Friday, February 28, 2014

Creative Influences - The Haunters Part 2 - Krough

Krough from or Kevin Rough of in the real world was one of the haunters who inspired me most when I was starting out. His approach to prop making was haunt as fine art (in my observation). He wasn't just trying to fill the yard. He took paper clay and paint and monster mud and made carefully crafted monsters. Above is Lo Pan a brilliant monster mud creation that won the Monster Mud Mayhem contest on Haunt Forum in 2007. What makes this prop great is that is is a prop and a small set. This starts to create a small world around the prop with it's own mood and sense of location (is he down on the docks by the waters edge or sitting on a pile of coffins playing a farewell tune for the dead?). I have tried to incorporate this into my haunt by building sets around my props like the Carver Creep form 2009:

And now for the prop porn. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Creative Influences - The Haunters Part 1 - DeadSpider

I started looking at DIY Halloween props back in 2004. I was living in a tiny apartment by myself and so I never built anything, but I kept looking every year in the fall. I eventually found and that's when I started to get the worm. This is where I found the haunters that inspired me to start creating. I was going to list them all in this blog but after the first haunter I realized I will have to do one at a time.

Dead Spider was one of the first home haunters who really inspired me. I loved her work. It was made from simple materials like paper clay and mache but had such a sophisticated and finished look. Angie's props are so well detailed, from hair and costume to paint and accessories. However, this one is my favorite.

Hemlock Dench was made for the Hauntforum $20 dollar prop contest in 2007 (also won 1st place).

I loved this prop so much that I can't help but think my entry in the 2008 $20 prop contest was influenced a bit. Wow, that picture might be too colorful.

DeadSpider has been participating in the Fright Fest BC event  Halloween in August . The pictures she takes and post on Flickr are awesome. Go check them out.

FrightFest BC 2012
FrightFest BC 2011
FrightFest BC 2010
FrightFest BC 2009

 She also has a great etsy shop where you can buy baby dragons, potion bottles, and other cool stuff.

I'm gonna stop talking and just post some of her prop porn. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Creative Influences - Tracking a Hero

I built this guy in the summer of 2013. Named " The Watcher" he was the first part of the facless dead motif I had going in our new haunt theme The Witches of ScabTree Hollow. I got a lot of comments from people saying they liked him and that he reminded them of something from a Guillermo Del Toro movie. I don't at all disagree with that. In fact I bet you are thinking of this guy from Hellboy 2:

Which some of you will know looks like this guy:

Now there is a reason for this. This guy is a Wayne Barlowe creation. Wayne Barlowe works with Guillermo Del Toro. A lot of artists with Guillermo Del Toro. What might start as a sketch by Barlowe will get sculpted by someone else, that will get revised by Del Toro and maybe the digital art team, and then changed for executives and so on. So what you see in the final movie is the collaboration, sometimes as a team effort, sometimes it's a game of telephone.

You can see the influence of Barlowe's Inferno and Brushfire images in The Watcher. The cryptogram on his face in influenced by Barlowe's runes which you can see in the above picture. The faceless look of The Watcher is most influenced by Alien creator H.R Giger.

You can see in the final Watcher he has a new head with no cryptogram. It's most like Giger's Alien. My favorite monster of all time. Giger's work in fact set the course of my life. It made me stop caring about cars, and clothes, and haircuts, and being cool. In a moment all I wanted to do with my life was make art. Haunting is the latest incarnation of my creative output but it's still inspired by the artists that influenced me so much when I was teenager.

Of course my first favorite monster was this guy from A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott:

So you take all of these influences, Giger, Barlowe, and the Ghost of Xmas Future and that how I came up with The Watcher. The arm movement is directly inspired by the reaper in the Christmas Carol. I still get goosebumps when this guy appears before Scrooge.

 Guillermo Del Toro is a lucky guy who gets to work with the artist he loves to create something new. You can too. Look for great artists and study their work. Don't worry about copying or being overtly influenced. There is nothing original in art, just new fusions of pre-existing work. Guillermo Del Toro's work is fusions of contemporary and classic artists. The Watcher is a fusion of Barlowe's Inferno, Giger's Alien, and a made for TV special grim reaper.

I started a pintrest page with some cool art by some of my favorite artists. Check out Beauty in the Darkness on pinterest.