Featured Artist – Kerbcrawlerghost

One of the more positive aspects of our modern technology is how much we are able to discover through the use of social media and the fact that more and more people are connected.  Creative communities are now able to share their work across multiple channels and effectively be their own PR companies.  We had the good fortune of stumbling upon Chilean artist Kerbcrawlerghost in just this manner.  His depictions of what some may consider sacrilegious imagery are the stuff of dreams, nightmares, and sexual fantasies.  He has recently done cover art for Weregoat and is in the process of collaborating with new bands.  We look forward to seeing his work pop up elsewhere.  Check out our interview below!

finguersuckHow long have you been creating artwork with religious connotations, and are you interested in conveying a specific view or message regarding religion?

Not very long ago I started to learn about the tarot and the figure of the devil became very significant for me because represents from my point of view my ideals as an artist, my creativity. My search of beauty always comes from darkness, pessimism, obsession, addictions and mostly by lust and desire.  It is not a negative card for me at all.

But religion was always implicit in my formation as an artist, since I remember my mother was studying the bible and became a Jehovah´s witness when I was just a kid, she made me study the bible too with a book called “My Book of Biblic Stories.” It was fully illustrated, and from the beginning I felt attracted when the evil was represented by demons, whores, giants, diseases, or when the anger of god fell over burning cities and fucking everything up with plagues…. So I started to love the apocalypse since very young.

My art is not focused on trying to send a specific message against religion. I don’t mind people’s beliefs, what I really hate are the institutions that rule behind, those are the real demons.

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What influences you to create your art?

The exorcism of reality, the possibility to perform my desire and appreciation of life without going to jail, and the quest of finding beauty in the meantime, and I love to find it in that thin line between horror.

Do you have any specific artists that have had a big influence on you and why?

Yes, and the list can be endless. Right now my top five should be Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Bruegel, Albert Durer, Gustave Doré and Theodor Kittelsen. But there are great living artists that I have been lucky to follow in the process as they create and evolve, like Jeremy Bastian or Vania Zouravilov. Some of them have become friends, like Godmachine, Joshua Jay Johnson, Paul Rentler, Frenchinald and many others. These are good times we are living, to share our art and take it out of fucking museums and galleries and get regular people’s appreciation and feedback of your work.  And aaahh, why are they are big influences? Because I steal the best from them, and then apply all those great techniques and ideas to my work, it’s one way to improve. I just rob them!

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What is your favorite piece that you have created so far and why?

To be honest I don’t have one, but I have different feelings for them. With some I have learned or discover techniques in the process. Others have a special effect on people, and that is something you can’t predict. Some have a lot of hours of work but very few people like them, others are very simple doodles that condensate a better idea and everybody loves them. That’s why I don’t have favorites. Maybe the day that I get to a perfect illustration, I will be the rest of my life trying to reproduce that, and it will be nonsense.

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What would be your dream project?

I love stories, and I would love to expand my art to a narrative, create a universe out of a comic and maybe animation. Now I’m working on a couple of scripts to [achieve] that step, and both are related to my actual favorite themes; eroticism, occultism, satanism and mythology. But writing a story and designing characters is a very slow process, it’s hard to get everything right and eats a lot of time. I hope to be 100% dedicated to that next year with a comic Kickstarter campaign, and stop living from doing storyboards and shit for advertising… But for now that’s only a dream.

 

Kerbcrawlerghost on Facebook

Kerbcrawlerghost Merch

Kerbcrawlerghost on Instagram @kerbcrawlerghost

 

-Thalia Gore-

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Featured Artist – wolfCat Workshop

There are a handful of very lucky artists out there who see a completely different world when they close their eyes.  It’s a world filled with magical characters.  Ones you wish you could come across in your travels.

We recently had the good fortune of getting to know wolfCat Workshop and learning about all the beautiful creatures and characters he sees in his world.  This west coast native and fellow cat enthusiast gave us a peek into his creative process and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Please check out our interview below as well as some of his beautiful artwork!

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-Tell us a little bit about yourself as an artist and how long you have been creating.

I am very much a generalist, and I am very curious about a lot of things. So, naturally, it has not been a straight path for me. A few years ago when I was visiting my mother she asked me to clean some things I left in her apartment. I found all these journals and papers from before high school. I used to write a lot. I really wanted to be a writer. There were poems – really bad ones, mind you – short stories, articles, essays… and on the margins and the backs of notebooks there were a ton of drawings. For a long time I wasn’t serious about drawing but looking at those made me realize I had been doing it all along. My childhood was full of mechanical toys and drawing supplies (my mother was an architect before computers were The drafting tool) but it was only after college that I fully realized that making things with my hands made me whole and happy.

And making things with my hands is at the center of my life, even if it’s not considered art. I enjoy woodworking and metalworking and sewing and hobby electronics and food fermentation projects. The special thing about the visual stuff I make is that it makes me the most proud. And the feeling is not like “Oh, that’s the best thing I’ve made,” it’s more like I look back at some of those drawings and think “Yeah, time well spent. I’m glad I did that.”

-Do you have a routine for your work on a daily basis?

Yes, there are some things I try to do consistently. They change overtime or I adapt them to what I need, but the basic idea is: draw something everyday, whatever it is.

A few years ago I was depressed and told all my (Facebook) friends I would post a new drawing everyday for 30 days. It’s not a cure for depression but it helped, and some nice images came out of it. After this I kept trying similar challenges. I like that feeling of the self imposed deadline where I don’t wait for inspiration but I’m constantly thinking “What the hell am I going to draw today? Well, something is better than nothing…”

My current routine involves drawing for at least 10 minutes first thing in the morning. I’m not a morning person and I found out that this non-judgmental doodling helps me transition between grumpy-me and let’s-get-started-with-the-day me. I often go for longer or keep working on the same project day after day. One can do a lot in just 10 minutes a day. Right now I’m collecting these drawings. I will make them into a zine when I reach 42 pages.

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-Many of your pieces feature various types of amazing creatures, where do you come up with them and are they representative of anything?

There are a few creatures I draw over and over and I think of them as versions of certain concepts. For example: there is the tentacled alien god – which is clearly Lovecraftian – but it’s also my caricature of god, or a god. I mean, if there is a god it probably is an utterly incomprehensible creature, a true alien to us, an Other.  Plus tentacles are really cool.

There is also Umbrella Man. He’s a sort of a puppet made out of discarded umbrellas that came to be after seeing all the umbrellas that get discarded after the rain in New York; sad, forgotten, insect-like and melancholic. Umbrella man represents that feeling for me.

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Although I have to say some of the creatures are less special in terms of their origins. Sometimes they were just fun to draw or maybe I saw the work of another artist and I wanted to make my own version.

There is also this book I have to mention. Not so much because I’ve tried to illustrate some of the characters in there but because I feel it gave me permission to imagine my own. China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station is a fairly gritty novel set up in a Victorian steampunk magical world populated by really strange creatures.  It has a multidimensional spider with human hands that speaks in verse, a moth like creature that feeds on people’s dreams and secretes a powerful drug, parasitic hands… it’s very visual, and very eclectic, very metal in fact. And I know I don’t need permission to draw anything, but sometimes it helps to see crazy concepts working well in other artistic realms.

I get some ideas from comics too. I love the surreal and ornate world of Jim Woodring, Neil Gaiman’s willingness to borrow from all cultures and the gloomy children’s world of Taiyo Matsumoto.

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-Your work has such intricate line work and shading, has that always been a part of your style or is that something that developed over time?

It developed over time as I found out ways to use my natural inclinations. I can be very focused and patient. Somehow I do enjoy sitting there for hours putting dots on a piece of paper. Details matter a lot to me.

Also, brush pens. I love brush pens. If you are not familiar with those, they are like a fountain pen but instead of a nib you have a brush with actual bristles. They have an ink reservoir so unlike a normal brush you don’t have to dip it every few strokes. Very fun if you are into making lines with varying thicknesses and lots of control. I think using them so much has influenced my output.

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-How did you come to start doing the woodwork pieces?  Did it evolve from your sketchbook ideas?

I have been trying to bring different aspects of my life together. Woodworking is really fun for me, I also like sewing and I’ve worked in construction and metal fabrication professionally, so I consider myself pretty crafty, but somehow I’ve kept the visual art stuff confined to flat surfaces like paper. The woodwork pieces come from my desire to mix them up, so as you mention, I’ve been taking ideas from the sketchbook and trying to make them work as three dimensional objects. I feel I’m just getting started with this, but I’m happy that those pieces have had such a warm reception.

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-What music are you currently listening to while you work?  Are there any specific bands that have been a big influence for you?

When I find something I like it’s on repeat for weeks. I’m one of those obsessive listeners. Lately I’m loving Tau Cross, the project by Rob Miller from Amebix. The lyrics are really wonderful, simple and full of interesting images. As a side note, it was really cool to find out Rob is an amazing blacksmith, he makes swords, incredible craftsmanship.

To Your Death by Christian Mistress just came out last year, Christine Davis is probably my favorite heavy/thrash metal vocalist of all times.

On the brutal side of things I’ve been really enjoying Wormed from Spain, I think their sci-fi theme and humor work well (they have a song titled “Cumputronium Pulsar Nanarchy” ! ) and the music is great fun. Lately Jomsviking by Amon Amarth has been on repeat too, because who can resist those catchy tunes? And I saw their L.A show in May.

It’s hard for me to establish a connection between particular bands and my visual art, but there are some bands I’ve thought about for a long time, and in that way they are an influence. Carcass comes to mind. I distinctly remember the first time I put Necroticism–Descanting the Insalubrious on my treasured Sony Discman, I listened to the whole thing, read the lyrics and… didn’t get it at all. I was even a little bit disgusted. I thought it was weird and a little bit crazy but I eventually came to love that album. Kinda like when you hate someone at first sight later to fall in love with them. Carcass became my model for appreciating art. I think Descanting the Insalubrious taught me that if I strongly dislike something, I need to explore it further, dig deeper, see the other side.

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-Do you exhibit your work in galleries or do you show online only?

After doing online only for a while, a good friend pushed me to have a show and it was a great experience. People asked me questions I didn’t have good answers for, which was a good learning experience. And I loved seeing people flipping through the pages of some of my sketchbooks, touching the drawings and feeling the textures. I would like to make more stuff that is tactile and needs to be experienced live, and even if you don’t touch them, it is nice to see the originals. So there are probably some shows in the future. I don’t have any concrete plans right now but if anyone wants to suggest a venue, please get in touch.

-Who is your favorite living artist?

I’d like to tell you my cat Shiro, for he has mastered the art of being awesome, but you probably want to know who my favorite human artist is. I really admire Andy Goldsworthy. His patience, visual elegance, craftsmanship. I accept that we are two entirely different human beings but sometimes I wish I was Andy Goldsworthy. There is a documentary about his work called “Rivers and Tides.” Go watch it after you follow me on Instagram.

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You can check out more awesome work through the following links, and be sure to sign up for the newsletter!

wolfCat Workshop Website

wolfCat Workshop on Facebook

Twitter & Instagram – @wolfcatworkshop

-Thalia Gore-

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Featured Artist – Lost and Found Fine Art

We are very honored to present Juliana Peloso of Lost and Found Fine Art as our featured artist.  This Savannah, Georgia resident has been in gallery shows across the country and her award winning work ranges from photo-realistic depictions of nature to celebrity portraiture.  She has spent a majority of her years developing her craft as an oil painter and her pieces are devastatingly mesmeric.  From the painstakingly accurate detail of a bird’s wing, to the glimmer in David Bowie’s eye, she has an acute sense of detail and is definitely an artist you should keep on your radar.  Check out our interview below!
How long have you been painting and what is the method to your process?
I started painting when I was a kid, but did my first oil painting I think at 16, I’m about to be 42, so that’s a few years there.
My process of painting has changed over the years. I would originally spend months using layer upon layer of oil glazes. Over time, I guess I became more efficient in my brushwork, so I try to complete a painting in one or two sittings if possible.
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 Many of your previous pieces were of various species of birds and have now transitioned into more portraiture, what do you think inspired the transition in subject?
Just like my process, my subject matter is constantly evolving. My real passion is for my larger scale narrative works.  Although I may be criticized that I jump around subject wise, it’s all a long term learning experience for me to become a better oil painter . Craftsmanship and respect for the medium are very important to me. I got into painting birds, other animals and still life objects as a form of doing studies. This then led to my current series of celebrity portraits. It’s a way to explore all types of facial features/ hair/ skin color etc. without worrying about making a meaningful statement.  This process has been a lot of fun, and after about 70 celebrity paintings, I can definitely say I learned quite a bit.  At this point in my career, I’m not concerned with being known for one thing (subject wise).  One day it will all come together into my narrative work (when I decide to settle down).
 
What would you say your favorite piece is?
My favorite pieces are usually ones that signify a transitional moment. I worked on a piece titled “Primal Scream” for months, and put so much of my “self” into it. I felt as though it came off as expressive, and really evoked emotion.
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Primal Scream
Another favorite of mine was “Ad Astra Per Aspera” a collaborative piece I did with my talented friend Kelley Hagemes of Claw and Bone Artworks. We had an exhibit together in 2012, and I felt like our styles melded perfectly together. I’d really love to do more collaborative work with different artists in the future.
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Ad Astra Per Aspera
 
If you could have anyone sit for a portrait, dead or alive, who would you choose? 
That’s difficult to say, but I suppose it would be interesting to sit and paint another artist while they painted me. Someone like Frida Kahlo, I could watch her process, which is very different from mine. Or Bob Ross, he was probably a very pleasant man and it would be fun to paint his hair.
What is the best advice you have been given as an artist?
What advice would you give aspiring artists?
I  was told by someone once that to call yourself an artist, you have to do art everyday. I’m not sure that is the best advice, but it was always something that stuck with me and gave me motivation.  Maybe “doing art” is thinking about your next project, or researching something that inspires you. As in any other skill or craft, having it part of your daily routine is some way or another keeps you in practice. I guess my advice would be to always move forward and grow, but of course, enjoy the journey.
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What projects are in store for Lost and Found Fine Art?
I always try to keep busy and be involved with various group/ benefit shows. It’s an easy way of having a presence in your local art scene and being part of the community. In April, I will be having work in an exhibit ” Southern Discomfort”, work inspired by writer Flannery O’Conner, and “Art Deko” one of 100 regional artists creating original works on / with skatedecks, to be auctioned off to benefit our future free public skatepark.
What I’m most excited about are my two upcoming solo exhibitions:
“I’m Your Biggest Fan” in April, will feature over 60 celebrity portraits. I’m happy to be involved with Location Gallery here in Savannah. They are newly opened, and they donate their gallery commission to local non profits. My exhibit will be donating gallery profits to One Love Animal Rescue. They are even going to hold a coinciding animal adoption event.
My other exhibition will be in Durham, NC at SPECTRE Arts. The gallery is in an old converted church and will feature my narrative work and still lives. Although I’ve shown pieces around the country, this will be my first solo show outside of Georgia.

Featured Artist – Ascending Storm

The women of Some Girls Metal strongly believe that music and art are very deeply intertwined and eternally trade places between giving and receiving inspiration.  We feel one cannot exist without the other, like strands of thread that weave together and make a bolt of fabric.  In that stead we have decided to feature various artists from different fields and learn about their process, ideas, and source of inspiration.  This week we are very excited to debut this idea which will become a recurring part of our website.

We are honored to present our first featured artist, Ascending Storm, whose ethereal and labyrinthine paintings seep into the deepest crevices of your mind and spirit you away to unknown places.

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When you are looking for inspiration, where do you start and if you are having a creative block what do you do to get over it?

Inspiration hits me at odd times, often lulls when I’m driving or walking somewhere, where I need to quickly archive the idea so I don’t lose the potency of the concept, which means writing down words that resonate with me, and sketching things on paper or my hand. A potent idea rarely ever comes when it’s forced, it hits me at random times and consumes me until I chip away at it.  What inspires me are life experiences, and I take those and break them down into imagery & symbols. I start at the very core of what I believe and who I am, my values and how I think and view the world, It’s a complete inner reflection and evolution of my own life and  perception. All of life’s hardships and joys are things I take inspiration from, lessons and overcoming obstacles. It starts from an individual, honest and open, direct vision with no outside expectation or alterations, meaning I never create art to please people unless it’s a project I’m doing strictly for them. If you look at the art world you can see so much replication of what’s already popular, what’s already created being recreated, and to me there’s more in the soul of the artist than being a copy machine. Originality starts when you destroy the concept of pleasing people.

Everything else concerning inspiration is secondary. A lot of my inspiration comes from my love of music. My entire life has been interlinked with music while I create. The emotional vibrance is something that makes me reflect and pry out things I truly want to say. But inspiration always comes from those moments when you are human, vulnerable, honest. Life simply provides enough when you are observant.

I struggled with creative blocks a lot early in my art career, in my early 20’s. There was a period where I couldn’t create art for almost 5 years. I am certain that the root of most all artistic blocks come from not really knowing what I wanted to say in my work. I enjoyed art, I seemed to be good at a certain level, but I had no idea what or who I was as an artist and what I wanted to say, and that was paralyzing. There were also times at that stage in my life where comparing myself to other artists made me have a block, and that’s just focus and energy going away from the creation process. After 5 years of thinking about what I wanted to make, and knowing in my heart what I truly wanted to say in this lifetime, I broke out of the block and I’ve never had one since. Over a decade later I sometimes will have moments of not knowing what to create, usually from having too much to say. If one, or two days go by and I’m not painting I start to feel like I’m losing my mind. So I just focus on the important ideas and it works itself out. It’s a process of narrowing down by priority.

That’s the most important advice I think I could give to artists, why do you make it? Ask yourself that question all the time, let it evolve and let it firmly guide your work, apply the answers to your work in turn.

3.They Hear My Voice

If you could design the album artwork for any one band who would it be?

I think about the bands I love, and at first it would seem pretty awesome to do art for them, but the main reason why I love the bands I do is because of their own artistic vision they have outside of mine. My work is not really complimentary to the graphic work seen in a lot of design for bands, which also makes me feel humbled when bands come to me for art. To me, Given To The Rising by Neurosis is album art perfected, Josh Graham did an amazing job on that album. I really like bands adopting and merging the identity of the sound with a singular artistic style. I’m most proud of the work I did for Judd Madden’s last two albums, I’m an actual fan of his, making art for music I routinely listen to, which is a bit surreal in itself. If I had to pick one, it would be Yob. I would have to strip things down, make it focused and a bit minimal. Clearing The Path To Ascend is beautiful, powerful album art. When I hear those songs I see that image.

1.What Only Exists In The Mind

What are some of the underlying themes/ideas in your work and are they derived from personal experience?

Yes, most everything I make is sourced from a direct experience I’ve had. I am very interested in social/psychological aspects. That has played an important role in my work in the past few years and I actually have plans to start an entire series depicting psychological elements. I take from everything, life, death, pain, loss, health issues and the complications that has on the quality of life. The focus on money, addiction, position, control, and destruction. But also the need for hope, to transform and grow. To reflect and see the faults in oneself, the mistakes and to admit. The need to be vulnerable and sacrifice, to love and most of all, the strength to change.

2.Theories Of Light

Do you have a specific playlist you listen to when you are working and if so who are some of the bands?

When there is a new album out I’ll delve into that for weeks if not months. I like to stick to one band and give it my all for long periods of time. New music is always fun, it ignites new ideas, new worlds and atmospheres. Then there are the bands that have always been the foundation. Neurosis has always been there. I remember back in 1996 when I bought Through Silver In Blood, then Times Of Grace in 1999, it was more than my brain could comprehend being 15 years old, but I knew it was something extraordinary. Through Silver In Blood was something so different than anything else I had heard and it completely set the standard for me, and it changed the way I viewed music. Eventually as I aged and had complications in my life, all of a sudden the album made sense to me. It was revealed truly and purely as it is because I was in turmoil. It became an inspiration and a force for thought and creation like no other. It helped me adapt qualities and a vision in my own work, a level of integrity I identified with to make exactly what I wanted to make, and never let anyone come in between that. In 2006 I decided to buy a Wacom tablet after my 5 year art block to explore colorful realms of art, I felt like this was the tool to help me out of it and it did. At that point in my life Through Silver In Blood became the soundtrack for my art, along with everything else Neurosis has created. It was a language that spoke to me directly, easily, and at that point I knew exactly what I was supposed to do for myself, on my own artistically. To take that inspiration to create my own work, my own insight, my own worlds and vision.  Neurosis is pure emotion and energy, it is what it is, no matter what type of music you listen to. It’s raw energy to create from. There are moments when you strip away everything you assume and expect something to be, you realize you are in a state of pure art.

 

Ascending Storm – The Artwork of Jeffrey Smith

Ascending Storm Facebook

Ascending Storm Deviant Art

 

-Thalia Gore-