : I LOVE 80’s horror and was essentially raised on it. But for me, I will ALWAYS be a Freddy fan above all. When I was 10, I saw Nightmare 2 for the first time & was absolutely hooked from then on. Freddy obsessed, really. And the amazing thing is, I am now good friends with Mark Patton who played Jesse in Nightmare 2, and he loved the Quiet Room Bears & really helped me out with pimping the Bears out (he also owns 2 of them) & a few years ago, I actually got to sit with him at his booth at the Rock and Shock horror convention in Worcester, Mass and bring the Quiet Room Bears with me – that was their 1st big public appearance, and it’s been soaring since then! mark is the nicest and coolest dude ever.

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943477_605741126105734_1050311358_nHH : What do you prefer, painting horror icons or creating your unique line of bears?

Lee Howard : Honestly, it’s a 50/50 split. I love painting and making the Quiet Room Bears equally. Painting takes less time (some of the Bears can take at least a week to make), which is nice, but they’re both so fun to do, I couldn’t choose between them.

296897_405126192882622_1086637270_n547699_649787035034476_520825834_n426642_411607125567862_665829247_n300726_263737576972759_6305362_nHH : What was the inspiration behind your line of Quiet Room Bears?

Lee Howard : The original Quiet Room bear I made was about 12 years ago & I had made it for a contest that a Halloween party I was going to was having. It was ‘Rosemary’s Baby Shower’ & whoever brought the best gift for ‘the baby’ would win a prize, so I figured ‘every baby needs a teddy bear, so the son of Satan needs a TERRIFYING teddy bear’ and made it. It went over so well that I decided to make more of them, but to make them all one of a kind each time. I then came up with a whole back story on what they are and where they come from, named them ‘Quiet Room Bears’ (inspired by the ‘quiet room’ in the institution from Nightmare on Elm Street 3), and instead of ‘names’, I individually numbered all the bears, which are their ‘session numbers’, as the inmates in the institution where they are made take teddy bears and toys into the Quiet Room, and the room itself instructs them to tear themselves up and combines their flesh, blood and their actual madness into these little horrible creations, which will end up driving the new owners mad. The Brad Anderson film Session 9 was also a big influence.

62707_160538243959360_4777749_n169082_197303426949508_2750637_n196223_546831915329989_1713296031_nHH : Are they durable enough to be handled and played with, or are they just for display?

Lee Howard : They are actually pretty durable! While they really are better off as display pieces, in the 12 years or so I have been making them, I have never had anyone complain that something has broken or fallen off or anything, so I definitely encourage people to pick them up and have fun with them!

430724_360738050606044_2144170986_n429537_381577775188738_315298993_n427434_404175939644314_1709623128_nHH : Before we unveil your newest bears, where should I direct people interested in purchasing your one-of-a-kind creations?

Lee Howard : You can buy the Bears through my website (which is currently down for the time being, but will be up and running super soon!) but when you visit the store, the site directs you to my etsy page (which also has a lot of the prints I make of my paintings!), which is etsy.com/shop/quietroombear
Also, be sure and stop by his Facebook pages Art by Lee Howard and The Quiet Room Bears by Lee Howard to stay in the loop for future projects and cool updates!

So there you have it, everything you ever wanted to know about the Quiet Room Bears!
Now, without further ado, Mr. Howard has graciously agreed to debut his new Hellraiser-inspired bears for a first look right here right now!
These will be available on Ebay beginning Sunday night for a 5 day auction and he will be doing one per week, to make sure everyone sees all the Bears first so they will know which one they want to get their hands on.
Which one do you want?

 

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Great Halloween Costumes for the whole family.


The fantastic artwork of Gris Grimly

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Enigmatic artist Gris Grimly was born somewhere in the Midwest in an undisclosed year.
He has paved his own path as an illustrator, author, painter, storyteller, filmmaker and overall Mad Creator. He credits Jon J Muth as the sole reason he took up watercolor, saying :
When I was young, I saw a copy of Moonshadow and wanted to do art like that. My work looks nothing like it, but that is why I went in that direction.
He describes his interests as consisting of “things with a dark underbelly, witty humor and cobwebs, a time period when men wore hats and women wore dresses, Victorian mansions with unexplored nooks and crannies, old Halloween artwork and ornaments, Americana, vast stretches of mysterious country, starlight mints, black licorice, tweed jackets with patches, horror movies, old carnivals and sideshows, freaks, monsters, oddities, taxidermy, antiques, tattoos, whiskey, and a good Reuben on Rye.”

After moving to Los Angeles, he created a series of books which had the look and appeal of children’s books, but the dark and twisted style only he could create. These books are now extremely rare and valuable.

He started Mad Creator Productions in 1998, and has been working in the world of professional publishing since 2000. His work has been seen in many varied venues, and used to used to recreate classics such as Edgar Allan Poe, Pinocchio, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as well as to invent characters in his Wicked Nursery Rhymes series and Little Jordan Ray’s Muddy Spud.

“Disturbing is beauty to the eyes of fiends…”

Zombie Affection

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Broken Ballerina

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La Familia

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005dcd2fbf44b9f9f7f108f203ea5d85-d51kbdo82d613d31f11f74f8d6ade790b606a57-d5q6gyodark_and_stormy_night_2011_by_grisgrimly-d51kamvlifeless maggotno_paradise_for_the_damned_by_grisgrimly-d51k8lftumblr_mgv8e9fSpL1qkdb10o1_50016c9b1f9fd2b120d20278429bde1d5f5-d517etxcircle of loveBeginning in 2005, Mr. Grimly began his career as a film-maker when he wrote, directed and produced his first short film, “Cannibal Flesh Riot!”
The 35-minute short was comprised of mostly live action segments with some stop-motion animation, and was very well-received at film festivals and conventions, and has led to further directing projects including “Wounded Embark Of The Lovesick Mind” (currently in post-production) and “The House That Dripped Blood” (currently in development).

Cannibal Flesh Riot is described as “a cinematic representation of rock and roll, EC horror comics, drunken philosophy and a barnyard ho down.” It can be found for sale on Amazon by clicking this link, and the trailer is embedded below.

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He has many books available, including “Sipping Spiders Through A Straw”, and “The Dangerous Alphabet” (with the great Neil Gaiman)!

 

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Along with his earlier endeavors such as the aforementioned Poe books, his own Wicked Nursery Rhymes, and his unique take on Frankenstein!

frankenstein_by_grisgrimly-d6fuky3You can keep up with this incredibly busy and prolific artist at his own official website, as well as Facebook and Twitter where he keeps you in the know about all upcoming projects!
It has recently been announced that he will be appearing at Comikaze in Los Angeles November 1 – 3, 2013! I am going to have to try to get to that, for sure…
I hope you guys enjoyed this quick look at one of the coolest artists out there.
Later, freaks.

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Great Halloween Costumes for the whole family.


Artist Interview: Amanda Palmer!

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I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda Palmer about a month and a half ago. The 27 year old artist’s piece “Gentleman Wolf” was featured on Horror Homework’s facebook page and garnered a lot of interest.
O_AmandaPalmer Amanda has a Bachelor’s Degree with a dual major in Art History and Anthropology. She is based out of Reno, Nevada and has been artistically inclined for as long as she can remember. When I first met her and she mentioned she was an artist. Naturally I insisted on seeing her work, but when she invited me over and I saw what she was capable of I was left in utter and complete shock. I’ve had talented friends in the past, and even fancied myself to be a pretty decent drawer, but the amount of detail and the level of depth she manages to achieve in her work is indescribable.

Her preferred art mediums for drawing are with charcoal, pen and ink, colored pencil and pastels and acrylic and oils with painting. Her skills aren’t just limited to paper and canvas though, on one of our weekly visits she brought me a sculpted cow skull and I could hardly believe she’d made it using just her hands and a toothpick. I was excited to do an interview with her and thrilled when she agreed!

HH: Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with us! First there’s the obligatory, “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

AP: You’re welcome, and it would have to be The Shining. Berlioz’s 5 Movement of his Symphonie Fantastique playing in the title credits, along with the atmospheric simplicity of the heartbeat, sound, and visuals perfectly in sync during the room 237 scene is cinematic mastery.

Nothing else rivals it.

HH: Clearly good taste isn’t just limited to your artwork, The Shining holds a place in the heart of every Horror fan. It’s one of my all time favorites as well. Speaking of favorites, who is your favorite Artist?

AP: I’ve got a lot of favorites, so if it’s okay I’ll go with my top two. Francis Bacon and HR Giger. The themes and psychological intensity of their work never cease to fascinate me. Though there are stylistic differences between us, I think we each march to the same beat.

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The Wall Amanda Palmer

HH: Francis Bacon, now that’s a name I haven’t heard since my Core Humanities course haha. He was a figurative painter I believe. HR Giger is a name well known in the horror community with his work on the Alien franchise. I definitely think you two march to the same beat, stylistically I see a lot of similarities in both of your artwork. How would you describe your artistic style?

AP: Dark. I don’t really do “fluffy” art. Unless it involves things like mutilated rabbits. Imagine if I tried to do still life. No, really; go ahead, because that’s what I’m currently working on.

HH: Mutilated Rabbits Huh? Sounds like something I’d enjoy! Well I’m sure there are a lot of excited people who can’t wait to see your still life. I’m convinced you can draw anything. Since you mentioned your style is dark, what draws you towards the macabre in a lot of your artwork?

AP: I think life is dark. We are fleeting creatures that can imagine immortality, yet don’t possess it. This creates a paradox, a conflict, which in turn creates suffering. The act of living, of drawing breath involves confronting our mortality on a daily basis. One day we will be no more.

We have an expiration date. Our hearts will cease to beat. And then what? Death. The great Nothing or Something. Is it transformation? Is it an end line drawn on a white page? It’s this unknown, along with the other unknowns it produces to influence our lives and our nature that

feature largely in my work.

HH: That’s interesting. A lot of pop culture has a tendency to focus on immortality. Whether it’s the vampire craze that’s swept the nation or even the concept of zombies and the undead. We’re all seeking a way to cheat death and avoid the final curtain. I’ve always found death and darkness beautiful and I think it’s It’s wonderful you’ve found a way to incorporate it seamlessly into your work. Onto the piece that Horror Homework featured on Facebook, “Gentleman Wolf” seems to be a favorite among your followers, and quite honestly it’s definitely one of mine! What was the inspiration for that piece?

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Gentleman Wolf Amanda Palmer

AP: I’ve got a degree in anthropology, and have always been attracted to folklore and mythology. While werewolf myth does come into this piece, I didn’t set out to make one when I initially created it. With trends toward werewolves, vampires, zombies, etc., in popular culture, it’s easy to see how people’s perceptions would immediately ascribe it to that genre, and I certainly don’t mind.

Yet I didn’t do this seeking to ride the riptides of the Stephanie Meyer crowd. As much as I love horror and all of the figures that feature in the horror cannon, this is really about rape culture. If you look beneath most of the Grimm fairy tales involving wolves, in particular Red Riding Hood, there is the wolf in the role of the trickster, or male predator. Charming though he may be, never forget he is out to steal your fruit.

He represents temptation, and coercion, and at last force. Werewolf mythology is great, and plays its hand in this because it unearths the inner conflict in our social selves that are held together under the veneer of control and civility and morality, versus our inner beast and all that it wants. I think most cultures, dating as far back as ancient times, and clearly evident in our own, are extremely ambivalent about rape. On one hand we vilify it, on the other we accept it as something almost inevitable, and even seem to embrace it as desirous.

HH: Wow, it’s always interesting to hear an artist explain their piece. Seeing it and interpreting it on your own is one thing, but seeing it through the eyes of the artist as they were creating it brings a whole new meaning to the piece. You seem to enjoy Gentleman Wolf, but I’m curious as to what your favorite piece was to draw?

AP: Each piece of art you make is like a child. You love it, but your sweat, blood, and tears go into “raising” it. All are my favorites, though the most recent are usually the most coddled. I find this to be the case only because I see my artistic growth with each new piece that I do.

Evolution is important.

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Quetzafel Amanda Palmer

HH: Absolutely! I know you’ve recently been doing commissions, what would be your dream commission?

AP: Most artists usually have a hard time with commissions because the seed of inspiration doesn’t start out coming from them. Since this is a “dream” commission, I would want my fans to request prints of the works I already make.

HH: I’m sure that won’t be a problem for you at all. I’d love to decorate my house with some of your pieces. So as an up and coming Artist, what advice do you have for others trying to do the same?

AP: Never give up.

Don’t let people tell you that you won’t make it, that you’ll starve. That’s bull. I believe if you dedicate 100% of yourself to an action, you will operate at 100% capacity, therefore making it very difficult not to achieve your goal. Surround yourself with positive people, people that are working toward similar pursuits who will be interested in what you do, and will help build you up rather than break you down.

Also, you have to want it. You need to want it bad enough to actually commit to doing the work. It’s not going to land in your lap. There will be steps forward and steps backward. Expect it. Even those who “make it” always have to maintain, to adapt or die.

Diversify. If you need to work part-time or full-time at a day job to make ends meet while polishing your art business, do it.

Don’t be afraid to take business classes and use your left brain. This is critical for creatives. So much of art is marketing and catching the eyes of the right people. You need to have a strategy. It’s essential to have good content, niche, and to know who your audience is.

HH: What are your plans for the future of Amanda Palmer Art?

AP: To continue using the advice I just gave and applying it to my own life. I want to make this my job. I want to be a full-time studio artist and writer. Yes, I’m also a writer. I’m currently working on a young-adultish horror novel. Art is what I do. But I can’t do it alone. I need help. I

need to connect with passionate people. If you’re reading this, I’d like you to be one of them.

I’d love to have your support.

HH: Thank you very much Amanda, please keep in touch with us and let us know when Prints become available and when your novel is ready for reading!

If you’d like to keep updated with Amanda Palmer you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and DeviantArt!

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O Amanda Palmer Closeup

 




Great Halloween Costumes for the whole family.


Getting to know horror artist Nathan Thomas Milliner!

581049_319168734833386_212709402_nThe Art of Nathan Thomas Milliner is easily recognizable to many horror fans. He is an incredibly prolific illustrator, writer and film-maker whose work appears everywhere a horror fan might look.

Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Mr. Milliner has earned a respected place in the inner circle of horror art, and is consistently producing outstanding new artwork for various comics, films, and horror conventions.

I have been a fan of his work for many years now, and was very excited when he agreed to answer a few questions for us at Horror Homework. His love for the horror genre is authentic and well-earned, and he has a lot to say about it!
Please enjoy the Horror Homework interview with Nathan Thomas Milliner!

4988_1158190801157_5621336_nHH : Thanks for chatting with us! First off, who is your favorite horror character to draw?

NTM : That is actually sort of hard to answer. Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger are my favorite but in recent years, I have actually started to really enjoy drawing Jason Voorhees. Perhaps it has something to do with the enthusiasm of his fans. Jason fans are arguably the most intense in horror.

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HH : What is your favorite Slasher film series?

NTM : Definitely the Nightmare on Elm Street series.
It was the Nightmare movies that got me into horror. Horror had always peaked my interest but it wasn’t until 1988 at the age of 12 that I asked my mom if I could watch a double feature of Freddy’s Revenge and Dream Warriors.
I fell in love. I started drawing Freddy all of the time. I couldn’t believe when I was paid to draw Freddy professionally a few years ago. It was full circle. Meeting Robert Englund a few years back was an emotional experience. This man gave me a direction in life. I do what I do today because of these films.
While The Nightmare series was just a new slasher in a flooded market of slashers at the time–the Nightmare movies to me were the best because they were so original and they shouldn’t have worked.
A killer who speaks? And wears a red and green sweater?
But it was brilliant.
A killer you cannot run from. A killer who knows your inner most fears and exploits them. A killer who wasn’t a tragic victim looking for vengeance. A killer who mutilated himself in front of you to let you know you could not hurt him. A killer who could do pretty much anything he wanted. And a killer who didn’t just pick up a weapon. He MADE his weapon.
In my book, next to the lightsaber, Freddy’s glove is the greatest movie weapon of all-time.

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HH : Was there ever a job you landed that you “fan-boyed” over?

NTM : The best answer to that one would definitely be doing the cover art for “Halloween 2″ for Scream Factory‘s blu ray release.
My whole life I had been a film fanatic and dreamed of providing artwork for my favorite films, officially. Illustration was no longer the norm in cinema so I figured it would never happen. Then Scream called me up offering me “Terror Train.” I was never a big fan of the film but I was excited about getting to do a REAL blu ray cover.
Then they called me back and told me they were putting me on Halloween 2 and 3. I was doing cartwheels on the phone! Seriously?! I get to do a cover for Halloween 2?! I get to draw Michael Myers, Laurie Strode and Dr. Loomis?!!
I still think that is probably my most honored gig. Definitely fanboyed out.

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HH : Do you have a favorite horror actor?

NTM : Vincent Price.
No one like him. My belief is that Vincent was the last true horror icon. People may argue that Bruce Campbell or Robert Englund are true horror icons but no.
The mainstream public does not know who Campbell or Englund are. And Bruce and Robert are really only known as Freddy Krueger and Ash. But Vincent Price was always “VINCENT PRICE”. His name was known by the public as the “horror” actor. His name sold the movie and he was known for playing MANY great horror characters. Like Chaney or Karloff were before him.
The actor was bigger than the movies.

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HH : How about a favorite monster movie?

NTM : Gotta go with PREDATOR.
It’s sort of on the borderline of Science Fiction and Horror but those two genres always walk that line and compliment each other. People will debate if Alien was horror or science fiction despite Alien being one of the scariest movies ever made. Alien is scarier than thousands of horror movies I’ve seen combined.
I will just never forget the first time I saw Predator. It had just hit VHS, I was 12, and my friend’s babysitter rented it and brought it over. We were all three sitting on his bunk bed in the dark watching. Despite the hot blonde teenager sitting behind us, the movie totally held me in awe. Every minute was so intense and just awesome. It had such a great cast that was well balanced. Each guy could have been the main star it was so well balanced. It was just a great flick. And the hiding of the predator. You wanted to see the damn thing. When you finally did see it, you were wowed.
Then there was more–because the damn thing removed his helmet and another WOW. Predator is in my top 10 movies of all-time. And if we call it horror, then I guess it is actually my #1 favorite horror movie ever.

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HH : Do you have a favorite “death scene” from a horror film?

NTM : Tina Grey in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
It is such a disturbing and haunting scene. Hearing Rod calling her name from the corner of the room as she screams, being ripped open by an invisible Freddy, dragged up the wall and ceiling then dropped down onto the blood a bloody mess. It was just an amazing sequence and highly impressive for 1984.
Even if you hate these films, you have to give that scene some props.

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HH : Recently, you have been writing and illustrating your own comic books.
One was a comedy called “A Bloody Pulp”, set in a fictional time period and the main three leads were an Old West gunslinger, a 1940s private eye and a 1950s greaser.
How did you feel about writing a comedy (albeit a bloody one) as compared to the darker stuff you usually do?

NTM : I adore comedy. It really is my favorite genre. All of my comics and screenplays had always been very dark and depressing. discography~~element88In college I did write a comedy film but it never went anywhere. In 2008 I was happy to not only write but perform on a sketch comedy series called “The Necroville Picture Show”. That was so much fun. I miss that very much. When I upstarted my publishing company, Rebel Rouser Comics in 2010 I decided to write a comedy comic and it was also a lot of fun. Comedy allows you to be less restricted and silly. You can do anything really. It was really freeing. But the only drawback is that my serious work is much more important to me and means more. Comedy is fun, but in my other work, I actually had something to say.

HH : Where can your comics be purchased?

NTM : I am kind of computer illiterate and so busy I just haven’t had time to work out the online store thing. I need to hire someone to run it or start it up for me. My comics don’t sell much and I am actually currently out of stock on most of them. My printer of 7 years just went out of business so I would have to resubmit all of my files to my new printer who I JUST started using for the Monsters and Madmen series.
For now, I still just have my e-mail address and anyone who wants to order something can just shoot me a message and we will work it out from there. I just use paypal. Usually, no one wants the books.
They usually want the prints. That was always funny to me. I would have no problem selling a single print for $10 that had ONE of my drawings. But a $4 comic book with 200 drawings and a storyline…can’t give ‘em away.

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HH : Speaking of the fascinating “Monsters and Madmen” series, how did this idea come about?

NTM :  I was first noticed in horror was when I started drawing for HorrorHound Magazine, and in the horror commercial world 9 times out of 10 you are asked to recreate images from popular films. Usually recreating stills or production photos.
Sometimes you can spice it up by adding interesting compositions and layouts but in the end you are essentially limited to what can be done as you are expected to draw the actor in the costume from said film.
When I started doing the con circuits I noticed that 8 out of 10 artists selling prints at cons were selling what is called “fan art.” Drawings or painting of Freddy, Jason, Dracula, Wolfman, etc. Most of them were just recreations of movie stills.
Now there is nothing wrong with that but after awhile you realize that everyone is drawing the same damn pictures over and over. A little boring. But there is always one or two artists who are selling original art. Original visions and creations that only exist in their own head. In their art. I wanted to somehow bring those two things together.
Why not take these beloved and classic characters from literature, cinema, folklore and even the newspaper headlines and create original, unrestricted, creative images based on and inspired by them?
My own versions of the vampire, the slasher, the serial killer. I have no need to stick to any pre-existing design. No likenesses need to be captured. I can do whatever I want. I don’t have to stick to any guidelines yet the fans understand WHO they are even if they don’t look like the actors and such they were influenced by.
So I called this series Monsters and Madmen and it was my way of doing something other than fanart that was freeing. I ended up collecting the first 20 into an artbook that was very successful. The most successful book I ever produced for sure.
Screenwriter Victor Miller, the father of Pamela and Jason Voorhees told me I was his favorite artist at a con so I asked if he would do me the pleasure of writing an introduction to the first book. He immediately agreed to. So in return I did a piece inspired by Pamela and Jason for him in the book.
Keeping with that theme, the next volume, set to hit next month will feature an intro by screenwriter David Stieve who wrote Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. Unfortunately I am so booked most of the time that these drawings come in little spurts. Done in my free time. But I do plan on at least releasing a third one which I already have another horror icon writing the intro to it as well.

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HH : Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming directorial film debut “A Wish For The Dead”?

NTM : A Wish for the Dead was written back in 2002.
I was working with a group called Feral Comix and three of us were big horror buffs and they got the idea to do a horror anthology comic called SPLATTER. The first book was going to be an homage to Romero’s dead trilogy. At that time, there were only the original three films. This was before the flooding of zombie films and such and even then I felt everything had been done with zombies.
So I tried to come up with something different. What popped in my head was one of the scariest concepts I remember seeing in a film. In the 1972 film version of Tales from the Crypt there was a story based on The Monkey’s Paw in which a woman damns her husband to eternal life and suffering when she wishes he would never die. It made me think about how we look at death–which is really what horror is. Many of us fear death but then some of us look at death as a good thing. The Faithful believe they go to a better place. Some feel in certain circumstances, death is a blessing–a release from suffering. If someone is slowly dying from a disease, death is something we may WANT. In so many ways, the world and mankind needs death.
So I wrote this 8-page short called “A Wish for the Dead”. The other guys never finished their stories so the SPLATTER book never happened. A few years later they wanted to do it again but this time I planned on doing a graphic novella inside based on a short film I had written called “Girl Number Three.” They once again didn’t get their stories done so I published GN3 and Wish together in 2007.
A local filmmaker read GN3 and loved it and asked for the rights. He had me write the script and he directed the film. There had been talk of one day doing Wish as well as he loved the story. Even Jack Ketchum had told me he’d love to see Wish made into a film as he preferred it over GN3.
I knew whatever I did after GN3 had to be as good if not better, as GN3 received positive feedback. At a con the director and I sat watching a short film and I turned to him and said, “I want to direct a Wish for the Dead.” He shook my hand and said, “Let’s do it.”
It was supposed to be a short film like the comic but I started coming up with a bunch of great new ideas and he did as well. Before we knew it, I was directing a feature film version of my comic. The movie is sort of an anthology-drama that deals with death and loss. It is a very personal story for me.
The central storyline is about a young husband losing his wife to cancer who is desperate to save her life. Several other people are connected to him and what he does. It’s a zombie movie but not really. The zombies are only in it for maybe 10 minutes.
I am excited as well as scared for people to see it. Zombie fans are very stubborn and these zombies aren’t traditional. I never want to do things the standard way. GN3 turned the slasher genre on it’s ear. A Wish for the Dead needed to be unlike any other zombie film you’ve seen. Otherwise I wouldn’t have made it.
The last thing the world needs right now is another freaking zombie movie. But Wish is worth a look. We hope to have it out in October. It is currently being scored with some audio work as well. We hope to have a trailer out soon.

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HH : You are one of the hardest working horror artists in the business. Where do you see your career in five years?

NTM : I’m way too busy enjoying now.
I don’t take anything for granted. In art, you are hot or you are cold. Right now I have some heat (in a good way) and I am mindful enough to realize that THIS MAY BE IT. I think back to some of the artists I loved growing up and many of them are known for a few pieces and then they were forgotten or nothing else they ever did was as recognized as those special pieces.
I kind of realize that perhaps my current work with Scream! could possibly be MY MOMENT so I just try to enjoy each new job as if it were my first or last. I see a lot of artists who get bored with their work, no matter how exciting it is. When it becomes common, they forget how special it is. Not me. I embrace and love every piece I get to work on. I just hope things keep going forward and maybe I can look back in five years and be very proud of what I have done and say that I got to work with some heroes.

HH : Would you like to direct more films?

NTM : I don’t plan to but I think I will get the itch.
Film is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work and you have to be patient. I am used to doing everything on my own and depending on others has never been good for me. I get real impatient and it is hard for me to let anything sit without getting finished. I think if I do another film, it will be outside of the horror genre.
I want to make a crime film. Ultimately I want to make a film or series based on my comic The Malevolent, which is still my personal favorite thing I have ever done that I created. Very proud of that book.

malevolentvolume1coverHH : Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! A few nights ago on our Facebook page we had a heated discussion about the “definition of horror”.
I personally think that there is no such thing, as everyone has different views of what is horrific, and it is generally very specific to individuals and their own life experiences and world-view. Do you believe there is a “definition of horror”?
If so, what is yours?

NTM : My definition of horror is basically the same as all storytelling.
To me, nearly every work of fiction is a horror story in some way. Most stories have a conflict and the conflict usually is a life threatening conflict.
Horror comes from fear. Fear of death most of the time. Well we see death and risk of death in nearly every story. Early man would tell the story of a hero facing a bear or some kind of beast and conquering it. I don’t know about you but fighting a bear is a pretty scary notion to me. It is all relative.
So there is no real definition of “horror.”
There is no “true horror.” Horror comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. What scares us? Well, some people are afraid of Ronald McDonald.

189822_1941552824718_7675193_nThanks again to Nathan Thomas Milliner for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us!
It was a real pleasure having this insightful conversation with a down-to-earth horror fan who is essentially not much different than the rest of us (other than his staggering talent).
You can find more of his awesome artwork to drool over and purchase at his official website and art page on Facebook.
Be sure that you will be hearing the name Nathan Thomas Milliner in the future!
I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Below is a brand new sculpt by artist Sam McCain, based on the original concept art by Mr. Milliner. It has been re-titled “Walking Death” and can be found for sale as a mask or bust here.

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Costume Craze: What will you be for Halloween?


Beautiful Rockabilly Horror Art from Marcus Jones aka Screaming Demons

933911_10151443621741344_1309589823_nMarcus Jones is an independent artist, who describes what he does as “lowbrow” art. His work is full of zombified pin-ups, tattooed horror icons, and other awesomeness.
Based in Bristol England, Mr. Jones (known in cyberspace as Screaming Demons) designs and sells portraits, T-shirts, CD sleeves, illustrations, tattoo designs, and anything else your little black heart desires.
Most of these items are available in his Gothabilly Shop on etsy, and you can find him lurking pretty much everywhere!
If you like Undead Tattooed Rockabilly Pinup Zombie Girls in fishnet stockings or Maybe Blood Sucking Vampire Nuns with Machine Guns you’ll enjoy his art.
Let’s take a look!

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His portraits are nothing short of amazing, and he is always available for commissions at screamingdemons@gmail.com

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Particularly amusing are his series of Rockabilly mug shots :

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I could go on all day with his amazing artwork, but you can see more at the many different outlets haunted by Screaming Demons!
Find Marcus Jones on Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt, and his very own website for more info on purchasing prints, T-shirts, jewelry and more!
Check him out, freaks!

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Artist Marcus Jones (Screaming Demons)

Artist Marcus Jones (Screaming Demons)




Great Halloween Costumes for the whole family.


Amazing artwork by Jason Edmiston!

933911_10151443621741344_1309589823_nJason Edmiston is one of the hardest working artists in modern horror art.
Since 1996, he has been a commercial illustrator, pumping out amazing works of art in many forms.
Many of his works are featured as magazine covers and movie posters.
He is a traditional artist, painting in acrylic on watercolor paper or wood panel.
His style ranges from realism to exaggeration, usually emphasizing the figure, and a certain degree of humor or caricature.
One of my all time favorite artists, Jason has no shortage of beautiful work to show off!
Visit his all-new website for more pics and updates, including step by step process photos and videos, prints and originals for sale, and much more!
You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter!
Enjoy the collection below of some of my favorite pieces by the great Jason Edmiston!

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His re-imagined movie posters are nothing short of amazing!

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His recent “Monsters Of Rock” series is quite amusing…

"Dee"

“Dee”

"Angus"

“Angus”

"Billy"

“Billy”

"Tommy"

“Tommy”

"Joey"

“Joey”

And, of course, his unique take on the classics we all know and love…

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A 12940
189017_4732524675332_1601531039_nMisfits-final-for-approval-4zombieprom-900x680Hibernation-web-756x1024Catch you next time, freaks!
Be sure and say hello to this awesome artist, Jason Edmiston, and let him know you are enjoying your homework!




Huge Sale! at BuyCostumes.com

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