December 2017 Artist Interview: Intricate Knot

Copyright © Intricate Knot

To find where Intricate Knot sells her wares visit her on her artist page on HAB. 

Interview with Intricate Knot of Tarryfails Corner:

Which pieces of your artwork are you most proud of, currently for sale or sold? Share an image of it if you have one.

I’m most proud of my set of Three Black Kitties: Eenie, Meenie, and Mynie. Beware. These guys may look cute and harmless with their lollipops and Trick-or-Treat buckets, but I have it on very good authority that Mynie and Meenie are evil masterminds. And Eenie? Eenie is a super evil mastermind, playing his brothers with a gusto generally not seen outside Fish & Chips Night at Mac’s Evil Kitty’s Eatery.

Name an artist(s) whose work you admire and what influence have they had on your art?

Edward Gorey. When I was a kid I went to the library after school and poured through every Edward Gorey book I could find. Seeing his work made me realize that I wasn’t the only weirdo in the world. There are lots of us. We’re all one big weirdo family!

What would you consider the highest honor or greatest goal you would like to achieve with your art?

I would love to make a good living with my art and writing. One day, (I hope!) that will be the ultimate achievement for me.

What Halloween costume that you got to wear in childhood was your favorite and has the fondest memory for you?

It wasn’t until I was older that I really got to let loose on Halloween. My fav costume was one I put together for my son when he was little. He loved The Terminator (original film). I had a really cool black leather jacket and then made up his face with make-up skin putty, fake blood, and aluminum foil. It came out really good! And my son had a blast.

What is your favorite Halloween icon? Why do you identify with its imagery?

Candy. Hah! Just kdding (not really). Hard to choose one. I love it all: Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, witches, vampires, devils, and scarecrows. I supposed if I had to choose, it would be the witch. Love them so much I became one. Witches are mysterious, powerful female icons. We’ve been subjugated, ridiculed, imprisoned, and burned at the stake. Yet, the witch still stands. And still thoroughly enjoys all the wonders of Halloween.

If money and wherewithal were not an issue, what would be your dream way to spend Halloween?
All sorts of cool events take place worldwide: Haunted walks and underground tours, witches balls, ghostly hotels, cemeteries, and fun sites! If I had the money every Halloween I’d visit a new adventure and take a few of my fellow haunted friends with me.

Featured Artist Interview January 2017: The Painted Peep Show

To find where Blake Roberts sells his wares visit him on his artist page on HAB. 

Interview with Blake Roberts of The Painted Peep Show:

At what age did you discover your love of Halloween?

Between my love of monsters, scary movies, and making costumes, I probably started leaning towards Halloween as my favorite holiday when I was 10 or 11.

What is your fondest Halloween memory?

I can’t say I have just one, but a fond memory that’s ongoing is my annual costume creation process. I spend weeks designing, building, and tweaking my costumes. This usually involves scary movies and multiple glasses of wine (or cider if the weather is cool enough).

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Every year, I host a costume party with custom props and special effects. Recent party themes have included 7 Deadly Sins and Psycho.

When did you start creating in your medium and what training have you had?

I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. When I was very young, I’d make comic books, xerox them, and sell them to classmates for a quarter a piece. Since then, I’ve graduated with an Illustration degree from Savannah College of Art & Design.

What was the inspiration to create what you create when did you know
you wanted to create Halloween?

In 2009, I was laid off from my job and had trouble finding a new gig (this was during the height of the financial crisis). My sister suggested I open an Etsy store to keep myself active, so I did. I started with Halloween greeting cards and expanded from there.

Featured Artist Interview February 2016: Grayson Fogg

To find where Grayson Fogg sells his wares visit him artist page on HAB. 

Interview with Grayson Fogg of The Autumnlands:

At what age did you discover your love of Halloween?

Very early on. At seven years old I remember absolutely loving a Halloween song our class sang close to Halloween…and not understanding why we couldn’t keep singing it the rest of the year. On a similar note, people seemed puzzled that I drew skeletons and black cats and pumpkins all year round, when for me it was perfectly natural.

What is your fondest Halloween memory?

That’s a toughie. I’ll go with what is probably a common answer–I can’t pick just one. But stand-outs include going to the pumpkin patch every year, where they had a “haunted” haystack tunnel complete with spooky sounds on a poorly-hidden cassette player, and a yearly scarecrow contest. There’s just nothing compared to going to a real pumpkin patch to pick out your own pumpkin, especially when the weather cooperates and it’s cool and overcast, with that damp-earth-and-decomposing-leaves smell of fall in the air.

Then there was the time a friend’s dad drove us way out in the boonies–literally following a waving searchlight to an isolated old house in the middle of acres of empty land, where we stood in line outside a charity haunted house built not in a school cafeteria or a strip mall space, but in AN ACTUAL, SPOOKY OLD HOUSE! There was a cemetery outside, and scary sounds and music over loudspeakers to get everyone in the mood (and challenge our nerves).

And for sheer childhood, Halloween joy, you can’t beat riding around on your bike IN COSTUME the afternoon of the big night, feeling the crisp wind in your crepe hair (or streaming bandages, or usually ill-fitting clothes, or over your crudely-made-up skin), anxious for Trick-or-Treating to start but not wanting it to ever end…

How do you celebrate Halloween?

Sadly, these days Halloween has largely been taken away from me. My wife and I were forced to move to a neighborhood that shuns the holiday, so all the yard decorating and dressing up and passing out candy is a thing of the past. We at least try to visit the pumpkin patch and one or two haunted houses every year, but I miss the old days, really being involved with the season. It was always fun trying to make the yard display spooky enough for the adults but not too scary for the kids.

When did you start creating in your medium and what training have you had?

As with my “old” career (writing and illustrating comics, under my real name, Richard Moore) I have zero training. I was once called “un-
teachable”, so that may be part of it, though hopefully I’m not nearly so headstrong these days. Oddly enough, even though I loved drawing and doing Halloween-oriented crafts as a child, it never occurred to me that it was possible to do that for a living. Then I stumbled across Scott Smith’s amazing work, and discovered that there were people out there calling themselves Halloween artists. It was one of those forehead-smacking moments–why didn’t I think of that? So when I left comics a few years back, I decided to give it a try. I’ve been experimenting with various media ever since. Someday I’ll figure out what I’m doing.

What was the inspiration to create what you create and when did you know you wanted to create Halloween?

I’ve always had some trouble giving myself “permission” to create what I like; I struggle with the impulse to please, to tailor my work to garner approval. I suppose all artists do to a certain extent, but ultimately you have to develop your own voice. With the Halloween art, I wasn’t comfortable taking the plunge and indulging that part of myself until I formed the concept of The Autumnlands–that there’s this place, this parallel world, where all our images of Halloween come from–and felt that I could truly contribute to the tradition and the common experience of Halloween. I’m also working on several children’s books and illustrated YA novels set in that world. I’d be thrilled if I could create something as profoundly attached to the season and fondly thought-of as Ray Bradbury’s work or It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. That would be amazing.

Featured Artist Interview September 2015: Art By Sarada

To find where Art By Sarada sells her wares visit her artist page on HAB. 

Interview with V. Sarada Holt or Art By Sarada:

At what age did you discover your love of Halloween?

I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t my favorite holiday – having a birthday about a week after Halloween, they always kind of went together as festive, fun time of year. I conspired with my grandmother every year to figure out what my costume would be. I remember the first costume that was my own conscious choice, when I was around four, was a witch. I also made sure to get both princess and fairy princess in at an early age as well. After that, you could say that it was fandom based! I was born in 1973, so childhood was the 70s and early 80s, and there was some Princess Leia in there, a cat from the musical “Cats,” and even a character from the anime show “Star Blazers” – which no one else recognized, I’m sure. While it was all about costumes and candy during those years, I think I was born to love horror movies as well. My parents had been big fans of Hammer Horror and other 1960s and early 70s horror movies – I grew up watching them on TV on Saturday afternoons during the “Creature Double Feature” on a local TV channel. The fact that there was a time of year – around my birthday, no less! – devoted to these kinds of pursuits, AND dressing up, was more than I could handle.

What is your fondest Halloween memory?

It’s hard to say, as the actual day of Halloween itself has always revolved around just being home, trick or treating, or greeting trick or treaters. In recent years I have a new tradition that I love to indulge in, which is watching weird old horror films with my husband until we can’t stay up any longer. We joked about it for weeks, with me promising him that we’d stay up “’til 6 a.m.!” watching our favorites. Typically this includes a vampire film by the French director Jean Rollin, a favorite Hammer or Vincent Price movie, and maybe a gothic Italian film from the early 60s. I don’t think I’ve made it until 6 a.m. yet but I manage to get about five movies in most years. Last year we went to the Museum of Funeral History here in Houston on Halloween as well, which was a nice touch. Every year Halloween gets better than the one before, even though we mostly just stay around the house, it is always special.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

On the actual day of Halloween, it’s not too much different from any other, around here. I’ve never had kids, so I don’t get to experience trick or treating from that side, but I love to drive around neighborhoods to see how everything is decorated, and hand out candy at home or at a friend’s house. Then we have our movie marathon, as I noted above. My year-round wardrobe tends to include plenty of Halloween themed fabrics that I’ve used to make things for myself, when it’s not just all-black clothing to begin with, but I always go the extra mile on Halloween. It’s funny, because I don’t do much in the way of decorating or going all-out with festivities, because I feel like I live in a Halloween mindset all year round. We usually spend the entire fall watching favorite horror movies, aside from the big night itself, and I read lots of Victorian ghost stories in the weeks leading up to it. I just like to revel in that time of year, and the fact that for about three months you can go into stores and they will be full of bats, cats, spiders, moons and witch hats.

When did you start creating in your medium and what training have you had?

I started painting in 1986, after spending my entire childhood drawing fantasy creatures and images. I was inspired largely by my love of Dungeons and Dragons, at that point, and fantasy in general. I started to paint with acrylics, focusing on dragons, fairies and the like. I used acrylic paint, and was entirely self-taught, though of course I had a couple of elective Art classes in high school. I took a couple of classes in college as well but did not enjoy taking art as a subject. I liked taking art HISTORY, but as for hands-on creative work, I was more interested in just finding my own way. I experimented with oils as well and have used them more in recent years. I’m very much in favor of people seeking instruction and training in their chosen art form, but I enjoyed finding my own way, experimenting based on what I saw in other peoples’ work, since I was doing it mostly for my own amusement, and not as a professional pursuit.

On a side note, one of the main inspirations for me to start painting was a woman I met at a mall art show near my childhood home in central New Jersey, I think around the summer of 1986. Amidst all of the landscape and other decorative paintings on display was a booth where a woman was painting a purple dragon on a misty mountaintop. Her paintings were all on similar themes – fairies, dragons, angels, magical women. Her name was Ann-Marie, and we corresponded for some time after that, as she encouraged my interests. I took the same kind of themes as my favorite subject matter in my teens and was very influenced by her self-taught style and approach. I bought a number of her prints over the years as well and I still admire the detail and unique, original style she developed. Seeing someone paint up close and in person like that, and being able to see all of those paintings that were so close to my heart in their themes and inspiration, really gave me a huge creative push that has never gone away.

What was the inspiration to create what you create and when did you know you wanted to create Halloween?

After college, my painting pursuits trailed off a little as I felt my subject matter wasn’t going to be taken seriously by anyone. But I put a few little paintings on eBay when I started selling odds and ends from around the house, on that site around 1999, and the reception was pretty warm. I had started to collect antique Halloween postcards from the early 1900s around then and was captivated by the imaginative imagery. It occurred to me that I could make new versions of these kinds of images, and that proved to be fodder for art for years to come. I’ve continued to explore other themes that I love, including fantasy, surrealism, nature, gothic and ghost imagery and other subjects, but I always come back around to Halloween. I like to do things that are cute, but not cutesy. I love a colorful, bold palette with classic, antique imagery.

Dark Hollow Art Event 2014

HAB Presents

Deep in the thick of the forest are haunted places, dusty forgotten cemeteries, abandoned mills, spooky coal mines and shaded ravines where monsters, goblins and spirits dwell. These places are the Dark Hollows. Halloween Artist Bazaar is bringing them to life through one of a kind handmade Halloween art.

Through the end of October special edition pieces will be added to the collection of Dark Hollow art with links where to purchase! Visit us frequently to see what has been added.

Through the end of October special edition pieces will be added to the collection of Dark Hollow art with links where to purchase! Visit us frequently to see what has been added.