When I got into art, it felt like I had found a missing piece of myself. Throughout my life I knew that I had connected with the more creative and emotional part of the world, but that became apparent to me when I had seriously gotten into art within the last two years of high school. What really pushed me into art at that time was the music and horror movies that I enjoyed. Especially my two favorite rock bands that combined horror and music, Calabrese and Ghost. I still remember back to my junior year when I had gotten into drawing more seriously. I had drawn a portrait of the guitarist from my Calabrese and after I had posted it on some of my own social media, Calabrese themselves had found out about it and then posted it on their own Facebook. That moment meant so incredibly much to me, knowing that my biggest inspirations liked my work. It also really showed me how rewarding and exciting the creative art world can be. From then on, the raw shock value that I got from horror movies like Re-Animator, Evil Dead, and Halloween, combined with the powerful nature of rock music had become my biggest inspirations for my artwork. That intense feeling you get from something like horror movies is something I always found fascinating, and I want people to feel that intense feeling when they look at my artwork.
As far as Art History goes, it wasn’t really anything I had thought about too much until I had gotten to college and it opened my eyes to things I hadn’t experienced or seen before. In Art History I, there wasn’t too much I felt like I related to overall, but the Egyptian artwork I felt was interesting. I loved how Egyptian artwork had a lot to do with the afterlife and tomb paintings because the theme of death or the afterlife is something I like delving into with my artwork. Art History II was the Art History class that I felt I got more out of. Once we moved into surrealism and expressionism, I enjoyed that a lot more. One artist that stuck out to me specifically was Francis Bacon. I loved his Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X because it took something that wasn’t necessarily meant to be dark, and gave it a creepy and more grim vibe which was fantastic. This was a concept that I could relate to in my own artwork.
As far as the future goes, I want to pursue a career in special FX makeup for horror movies and haunted houses. Things like creating zombie props or giving someone monster make-up is something I hope to be able to do someday. One artist that really inspires me is Robert Kurtzman. What he is able to do as a career is what I want to to as a career. He’s worked on many famous horror movies such as Army of Darkness, From Dusk Till Dawn, and It Follows, just to name a few. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be able to meet him and tour his studio in Crestline, OH where he and his team called “Creature Corps” still work on big movie and haunted house productions today.
Although this isn’t exactly something taught in the art program here at Kent, I hope to use the art skills that I gain here to aid me in reaching my ultimate goal. By educating myself in the studio arts program, I hope to further my knowledge of sculpture, glass, and ceramics while adding my own flare of the horror genre into my work to set me up for success in the future.