- How and when did you discover your talent?It was off the West of Africa by a troop of monkeys an’ raised as their own a great many, many, many far moons ago. Then a party of American explorers found me and….no, wait. That’s how Tarzan was discovered. Truth be told, in all likely-hood…it was a birth defect, there from the very beginning. I remember pining for my first Etch-A-Sketch, I was still in the womb.
- What or Who do you think is the most important influence in your work?Apes. The great apes. No, that’s Tarzan again. Well, that’s right done it….I’m now stuck in a Tarzan tangent for the rest of the day.It were books. Old books. Old, old’ee, old children’s books. Books that smelled of mold and age. The cover’s be weather’d linen on cardboard pulp and the pages brittle and yellow’d. In those books were black ‘n white illustrations, woodcuts, block prints by many an’ sundry masterful hands. I haven’t a clue who the artists were, but I stared hours an’ hours ‘pon those black lines like it were a meditation maze and drifted into those lands of knights, monsters, detectives, injun’s, peasants and maidens. I was particularly, particular of the maidens. It were also the authors of these stories that were profundaliflerous, profound for me. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert E. Howard, Robert Louis Stephenson, Marky-Mark Twain, Chuck Dickens, Poe, James Fenimore Cooper, H.P. Lovecraft, Howard Pyle, Hal Foster, One Thousand and One Nights, their ilk and et al. Good proper boy stuff. None of that Nancy Drew prattle, tho’ she was a cutie.
- Does any of your art have a deeper meaning?Yes, man and chimp can work together. With simple, rudimentary, improvised tools we, ALL, together, can collect termites on the end of stick to eat…..ah, there we go again. A Tarzan-esque segue. I mean to get them out of my head, the art that is. They collect at a hot an’ furious rate, overflow into my chest and shoulders and get back’d up there if they do not dribble down my arm an’ drip out my hand fast enough. It’s painful and they grate against each other in a fearful, feral way in my head making sleep impossible. It’s overwhelming, each jostling and jockeying to be first in line. An’ that be the fair truth of it.
- What is your favorite piece and why?I can not have a favorite. I find them all dreadful. I frustrate over every line and dot and mote and shade and wisp and wiggle. I always suspect that some ill-placed line has gone astray and has ruined the whole of the thing. I complete several of them before I have to stop. Malaise and fugue set upon me and I settle the score by isolation and some fine cigars. However, that said…I have a measure of fondness for the piece “Peter Patches and the Wick’d Ogre Tom Pigg”.
- Where do you do your work?In the tree canopy, high above the jungle trail….hmmmmmm.Living room. Set at a drawing desk. A parrot perched on my shoulder an’ another parrot under the desk growling at the first for sitting on my shoulder for paying her no heed. An idyllic panoply.
- When do you feel the most creative and motivated?I don’t know when I’m not creative. It consumes me. Sleep is where the best work is done. Strings of images afore my eyes…all done. All completed, s’pose you can call it your “mind eye”, I just set them down later. Motivation. That’s a horse of a different color. I can set myself before a piece of parchment with pen an’ hand poised to strike…an’ crippling fear and indecision can hold purchase on me for days, weeks, months…I reckon that’s what it’s like to be an artist, that being all my reference, having not ever been a welder or cattle rancher.
- Where do you feel your art and yourself are going? That to my mind implies a destination. Destinations conclude. That’s a finality. I don’t think in finalities.I just do not want it to stop. Though if “going” brings me to a Lamborghini, Ferrari or a Lotus and a ceaseless supply of cigars along the way I’ll be no worse for it.
- What does your art say to you and how do you hope it is interpreted by others? The characters, they actually do speak to me. I know them. They all have personalities. I feel I have to honor them by doing my best to render them proper. For you see, they go on show. For people to look at. Look at every line of them. Art is a spectator sport. I want the spectator to look at the piece. Like Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”. You have just glimpsed the protagonist in an odd milieu of humor or danger and you to desirous to see more… a bit of voyeurism, actually.
- Have you found any pros or cons to being a male artist? Or does it even matter?There is a great gulf of disparity between male fantasy, faerie tale or children’s book illustrators and the number of female illustrators of the same genre or niche.And, as such, being a large male ape…ah, there it is. The last bit of Tarzan humor.And, as such being male, a gentleman…I have a very different viewing on the same said subject matter; faeries, faerie tales et al. They, most of the inhabitants of the faerie world by all accounts, be a brutal lot of perfidious, profligating, capricious creatures an’ would sooner roast a child than cast a kinder eye on you. I don’t see frilly an’ fuzzy and aim to strike that difference between male and female illustrator of fantasy genre.
- Do you feel that you should be promoted on Etsy for being male? Truth be told, I think I saw another male on Etsy. He made something I liked I recall. I believe it were furniture. I suppose I am surrounded by a vast pink sea of estrogen. Why not?
- What do you do to promote yourself?Absolutely nothing. Haven’t a clue how. My wife, she’s the one. Manager, secretary, that be all her. It be her bailiwick; eBay, MySpace, Flickr, Blogs, Twitter, Tweeter and all the what not.I’m told to Blog. I’ve been ordered to Blog. I really don’t get it in all honesty. It surpasses my credulity the investment of time and candor that people put into the Blog. I reckon I shall try my best at it.
- Is there anything you would like to add? You may have noticed the propondnicity of just bad words, even made up words and misspellings. That is a malapropism. I love language. Old language. Words. Accents, vernaculars, colloquialisms, jargon and idioms set the character when it comes writin’. Mark Twain was masterful. All of my art, for the most part, are set an’ cast in tales and stories for children…that I intend to publish.Therefore, for my part, when I illustrate, in my noggin, the image is accompanied by word-imagery. I liken the two with fair equal importance. The books I read as a wee little wafer were oft with a dictionary very nearby. I have had a couple people say that I use words that are to big for kids.Rubbish.Beatrix Potter didn’t hold back with “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”. A young reader will grab a dictionary. Any story that captures a child’s attention and throws a speed bump of a “way too big” word will set them off to look up the word. No young reader gripped in the midst of a passage in a book where the boy wizard is just about to be attacked by his foul nemesis is going to let some big word bugger up the works.I have hopes this questionnaire puts in light me as an artist and leader of a tribe of chimps.
- Kevin King.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Male Etsian Artist~ thehauntedstudio
This may have been one of my favorite interviews! Very amusing, I suggest you read it all!
thehauntedstudio has astounding art work; beautifully drawn illustrations showing the darker side of fairy tales.
Kevin King of the Haunted_Studio under the stairs was awarded the Artist's Choice Award 2007 Winner for Book Arts Best in Ebay.
He has been in numerous magazines, book illustration and very prominent advertising agencies.
He also has newspaper editorial cartoonist awards and recognitions for cartooning and illustration of national advertising ad campaigns.