Our Interview with
Mark Kokopelli Watkins
MKW: Well your close, very hot, so to speak, Feind! Most of the works you posted are pen/ink on Cansen watercolor paper. So, I have been creating most of my illustrations recently in this medium....but I do work in all mediums, especially for commissioned pieces.
TDBS – FG: Ha, so close yet so far. I’m not artist so I know little of such things.
TDBS – Cult: I can see a classic horror influence in your art, are there any classic movies that you believe would benefit from a graphic novel type 'rehash' of sorts?
MKW: O hell yah, Cult!...Anne Rice's, "Interview with a Vampire," for one! Others are, Bram Stoker's "Dracula,"..."Phantom of the Opera,"... "Signs,"..."Frankenstein,"..."The Wolf Man," and "Night of the Living Dead," for sure!! To me, any classic horror book, or movie, is fair game!!
TDBS- Cult: Do you have any plans to do more with your artistic talents, comic books, movie storyboards perhaps?
MKW: More book illustrations for sure and movie storyboards sound good to me, because I love telling stories with my style of artwork. Comic Books would be cool, as long as they are dark story lines!
MKW: This is the second book in which my creepy illustrations shall be published. The first one just happens to be a book of love poetry by Rich Orth (an excellent poet, very similar to Edgar Allan Poe), entitled, "Bloody T'is My Valentine," c.2014. Two of my creepy/scary illustrations are in his book. ...and the book I am working on right now will be a compilation of horror stories and nightmares. I am currently collaborating with a wonderful friend of mine in the UK, Bea Wakefield, on illustrating her incredible Sci.- Fi. horror story, but can't share the title until it is completed, hopefully by the end of this year. It creeps into your mind, causing you to read on to see what happens between 3 friends.
TDBS – FG: It definitely sounds intriguing. You’ll have to let us know when it’s all ready.
TDBS – Cult: If given the chance is there a particular author you would like to collaborate with, any work in particular? Feel free to draw from the past, present or future.
MKW: Edgar Allan Poe for sure, as well as Robert Lewis Stevenson! Beyond those two guys, I would love to with Quentin Tarantino since he wrote, "Pulp Fiction," plus he is a genius directing movies!! ...also collaborating with my good friends, Alex Kautz and Rich Orth.
MKW: Classic artists like Van Gogh, Picasso and Salvador Dali inspire me every time I look at their works,... but over my lifetime, I have had so many dangerous, horrific , incredibly real and wonderful experiences that I draw my images from. Dreams and nightmares have also contributed to the artwork I produce, whether people like them, or not.
TDBS – FG: We definitely do. Salvador Dali is a fav of mine also, just amazing.
TDBS – Cult: At TDBS we appreciate the more extreme genres of music and celebrate our favorite bands in artist of the month segments. What genres of music do you enjoy, are there any in particular you prefer to listen while creating?
MKW: Well, I am still "Riding the Crazy Train," with Black Sabbath, plus Metallica and others from Europe,...but right now I am listening to a lot of Jack White and all kinds of Alternative music. I think it all depends on my mood at the time, because I still listen to a lot of blues, then there are some heavy metal bands I enjoy!!
TDBS –FG: I love The White Stripes and old blues. I listen to mostly metal but I love just about everything. If it sounds good to me I don’t care the specific genre.
TDBS – Cult: What is your favorite medium to create with? Is there a reason why?
MKW: My favorite medium, hands down, has to be pen/ink pieces on canvas board, or water color paper. The reason is because I can do more of my detailed works with cryptic messages and slightly hidden images in them.
MKW: Some of my favorite contemporary artists that I love to follow tend to be the following artists: Alex Kautz, Jerry Langdon, Charles Jones, Natalie Eckman, Will Kirkland, and Igor Mugerza!!
TDBS – FG: That’s gives us some to check out! Since you have paid homage to some classic horror and TV in your work, what is your favorite horror film(s) or favorite horror character(s)?
MKW: My favorite horror movie is the classic, "Phantom of the Opera!"... starring Lon Chaney, Sr. When I first saw that movie as a young child, I had nightmares of his face, thus my ink piece, "Horror Icon," a master of make-up, who scared the crap out of me!!
TDBS – FG: I cut my horror teeth on the Universal Classics mostly on Sunday afternoon matinees as a kid.
TDBS – Cult: Do you have any favorite comics or graphic novels? I like Lobo and the earlier Mask graphic novels for their sheer insanity and levels of creativity. Feind is a huge Alan Moore fan but from an artistic standpoint some of the horror comics from the golden age really stand out as fantastic.
MKW: For Comic Books, I would have to say, "The Avengers," and one of my good friends, Nikkol Jelenic's pieces are awesome scary! ...but I must say I really like the earlier Mask graphic novels, like you do Cult!! I need to take a look at Alan Moore's stuff due to my uncanny ignorance regarding the history of horror comics.
MKW: Canadian? Feind,...I live in Indy, USA, not Canada Dry land!! Ha! U got me there Feind!! Since Indy only has the Indy Fuel, minor league hockey team, I have always been a Chicago Blackhawks Fan which really pisses -off some of my best friends who live.... oops, in other big cities. Hahahahha!!
TDBS – FG: Oops sorry about that I had you mixed up with Alex for a moment. The Blackhawks are acceptable, HA! (BTW you’re welcome for my original hometown ‘hawk Patrick Kane!) I currently live in Flyers country and I hate the Flyers. But moving on… A more serious note, other than the contests your art was entered in, has any of your work ever been shown in a gallery or are there plans to do so?
MKW: It costs too much for me, right now, to show my art in galleries. Their rent sucks because it is so high, so I have been showing my artwork in 36 different art shows since 2001, including one at Dave and Busters and numerous coffee houses. I dream of having my own gallery someday, which would include a study room for art instructors to teach in and my son-in-laws tattoo shop in it, as well! But sold 244 art pieces are currently hanging in numerous businesses, homes and offices around the country,...so I am happy in that people are sharing my artwork with their family, friends and customers!
MKW: My 26 year old son, Tony, loves dark Guinness! I, on the other hand, prefer the pub ciders...and hard cider!! So, are we even, close to being buds, or am I out on a limb that just broke?...Oh the horrors of drinking! HAHAHAHAHA!
TDBS: Well beer wise, Guiness is Fiend’s favorite but I enjoy a good cider with Hornsby’s Dark being my favorite and I know Cult is a big cider fan as well so the limb you’re on better be big enough to hold all three of us! Sounds risky, perhaps we should just find a decent pub!