We are nearing the end of this little trip through tradition. We’ve got one more guest on the 30th before our time is up. There will also be a special closing like we’ve done each year so far. Today though, today we get to play more in the nightmare realm.
This pretty but haunting lady is a figure that’s shown up once or twice in my dreams. I’ve yet to see her feet because she glides. She appears to be some sort of ghost/apparition rather than a live human. (Hence her name.) I’m thinking of working her into one of my custom collections. This is her first early concept design/appearance.
One thing we haven’t dived right into here yet during this year’s #31Nightmares is horror in sound, or soundtracks, and even in special effects.
Sound effects have been a hobby of mine since early childhood so this is also another subject right up my alleyways.
The composers that took on the horror genre in film & tv have always taught me quite a bit along my work and training in music over the years. This soundtrack sampling I uploaded to SoundCloud earlier this year (The first few tracks on the soundtrack) featured above was heavily influenced by techniques I’ve learned & experimented with over the years.
If 2017 has taught me anything, it’s to not make hasty announcements. Things can always change down the line, especially when collaborating with others. Alicia in the Woods, announced here last year was supposed to be just that, a collaborative effort, but things change.
People change and life changes.
I have however had fun working on this project because I got to take a stab at designing a soundtrack and working with sound fx. Later on through the months spent working on this endeavor, aimed at a teen to adult (family-oriented) audience, I got to experiment and learn a lot about a lane that has always interested me—stop motion.
The project is not canceled completely. We’re just not sure when it will be releasing due to changes with cast & crew. Stop-motion has been a hell of a lot of fun (& work) though and I’ve been happy to work on this storyline and animation/character design as a side project.
The horror genre has influenced me deeply throughout my career as an artist and it helped lead me to the field of concept art.
Today we are heading directly up my alley toward the genre of psychological horror. To say I’ve been a fan of this vast sub-genre of horror would be a drastic understatement. It’s fueled my passion like not much else in life. I took up writing at an early age because of it, and later, my artwork in the genre helped cement a career for me.
Poltergeist (1982) was one of the movies that, at a young age, got the wheels turning. The blaring visuals were like nothing I had seen before. I used to gravitate more toward movies like this after, and still to this day. I owe this passion to men like Tobe Hooper, and many others that helped style this type of horror.
Psychological horror has had a way of seeping into my veins. Growing up, I was often consumed by something belonging to Stephen King, or Dean Koontz. I’m still fascinated by both of them, along with David Lynch and a few others.
When I became friends with Grayson Queen, this was our favorite conversation.
“What makes you scared?”
“What makes the human brain tick?”
“What turns on the fear-receptor?”
—and so on, and so forth.
There is a glaring space with some of these men gone.
Zombies have been such a massive force in our pop culture over the last thirty years or so, we see them everywhere. Everything from our favorite video games and television shows, to movies, merchandise, and more, has been given the zombie treatment.
There is a man that can largely be credited with setting up this genre and creating a new lane for it. That man is none other than Mr. George A. Romero, and sadly we lost him earlier this July. Although that loss has surely been felt, Mr. Romero’s impact on the horror genre is undeniable, and isn’t going anywhere.
With hit shows like The Walking Dead now running mainstream entertainment that has been made loud and clear. There are countless games, most notably, Resident Evil, along with more current like Minecraft, and Killing Floor, that have all touched on the now vastly popular sub-genre.
I don’t see this genre fading despite seeing some complaints over the years that it’s been overdone. Not when there are still new creations that keep pumping on out and continue to do well.
Some of the screenshots used in this installment of 31Nightmares feature zombies in the game Minecraft. This game is still going strong well into 2017.
This week we’ll be touching on many other Master’s of Horror and their influences.