Now then! Its interview time once more. And this month we are blessed with a chance to chat to the mighty Sam Araya!
Hey Sam. How are you?
Sleepless but good. I still cant beat Geese Howard on "King of the Fighters: Neo Wave" tho, damn that "Repuken".
Where do you live these days?
South America, Paraguay, its small, green and hot as hell, but the rent its cheap...
So what's on your monitor/drawing board/ in the dark room RIGHT NOW?
I'm finishing a cover for a CD, its 99% painting so its taking me forever to make it work, its for a Hardcore Straight-Edge band called "Eye of Judgment", real nice guys and always a pleasure to work for em. I'm doing something for a certain black metal band too (yeah, they are both on the monitor! Hardcore and Black metal living toghether!) but thats top secret I think.
So, your work is scary good and pretty individual. How do you first start a piece? What's stage zero?
Hey thanks, but you know? I dont think I'm that individual or good, and thats its starting to irk me, I mean, I must be an individual! just like all my friends! heheh.
Stage zero should be the concept, that's the meat in the hook, and that's the hard part, its not because it needs to be clinically detailed ( I think I managed to alienate myself from the idea that a picture should be EXACTLY like the image I got in my mind), its because I need something that lends itself through vast extrapolation. After that its just fooling around with materials and the computer.
We gather you like heavy metal music? WHY? lol
Why on earth would you think of that? heh.
Its funny cause the other day I was talking about that with someone, incidentally we where talking about why we like metal in a Krisium gig, dude! Krisium equals total devastation, they really ripped the place apart! but back on track, I like metal because it has the coolest t-shirts, obviously! and you can sing about Burning Goats Heads or about Satan, or Burning Satan, so its all about the diversity, right? hehehe.
You also exhibit in galleries? How does that compare with illustrating books and cd covers?
At first I was heavily on the idea that galleries were fucking bullshit, and I have to admit, to a certain extend its true. I'm not going to rip another one on the subject of being postmodernist or something equally boring. I'm going to say, thats its a wonderful experience seeing someone reacting to your work, talking about, engaging on the picture, its like all the work you do feels complete, because you finally see totally hot chicks digging your stuff. So it boils down to inmediate gratification, something one rarely gets on the normal illustration business.
How do you make your work so frightening? Seriously, some of your stuff really gives me the creeps! Do you work at it, or are you naturally really frightening?
I have some pretty vivid nightmares from time to time, and suffer from chronic insomnia, I guess that kicks in when it comes to terror, tragic isnt? thing is, If Im so familiar with the sense of dread, then what the hell I do? I try to understand the nature of the things that disturb me, I try to distill em to ideas that I can actually like. I cant paint something that Im scared of, do I? by working on it, you start to remove layers, you begin to glimpse the true nature of what its moving you to act like a chicken, and then comes it comes and bites you in the face, you can absorb this knowledge and use it to make money.
Okay, people like to use the word cathartic, but I don't think its all about getting my troubles out of the open, its about having fun, Im sorry, but I cant possibly cope with the idea that I'm drawing zombies in order to overcome the traumatic loss of my transformer toys.
Yeah, I work on it, it fascinates me to no end, I love horror, in all formats, except real life, heh.
Who's your favourite artist? You can say why as well if you like!
Oh yeah, my favourite artist, it changes every week, right now its George Higham, his sculptures are beautifull and his whole works stands for what I want to achieve someday, its decadent, gothic, fantastic, multimedia and somewhat sexy, if you look at it from the right angle.
Got any snappy one liners for up-and-coming artists?
Quit it if you are still cranking the same shit after 6 years. Start counting now...
What's the plan for 2006?
Back to basics! life drawing classes! Oil painting! and surely, things will happen, eventually, I started also a blog for a you spanish readers at: http://paintagram.blogspot.com and I'm saving to visit you all on Gen Con, but you know what they say about best laid plans.
Thanks to Sam for taking time to to chat! It was a good one I think!
Here's some links that may be of use on an Araya Intarweb Odyssey:
Sam's Online Folio
Sam's site in development
White Wolf Online