What is your name or what do you go by professionally?
Ziemael the Horror Artist
What is your first memory of being a Horror Addict?
My first horror experience, in an addictive manner, was around age 9.
Did you see a painting, movie, TV Series or read a book or story that called to you?
I peeked at many horror flicks I was not supposed to like any other kid. But I snuck to the living room while the whole house was asleep at 1am to watch a film I was forbidden to see. I forced myself to stay up even though I had school in the morning, it was terrifying, and the end of Sleepaway Camp had me disturbed for decades. It ruined the school day, it make me sick, it also is a fond memory and I would do it again.
What is the first creative thing you remember painting/drawing/sketching?
I do not know about creative. But I was around 5 when I had an absolute breakdown because my mother said we had to erase a bear I drew on the chalkboard so my younger brother could draw something. It was not a cute bear, it was a nightmare of fangs and claws with one eye bigger than the other.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I was pretty young, exactly I do not know. It was a toss-up between artist and scientist. Science research on biology is pretty horrific, and geology has many toxins (do not lick rocks) but nothing beat hunting for reference photos of horror, and doing horror “research”.
Who is your favorite artist, and why?
Olivier Ledroit hands down. Before that it was Frank Frazzetta. Oliver’s handle on merging beauty with horror in a stunning contrast instantly entranced me. My favorite work of his is in “Requiem Chevalier Vampire” for both quality and subject matter, monsters, gore, horror, & madness.
What inspires you to create?
It builds up, I know it is coming, kind of like a sneeze that needs to happen, so it takes to much effort to fight it. (Why on earth would I?) Usually if I have been consuming instead of creating for awhile I start to get signs of depression that meds don’t kick. Then I start manically pouring over my favorite horror flicks and books, LoveCraft, etc… Hardest part is deciding which one to do right now.
Is there any certain music/TV/etc…you listen to while creating?
Yes, I listen to mostly BlutEngle, put on the Subspecies Trilogy, or a random playlist of goth rock, Industrial, EBM, dark electro… you know, Covenant, Wumpscut, Grendel, Das Ich, Siouxie, Danzig, et cetera.
What is your favorite piece that you have created and why?
A Nosferatu I loosely based off of Mr. Barlow from the Salem’s Lot tv film. It shows the hunger, alien outsider perspective that reflects my feelings on my life being on the autism spectrum. Many things are horrifying to me that others fine perfectly fine, and visa versa.
What’s coming next?
Short term. Right now I am looking at references of Johnny Depp, so I can do a proper Barnabas Collins from the Burton Dark Shadows movie. Long term, I aim to get thicker in the convention scene. I was quite active on the West Coast before moving to Michigan. Now I have to branch out in the mid west, which is tentative due to the freezing up and awkward interactions with new people. Again autism, it is not a gift.
Anything else you want to share?
Yes, if you are schizophrenic, ADHD, or autistic, consider practicing to be an artist. Many of us cannot hold a job (employee/employer contract) without prematurely quitting, because explaining these things to your boss/underlings is impossible Yes, art creation takes dedication but, you do not have to work with others outside your preferred activity/subject matter very much. Even with the disabling (nightmarish) effects. Example I have horrible sensory processing issues, like burning or insect stinging sensations on my skin. Spatial distortion, like the room is too small/large, my legs or arms are too long/short, or…. Heh, my body parts are not mine … best part is it happens for no reason at all and is completely random. (Now you know why horror movies are so comfortable for me) Anyway, your very weird brain wiring gives you an advantage regarding perception compared to neurotypical beings. You just have to want to be so obsessed with your subject that you do not notice the other… issues. Mine just happens to be horror.
Oh and if you can, worship Cthulu //\\~;,;~//\\
Social media wise you can follow Ziemael at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zie.mael