An Ode to Monsters

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There is a wealth of literature, art and film dedicated to monsters. They are very much a part of human culture, from ancient myths of curses to modern incarnations such as Freddie Kruger. Children have an innate dialogue with monsters, lurking under the bed or in the shadows yet love being told stories with goblins and scary beasts.

sea monster

Monsters arise from our own mind, an innate fear of the unknown, of disease, death and suffering. Yet it is these things that intrigue us and compel us to watch scary films or read Gothic novels. We are drawn to the strange, the peculiar and the unnatural. We are curious by nature about the world we live in and have a need to explain it – through stories, myths, art and religion.

This post is a reflection on monsters and my own passion for creating them in my artwork. Monsters are shadowy and take on many elements from a person’s mind. They are a combination of ideas, thoughts, feelings and of a time and place. Monsters from Medieval Europe are quite different from the creatures depicted in modern American film for example.

I am drawn to this complexity of a monster’s creation and the power they gather through other’s fear, as well as the time they become crystallized in and we can look back with our modern perspective. One of my favourite novels is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in which the monster is created, yet even now our culture continues to recreate the story in films and TV, forever framed in a Gothic Victorian era.

DSCN1523

Making creatures gives me a sense of freedom as I combine my ideas together. I can decide if my monsters are cute, whimsical, scary, fierce, horrifying. This is my starting point from which I look to the natural work for inspiration – insects, lizards, sea creatures – all things unlike us, repellent and fascinating.

Popular culture is another fascinating area for inspiration, looking at ornate fashion, jewellery and other artists. One if my favourite things is to find new and inspiring artists mainly on Pinterest and here are just a few of my favourite monster creators:

scott

yosiell-lorenzo-sicklings

smalltoothy

saw

This is a wonderful and electric mixture of different artists who make monsters and creatures mainly through sculpture and mixed media. The main thing I love about these artists and the monsters they make is their uniqueness. No two are the same and each one has it’s own characteristics from the artist.

I hope you enjoyed this post, just in time for Halloween! I’ve got some more monsters to make for now so farewell x

6 comments on “An Ode to Monsters

  1. pjgservices says:

    What a fantastic post! When I was at primary school, my friend and I decided to do a project about monsters from antiquity. We enjoyed it so much that when we ran out of all the favourites from the Greek myths (Polythemus, Scilla & Charybdis, Cerberus, etc) we started inventing our own monsters, including crude attempts at satirising teachers and bullies… I love your monsters, keep up the good work! 😀

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post and about the appeal monsters hold for you. I could really relate to it as I draw zombies a lot and am currently working on an altered book project that is becoming my book of monsters. (If you want to take a peek, I am posting about it at https://pictink.wordpress.com/). I am going to check out the monster artists you have showcased here.

    • I just had a look at your altered book and I love it! What a wonderful idea! I really like the way you paint, you have a unique style. I hope these artists in my post inspire you 🙂

      • Thank you very much for visiting my art blog and for the follow. Thank you also for your kind words about my altered book project. I am finding working in the book to be pretty addictive. I checked out all of the artists in your post. Their work is amazing and definitely inspirational.

      • You’re very welcome, I love looking at other people’s art and sharing ideas. Art is such a wonderful hobby for helping stress and getting away from everyday things we all have to do 🙂

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