Exclusive Interview with Marcus Jones - Screaming Demons 13/05/2013
Hi Marcus, thanks so much for taking the time to
answer some questions for Skin Artists readers. Please start by
telling us a little about yourself, and how you got started in
design? Are you self-taught or did you go to college for design?
I’m a professional Artist from the UK, I also go by the name of Screaming Demons. I mainly spend my time designing Clothing Graphics, but also design CD covers and private commissions for portraits etc. I’m a self-taught digital artist I’m not qualified in any way to be doing this. One day I decided post my art on the web and people liked it. Several of the big alternative clothing companies commissioned me or bought my designs and now it’s my dream Job.
Q: Do you remember your first creation, If so what was it?
A: Not my first but I drew a large lion head that impressed my teacher and she told my parents that I had some artistic talent.
Q: To be creative could be little hard at times. How do you get inspired and stay motivated?
A: I don’t find it a problem to get inspired, my head’s so full of crap I want to turn into art, there aren’t enough hours in the day and besides if I ever go blank Too Fast Clothing are always throwing new ideas my way, more time is what I need and not motivation!
Q: You have a well defined style. When I first saw your designs I was really fascinated. I mean, wow! Would you say that your style express your personality?
A: There are constants in my art like tattoos, death and horror but I don’t feel I have a well really defined style, one day I’m doing simple monochrome Pinup Girl T-shirt designs and the next I’m painting very detailed color horror illustrations. When I finish a piece of art I usually want to do something completely different with the next one. I would hope that all that horror and darkness didn’t express my personality but I’ve got a bad feeling thy do.
Q: How has your work evolved over the years? Do you have any influences?
A: The basic subject matter has stayed the same, a few years ago I moved to work with my computer. I went sick from my job for a week and taught myself how to work digitally. I started to use a lot more color in my work, it’s so easy to change and edit the feel of the piece when working digitally ... influences ? yeah , I have loads in art film and music... Eric Stanton, Jamie Hewlett, Russ Meyer, Stanley kubrick I could go on for ever!
Q: Some people would say that art is a subjective perception, a personal story. How would you describe your style in a few words?
A: I consider myself a part of the Lowbrow art movement, there is no personal story here. I put my heart into creating these images ...but it’s pop art, they have no depth. I like to give my own personal slant on well established cultural images such as Elvis or Marilyn, but they have nothing to do with my life. If I had to say a few words about my art it would be ...Rock ’n’ Roll Horror Trash, I can’t do any better than that.
Q: How do you feel about the modern-popular media? Do you feel overwhelmed? Would you change something?
A: I love it, it’s great... I can upload a new image and people who enjoy my work can see it immediately on their phones or whatever and give instant feedback, I found it very difficult before the internet to get my art seen. It wasn’t until I starting uploading my art onto the web that I had any kind of success, I wouldn’t be able to do this job without the modern media, Changes? ... stop censorship and monitoring of the internet by governments and social media would be a good start and I would ask people to think more about what they publish to the world ...ask yourself is this interesting or entertaining?
Q: Screaming Demons is the name of your brand. Would you say that horror designs are your trade-mark, something that sets you apart from the other artists?
A: I certainly produce a lot of horror related art, I think my art can be split into two , Monsters and Pinups are possibly my trademark? Screaming Demons was just something I used in the beginning because I didn’t want to put my name to anything – it just sounded dark.
Q: Did you grow up watching horror movies? (laugh) What horror character is your favorite?
A: I remember watching ‘The Addams Family’ when I was young and I loved the characters, later in my teens I saw a lot of the 1980s video-nasties, they obviously made a big impression on me. Apart from that Frankenstein’s Monster is my ultimate favorite character , I just love the look and I identified with the outsider thing. I really enjoy horror when it’s mixed with comedy such as American Werewolf in London or Sean of the Dead. I try to put a little humor into my art, even my darkest images have a little joke some where.
Q: What's the importance of the computer in the creative process? Tell me about the making process. How do you usually develop the basic ideas with the final one?
A: All my designs and art start with a rough pencil sketch, I then collect references and research the subject, next the sketch is scanned into the computer. I like to work fast and working Digitally helps this process. Ruthless editing is a big part of the creative process for me, I try many different angles and compositions until I’m happy with the result. It’s quite manic and there isn’t really much of an ordered process, I’ve been asked to do tutorials but they would be insane ! I’ve watched other artists explaining how they work – they start with a sketch then ink the lines and then add color , my work is not like this at all.
Q: Punk-rocker? What music genre is the best choice while working on a sketch?
A: I have music on all the time whilst I’m working and I usually go with what fits the image I’m doing, I would say ‘The Cramps’ are most often playing in my office space.
Q: Do you experiment on using new methods or techniques?
A: I’m always exploring new styles of drawing and coloring, I look carefully at other artists work that I admire and try to learn something from them.
Q: Have you ever find yourself in some of your characters? Would you work on a comic creation of yourself? lol
A: No I don’t think so, sometimes I copy my own tattoos on of my characters, but that’s it. The art isn’t about me as a person rather about what I like and enjoy.
Q: Do you also work on customs for sale? If so, share some of your best experiences.
A: My favorite commission was painting the shop front for ‘Tattootime’ in Bristol, I’ve been a customer of theirs for about 12 years and so it was a great honor to have my art in their window. Unfortunately the choice of subject matter ( Zombified deities ) did not meet with approval of some local people, the shop owner was threatened with arrest.
Q: Your artworks are featured in magazines such as Bizarre Magazine, Pinup America and Naked Magazine. That must be a proof of your talent and dedication. Would you say that those things gives you motivation and endless inspiration?
A: It’s nice to have you art published in this way but I prefer to see in the someone in the street wearing one of my T-shirts or have a tattoo of my art. My motivation / inspiration comes from art music film and my love of making images rather than any kind of publicity.
Q: What was the best moment of your career, so far?
A: There are a few ...I’m very excited about designing the new shop front for Tattootime as I have been given almost a free run to paint what I want, I recently sold some of my prints to a world renowned Tattoo artist which was an honor for me. Lastly, I helped design these amazing boots for Too Fast Clothing featuring my Frankenstein Monster Mug-shot art. I’ve had lot of my graphics put on various apparel but this time I had a hand in the whole look of the product .so that made me happy.
Q: Would you change something in your style, work?
A: Not my style but I’d like to start tattooing as well as producing graphics, that’s something I’m working on at the moment.
Q: People could be ruff, jealous, crazy, super-cool... As an artist, what are some of your greatest challenges or obstacles you face while making your art?
A: Having people ripping off my art to make money for themselves is my biggest problem, It’s a constant challenge to keep it to a minimum.
Q: What would be your dream creative project?
A: So many ... I’m trying to get an exhibition together at the moment which isn’t going well, just to have a show of my work would be a dream right now. Other things... I’d like to try some concept art for a Horror film or video game, designing some new horror characters would be great fun.
Q: Art is like unknown destiny, what is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: I’ve learnt to calm down and not to try and create a masterpiece everyday, some days are for planning and thinking. Also when you’re doing commissions - get some money upfront !
Q: Any advice for those who are starting out their career? What kind of references are important for those who want to work with this kind of style?
A: Just to stick at it and try and be honest with yourself about the quality of your work. Whatever style your doing you’ve got to know your subject and don’t just make things up.
Please feel free to share your feature plans and your website.
Ok , well I’m going to be selling prints and canvas’s at this years UK Inkfest in June and may possibly be at London Tattoo convention later in the year. I’m looking for a place to hold an art show so if anyone has any ideas please contact me. In the meantime you can find me here :-