Can you tell me the story behind the title of this piece? It sounds like a Hannibal quote? Who is speaking to whom?
This was me just trying to make some shocking, colorful, punky tattoo-esque art of the ravenstag. I just really liked the image of this proud, butchered creature honoring what hurt it and coming back for more. The title is a line that was spoken by Will to Hannibal after resuming his therapy sessions after being released from prison.
The color in this piece is stunning; your choices make the image even more surreal and dreamlike. The hot pink in a way lessens the gore, and the orange and brown in the knife handle really pops and contrasts beautifully. Did this piece start out with the color palette you have now? Do you usually go in with a sense of the finished product or is it more of discovering as you go?
This was another piece that was pretty clear in my mind before I began . . . I knew I wanted to make some kind of beautiful, horrible, candy-colored meat, severed headed crest. My favorite colors are pink and blue, and this piece was actually a palette test run for a more involved piece of artwork I did right after this one. I actually tried really really hard to keep myself to a strict palette of only pinks and deep blues, and agonized over the orange of the knife . . . but this was where I learned that going off script can make an image stronger.
That’s very true! This is one of my favorites! How long did it take complete this work? Do you usually work a piece nonstop until it’s finished, or do you come back and work it over an extended time?
Hmm, this piece in particular took me maybe eight to twelve hours . . . my pieces can take me anywhere from six hours to a whole week, depending on the level of complexity.
My typical creation style is strike while the iron is hot. Because I may lose my nerve and decide it wasn’t as good an idea as I first thought or I may run out of time, or I’ll just lose interest altogether. I keep abandoned pieces around in case inspiration strikes again. But typically if I walk away from something, unless I’m really enthusiastic about the idea, I don’t come back to it.
I would love to know more about the title of this work. Is there significance in the choice of flowers?
The forget-me-not flowers are pretty straight forward, but red chrysanthemums symbolize sharing and it is also a symbol of love. . . . Which in my mind makes excellent shorthand for how these nerds feel about each other. Whether they like it or not.
You play with sacred heart and heart imagery a lot, in this one, My Design, My Heart, Mads/Hannibal and even Primavera, you have the heart in focus. What does it mean to you?
Oh man. Despite the heart imagery being the most autobiographical part of my Hannibal pieces, it’s also the most difficult to explain. An exposed heart was something that used to be very very prevalent in all of my artwork from over ten years ago, because I liked the look and the feeling of an open, bright heart in the figures I was making. Then I went through some very unhappy personal times and the hearts went back behind the rib cages. Around the time I stumbled into Hannibal I was much happier, and didn’t even realize I was placing open hearts in my pieces again until maybe the 3rd or 4th time . . . which was this piece where the heart is being shared.
Oh very interesting! It’s a beautiful image; it speaks to Hannibal on so many levels. 🙂 You mentioned your art from a decade ago, how has your style changed over the years?
Without sounding pretentious…I want to say my style has become refined. There has always been mysticism, occultism, and sexuality present in my art, but the messages and actual artwork have become clearer over the years. It’s mostly due to me paying more attention to what I’m attracted to, and physically working on art every day.