I Needed A Way To Cope With The Year Of 2020 So I Started Creating These Creepy Illustrations (30 Pics)
I'm a multi-media illustrator from Ontario, Canada, and during the last couple of months, I've been blending my two favorite mediums together into this series I call "Inked Photography." A few things inspired me to create this series: First, to channel my anxiety into a new artistic area of expression. So many of us are struggling to cope with this tumultuous year, and art is my therapy. Second, I've always been fascinated with the deep dark forests of the world and the strange creatures that might dwell within. Who knows what lurks beyond the veil of our reality? Third, to perhaps make some statement with these creatures about how we've made a real mess of this planet. If these creatures did exist, I can't imagine they'd be very pleased with the damage we've done.
As with most of my work, I've attempted to balance the creepy and endearing. I hope you find some meaning in these images and enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed creating them.
When it comes to my art, It's difficult to pinpoint specific artists who had influenced me, as I've come to know so many amazing creatives that have influenced my work. I guess a few names that leap to mind would be Alex Pardee, Craig Gleeson, Trevor Henderson, and Stefan Koidl. I've been fortunate to have become friends with so many incredibly talented artists in the online community. Their work inspires me every day.
My inked photography pieces generally take a few hours to complete. Most of the untouched photographs are from my collection that I've taken over the years while exploring abandoned locations or traveling across the province of Ontario in Canada. Once I've printed the photo, I sketch a few ideas out first, keeping in mind how the composition in the photo will lend itself to inserting my creatures. Once I've settled on a concept, I draw the creatures with ink directly onto the photo.
I've always been fascinated by abandoned places and nature reclaiming manmade structures. There's a melancholy vibe to these places, and I imagine these creatures as lost souls or perhaps former inhabitants of the locations. The original idea of this series was to blend my illustration work with my photography work, and it's been an incredibly fulfilling project. In many of the images, I tackle themes of mental health, trauma, abuse, and the passage of time.
Mom...those Things Are In My Room Again
I put a lot of myself into my artwork. Much of my work is rather personal as it is symbolic of my struggles with depression and anxiety. While therapeutic, it can also be draining mentally and physically. Knowing when to take a break is something I'm having to learn, so I don't truly burn out.
In case you are wondering, most people have reacted quite favorably to this series in particular. Inserting so much of myself personally into my work can be a bit scary, but so many people have been drawn to that honesty. I've received messages from people about how my work has deeply connected with them, and they spoke to me about their own struggles and trauma. Seeing my work and feeling like they're not alone in their struggles is a powerful message.
The initial spark of an idea is the most exciting aspect of creation. When an image pops into my head that feels so right and eventually comes together exactly how I envisioned it. Sometimes in the middle of the process, you can get lost in the details, but you push through for the end result.
Also, to be honest, I've actually had far more success with my artwork on Facebook. Instagram has been an extension of my social media reach and as such is a tool to hopefully reach more viewers of my work. Things change so rapidly online and especially on social media, and there's always new avenues popping up to share work.
House For Sale, Haunted Graveyard Included
I've been drawing since I was a toddler and always loved creating. Art as a career started twenty years ago when I took Fine Arts for three years at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario. It hasn't been easy finding a successful career in the arts. But every struggle has informed my work. When I started college, I was initially interested in painting and realism. As my mind opened to the arts world, I fell in love with other genres and movements. After I graduated, I mostly explored abstraction and dark surrealism. And a lot of photography. It was during this time that I fell in love with urban exploration and photographing abandoned places. Around 8 years ago, I started doing mostly illustration work, which has evolved into the work I do now.