Comics are what first drew me to art. They were that first peek in to what was possible. When I was younger I was really into superhero comics, but that’s changed a bit over the years. Though I’m still and always will be a fan of work like Batman and Hellboy, I’ve been flipping through stranger stuff lately. A lot of work by French and Italian comic artists from the ’80s, for example. Doesn’t matter if the dialog is in English or not; I can look at those pages for days on end.
Tran Nguyen is a Georgia-based gallery artist and freelance illustrator. Born in Vietnam and raised in the States, she is fascinated with creating visuals that can be used as a psycho-therapeutic support vehicle, exploring the mind’s landscape. Her paintings are created with a soft, delicate quality using colored pencil and acrylic on paper. Nguyen has worked for clients such as Playboy, Tor, McDonald’s, Chateau St. Michelle Winery, and has showcased with galleries in California, New York, Spain, and Italy.
I wrote an entire novel on dear old Krampus … Hard not to love a figure that revels in putting naughty children in a sack and beating the snot out of them. In addition to his child minding, I enjoy his long history that extends far back to pagan times, long before Saint Nicholas came along and stole the holiday season from him. I love the idea of Krampus returning to reclaim Christmas, which is probably why it’s the premise of my novel.
Jeff Simpson is a concept artist and illustrator living in Montreal Canada, currently working for Ubisoft Montreal. His previous clients include Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex Next Gen), Ubisoft Montreal (Assassins Creed: Revelations, Assassins Creed: 3, Assassins Creed: Unity), Universal Pictures (Snow White and the Huntsman), Lionsgate (The Last Witch Hunter), MovingPictureCompany (various films to be announced), The Mill (VFX concept for several advertisements), Wizards of the Coast (Magic The Gathering).
I love artists. They are the best kind of people. I highly recommend you take any opportunity you can to find yourself in a room full of them (preferably when they happen to have sketchbooks in hand). When I was asked if I could find a few amazing women to do the artwork for the Women Destroy Horror! issue of NIGHTMARE, I happened to be attending the Illustration Masters Class. I looked up from my laptop, glanced around the studio I was working in, and immediately emailed back “Why yes, I think I can.”
Sam Guay is a freelance illustrator working and wandering in New England. Dreams, folktales, and bits of her woodland haunts weave themselves into the visuals and narratives of her watercolors. Between paintings she can be found fortune-telling, voraciously reading, and having tea parties with her corvid kin, the local flora, and her beloved feline companion. You can find her work at samguay.com.
I’m interested in capturing a character’s internal struggle. Over the course of the years I found it feels more appropriate to let my characters free from regular human bodies. I don’t necessarily try to make their bodies look scary. The design is a result of my attempt to capture their emotions.
Artist Greg Ruth wrote a wonderful essay, published at Tor.com in May, about the value horror stories have for us as humans. There are many necessary things that “grim, gory, and scary” teach us, prepare us for. I find enormous worth in good storytelling, especially of the darker variety. I hope my illustrations do justice to the genre.
Leslie Ann O’Dell is a self-taught artist based in Colorado. Using photography and digital manipulation, she plays on themes of light and dark, nature, psyche, and self to create richly enigmatic and haunting portraits. Find her work at leslieannodell.com.
Márcio Martins is a photographer and digital illustrator living on the south coast of Portugal. His work has been featured at juxtapoz.com and streetanatomy.com. Find him on Behance: www.behance.net/MarcioM.