Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
I’ve had some time to think about this question since I was asked at the STUDIO Gallery reception (the show’s now over but it was wonderful to be a part of it), and I’ve come up with some answers that are probably true some of the time. Your mileage may vary.
First off, tentacles are fun. I’ve said this before, but it’s probably the top reason I keep up with the series, just because I really enjoy doing it. The scribbly ones are fun to draw, the painted ones are fun to paint, and there’s still new things I can do with them that I haven’t done before.
Now that the shallow answer is out of the way, we can dip our toes a little deeper, though in the end the answer is still about fun. What can I say, I’m a fan of fun.
Being scared is fun.
It is when you know it’s harmless, anyway. And it’s wonderful to explore the edge where scary meets something else. I love things that are morbidly funny, frighteningly beautiful, or creepy-cute, just to name a few. It’s those ragged edges where tentacles are gorgeous and otherworldly and creeping into our thoughts like, well, tentacles, that keeps me coming back not just to the Tentacle Deeps series, but to weeble Cthulhu and logos with skulls on them and pendants of spiderwebs.
Real-life spiders give me the willies, but art that makes them fascinatingly lovely is amazing to me.
I enjoy taking people to that place where you go, “Huh, I never would’ve thought of that.” I like creating something that is, let’s be honest here, not just another fucking landscape. If I’m going to obsessively detail anything, I want it to be something interesting, fascinating and maybe even a little bit repellent, something funny or charming but also morbid and grim.
It may be that that narrows my audience to a very small sliver of people who, like me, enjoy seeing the horrific beauty in the tentacles that slide up from the depths for purposes unknown. But you can kind of guess they aren’t savory, that these strange alien arms reaching upward aren’t straining towards the surface of our world, our pond, our imaginations, for anything that’s good for our health.
But then, since when has anything that’s really fun been all that good for your health?