I had the privilege of interviewing Sam Hane, here’s that interview.
First of all thanks for taking the time to do this.
Hi Raz thanks for asking me to do this and great work with the midnight macabre by the way.
Q1: How did you get into painting?
I dont really know but it was when I was very young, I was always drawing and painting basically copying my brother who was probably the biggest influence over me getting into art, horror and music, he would draw characters from various comics we always had around and I would watch and copy exactly what he was doing, so he really taught me how to draw. Then I gradually went on to copying logos and artwork from album covers, horror movie covers, etc and then eventually to the point of me getting more fascinated with what I could do with my own artwork and ideas.
Q2: Did you get inspiration from any other artists?
As for inspiration it comes from a very wide source of music, film, art and books. I have had massive inspiration from many serial killer/true crime books that have inspired my serial killer artwork. Aside from that the range is really huge so its hard to say because all art can be inspirational. A lot of art and people I admire range from early horror covers for VHS, EC comics, Terry Gilliam’s animation from “Monty Python”, Frank Kozik, Jim Henson, Salvador Dali, Ed Repka, Joe Coleman, Pushead, Jamie Reid (Sex Pistols art), Robert Crumb, Winston Smith and Jello Biafra (any Dead Kennedys vinyl release with the newspapers and booklets collage work, they were a big influence for me on what the power of art can do!) Jim Davis who did “Garfield”, Derek Riggs, Giger, Larry Carroll, Robert Williams, Ralph Bakshi and there’s many more so you get the idea. There’s great artists and pioneers out there that have in one way or another made me take notice and inspire me to do my own thing, which was the most important factor. I took inspiration in how you really have to keep drawing and pushing yourself in what you believe in and creating more and more art to really find your own style. So I gradually stopped copying things and focused solely on what I could do and create. I got into psychedelic and bright colours and stark black and grey blood red colour, mixed with my own visions of zombies, demons, porn, serial killers, horror, life and any other crazy weird shit I could think of from everything I have taken in and I still find it works now in helping me create art. Aside from the tattooing the only things I copy are photographs of people, musicians and killers to get the likeness for my varied portrait works.
Q3: As an artist yourself how do you feel about these artists who use photoshop and other such technologies?
It doesn’t really bother me. It has a huge advantage with how it makes things a lot faster and polished looking and also cuts out a lot of the original techniques of real drawing which is not good, but it has it’s plus factors too and there is some real good digital art out there. I still prefer the natural way with pencil, pen, paint, ink etc.
Q4: What works are you most proud of?
I wouldnt say I’m that proud of the works because they are like a passage of time for me and are ever evolving because each piece is another step in how my art is progressing. I can get happy with a painting when it’s done but I can also be very critical when I look at my work. There are some that stand out to me though for different reasons and probably some I would maybe view differently to others. I am satisfied when I complete something which I have started, as I have many paintings and drawings in progress at the same time. It’s always good to finish a piece of existing work as each piece can go on for months at a time and I always have a new idea ready to go so I never stop creating. I’m always waiting for the next commission which is exciting for me, I would love to get more album cover artwork as this is something I really like doing. The last one I did was for a horrorcore rap band called Postmortem – The mc wanted his girlfriend being eaten on the cover with his other band member, I was proud of that at the time because it was real close to what they envisioned and it nailed the album title perfectly which was called “Feeding Time” which was great.
Q5: You appeared in the documentary “Serial Killer Culture”, how did that come about?
Well I came across the movie link online somewhere when the film was in its early stages and discovered John Borowski was looking to finalise the project, I emailed him and basically asked would he consider using my serial killer artwork in the movie, like just show some images of my art. It turned out he liked my artwork so much that he asked did I want to be in the actual film with an interview which I totally did not expect at that time. Growing up being into this kind of weird stuff since I was a kid and creating my own art based on serial killers had finally lead to this experience where what I had done for over 10 years would now be featured in a pretty big underground cult movie which was a really huge step in what I had been doing. It lead to my art being seen on a much bigger level and I was greatly honoured to be chosen by John for this documentary as well as being in the same movie where Joe Coleman is also featured, that blew my mind to be honest as I think his work is fucking incredible.
Q6: Who are your favourite Horror actors/actresses?
I’m going to include some directors too so here’s a few but theres loads more. I always had a thing for Elvira due to her introducing some heavy metal show years ago, Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens, Mindy Clarke in “Return Of The Living Dead 3”, Marilyn Chambers and Gunnar Hansen for “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, Lloyd Kaufman and basically anyone in Troma movies, Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Robert Englund, Jim Van Bebber, Wes Craven, Tom Savini, Boris Karloff, Joe Spinell for “Maniac”, David Hess, Lucio Fulci…
Q7: What were your favourite horror films growing up?
In no particular order I will give you 20 classics and again there’s loads more but to get the idea – “Return Of The Living Dead”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Nightmare On Elm Street”, “Halloween”, “Friday The 13th”, “Dawn Of The Dead”, “American Werewolf In London”, “Squirm”, “The Exorcist”, “The Burning”, “Day Of The Dead”, “Nightmares In A Damaged Brain”, “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Blood Feast”, “The Omen”, “Class Of Nuke ‘Em High”, “Evil Dead”, “Street Trash”, “Basket Case”, “Last House On The left”...
Q8: What is your view on the Horror scene nowadays?
I am enjoying most horror movies I’m catching up with but I’m not to excited about all the remakes, there’s a few good ones but not many, although I’m pretty interested in seeing “The Green Inferno” when it drops as long as it doesn’t steal too much from the classics that are “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Cannibal Ferox”. “Fangoria’s Blood And Guts” show with Scott Ian from Anthrax was great as the effects side of this industry on how it’s done is amazing. I feel we really don’t need anymore zombie movies as its getting real boring with what can be done, I’ll just watch the 70’s “Dawn Of The Dead” when I want a zombie fix, this genre to me has become very saturated. Whats good with the Horror scene is that its so broad that it always remains exciting due to the constant release of movies. It has become a lot more graphic in extreme violence because society is becoming more numb to real atrocity and the films are reflecting this. The internet has broken many barriers in what we view nowadays, the real horror scene is the world we live in.
Q9: Have you got anything exciting lined up?
Well I’m working on a few commission canvas paintings on request right now, I’m also finishing up a few of my personal paintings for release very soon so they will be online within a few months and one of them is a painting based on ‘The Iceman’ Richard Kuklinski, its brutal. The comic publication ‘Bonglizard’ is very nearing finishing point for Volume 4 to be released sometime in the future and various other plans to put into motion like maybe an online version of the comic and maybe a graphic novel. As wiith my website www.artgrinder.com im planning to have a new version online possibly at the end of the year as it needs a serious update because of some product links which are broken due to my art being withdrawn from Zazzle for it’s content. The rest of the site runs fine and my artwork can be bought in various print forms via ‘The Vault Of Art Damage’ section, this is where all new artwork can be viewed as its uploaded. All I can say is keep a look out for any other art, projects or creations I release in the future, I’m always open to ideas and would like to get more of my work out there and continue what I have started which is creating artwork. As it is just me doing and running everything, the world of Artgrinder is always evolving. I don’t know what I will get asked to paint or draw next from whoever contacts me which is real exciting. I got plans for ltd prints, t-shirts, more promo adverts/videos, models and many other things. All this also applies to my career as a tattoo artist and also with the band Godkilla who I play drums for so look out for whatever comes next whether its with the art, the tattoos or the music.
Q10: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If you’re an artist just do what you do and stick at it, it’s a long road of self promotion, time and hassle but that’s what it’s all about when you are a lone artist looking for work, I personally have a huge line of rejection for my style of artwork over the years from magazines, galleries, websites and people in general, but every now and then you get a break and it makes it all worthwhile, so do not give up. I mean I thought everyone would be into psychedelic demonised hardcore sex, horror and serial killers but it’s not the case. I have had real trouble in breaking through and getting my art seen, it’s almost comical but I get loads of positive reactions as well as bad ones. I just express visions from stuff I read or think of and not all of my art is graphic gore and sex, I specialise in many forms of illustration so I can cover many aspects of art whatever its for, so again learn to take criticism and expect rejection but be open to ideas and suggestions and practise different mediums in art. Aside from the amazing times I have had with various adventures and encounters meeting some great people doing the ‘Bonglizard’ publication and the same goes with various bands I have played in, John Borowski taking notice of my work was a massive positive thing to happen with my career during a 10 year period, it was like a breakthrough point for me where I realised many more people will now have taken notice of my art on a bigger scale which was a weird feeling. I had been published in the magazine “Bizarre” a few times and some other places here and there with bands and things but this was something else. So basically what im trying to say is keep at what your doing because you never know where it’s gonna go.
Q11: Do you have any last words for anyone reading this?
Anyone, bands, books, magazines, design/t shirt companies want to give me a shout then go ahead as I have loads of ideas ready to go. I’m still trying to break into the world of doing more album cover art and illustration for bands to use so anyone interested can check my work out via www.artgrinder.com, I have loads of existing artwork and have many new concepts waiting to be unleashed. Same goes for my artwork in general, if you like my style, have an idea and would like me to work on it then contact me and I will get back to you. Anyone interested can stay up to date with my new projects and releases via the Artgrinder Facebook page (HERE) for now.
CONTACT – firstname.lastname@example.org
WEBSITE – WWW.ARTGRINDER.COM