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Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

You can find all the vignettes in this album –
Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with an amazing artist! Letranger Absurde from Romania makes the most creative and innovative Lego displays of our favorite scenes from horror movies! I was so captivated by his work that I had to go on a search to find the man who crafted these true to form pieces. I found him fortunately when I found the Bricktastic Blog where he was in the Builder Spotlight. I reached out to him and he was extremely kind enough to answer my questions so that we here at House of Tortured Souls could take you on a behind the scenes look into the world of Lego building.
House of Tortured Souls: So you are from Romania I saw with rolug (Romanian LEGO® Users Group), is the Lego culture any different than in the US?
Andrei: I can only speak about the US culture from what I’ve noticed through online interactions, so I may be off the mark, but people seem to be more receptive to novelty and pop culture in general, so a hobby like this is easier to accept and get into. Around here they’re more… traditional, for the lack of a better word; the association Lego = toy makes many people frown at the idea and stops them from being able to take it seriously; it also makes adult fans buy them under the guise of buying for their children and keep their passion as a dirty little secret, but things seem to be changing lately – only in the last year our lug doubled it’s number of active members if I’m not mistaken. Another thing I noticed is that people around here (and Europe in general) tend to lean towards Lego technic more – the side of Lego dealing with functions with little care for the aesthetics (remote controlled cars, moving cranes and so on).
HoTS: Why did you choose to make scenes from horror films?
Andrei: I’ve been a horror fan for most of my life (since I was 8 or 9), so it would have happened one way or another. But the decision to make a series was due to the poor representation the genre had in the community. Aside from some builds here and there, mostly dealing with the mainstream, you could find mainly pictures of mini-figures (customs in general) with no focus on scenes and plenty of generic Halloween builds so I wanted to try and change that.
HoTS: How do you choose the scenes?
Andrei: I mostly build what I like, but there are other factors that come into play. I tried to keep a balance between popular and lesser-known movies to maintain the audience’s interest with the familiar ones and hopefully draw their attention to the ones they haven’t seen. Also, no matter how much I like a movie, it needs a scene that translates well both into the new medium and into a purely visual vignette, since horror tends to rely a lot on atmosphere, sounds, lights, music, camera angles and so on – remove all that and you’re left with something very bland and boring in many cases. For example, I wanted to add Halloween to the list, but I can’t find a scene that would make an interesting build. And finally, having close enough mini-figure parts to build the characters, especially the villain; it’s one of the main parts I wanted to get right.
HoTS: Do you custom design any of the pieces or are they all available from Lego?
Andrei: This is one of the bigger divides in the Lego community – altered parts or limiting your self to available ones. I chose to stick with available parts for a number of reasons: It’s the popular choice and the standard for any contests and such; it offers a great gauge to judge the quality of builds since everybody has access to the exact same tools of the trade. Actually, I can’t really give a good reason here, except that it just seems right, it’s Lego building after all and altering parts feels closer to sculpting. 🙂
Also, part use is something appreciated in the community in general, meaning using parts in interesting, unintended ways; let’s take Audition, for example, to stick with the horror theme:
Letranger Absurde Lego Audition
The couch pillows used in here are hats from this painter mini-figure:

And the tablecloth is the ruff from this fella:
Letranger Absurde Lego Shakespeare
Other examples from Evil Dead:
Letranger Absurde The Evil Dead
The Necronomicon is made from the printed eyes of the gorilla:
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
And the moose head is made from a brown frog and a helmet decoration:
Letranger Absurde Lego FrogLetranger Absurde Lego Moose Helmet
Not the most exciting or creative examples, but this wasn’t my focus in the horror series; hopefully they give a rough idea on what I’m trying to say; not sure how interesting this bit is for someone outside the hobby.
HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror films?
Andrei: I’ve always had a soft spot for Italian horror (Argento, Fulci, Bava); there’s so much creativity and they have a very distinctive style. Some of the most memorable soundtracks as well. I also love the lavish decors and atmosphere of Hammer films. Although despite my love for hammer, as far as vampires go, Subspecies is my favorite series, proof you don’t need doll vampires to make a proper vamp movie – and that’s coming from someone who likes doll vamps! I have to add The Wicker Man to the list as well, one of the most effective movies I’ve ever seen. As far as slashers go, one of my favorites is The Hills Run Red; sure, it’s got some problems, but it’s best moments are enough to get over the lows. And anything with Vincent Price in it. Won’t bother mentioning mainstream classics like Alien or Exorcist, sure, plenty of them on the list, but I see no point mentioning the ones pretty much everyone loves.
HoTS: What all horror themes have you done and any plans for new ones in the future?
Andrei: I have done other horror related builds over time (some were utter garbage unfortunately, I’ll throw in a few of the better ones) – the Necronomicon and Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Unaussprechliche Kulte would be the German for “unspeakable cults”) books (hoping to add Eibon (Soul Eater: Eibon is based directly based from the sorcerer of the same name from Clark Ashton Smith’s short story “The Door to Saturn“) to the list soon.
Letranger Absurde Necronomicon
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
– some Halloween builds, like the witch mosaic, the vampire couple, some busts
Letranger Absurde Boo Bitchcraft
Letranger Absurde Lego Come in for a bite

Letranger Absurde Lego Dracula Bust
Letranger Absurde Lego Frankenstein Monster Bust
– a larger scale build of the classic IT scene
Letranger Absurde IT

Andrei: Of course, I’ll continue building in the genre and I’m going to continue the vignette series soon. One of the things I’ve had on my list for a while is the lobby from Suspiria, but sourcing the parts in the right colors quite difficult and expensive. Plenty of movies from what I’ve mentioned in my favorites are on the list as well.
HoTS: Are they very hard to do, and are they time-consuming?
Andrei: In general neither, but it depends on what you’re trying to do and the complexity you aim for. Size is also a factor, but not necessarily the biggest one; you can spend more time shaping, reshaping and polishing a tiny part of a build than it takes building a castle, so it’s also up to you how much time you want to dedicate to each build. The vignettes I’ve done in the horror series were done in an afternoon/evening; at most spread over the course of 2 days; my aim here was to make them simple and accessible, yet recognizable. The biggest factor is the parts; if you don’t have what you want and have to order them, waiting for them to arrive can extend the project for weeks and is definitely the most annoying bit. But I suppose that’s true for every other hobby when it comes to sourcing the “materials”.
HoTS: I saw that your favorite one is Room With a View, what is your favorite horror one and why?
Andrei: I’m going to go with the crowd favorite here, The Exorcist. Not only was it the one that started it all, it just seemed to flow effortlessly into the new medium. Maybe I’m biased a bit towards the subject as well. Although in a way the series started a year or so before this one with the Predator vignette I’ve done back in 2015, I chose not to make it part of the series as it’s pretty mediocre and isn’t a scene directly from the movie. I’ll most likely redo this down the road.
Letranger Absurde Predator
This is one of the real benefits of working with Lego – you can always take apart a model and redo it – and the parts are there to reuse. You don’t have to deal with consumables. Or you can simply alter a few details. Maybe a new part is released that works better than what you used before, nothing stops you from replacing it. Or your skill grows with time and you figure out a better way to do things. I constantly do this with the models I have on display, I like the fact that it’s all pretty dynamic and keeps things fresh, instead of just shoving them on the shelf and let them gather dust.
HoTS: Legos are pretty pricey, how do you afford to make these?
Andrei: To some, it may seem like I’m keeping everything I do, but the opposite is true; I only have a few smaller pieces on display, the norm is built, dismantle, repeat. I only keep larger builds intact for a longer period if they’re made for exhibits.
Andrei: There are a couple of ways to get your hands on cheap parts, the easiest is buying multiples sets when they are heavily discounted and sell/trade the excess/useless bits, but this doesn’t get you exactly the parts you need. Being a part of a lug also has it benefits, allowing you to purchase cheap parts in large quantities directly from Lego, but you have little room for diversity and it happens only 2-3 times a year. It’s still a big help. The rare and specific parts I get from Bricklink. BrickLink is a venue where individuals and businesses from all around the world can buy and sell new, used, and vintage LEGO through fixed price services.
Andrei: There’s also the opportunity to get parts straight from brand stores, but I have no access to that in my area, unfortunately.
HoTS: Will you ever sell any of your pieces, or do you ever take commissions? Told my boss about you and he now wants a Lego Haunted House like on our logo. ?
Andrei: Neither, although I’ve been getting requests every now and then. I would be open to it, the issue is sourcing the parts; I don’t have the opportunity to get them locally for a decent price, so I have to get most of them from international sellers and the shipping costs alone are overkill on multiple orders. I may end up doing it someday, but for now, I’m happy with it being just a hobby. There are plenty of talented builders in the community taking commissions, so you can pretty much find the right person for any subject; although each of us has our own little touches and style so it’s a good idea to be familiar with their work beforehand.
So I want to give a huge thank you to Andrei for myself and everyone here at the House of Tortured Souls! His answers were very illuminating and insightful and they made me want to go out and start building my own Lego creations. I hope you enjoyed this, readers, and that you will go out and start making your own horror creations!



Posted by Horrormadam in EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, HALLOWEEN, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, STAFF PICKS, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

Hello, everyone Horrormadam here to show you the stunning creations of Kayla Stojek. She makes THE most incredible horror/goth/punk-themed shoes, boots, and hats that I have ever seen, each pair more astounding than the last. I reached out to Kayla to find out everything I could about this remarkable woman and her sensational designs:
House of Tortured Souls: How did you get into making these amazing creations?
Kayla Stojek: I was a chemistry major, with intentions of becoming a dentist. Making shoes and clothing was always something I did for fun, either for myself or friends. I made an extreme pair of heels for a Halloween costume in 2011. People loved them and began asking for pairs of their own. Shortly after I opened my Etsy store and the internet sort of ran with it!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Why horror, and what are some of your favorite horror movies?
KS: I’ve loved horror since about age 6. I grew up on the ’70s and ’80s horror so the fascination was always there. Favorites would be The Shining, Black Christmas (original), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, Halloween, most anything from the ’70s. I’m also a fan of Rob Zombie’s films.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Saw that another of your influences is punk, what are some of your favorite bands?
KS: Misfits, Rancid, Dropkick are a few favorites. Outside of punk, I find heavy artistic influence from Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: What is it you like about Kawaii (in the context of Japanese popular culture: cute) culture?
KS: I’ve never really worn any Kawaii items personally. But it’s something I love to look at. I think it reminds me of youth and nostalgia from growing up in the ‘90s.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: How did you come up with the name Zombie Peepshow for your brand?
KS: I had a very brief run at roller derby in my early 20s, Zombie Peepshow was my derby name. I liked that it was a perfect dichotomy of gore and girly, which suits my designs.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: What materials do you use for the sculpture?
KS: We use all industrial-strength epoxies and materials to bond the shoes. I’m constantly experimenting with new compounds for sculpting. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of cosplay materials and mixtures I’ve created.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Who are the celebrities wearing your work?
KS: We’ve been fortunate enough to make shoes for people all over the world. Whoopie Goldberg has purchased a few, along with YouTube star Trisha Paytas. Many models, musicians, and other artists have pairs as well.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Did you have fine art/fashion training?
KS: I don’t have any formal artistic training. My background is mostly science and mathematics, so this venture was definitely something new. I quickly realized that this creative outlet was what I longed for. It’s what I’m supposed to do. ?
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Do you have a favorite pair?
KS: Probably a few that I haven’t released yet. There is one in particular that I hope to launch Fall 2018 and I believe it’s my best design yet. If I had to choose one from my store I would say The Texas Chainsaw design. It was our first sound producing a pair, so that was exciting.
HoTS: How much does a commission cost? Any plans or is there already one of Sammy from Trick R Treat (my fave along with Carpenter’s Halloween-?)
KS: Trick R Treat would be amazing! Custom pieces usually start around $175 and increase based on the level of detail (led lights, extreme pieces, etc.)

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: And my boss wanted to ask about men’s boots and if so he is willing to model.
KS: We do make men’s items often! My husband has a tendency to hoard most of the men’s items I create, but we have orders for them every month.
HoTS: Any haunted houses? Our site is called the House of Tortured Souls. ?
KS: We’re big fans of haunted houses. Good friends from our hometown in West Texas run a huge haunt called A Nightmare on 19th Street. One of them is also in the process of building the largest haunt Austin has seen. We love them!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

I just want to thank Kayla so much for taking the time to answer my questions because I know how extremely busy she is with the success of her shoes! We here at the House of Tortured Souls are big fans of her work and because I am a huge cheeseball I am reminded of the lyrics from Megadeaths cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic:
These boots are made for walking
That’s just what they’ll do
And one of these days these boots
Are gonna stomp all over you
So get a pair of Kayla’s boots and get stomping and look fabulous doing it!
Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – December 2017: Tony Blake

Artist of the Month – December 2017: Tony Blake

I found December’s AotM because of my love for The Walking Dead once again. 🙂

And even though this was one of the most horrible occurrences on my favorite show, Steven was impressed!

One of the reasons Tony Blake’s art stands out is the fact he uses color pencils! You guys should know by now I love different. 😉

Here is his brief bio:

Tony is from Great Yarmouth in the UK. He is a full-time freelance artist and is currently studying for a degree in art. He is 41 years old. Married with three children.

Our Q&A:

House of Tortured Souls: How long have you been into horror art?
Tony Blake: Always loved horror art from a young age. First ever character I drew was Freddy from a t-shirt my dad brought me.

HoTS: Did you have a teacher or go to art school??
TB: I’m self taught.

HoTS: Who is your favorite monster?
TB: Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).

HoTS: Do you have booths at conventions or any art galleries?
TB: I do comic cons across the UK and my art was featured in the Z-Nation exhibit at the Spokane Museum of Art.

HoTS: How old were you when you started drawing?
TB: Probably about 5. Once I went to school. It was all I could do as I had problems with reading and writing, I’m dyslexic.


HoTS: What is your favorite method, pencil, charcoal, the blood of innocents?
TB: I use Prismacolor and Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils for the last two years love them.

HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Twitter? Instagram?
TB: Yes!

antblakeart
@TonyBlake76
@tonyblakeart

HoTS: Do you do commissions?
TB: Yes always doing what the customers want.

HoTS: Are you working on something now?
TB: Currently drawing Bill Murray as Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters.

HoTS: What advice would you give anyone interested in starting this career?
TB: Best advice I can give is practice, practice, never give up and always try new styles, and if that doesn’t work sell your soul to the devil.

Throughout the month of December, Tony is selling original pieces $80! :-O #Floored!!

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, FEATURED CONTENT, INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
SPOTLIGHT: Justin “Schock” Terrell

SPOTLIGHT: Justin “Schock” Terrell

It is a great honor for me to introduce next HoTS ‘In the Spotlight’ Artist: our own Justin Schock!
Justin has done a tremendous amount in the background for House of Tortured Souls this year, so he well deserves this title – and much more! As with many artists, his talent spills over in more than one genre. He records metal music!
Here is a brief bio of Justin “Schock” Terrell:
horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-jackolanterns-300x300Schock was a nickname given as a stage name in the early 2000s and kind of just stuck with me all these years… I was born in 1982. I was born and grew up in Anderson, IN. I still live nearby but try to disassociate with the town. Haha! I have one kid, a daughter, who is 9 years old and acts like she’s 14. Kids… I’ll tell ya. Currently, my normal day job is the Loss Prevention Supervisor for Kohl’s in Anderson, IN.
House of Tortured Souls: When did you start drawing?
Justin “Schock” Terrell: I started drawing at a young age, like stupid young. I can remember drawing at 3 years old or so.

horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-beardskull-300x300

HoTS: What was the first picture you remember doing?
Schock: When I was younger, I would draw comic strips like Garfield and Peanuts while attempting to mock the style. I then moved on around, 4 or 5 years old, drawing Spiderman and Wolverine mostly before developing my own techniques.

horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-jason-300x300

HoTS: Who inspired you when you began?
Schock: I just started drawing things always utilizing pencil only. I use to not care for markers and such. The traditional look of pencil appealed to me. I honestly can’t say if I had anyone influence. There were, of course, comic books and cartoons, but I never got the names of the artists. My uncle, Mike Ball is an amazing traditional artist. I mean he doesn’t use computers. He was always showing me tricks as a kid, and I admired a lot of the work he did.
HoTS: Who do you follow now?
Schock: Now that I’m older and pay attention to things, some of my favorite artists are James Rowe, Alex Ross, Nikki Bruin, and Scott Anderson. Then there is this one dude, not sure of his real name, but his store is called Electric Zombie. And Ghoulish Gary is hands down amazing, as is Jason Edmiston. Really, there are a lot of insane artists out there.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite creep?
Schock: Favorite creep…hmm well I’m always all over the monsters. It’s hard to pick, ya know? Ever go shopping and you see Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein stuff everywhere, but then there’s that one off Leatherface item, so you’re torn? Do I pick up the traditional monster thing? Or get the slasher? I’m a horror fan, and it’s just too hard to pick.

horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-lollipop-300x300

HoTS: What is your most prized piece?
Schock: I have a couple pieces that are prized. One is a full pencil/colored pencil piece I did of Reagen from The Exorcist, and the other is a non-horror pencil drawing of ballerina legs/shoes. Both of those are amazing to me because I didn’t know I could produce such work.

horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-ballerina-300x300

HoTS: Do you do art shows, comic cons, or any vendor markets?
Schock: I have never done any of the cons or markets namely because it takes a lot of money to get started and I totally do not have that kind of loot. But one day, I will be all over it. I have never done an art show. The art world is a cruel mistress. Fun fact about my region of the world, er, the city: I was told by an artist collective here I was not allowed to join their little club of artists because of my work being mainly horror-influenced. And I went from traditional pencil and paint to almost all exclusively digital coloring, even using Wacom pens to draw without paper. Very snobby artists here. So art shows would only happen, again, if I had the money for it, and if I was more well known.
HoTS: Are you working on something now?
Schock: As of now, I am working on some watercolor paintings, the annual Drawlloween pictures which I am doing all pencil this year, images for HoTS. As well as working on my next record. I make hardcore/metal music also. All written and recorded by myself called xSCHOCKx, which can be found here: xschockx.bandcamp.com I jump around mediums, drawing, painting, music and even writing. Working on a collection of short stories with a friend. No title yet, but its very X-rated and scary all at once.

horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-regan-300x300

HoTS: Do you do commission work?
Schock: I do, indeed, do commission work. I’m always open to anything graphic design in advertising, drawings, logo design, the list goes on and on. A list of services and prices can be found on my site (listed below), and it does not have to be limited to horror works. That’s just my thing. I’ve done stuff for the MS people, Diabetic Youth Foundation, and even random churches. A good artist doesn’t limit his focus.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Twitter? Instagram?
Schock: I am all over the social media and Internet. Heres a list:
Damn that’s a lot. Nah, but I do a lot of different things artistically and sometimes they blend together. I use my nickname for both my artistic and musical endeavors, so that it’s easy to promote both.
Folks, be on the lookout for more of Justin. He is amazing, and we here at HoTS plan on keeping him around for many moons to come.
horror-artist-inthespotlight-justin- schock-lady-300x300

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – October 2017: Gabe Warfield

Artist of the Month – October 2017: Gabe Warfield

This month we are showcasing our youngest ever AotM. A whole 13 years old!! If you are around teenagers much, you quickly learn that the only thing they are interested in is rolling their eyes!! So Gabriel is a rare gem indeed!!
A brief bio of our special artist:
  • Name: Gabe Warfield
  • Born: Akron, OH, USA
  • Age: 13
  • School: Home schooled
And here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: Your art is very unique. Were you inspired more by Toy Story or The Purge? ?
Gabe Warfield: I’ve never seen The Purge, so I’ll say Sid from Toy Story for sure, but I was the most inspired by the work of Tim Burton.
HoTS: How old were you when you started dabbling into your beautiful creations?
GW: All my life basically. I used to take my toys apart and add or subtract things even when I was very young.
HoTS: Who is your favorite artist?
GW: Salvador Dali. I really love his painting called “The Persistence of Memory.”
HoTS: Who is your favorite monster, villain, or immortal creep?
GW: Jigsaw from the Saw movies is my favorite.
HoTS: Do you have an Etsy shop, or do you sell any pieces or do commissions?
GW: Not currently, but I am working on getting an Etsy shop online, and I’ve got plans for commission pieces where people can send me their broken toys so I can “fix” them.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, Twitter, or Instragram so fans can keep up with your projects?
GW: Yes, I have a Facebook page called FrankenCreatures
Gabe Warfield’s FrankenCreatures
HoTS: Peanut butter or Nutella? ?
GW: Nutella, fo sho!
HoTS: Are you working on a project right now?
GW: Yes. I’m working on several. Pictures will be uploaded on my Facebook artist page as soon as they are done. My mom and I just moved from North Carolina to Ohio last week, so I haven’t had a lot of time to work on them but hopefully they’ll be done soon!
HoTS: Do or did you go to art school or have any training in this?
GW: No, all of my art is self-driven.
HoTS: What do you like to do when you are not creating masterpieces?
GW: I play the bass guitar, and I like to work on writing music and song lyrics.
KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, GABE!!!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – September 2017: Ryan Case

Artist of the Month – September 2017: Ryan Case

Ryan Case is an artist and co-owns Sink or Swim Art Gallery in Louisville, KY, with his wife, writer/artist/poet Bridget. In their own words:
I am Ryan. It took me many years to feel comfortable enough to call myself an artist, but that is what I am. I create mainly with ink and acrylic paints, but I'll use whatever is laying around the studio from time to time. My subjects are an entire spectrum of the adorable and abominable. I am a homeschooling dad of 2 girls by day, and creative monster machine by night.
Bridget is a writer, poet, abstract painter, and jewelry designer/maker. She is known for her fierce attack in your face poetry. She is active in the animal rights, LGBT and Women's equal rights movements, and her passion is reflected in her works and words.
AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-01House of Tortured Souls: When did you know you were meant to be an artist?
Ryan Case: I've always been drawn to art. it was always my escape and my friend.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-08
HoTS: And why do you still do it?
RC: It's a passion/obsession. I can't not paint. I'm drawn to it, and it makes me feel better. It's my own private therapy. I'll always create.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-03
HoTS: Where do you pull your inspiration from?
RC: I absorb movies and music. though not all my paintings are of monsters, horror movies have been a huge influence on my work since day one.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-04
HoTS: Do you have a piece you have done that you are the proudest of?
RC: I think I am most proud of my pet portraits.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-02
HoTS: Why is that?
RC: They are usually commissioned after a pet has passed away, so I want to give them the life they once beamed out.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-05
HoTS: Who is your favorite artist?
RC: My favorite living artist is Chet Zar, and my favorite dead artist is Salvador Dali.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-07
HoTS: What advice would you give to young artists out there?
RC: Never ever ever give up. Every piece you do is another step closer to where you want to be. Fuck rejections. Fuck toxic people. Kick all that out of your life and mind. Focus on your work and what you want to accomplish.AotM-Ryan Case-horror art-10
Check out this gallery opening video to see a little bit more of what you can expect at Sink or Swim Art Gallery.

Stop by their Facebook page and give it a like.
And don't forget to visit their Sink or Swim Art Gallery to see more awesome horror art - some of which is available for purchase. And Halloween is just around the corner.
Posted by ZombieGurl in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – August 2017: RF Pangborn

Artist of the Month – August 2017: RF Pangborn

It's hard to believe this Mad Genius works retail by day. I cannot imagine him in any other uniform than an apron or lab coat!
Here is a brief bio: Born in Plainfield, NJ,now residing in Tampa Bay, FL, with his wife, dog and cat. 🙂 He paints in his home studio.
It took a long time for me to get an interview out of him, but I am stubborn like that. 😉 Here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: Did you go to art school or have any special training?
RF Pangborn: I've been a doodler my whole life. Drawing was a great form of escapism for me when I was a child. During my troubled adolescent years, one of my grade school teachers insisted my parents find an art school. I had the good fortune of living in the town next to impressionist painter Charles R. Nevad who taught privately. Huge mentor to me. After about five years of teaching me, he confides in me that my dad hasn’t paid him since the first two months. He didnt care. After his death, I swore to make art my life no matter the cost.
HoTS: Who is your favorite creep, beast, immortal bad guy?
RFP: Being raised on horror, I have so many favorites. It's hard to pick one or the other. My first obsession as a kid was with The Wolfman.
horror-aotm-rfpangborn-leatherfaceHoTS: Do you sketch your pieces out first in lead or go straight to painting?
RFP: I do a lot of requests, which is just basically copying what you see in a photo. But for my own personal pieces, I do like to fool around with ideas and sketches beforehand. I'm also partial to throwing abstract random brush marks on the board and waiting for the images to emerge. I think Jackson Pollack referred to this sort of thing as psychoanalytical painting, and I find it to be awesome therapy.
HoTS: Do you do any art shows or set up at conventions?
RFP: I’m currently featured at Hamilton Gallerie D'art in Illinois. I've done a few odd shows. Most everyone is on my case about the convention scene, and I want to get into it, but time just isn’t permitting at the moment.
HoTS: What or who inspired you to do horror art?
RFP: I think the horror angle was just a natural progression since I love it. There's a lot of drama and imaginative freedom.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube?
RFP: I have had a Facebook page up since I started painting again after a 25 year hiatus. I tried branching out to a .com, but it was a year of wasted effort. Social media is where it's at. Unfortunately, I only have enough time to really pay attention to one format right now. As you well know, it's all I can do to remember I have an interview waiting for months in my in box... 🙂
HoTS: Are you currently working on something?
RFP: I've been slowly trying to wean myself into full time art, so I'm working on multiple pieces around the clock. Always busy with something over here, thank God!
horror-aotm-rfpangborn-mummyHoTS: Do you do commission pieces?
RFP: Right now, it's the commissioned pieces that are keeping me afloat, so, yeah, I'm doing those constantly. I'm hoping that sometime soon this will open up more free time to work on some more original pieces, which is kind of why one gets into art in the first place. But request pieces help pay the bills around here so they get priority.
HoTS: I'm digging the cover piece to your album. 🙂 Where can we buy the album?
RFP: My album??? LOL, if you mean my ridiculous experimental noisecore, well here if you've got the stomach for it.
HoTS: What do you love to do when you are not creating horror?
RFP: I'd really love to get my hands back into filmmaking though it's time consuming to the extreme and pisses off everyone you know to no end. I can also see myself doing more "music" in the future, but right now I'm putting everything I have into the painting.

I dug this one up, hopes he appreciates my hard work. 😉

I will leave you folks with my favorite piece Vincent Flipping Price!!!!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – July 2017:  Aya Jade

Artist of the Month – July 2017: Aya Jade

I could not have picked a better AotM for July then Miss Aya. Because she is a firecracker!!! Special effects makeup has been popular for years now. Especially for cosplay and with shows like Face/Off. And this female artist certainly has skill in that department! I mean to go from this TO THIS will certainly blow a few minds and drop some jaws!!! I have some face paint left over that I WAS going to dabble with one of these days. But well SHIT!
Here is a brief bio of our lovely monster, followed by our Q&A:horror-artistofthemonth-ayajade-nun
My name is Aya, I'm a fashion and special effects artist from Wellington, New Zealand.
I'm 22 years of age and have been doing beauty makeup professionally since the age of 17 but I'm very new to the special effects community!
House of Tortured Souls: This extent of face special effects painting is pretty new and mind blowing! How many years have you been in it to get these awesome?
Aya Jade: I've only been doing it for a year now, but I dabbled in body painting before becoming qualified!
HoTS: Do you go to an Art School? Or have a special teacher?
AJ: I went to the Special Effects Makeup Course in Wellington last year, it is a 'Full-on' for a few months, learning the basics of what we need to know to be in this career path. I would love to go on to learn sculpting and molding.
HoTS: Why horror?
AJ: Horror movies and games are a favorite genre of mine and I've always been fascinated by the creations and transformations in them. Seeing something so grotesque in a real world is setting is intriguing but terrifying.
HoTS: What is your favorite monster?
AJ: Silent Hill creatures, they're all so insane looking.
HoTS: Is there a special makeup or body paint you use?
AJ: I use a lot of Kryolan, Ben Nye and Mehron! They're amazing professional SFX brands. I also Paint with Fab paint and Snazaroo.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or any art shows?
AJ: Unfortunately we don't have much in New Zealand but I do go to our biggest event which is Armageddon. I'm either cosplaying or doing the zombie makeup!
HoTS: Do you do 'How to' videos?
AJ: Yes! I'm very amateur, though, haha.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? YouTube?
AJ: All of my social medias are under the name Aya Jade. I'm on Instagram, Facebook, and YouIube.
HoTS: Are you for hire? You would total rock a wedding!
AJ: Yes, I am actually!
HoTS: What do you like to do when you are not creeping people out?
AJ: I play video games, watch my favorite TV series and movies, I'm also super passionate about animals and love hanging out at my local shelters and sanctuaries if I'm not at home with my own!
I MEAN, WHO IS NOT IN LOVE WITH AYA NOW?!?!?
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – May 2017: REDACTED

Artist of the Month – May 2017: REDACTED

EDITOR’S NOTE:
Due to information recently learned by House of Tortured Souls, this artist has been removed. For additional information on why we removed this article, please check this website.

Woofer McWooferson's logo by Schock
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 3 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APR 2017: Mélanie Khoth

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APR 2017: Mélanie Khoth

I spotted our next AotM on Instagram. It was right around the time the new Ring movie was out , so her 3D art really caught my attention! And the fact that this artist is a young female, even better!!! My favorite piece and what made me really go after her was her Samora piece. OMG it is flipping AWESOME!
Image: Melanie Khoth
Mélanie Khoth is 22, lives in Paris, France, and is a Graphic Designer at BeautEastSphere.com. She was kind enough to answer a little Q&A, so let's dive right in.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you sgot into art?
Mélanie Khoth: I started drawing at a very early age, like every kid. Stickman family and my childhood heroes.
HoTS: Your talent at 3D is phenomenal! Did it take you years to get to this point?
MK: Oh merci! Less than 3 years ago (I was a physics student at this time), I first saw somewhere on Internet a post on 3D drawings, and I was like super impressed, I didn't know that kind of drawing was possible. And of course, I wanted to try. My first 3D drawing was an Eiffel Tower. (You can see it on my Instagram page, first post I think.) I really started drawing at this time, and posted my drawings on Instagram to see my progress.
HoTS: Who is your favorite monster?
MK: Hard to choose. I'm a big horror movie fan, I watched them all. But I will choose Chucky, cute and funny (I'm 3D drawing him, so don't miss it), or the Gremlins. Haha.
HoTS: Did you go to art school?
MK: Nope, self taught. Drawing is natural for me, I just take a pen and know what to do.
Image: Melanie Khoth
HoTS: Do you do art shows, comic cons, or sell your art anywhere?
MK: No, no, and no, but I would love to.
HoTS: Do you use pencil, charcoal, or graphite, or ink from nightmares?
MK: Colored pencils are my favorite. I also use markers and paint pens. I love colored drawings.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, maybe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?
MK: You can stalk me on my Instagram page or Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube. Just look for my name.
HoTS: Is there somewhere fans can go to purchase your art?
MK: No, sorry, not at the moment! But I'm planning to, so many people ask me for a portrait. I didn't stop my physics studies for nothing, haha.
HoTS: How many jars of peanut butter are in your kitchen?
MK: Zero! Peanut butter is not very popular in France. I'm a Nutella person.
HoTS: What do you love to do in your spare time other than drawing?
MK: I'm a yoga girl, I like to be in weird yoga pose. Reading and watching series or movies. I also love watching movie trailers, that's my thing. I think I watched more trailers than movie.
I will leave you guys with this cute 3D of a sweet clown. 🙂
Image: Melanie Khoth
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

I found out our next AotM by a previous AotM Cory Newman (you remember the badass tattooist) He actually pointed the finger to a few horror artists, many will be AotM in months to come. Don England does most of his sketches only with pencil and ink alone, and they turn out incredible! He has a truly amazing skill and horror is perfect for black and white sketches.

Here is our Q&A:

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Don England: I've been drawing as long as I can remember. My mother was an artist and taught me many techniques in drawing when I was a little kid. Spider-Man was my favorite thing to draw when I was younger.

HoTS: Did you take art courses?
DE: I took basic art classes in school and then in my late 20s I took a few classes at a local art store to learn watercolor and a few other things. But that's about it.

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
DE: Well, I've loved horror films since I was a little kid. Back in grade school I would watch Sir Graves on the local station. He would play a variety of horror films ranging from the Universal monsters to the Hammer films. Eventually we got cable and then a VCR and they opened me up to an entirely new world of horror I had never seen. So for whatever reason horror became a passion for me either watching or talking about it. So it just became natural for me to start drawing what I would see on the screen.

HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
DE: Werewolves were always my favorite. Curse of the Werewolf was the first werewolf movie I had seen but An American Werewolf in London is the movie that blew my mind. l watched it when I was in 6th grade and I've never been the same since! I like the idea of the inner beast coming out.

HoTS: Tell us about your featured pieces.

DE: Nosferatu, a piece that took me awhile to finish because I didn't think it was looking correct. By the time I finished it I personally think it's one of the best I've done.

Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Nosferatu

Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Horror Collage

DE: Horror Montage, was a piece I worked on for a long time, a lot of erasing and rearranging. It's the piece that got me noticed.

DE: The Night Pieces cover is one of my personal favorites. Gary Reed, who was putting out the book, gave me a brief idea of what he wanted and this is what came of it. It's different for my usual stuff and I think that's why I like it.

Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Night Pieces

Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Pan's Labyrinth

DE: The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth is such a great looking character. I was really pleased with the way it come out.

DE: An American Werewolf In London, I had this piece planned for a long time.. I wanted to do something more that just a couple images from the movie. Once I finally got moving on it I was very happy with the final results.

Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, An American Werewolf in London

HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows anywhere?
DE: I've been setting up all comic and horror cons for nearly 25 years. When I started, it was to promote Lethal Lita, the comic I was working on at the time. After a few years of local comic cons I started setting up at horror cons and now I'm at 12-15 conventions a year, mostly in the mid-west. Cinema Wasteland, Monsterpalooza, Horror Hound, and Motor City Comic Con are a few of my regular shows.

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
DE: You can see me at the conventions but you can also go to donaldengland.com for prints, original art and shirts. I also post on Facebook and Instagram almost daily with sketches and finished pieces that are for sale. If interested in commissions you can message me with your request.

HoTS: Do you have a fanpage or twitter etc where we can keep up with your work?
DE: I'm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I post the most on Facebook where I have a personal page and a fan page. Both pages are open to anyone wanting to see my work.

HoTS: What was your first piece?
DE: Hmmm, I'm going to guess Batman or Spider-Man.

HoTS: What is your favorite pastime outside of drawing?
DE: Hanging out with the wife and kids!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEB 2017: Kevin Merck

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEB 2017: Kevin Merck

Turkey Merck Mugs have my heart for so many reasons! For one, they are crafted with unbelievable attention to detail. Every mug is incredibly life-like - even to the point where you can hear them scream. Another reason I love Terkey Merck Mugs is, duh!, Kevin is a true horror craftsman, an exceptionally talented horror artist. This art is sure to creep out or flip out any house guests you may have and is a sure fire way to get your mother out of your house. 😉

We float in the same social circle, so it wasn't long before I stumbled across Terk via another Artist of the Month, Steve Turner, who has drawn 'The Screamer' and 'Joe' several times. (And I want each piece!) Then, one of the Walkers I have the pleasure of chatting with on Facebook posed with one of the cups for a shot. I MELTED! There was so much good stuff in the photo!

Check out the glossy, bloodshot eye. And look at how wet that blood appears! And all those wrinkles! What did I tell you about detail?

I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Kevin Merck, the man behind these creations. Here is our Q+A.

House of Tortured Souls: What got you into designing coffee mugs?
Kevin Merk: Since 2001, my main focus has been to create interesting sculpts on traditional utilitarian ceramic ware. Sculpted character coffee mugs have always been a popular item, but they have become a really hot item over the past couple of years. I probably made my first mug around 2003.

HoTS: How long have you been a fan of horror?
KM: For as long as I can remember. I think the first horror/action movie that I watched was Predator… I was 5.

HoTS: Favorite monster?
KM: The Wolfman... or the Xenomorph... or the Predator... It’s a toss up.

HoTS: Do you mold each mug by hand, or have you created a mold for your different types?
KM: I create many original pieces, and then I choose which design I want to produce on a larger scale. From there I sculpt another model based on my original design and then make the molds and then begin castings. Even though my production pieces come from a mold, I actually sculpt certain areas on each cast while the clay is still damp. My goal is to make each piece look like it did not come from a ceramic mold. Each cast is also custom painted using ceramic glazes and fired in my kiln. I fire each piece at least three times and I apply a different layer of glaze before each firing. I only began casting my designs in 2016 so every piece up until 2016 was a one-off original.

HoTS: Do you own a kiln? And how many incidents have there been?
KM: I own two Olympic Kilns. Olympic makes a really dependable kiln, and they are located just 15 minutes from my house. If you mean exploding pottery when you say incidents, then, yes... but only once... and that was my fault because I rushed the firing. I had a two very good teachers, Wayne Hewell and Jeff Standridge, when I first starting firing my work so I have been able to avoid many possible mishaps due to their instruction.

HoTS: Do you do conventions or art shows?
KM: I have done local pottery shows in the past, but I had to give those up in 2016 due to my busy schedule. I would like to set up at the Atlanta Walker Stalker Con at some point. Having a booth at Monsterpalooza would also be pretty cool.

HoTS: Are you working on any new ones, or have plans down the road?
KM: I work on new designs quite often. Some of the designs make the cut for production and some of them remain on my shelf or are purchased by collectors. I have a couple of designs I would like to release next year. A Batman mug is pretty high on the list and I also have some designs based on The Walking Dead walkers that I would like to produce. I also have an original design, Mad Mike, that is due out in March or April.

HoTS: Did you take some courses or classes on how to create mugs?
KM: On the pottery side of things I studied under Master Potter Wayne Hewell and he taught me how to work with the clay, firing, glazing, etc. As far as sculpting goes, I supposed I would be considered a self-taught sculptor since I have never taken a class on sculpting…I just kind of wing it until it looks right. I have watched a ton of online demo videos by some of the world’s best sculptors.

HoTS: What activities do you do outside of creepy mug creations?
KM: I try to spend as much time with my lovely wife, Kayla, and my two awesome kids, Mara (2) and Grey (1). I am big into the outdoors…I love kayak fishing on the river and hunting…but that has been put on the back burner since I have been so busy this year with fulfilling orders. I am also active in my church, and I am very thankful that the Good Lord has allowed me to make a living doing something that I am very passionate about!

HoTS: Do you have a fan page, website, Twitter account, etc?
KM: You can find my work on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. My website is primarily used for mug sales so to see most of my sculpts you will need to visit my social media accounts.

Thanks for the wonderful interview, Kevin Merck!

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JAN 2017: Jonathan Patrick Hughes

We start 2017 with one of our own - Jonathan Patrick Hughes.
If the title was not a big enough hint, it is a Christmas horror. Which we certainly do not have enough of 🙂
Here is our interview:
House of Tortured Souls: How long have you been a horror fan?
Jonathan Patrick Hughes: I have been a fan since I was quite young. I guess you can say that my mother got me involved starting with Friday The 13th Part 2 and from then on, my love for horror just escalated as time moved forward.
HoTS: What led to you deciding to write and direct a scary movie?
JPH: When I was 4 years old, my mother brought home with her a VHS copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller. I watched that thing 1,000 times and after seeing how the short film was made, I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. Back then, it was very rare that an audience got to see a making of something and at the age of 4 no one knows what they want to be when they grow up. I was different, bc I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.
HoTS: How long have you worked on (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: The idea popped in my head 3 years ago. We just got done shooting my very first horror short film, APARTMENT 1109 and when it was time to wrap up everything I just wanted to keep going. I was so excited to say that I made my first film and within a week later, the idea for (S)AINT NICK was born. I started writing the script while I was still in film school and once I graduated in January of 2015, I put all my focus on preparing what was going to be my first film after film school. Pre production ran about 7 months, we shot the film last December through the beginning of January and then spent about 7 months on post production.
HoTS: What inspired you to do this particular movie?
JPH: Being a fan of all types of Horror films, I was always a fan of holiday-themed horror films. Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Trick 'r Treat just to name a few. Christmas horror seems to be my favorite type of holiday-themed horror films. It's the time of giving and spending time with the family in front of a fully lit tree, dinners, and just smiles all around. Everyone is just so perky around that time of year. So, I wanted to crash that party with a very bleak, disturbing tale of sadness and discomfort, making an audience feel like they desperately need to rush home and take a shower after what they just witnessed. To make a long story short, my biggest influence upon making this film was ROB ZOMBIE. If anybody knows the kind of films he makes and loves them as well as his style of filmmaking and storytelling, then they should also find themselves loving (S)AINT NICK as well.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JPH: MICHAEL MYERS is my ultimate idol. John Carpenter's Halloween is my all time favorite film and has been for over 25 years. I've seen the film way over 300 times and every time I view the film, I always get excited as if it's the very first time I'm viewing it.
HoTS: Coke or Pepsi?
JPH: If I had to choose, I'd say Pepsi. I would much rather enjoy a half gallon of iced tea, though.
HoTS: Are you working on any more movies or have plans for others?
JPH: We are in the very early stages of writing my debut feature. I have asked Braden Bixler to come on board as my co-writer. Braden was responsible for the sound and score on (S)AINT NICK. The only thing that I will say at this giving time is imagine if John Hughes (Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, and Uncle Buck) was alive today and decided to make a slasher film, taking it back to the old school days. That is the current project we are working on. I have also developed an Easter horror short film, as well, but we will see if that takes off sometime in the future.
HoTS: Where can fans view/purchase (S)Aint Nick?
JPH: (S)AINT NICK has just been picked up by Body Bag Films. Tony Newton is the producer of an anthology titled The 12 Slays of Christmas and (S)AINT NICK will be one of the tales told in the anthology. No official release date as of yet, but I am told that the film will be available On Demand as well as DVD. As soon as I find out all the goodies, I will gladly inform everyone. Click here to check them out on IMDb.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page or twitter acct where we can keep up with the latest?
JPH: I just use Facebook. It's user friendly and everybody seems to have one. I have a Twitter, I just don't use it.
HoTS: What are some of your other hobbies?
JPH: Hobbies include spending time with my son, Liam, who is 5 years old, and trying to be a better father as well as a better coach. Other hobbies include writing, directing, creating, watching movies - old and new, listening to music, and setting up future goals for myself. You only live once, go big or go home, but always have fun!!!
We are looking forward to more of his work.
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 4 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – DEC 2016: Jaquan Robinson

By Tammie Parker
Back in October I introduced you to the other half of this artistic couple. I thought it only fitting to showcase her sensei and partner. 🙂
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-navyuniform
Jaquan is in the Navy. Come January he will be in for 5 years. It is an honor times two that I have this opportunity to interview him. I have such mad respect for those willing to serve this country and help out those that cannot defend themselves.
Now if that were not impressive enough for ya, get a load of Ernie Hudson (yes the Ghostbuster :O ) with a pair of Jaquan's shoes
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-ghostbusters_crop
Jaquan says they (he and Artist of the Month of October, Nicole) met Ernie at a convention, and two years later when they returned Ernie remembered who they were. I would just die right there on the spot!! He wouldn't even need to use his Proton Pack.
Or how about Sugartits himself Merle Dixon?
Holy Shoe Batman!! That is Michael Flipping Rooker! :O :O Can you even? I can't even right now, and I wasn't even there!
Speaking of Batman 😉
horror-art-shoes-batman
horror-art-shoes-joker
No matter which side you are on, they have you covered!
Jaquan and Nicole run a business called Eclectic Goods. They will do custom jobs by the way. And their arts isn't just on shoes, they do horror-art-shoes-excorsist caps, and bags, and have even painted tiny coffins (great for Halloween or 'Over the Hill' gifts). They do specialize in horror (all genres) well of course otherwise they would be no friends of mine LOL. However they're talents do not stop there. What about your video game hero, your favorite cartoon, or favorite comic character? I promise you this guy is the one to hit up for the job!

But they also have my heart with their classic horror icons like Freddy and Jason
horror-art-freddy
horror-shoe-friday13th
The couple travel around to many conventions, perhaps you have already seen them and are kicking yourself for not buying those Daryl Dixon pumps. Well I'm about to share their shop on etsy, and their Facebook page.
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth
artistofthemonth-jaquanrobinson-conbooth2
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: Are you self-taught or did you take courses somewhere?
JR: A little of both actually, I have been drawing and doing art things all my life. I also went to an art school for a while, that's where I gained a bit more painting experience.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
JR: I painted a The Nightmare Before Christmas piece for my wife Nicole on a modest sized canvas.
horror-art-shoes-nightmarebeforechristmas
 The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of their favorites to do. 🙂
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
JR: I think I started to really get into it a few years ago. Nicole is a huge horror person, so it definitely helped me embrace it more. She's huge into Stephen King's It. We watched a lot back in the day. And growing up I LOVED scary games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil (the first 3).
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
JR: I think it's safe to say the Crypt Keeper.
HoTS: In many photos I see you bent over the shoe, seriously concentrating. Do you draw the pic on first in ink? Or do you screen print some sort of way? Or dive right into painting?
JR: I dive right in and just see what happens, probably not always the best approach. Nicole and I usually discuss how it will turn out first, but I rarely draw it out first. Usually I'm just looking at my phone or tablet and painting from the image there. Sometimes adding something different it think is missing.
HoTS: What's the next con or art show you guys can be found at?
JR: We have nothing planned yet. We are moving in January and how smooth that works out will dictate the next con, not to mention the holidays are fast approaching! We will be busy from here on out until the move.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
JR: You can find our work on etsy, search eclecticgoodsva.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
JR: Yes, we have an Instagram, Egcustomkicks, and a Facebook page, Eclectic Goods: Hand Painted Shoes, where we regularly post new works.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
JR: Oh, yes, always! There just isn't enough time in the day lol, you would be surprised at some of the custom things we have been working on. We just finished working on The Shining, Scarlet Spiderman, and some Deadpool/Wolverine designs. All fun challenging stuff.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
JR: Spending time with family, catching up on some good TV shows, playing some PC games on my rig, and (don't laugh) yo-yoing. Haha.
Keep an eye out for this couple, they are blowing up!
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 2 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – NOV 2016: Cory Newman

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – NOV 2016: Cory Newman

By Tammie Parker

A Few Minutes With
Cory Newman

Boy, do I have a way of stumble across different, unique, and original artists! Once again, I found an artist through a mutual Walker (zombie for TWD) friend, that was showcasing his work of her as a Walker. My original comment was 'WOW! That is one helluva nice tat!' However, I came to find out it wasn't a tattoo at all; that's just the style and the fact that Cory Newman uses parchment paper so it looks like it's on skin. His highlighting and shading is on point, and these portraits jump off that paper. You really have to stand back to make sure you do not get bit.
Then, when I struck up a conversation with him, I found out that not only is he a real tattoo artist (and a kick-ass one - click here to check out his tat Facebook page), but he's also a horror fan and does other monsters besides zombies. So there's something for everyone. 😉
Cory is 45-years-old and a professional tattoo artist from Wisconsin. He owns Black Lotus Custom Tattoos in Onalaska, Wisconsin.
I harassed Cory, and got these Q&As out of him.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Cory Newman: I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I remember growing up with people always saying how good my art was.
HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
CN: I'm a self-taught artist. I did take an art course once, but it didn't last long. I didn't like being told what's the right and wrong way to draw.
HoTS: When/why did you fall in love with horror or zombie art?
CN: I fell in love with horror when I was 8. I remember being home alone and watching the Exorcist through the holes of a blanket. It was fun being scared.
HoTS: Do you draw on paper (in lead?) then paint in? Or on a computer with a program?
CN: I draw it graphite, white charcoal, and red food coloring.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster or walker?
CN: It's hard to choose a favorite horror movie monster but if I have to answer I would say I'm partial to Michael Myers and Ash and the Deadites from the Evil Dead. I'm also I big zombie fan. I love The Walking Dead. My favorite character is Rick Grimes and my favorite walker is the 'Bicycle Girl' played by Melissa Cowen. Also, I love Hellraiser and all the Cenobites.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows?
CN: I don't do comic or horror cons. but that is one of my long term goals. I would love to travel to like-minded people to sell my art.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
CN: As of right now, the only way to purchase prints of my work is to contact me on Facebook. I very rarely sell my originals. Only two people own my original work. I don't really do commissions. I feel like I'll be stuck drawing a bunch of stuff that's extremely boring to me. I don't want to get burnt out on my drawing.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
CN: No real fan pages. I have most of my work on my Facebook profile under the album Horror and Fan Art. And I also have a page called The Devils Sketchbook. The best way to keep up on my drawing is through my Facebook profile.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
CN: Right now I'm working on a drawing of Negan from The Walking Dead. Next I'm planning two Hellraiser drawings.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
CN: Outside of drawing and tattooing I spend a lot of time with my wife and my boxer Boondox. I also collect horror and walking dead collectibles. Other than that I'm a pretty boring person.
HA! Yep, he's a pretty boring person! Right?
I am the proud owner of two of his pieces.
I am completely in love and now planning a road trip to Wisconsin to find a bush to hide in (or in this case a bookshelf!) to watch him work.
Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – OCT 2016: Nicole Robinson

By Tammie Parker

I came across a pair of TWD themed Eclectic Goods shoes on a page on fb. And it was like I found the love of my life!! LOL seriously I was shouting, 'WHY. am I just finding these??' Eclectic Goods is actually a power couple of KICK-ASS comic nerds, gamers, comic-conners, and cartoon lovers! I swear I'm going to move in with them!!! Now they are doing caps and totes. #LOVE

Nicole Robinson, owner and artist, agreed to answer a few questions.

twd-shoes-michonne

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started drawing and painting?
Nicole Robinson: To be honest it wasn’t until I was an adult in my 20s that I tried to paint anything. I used to doodle and draw here and there growing up but never anything serious. My husband has been my biggest teacher and whatever talent I do have I learned from him.

horror-movies-fridaythe13th-shoes2

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?
NR: I took art classes in high school and one in college. Also I have had some amazing people throughout my life with various talents that taught me many things. Jack, my partner and husband has had some training at an Art Institute in Florida which he was kind enough to share with me. Before him I had no idea about mixing colors, shading, or a lot of technique skills that are really valuable. I would just grab a brush and start painting. He taught about what size brush and what type of brush I needed. He has really been my mentor in all this.

horror-movies-suicidesquad-shoes

HoTS: When did you fall in love with horror art? (TWD, Pennywise, etc) Why?

horror-movies-it-shoesNR: Growing up, my father was a huge influence on how my interest were formed. Halloween was always a big deal in our house. He had a love for the Stephen King Universe and my first horror movie was IT. Pennywise scared me to the core. It has always been a lot of fun for me and I enjoy creating the same type of memories with my kids. Watching horror movies and shows like The Walking Dead is just good old fashioned fun for me. Horror art is an expression of that and gives me an outlet. It always the most fun when it something I really enjoy.

twd-shoes-carlHoTS: Do you first draw in ink, or the blood of innocent souls? Then paint in?

NR: A little of both. Just depends on what we are painting that day.

horror-movies-texaschainsaw-shoes
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?

NR: Pennywise the Clown will always hold a special place in my heart. I find Regan from The Exorcist really scary. There is something really frightening about innocence gone wrong.

horror-movies-it-shoes2

HoTS: Do you do comic cons? Or art shows? (I know the answer to a lot of these, so don't think I'm senile.)

NR: We do comic con type events for the most part. This past summer we had booths at Scares That Care in Williamsburg, Va and Walker Stalker Con New Jersey. Both of which were beyond amazing to us and we can’t wait to return. We have also done a few others like Wizard World and Tidewater Comic Con. We don’t have anything coming up except for attending Scares That Care in July 2017.

horror-movies-nightmareonelmstreet-shoes

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

NR: We are on Etsy! Our shop is: Ecletic Goods.
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HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter acct, so we can keep up with your work?

NR: Yes, check us out here:

FB Follow / Free.

Instagram Follow / Free.

Twitter Follow / Free.

horror-movies-silenceofthelambs-shoesHoTS: Are you working on anything right now?

NR: Right now we are getting some new designs together for Halloween and preparing for the holidays. We have a new Hellraiser design and The Exorcist coming as well as a Walking Dead Rick and Daryl high top in the works.

HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?

NR: I play The Sims 3. Most of my free time is spent with my family. I have two amazing girls that keep me pretty busy. I do yoga and enjoy crafting.

Alright since this is the end of our Q&A with Nicole Robinson, let me just throw in another pair of TWD shoes.

twd-shoes-rick-graveyard

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 1 comment
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Sept 2016: Steve Turner

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Sept 2016: Steve Turner

A Few Minutes With Steve Turner

By Tammie Parker

BRAINSI discovered Steve though a mutual Walker (The Walking Dead zombie) friend. Steve drew him as a Walker and it was the first time I thought to myself, 'Well I would certainly hang that on my wall!' Absolutely DISGUSTING and absolutely AWESOME!! He is very detailed, and many of his work is life-like. He definitely has a way of showcasing your creepy side.

Steve agreed to a Q&A, so let's get to it!
 

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?

Steve Turner: I don't really know. I've been drawing for a while now, but I've been drawing digitally for around four or five years.

 

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?

ST: I'm self taught, like everything it's just practice. I'm still learning new things

 

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art like The Walking Dead, Alien, etc.?

ST: I've always been into the horror genre, but The Walking Dead really grabbed me, Walkers are my favorite to draw.

 

HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls? Then paint over? Or is it all done on the computer?

ST: It's all hand drawn on the computer using a Wacom Digital Pen and different pieces of software for line work and textures.

 

HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster? Do you have a favorite walker?

ST: I like the classics, Freddy, Jason, etc. Favorite walker? That's a tough one. They are all fantastic, and I've been fortunate enough to become friends with the actors and they are great guys.

 

"Eleven' Stranger Things

Eleven from Stranger Things

HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows?

ST: No, I don't, but some of the Walker actors show my work at the cons.

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

ST: I don't actually sell my work it's purely a hobby for me, I usually give the image to whoever it's for and leave it up to them what they want to do with it.

 

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or a Twitter account, so we can keep up with your work?

ST: Yes. I have a Facebook page, an Instagram account. I'm also on DeviantArt [Berzerk Artwerk], I need to update with my latest work!

 

HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?

ST: Mainly pet portraits! They are very popular at the moment.

 

HoTS: What are some of your past-times outside of drawing?

ST: I like walking Zakk my Border Terrier every morning, gaming, and watching movies.

 

Here are two of his TWD pieces. I'm telling ya this man in flipping awesome!

'It's an emotional moment' Negan on TWD

'It's an emotional moment.' Negan on The Walking Dead

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Chris Harrelson, a Walker on The Walking Dead

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments

The Twisted Mind of Jasper Bark

By John Roisland

Jasper Bark Head on a Stick. Fair use doctrine.

A few years ago,while online, I became friends with a horror author by the name of Jasper Bark. He and I quickly hit it off as we both share the love for the horror genre. I did some research on my new friend and his work, and I soon became a fan.

From author of children's stories to adult comics, publisher and poet Jasper Bark seems to have done it all. As a child of two river Gypsies, Jasper seemed to have had an active life, while giving a go at schools and a few political demonstrations. Jasper now rests his head as a happily married man who, together with his wife, share their lives and love for their daughters.

Now while it may seem that Jasper has settled, he now focuses his creative mind on his passion for writing! Be sure to find Jasper Bark on Facebook and become a follower of his work.

Jasper Bark - The Final Cut. Fair use doctrine.Jasper Bark - Stuck On You. Fair use doctrine.

Jasper Bark - Way of The Barefoot Zombie. Fair use doctrine.Jasper Bark - Tomes of The Dead. Fair use doctrine.

I recently asked my friend to give me a short bio. He in return, sent me two. Both, I felt, I must share with you for you to get a full feel for not only what Jasper Bark has contributed to the world, but also to get a feel for who Jasper Bark is.

Here is the first:

Jasper Bark finds writing author biographies and talking about himself in the third person faintly embarrassing. Telling you that he’s an award winning author of four cult novels including the highly acclaimed Way of the Barefoot Zombie, just sounds like boasting. Then he has to mention that he’s written 12 children’s books and hundreds of comics and graphic novels and he wants to just curl up. He cringes when he has to reveal that his work has been translated into nine different languages and is used in schools throughout the UK to help improve literacy, or that he was awarded the This Is Horror Award for his recent anthology Dead Air. Maybe he’s too British, or maybe he just needs a good enema, but he’s glad this bio is now over.

And now for my favorite:

Jasper Bark is infectious - and there’s no known cure. If you’re reading this then you’re already at risk of contamination. The symptoms will begin to manifest any moment now. There’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no itching or unfortunate rashes, but you’ll become obsessed with his books, from the award winning collections Dead Air and Stuck on You and Other Prime Cuts, to cult novels like The Final Cut and acclaimed graphic novels such as Bloodfellas and Beyond Lovecraft. Soon you’ll want to tweet, post, and blog about his work until thousands of others fall under its viral spell. We’re afraid there’s no way to avoid this, these words contain a power you are hopeless to resist. You’re already in their thrall and have been since you started this book. Even now you find yourself itching to read the rest of his work. Don’t fight it, embrace the urge and wear your affliction with pride!

Trust your Uncle Jasp on this, you know it makes sense.

I cant say enough about Jasper Bark. He's a kind hearted soul, with a great sense of humor. He's just a all around great guy! So get your ass over there and give Uncle Jasp a shout! Tell him John at House of Tortured Souls, sent you!

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 0 comments
ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Sept 2016: Scott Spillman

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Sept 2016: Scott Spillman

By Tammie Parker

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-self

Click here to view all of his merchandise.

Scott Spillman has an incredible, amazingly unique touch that makes his work ONE OF A KIND. His work with color makes it easy for you to fall in love. The best part is that he does a collection of The Walking Dead characters! (Have I mentioned lately I'm OBSESSED with TWD?) This unique color pattern works phenomenally with the gloom of the dystopia that is The Walking Dead. Blending these bright, cheerful colors into the Zombie Apocalypse could not be pulled off by any other artist!! Then add in his talent in detail that make even his black and whites so realistic!!
Scott's first TWD painting was Michonne. He packed 20 prints with him to the convention he was going to hand his work over to Danai. He sold all 20 prints in about 30 minutes.

Since then he has done several of the main cast members. The next one in line is Jesus.
Scott Spillman twd-collection-teddybeargirl-print**My favorites (at the moment) are 'Summer' (most of us know her as 'Teddy Bear Girl') and Sgt. Abraham Ford in black and white!
Scott puts his artwork on several different types of items himself. Down right to putting the screenprints on the t-shirts! I have his link at the top of this piece, and all of his links are in our Q&A.

Scott Spillman twd-collection-abesketchSpeaking of which, here is our interview:

House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?

Scott Spillman: I started drawing at a very early age. I have a couple drawings from when I was four.

 

HoTS: Where did you learn to draw? Did you take classes?

SS: I'm self taught when it comes to the drawing and painting, but I do have a degree in Commercial Art, that was mainly logo design and computer programs though.

 

HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with drawing The Walking Dead?

SS: I've been a fan of the show since the pilot episode. The first five minutes of the show had me hooked when Rick had to kill "Summer" (Addy Miller). Which I'm good friends with her and her mom now.

 

HoTS: Do you draw in pencil on canvas or draw on the computer?

SS: I use the computer to find my reference and then adjust it to fit my composition. I then print it out at about six inches tall in black and white, mount it to my easel and start drawing on the canvas with pencil. After that I apply layers of acrylic paint over it.

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-abeontheeaselHoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep, monster, or walker?

SS: Frankenstein is my favorite "monster" but I've always been a fan of Freddie Krueger too. There's also a lot of walkers on the show that I love.

 

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-abeselfieHoTS: Do you do comic cons, or art shows, or anything?

SS: I try to do at least one comic con a month. Mainly, I've been following the Walker Stalker cons around the country.

 

HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?

SS: I have two web sites: www.ScottSpillman.com to see some of my other work and www.bleedingart.com to purchase my merchandise.

 

HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or Twitter accounts so we can keep up with your work?

SS: Yes. My fan page is https://www.facebook.com/Scott.Spillman.Art/ . You can also "follow" me here: https://www.facebook.com/SCOTT.SPILLMAN.ARTIST (I already reached the 5,000 max limit).
Twitter- @spillman68
Instagram - Spillmanfineart

 

HoTS: You have a very unique, original talent with color play. What piece was your first? How did the concept come about?

SS: I've always worked in a lot of different styles. I was working on a series of portraits at the time where the look of the painting fit the subject matter. Marilyn Monroe was black and white with a little pop of color and James Dean was in sepia tones. I then came to Jim Morrison of the Doors and all the colors came out. When I was finished, I said to myself "THIS IS IT" it's hard to explain, but I just knew THIS was my style. Everything I've painted since then has been done in my signature style.

Scott Spillman twd-scottspillman-collage

Posted by Tammie Parker in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, 1 comment

PROFILE: Bo Hons: Confections From Hell

By John Roisland

Bo Hons - Cake Chef

Back in the mid-nineties I became friends with a guy who you swear could have been the fifth member of Danzig. Sporting long, jet-black hair, black wristbands, and ripped jeans, Bo Hons looked like a rock star, and when I first met Bo, he was, in fact, a drummer in an Annapolis, MD-based heavy metal band called Vox Humana. I was introduced to Bo by other members in the band that I knew. Bo and i quickly became very good friends, and I'm proud to say we still are to this day!

Eventually, Bo left the music industry to pursue his other passions of photography and cooking. A few years later, Bo proudly graduated from the Baltimore Culinary Arts school. During his schooling, he was kind enough to prepare for me a multi-flavored multi-colored checkerboard chocolate mousse cake that was so far beyond mere deliciousness that to this day I still tell people about it!

Through many hard years of different culinary jobs, Bo ran for the northern border and ended up in Canada. Bo created and opened his bakery called Wolfbay Cafe. Bo started off small doing small cakes for friends and families for birthdays and holidays. Through word of mouth, the size of his orders grew and so did his notoriety.

Bo's talent and passion for his baking has landed him in many competitions and is now training his own courses and classes in airbrushing for cake decorating.
Bo Hons - Human liver cake Bo Hons - Jack-o-lantern

Now it's 20 years later and Bo has long since cut his hair (as matter of fact, he's completely bald), but he somehow still looks like a rock star - in his own way. Through many hard years of different culinary jobs, Bo ran for the northern border and ended up in Canada. Bo created and opened his bakery called Wolfbay Cafe. Bo started off small doing small cakes for friends and families for birthdays and holidays. Through word of mouth, the size of his orders grew and so did his notoriety. Bo is still a proud American but resides in Alberta, Canada, where he is appropriately a huge ice hockey fan as well as a very happy family man.

Don't get the wrong impression from the pictures that I'm sharing; these are his horror creations. In addition to horror-themed confections, Bo turns his vast talents to create custom orders as well as experiments with his own culinary treats, such as special flavor of the month cheesecakes. Aside from the cake he made me while he was still studying, I've not had the pleasure of tasting his creations. I've only seen pictures of Bo's work, but it is amazing! And believe me – if it is half as good as my cake, you will be satisfied.

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I don't know how things work as far as being able to do shipping, but if by any means you ever find yourself north of the border, do yourself a favor and look up Wolfbay Cafe. In the mean time, you can email Bo at wolfbaycafe@gmail.com and check out his  Facebook page). Tell him that John-Boy is waiting for another chocolate mousse cake, as a matter of fact a nice House of Tortured Souls birthday cake is now in order,...just sayin'! Proud of all you have achieved Bo , you have earned the named CAKE CHEF!

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Bo Hons

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTIST, FOOD AND DRINK, 1 comment