The Searing Limb Interview
Connor: I’ve been drawing anything and everything from age 3 until now, so 18 years of personal experimenting, education, and inspiration have culminated into what I do now. It was in senior year of high school 3 years ago I just knew I would be doing art in some form, just because it’s something I’ve always done and have fun getting into.
TDBS - Feind: Do you look back at your early work and laugh now that you’re “older & wiser”?
Connor: I do every blue moon or so, I find old files and sketches and just wonder what I was thinking or influenced by. I think it gives me some perspective and maybe a new idea here and there, but I don’t look back far too often.
TDBS - Feind: I'd say that's usually good. Nice nostalgia but sometimes you just cringe HAHA
TDBS - Cult: Are there any artist's work or perhaps a particular medium where you find the most influence? In the same vein do you have a favorite artist or artists (alive or dead)?
Connor: I have many artists I draw from across the world in different mediums and styles of all kinds. I do gravitate toward pen and paper or digital illustrations. I find that the styles of Florian Bertmer, Seldon Hunt, Aaron Horkey, Richey Beckett, Iain Macarthur, Zoe Keller, Lucas Ruggieri, Caitlin Hackett and Roger Dean really inspire me to create and try new ideas. I also enjoy many classic and contemporary painters, as well as many tattoo artists, sculptors, animators, and pretty much all art I can relate or pull something new from. Other artists big to me include Jacob Bannon, John Baizley, Thomas Hooper, Dali, Escher, Scott Move, Art of Skinner, Pale Horse, Arik Roper to name a few.
Connor: Music has been absolutely huge in my inspiration roots and through being in a band for 6 years has given a lot of great memories, opportunities and inspiration through shows I’ve played/ gone to. I am essentially inspired in other artists and pieces that make me feel any range of emotions, but I just have to feel that it serves a purpose one way or another and make an objective way. My taste, like music, change and grow with time and perspective. I really value authentic, accurate, and refined artwork above pure attempts at abstract art without a sense of true technical, creative, or simplistically dynamic ability.
TDBS - Feind: I can absolutely understand that. Even I can do abstract, I can't draw to save my life by the way.
TDBS - Cult: Along those same lines, is there anything in particular that drives you to create what you do in the style you do it?
Connor: I may or may not have an exact image in mind, but I just thrive off creating something new and for me once I put pen to paper or hand to mouse I let the image make itself as I see what needs to change. I just view the idea or subject I’m aiming for as an organization of lines, shading, and forms that creates a sensation. It’s always an ever-evolving process that makes you better through practice, that’s what I enjoy in creating something new and gaining a fresh perspective.
TDBS - Feind: I'm not the world's biggest planner, do you start with a particular image in mind or do you just let it flow?
Connor: I typically have a general concept, but I don’t really plan too far ahead of a sketch. I build and refine back and forth until it feels right and looks complete.
Connor: Through school I’ve been exposed to acrylic painting, ink, pens, and pencil, but I’ve always gravitated toward pencil mostly and pen in high school more. I use Photoshop for most of the past 5-6 years and primarily use it when drawing or doing photo manipulations. I started out making pretty basic show flyers into what I work on now which entails photo-manipulation, illustration and logo designs. I would estimate I spend around 20-40 hours on each illustration, but I never keep track, so I can’t say for sure how long on each. Some feel longer than others and some are way faster than I anticipate.
TDBS - Feind: Writing is much different really and on that note, what is the longest it’s ever taken you to complete a piece not counting stopping something then picking it up months or years later?
Connor: I’d have to say the most invested and consistently dedicated to one piece would either be my piece Torment, which due to image size took me over a course of 7 months to refine and call it finished, or my Alien / Giger piece, which I worked on for 2 and a half months over last summer.
TDBS - Feind: Giger (RIP) is and always has been my favorite. All of his work is so intricate it's amazing so I understand taking that much time and a great piece!
TDBS - Cult: Are there any of your pieces we may have already seen that we may have not realized was in fact yours? (*Quick aside: your “orifice” color piece strangely reminds me of an Origin album cover.) In that same ball park, which arena would you say you’ve done the most work: advertising, album art or otherwise?
Connor: All of my art has really been for personal, schooling, or fairly localized purposes, so there really aren’t any famous or notable pieces I’ve been commissioned for. I would say I’ve mostly designed show fliers, at least 70 plus.
Connor: I have not yet but I am submitting for one this week so it could be my first feature. I’m slowly working on more local promotion so hopefully I can say I have soon. It really can be difficult and you have to be pretty professional with a bit of luck to get really noticed. I’ve had a fairly difficult yet totally worthwhile time so far in my art goings, but all artists share the strife of getting recognized and building a reputation.
TDBS - Feind: Amen to that. Trying to get published is the same slog.
TDBS - Cult: On a slightly different note, is there a specific type of music you prefer while creating if any? If so what are some of your preferences or favorite style? Feind and I are partial to metal obviously, any favorite metal acts or just not into it?
Connor: I prefer music I can get in the zone to and let play either straight through the album or through a playlist of the band. But drone, post-rock, black metal, electronic, experimental, doom, instrumental, indie, d-beat, jazz, punk, noise, sludge, or atmospheric sums up my overall mix of anything easy to work to haha. As for metal specifically, Converge, High on Fire, Neurosis, Yob, The Sword, Intronaut, Mastodon, Gorgoroth, Amenra, Isis, Wolves in the Throne Room, Kylesa, Krallice, Opeth to name favorites.
TDBS - Feind: That's a pretty good list, I think we share a music collection! I actually just did a YOB review just a couple weeks ago. So Along with metal we’re also horror writers and horror movie junkies, any influence from our world or perhaps just a favorite horror book, movie, director etc?
Connor: To be honest I’ve never found the time to get into very many classic horror movies or books, I have found a few particular movies like The Shining, Alien, The Fly, Saw 1, and The Thing to interest and inspire me in certain means of art aesthetic and musically. Nothing featuring zombies has never intrigued me.
TDBS - Feind: Zombies are played out though I enjoy The Walking Dead but that's more about the people. The Shining and The Thing are a couple of my personal favorites as well.
Connor: I have one starting soon that I’m really excited to take on, large scale and should be an epic theme. The number of commissions I have tends to be small at any time, maybe 1-3, so I hope to raise that number slowly but surely through the year.
TDBS - Feind: Aside from your art is there anything else you are pursuing or anything you’d like to? Music, writing, acting or anything at all?
Connor: I’ve been in an active local band with interchanging names, members, songs for around 6 years and a 3-piece band for the past 3 years, Nisroch, but the past year I’ve stepped back from playing and faced school more seriously. Hope to have a fresh and meaningful new band started up this year sometime, I’ll be sure to post about when and if. Other than that, just art and school but I’m hopeful to get more into web design and more serious commissions soon. I’m gradually working toward a web store and website, kind of at a snail pace but I want a really legit stock to sell and pro appearance.
TDBS - Feind: I speak from experience running a site is a lot of work. Take your time to do it the way you want is all the advice I can give.
TDBS - Cult: It is a Thy Demons Be Scribblin tradition to ask... Do you have a particular favorite beverage? Feind is a fan of Guinness (and coffee!) while I prefer a chilled cider.
Connor: I’m not really big on drinking more than once a week, but I can drink almost anything from Yuengling to ciders, just not a heavy or dark guy, not even coffee haha.
Connor: There are seriously so many people that I could choose for so many reasons, but I’ll choose Aaron Turner for someone currently living that I would really appreciate getting to know how he feels and thinks about art, music, and life in general. And Carl Sagan for someone deceased just to learn and ask what he thought about literally everything, as long as he was cool with answering me about everything haha.
TDBS - Feind: From what I've read about Sagan he'd have that chat with you!
TDBS - Cult: Do you have a favorite piece of art (whatever shape or form it may take) that many may not be aware of? Any reasons as to why?
Connor: I don’t think I can manage to really settle on one work that stands out, I’ve seen an innumerable amount of influential pieces. I would say though when I was young into high school works like Van Gogh, Dali, M.C. Escher, Roger Dean, and many other artists, books, ads, drawings and paintings have really culminated into how I view art now. Those artists that have caught my eye have all given me a new outlook and made me yearn to create a new place to journey to or dream for what the future could be.
TDBS - Feind: Thank you for taking the time for us, just one final one here again for fun. Do you have a favorite author or book? You don’t have to say me though you could if you wanted to butter me up and stroke my ego LOL
Connor: I’m not a big book reader really, I would say the Lord of the Rings is the biggest read of my life. I do intend to read more as I get older, my dad is a huge science fiction reader (Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs) so I’m excited to get into their books. I truly appreciate the opportunity and interesting questions!
TDBS - Feind: It's quite alright. Lord of the Rings is a monster but another personal favorite, I think you might be alright!