Artist Interview: Njaydee

Recently, HorrorAddicts.net had a great opportunity to interview another artist: Njaydee. We enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him better, and hope you find this interview as fun to read as it was to do!                                                          

  1. HorrorAddicts: What is your name? Professional name?                                                                         Njaydee: I go by a lot of names, tall guy with the afro, fly boy, whatever you want. But my birth name is Nicholas Jay Delgado- or my artist name is Njaydee (pronounced: EN-JAY-DEE). They are just my initials all mashed together- thought it was pretty clever.                                                                                                            
  2. HA: Where do you come from?                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NJ: I am from the California, East Bay area- born and raised actually.                                               
  3. HA: What is your first memory of horror?                                                                                                                                                                     NJ: My first memory that I have of horror was actually reading and trying to watch those damn Goosebumps stories. That intro- when it got to the dog part when his eyes turned evil red- that always freaked me out. The puppet was the worst. But after growing up a bit I now find all those things ridiculously hilarious- especially since Jack Black was a reboot for it.                                                                                                                                                                         
  4.  HA: I saw this photo, and it looks like a maze! What was your inspiration for this piece?                                                                         NJ: Its funny you say that- because I always use to draw mazes. I absolutely adored drawing mazes- and with a pen to, not even with a pencil. And as a kid, I rarely messed up. I actually miss doing those and want to incorporate mazes a little bit more with what I do now.                                                                                                                  
  5. HA: Who was your inspiration as a child?                                                                                                                                                              JA: Nobody truly inspired me when I was a child, to be honest. No one in my family- no one around me- nobody really did any art for a career- it was just a hobby. There was other things that inspired me as a child though- books of mazes, tv, music, movies, video games, video games, and especially video games.                                                                                 
  6. HA: Have you always wanted to be an artist?                                                                                                                                                            JA: I wanted to be an artist when I was a kid- maybe in the 5th grade or so when I had a thought. But as school got harder- I started growing up doing teenager things- I never really wanted to be an artist. Because I had completely forgotten all about it- or I wanted to repress it. It was only until I was pretty much done with school and couldnt leave the school campus for some stupid reason- I took about 3 to 4 study hall classes during my senior year. That is of course when I started to draw religiously straight out of boredom. Remembering then what I wanted to do with my life and how I forgot about it years ago. It sounds bad, but if I wouldn’t have taken those study hall classes, I probably would have a decent regular job by now.                                                                                                                               
  7. HA: What is your favorite medium?                                                                                                                                                                              JA: I like to work with ink for the most part. Although I am finding myself mixing ink with watercolor right now- and I love it.                                                 
  8. HA: Who is your current favorite artist?                                                                                                                                                                     JA: I have A LOT of favorite artist. I’ll name a few and if you havent seen their stuff, you need to be butchered: Godmachine, Charles Lister, Dave Correia, Alex Pardee, Dan Mumford, Skinner, Coki Greenway I can go on.                                                                                                                                                                                       
  9. HA: How would you describe your style?                                                                                                                                                                 JA: It sounds like a cliché, I know- but the only way I can actually make sense of it is if you tell me, I love what people have to say. But for the most part, I have a very grim style with a little bit of what I like to call creepy cutseyto it. I try to be as uninviting as possible with my work to make the viewer feel more like a rebelliously comfortable little creep the longer they stare at it.                                                                 
  10. HA: Do you make videos of you creating all of your pieces?                                                                                                                        JA: I am guessing you are referring to the one I did back in 2014 haha- that was a fun piece. I was really into the walking dead/zombie scene and I wanted to make some sort of video of the process I go through on photoshop for all the people who were curious about the steps- turns out I made more videos after that and enjoyed doing it! (You can find this and all my other videos I did on my Facebook linked below!)                                                                      
  11. HA: How do you start your pieces?                                                                                                                                                                            JA: I either sketch out all of my stuff on photoshop or just in my sketchbook of any ideas that I have leeched off of regarding musical lyrics, surroundings, other art or artist, video games, and much more- those are just the some of the main ones.                                                      
  12. HA: Do you approach the same steps to create works, or are they specific to what type of medium you are using?                                                                                                                                                        JA: I have different steps for different mediums. For paintings- I first finalize all of my sketches on Photoshop or make them look the way I want. I then project that onto a canvas and trace the line work. After that it’s just all up to the paint- then ill layer ink over the line work. For digital pieces- it’s all on my Facebook and Instagram that is linked below. But when getting ready to make anything, that’s what you have to do in order to make everything- I am a lazy person sometime. But as one of my favorite mentors once said, “Just do it!-Shia LaBeouf.                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  13. HA: Where does your inspiration come from?                                                                                                                                                           JA: A very personal and confusing question. I believe inspiration comes from the crazy decrepit mind as well as everybody elses around you- no one and everyone understands you. And cats are a big inspiration. Take that as you will. Regarding the second part of the question, I always listen to music or podcasts in the background of creating art- no tv or movie background noise. I would probably procrastinate SO MUCH if I wasn’t listening to anything.                                                                                                                                                           
  14. HA: What is the hardest part of being an artist?                                                                                                                                                          JA: I think it is fair to say that every artist knows the hardest thing about being an artist- money makes the world go around, and pays for my damn paint and bills.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  15. HA: What are you working on next?                                                                                                                                                                            JA: There are so many things to create- it would be impossible to say what I want to create next. And because I probably dont know it yet haha. As for mediums- I like where I am right now and never really thought of any other mediums that seriously. But who knows- I am still learning and could go full on acrylic the next day.                                                                                                                                                                      
  16. HA: What is your favorite piece?                                                                                                                                                                                 JA: There are pieces currently under disclosure that I really adore just based on the fact of all the work that went into it and how it turned out- if you follow me you will see what it is eventually- But I know for a fact I will have another favorite tomorrow.                                                                                                  
  17.  HA: What advice would you give to another artist?                                                                                              JA: This doesn’t have to be directed towards artist- but to anyone in general. You have to follow your heart because you love what you do- not because of anything else- even though the side stuff that comes along with it is good and bad- that is just life- it has its pros and cons. NEVER EVER do art to become famous. It is INSANE how many young people want to become famous! A famous musician, artist, actor, YouTuber, whatever it is! If you want to be famous use a bullet, but if you want to be happy, do whats in your heart.                                                                                                                  
  18. HA: What are you working on right now?                                                                                                                                                                    JA: I am currently hanging up some pieces at Raquel Amaral Studio/Art Gallery until may 13th. I will also be there on the 13th if you want to personally meet me for a beer.                                                                       
  19. HA: What do you have planned to work on next?                                                                                                                                                      JA: The next thing I have planned at least, will be Mama De Luna Art Gallery for their upcoming Sinshow. I have heard a lot of praise, and if you are interested in meeting up with me there or you want to show off some art you have locked up in your the basement lets show these creeps our artwork.                                                                                                                                 
  20. HA: Is there anything you would like to say before we conclude?                                                                                                                        JA: I just want to thank every creep for being a part of my life and I am so humbled to have met any other creep to push me along the road so far- and it is a long road. I also want to thank Emerian Rich for my very first interview based on my art! I can not thank Emerian enough for picking my art out of the crowd and realizing a common but twisted ground we both and all share. So thank you again. P.S. Hi Mom.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Facebook: facebook.com/Njaydeee                                                                        Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/njaydee/ or @Njaydee

 

Horror Artist Profile: J.E. Richards

One of the benefits of being on the HorrorAddicts.net Staff is you get to talk to some talented creative people that have a love of horror. Here is an interview I recently did with artist J.E. Richards. J.E. is someone who was inspired to draw by the comics and magazines he grew up with and when he got older he used that passion for art as a way to express his feelings about the area he grew up in:

Where are you originally from?

I was born in Milwaukee and grew up there until I was 11. Our family then bought a 7-acre farmstead in Fon du Lac Co., just north of Auburn Lake and east of Campbellsport. We stayed there until I was 17, then moved back closer to the Milwaukee metro area living in Menomonee Falls, which is where I graduated HS in 1985.

When did you start drawing?

I started drawing about the age of 3 or 4 if I remember right, about normal for children I would guess. I just never gave up! My brother and dad were collectors of the magazines at the time, early to mid ’70’s, there was always a lot of Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella and the Savage Sword of Conan laying about and of course, I read them mainly for the artwork. I collected a lot of Spiderman, Conan the Barbarian, John Carter Warlord of Mars and various other titles and spent countless hours at the kitchen table with loose leaf paper and pencils. The magazine Starlog and then later Fangoria were influential as well, along with Star Trek, Quark, Space 1999 and of course Star Wars. Pretty much a very fertile ground for imagination. Halloween and vintage black and white horror movies were a mainstay, and I spent hours building Aurora monster models besides the PMC line of Pirates of the Carribean series (these things had rubber bands you could attach to the arms of the skeleton pirates, they called it Zap! Action, it was great because they could swing a cutlass or pop out of a treasure chest.) In HS I took several classes on basic art and drawing and learned how perspective, shadowing, shading and composition worked

What inspired you to draw?

I was inspired to draw because I really liked and respected the way an illustration could augment a paperback story or tell a tale in sequential art. Comic artists are among the most talented yet underrated individuals because they have to command anatomy, facial features, landscapes, vehicle, buildings, equipment and everything else in between and be able to organize those images in a way that would flow and make sense even without the script and writing. I have always loved concept art and rough storyboarding as well (Starlog always had good features on those), and the ink drawings that Frank Frazetta accomplished were inspiring. Somewhere along this timeframe, I decided I liked black and white ink work.

What do you use to draw with?

When I draw I start with a basic #2 pencil on white paper, do a thumbnail, and once it’s good I’ll move onto 11 x 14 or 11x 17 Strathmore Bristol and take it from there with either Micron markers or even Sharpies. I tried the Kohinoor Rapidograph pens for a while, but though they are an excellent product, I ended up taking too much time cleaning the tips out, replenishing ink, cleaning up spilled ink and so on, so I’ve streamlined it a bit now.

How long does it take for you to do your art?

On the average, it will take me about 3 to 4 hours to complete a piece. The images that are on the Deviant Art website were all about that time span once I knew how it was going to look. That’s the most time-consuming aspect, meaning I can have a nebulous idea that I want to make a reality but I’ve learned that if I force it, it will turn into a labor and will look wrong. However, if someone approaches me with a rough idea that they have I can create a few options fairly quickly.

Can you tell us about your book The Last Breath?

The first book, A Last Breath, was conceived one August night back in 2011 when I was feeling that slight chill in the air as autumn was beginning to surface and it reminded me of the years spent on that farm in Wisconsin and all of the memories associated with it. I sat down at my dedicated drawing table ( no more working from a chipped formica and brass legged kitchen table for me) and started to do rough sketches of how those years made me feel : the fields at dusk, the smell of hay in the barn, the shadows between the silos and the splintery wreckage of barbed wire, fence posts and rusted tools, and above all the magic I always felt in a pumpkin patch or rows of endless corn stalks as the daylight faded and I knew there were things that moved about in the dark places while the world slept.

Knife Jack was the first character, soon followed by Chop Block, which kind of gave me the creeps because I had never created something like him, and in the months that followed I kept up the momentum to address every memory and imaginative musing I had out there on the edges of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Unseen things, noises in the night that you were sure was no opossum, deer or raccoon, but at the same time not alarmed because I didn’t pose a threat and so they passed me by.

However, I started to develop the idea of folklorish characters specifically created to balance the scales and make the bad guys afraid of what lives out there, and so the one-page flash fiction began for each of the 13 new entities. (I wasn’t trying to be trendy and cool by having 13 characters, my original intent was to do a set of 20 images because I like even numbers, but after Crone, my creative visualization literally shut off. This was now in Feb 2012, so I had been putting pen to paper for months trying to capture what was trying to be expressed, and it finally ran its course).

So I wrote. I wrote the words and quick vignettes I have always wanted to read but could never find. They were of cause and effect, action and consequences of a sort. If a question is asked or guidance sought, there may be a price to pay or if an individuals’ actions caused harm to others through malicious intent, well, they just might have to face something they only heard about in whispered campfire tales. Thus A Last Breath was born.

The photo on the cover is our house on the hill where I lived for those formative years, right off of Hwy D or DD, I don’t know what it’s called now, I just know I can still find it on Google Earth and it looks pretty much the same, not far from New Prospect and Mauthe Lake.

The stories were fine tuned a bit and I looked for self-publishing options which led me to Amazon and Create Space. This proved to be a good decision and since then we have established our business front of Last Breath Studios. In the last few years, we have participated in local venues, Halloween vendor shows and the fall festivals in Apple Hill, CA.

The second compilation of art and writing has been published under the title of “Cailleach Teine”, translated as Witch Fire in the Gaelic language, and is more traditional with longer stories and less artwork but still retains the feel of the first book with references to the original. In this work, I established the foundation for a third book, now a novel, The Moths Of Autumn.

How long did it take to bring it all together?

To bring all of this together takes a bit of time and effort, but depending on the project size the Last Breath Team can make ideas a reality in record time. The original artwork took 3 months from beginning to end, the flash fiction stories another month. In Cailleach Teine, the process was reversed in that I wrote the stories first and completed artwork later, but there is always a bit of crossover and flexibility.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on a project dealing with the Undead in Railroad era late 1800’s
Western America.

A new stylized theme of retro-modern Halloween characters is also on the drawing board and pencil concepts are in progress as of this writing.

In addition, there is a great amount of work being done on a joint venture with Travis Jensen and Jed Lean, co-creators of the newest children’s Halloween tradition, Harvest Jack: 13 Nights of Hallow.

Where can people find you on the internet?

The internet presence is: