Another federal election is over, and a small nation in the South Pacific has experienced a bloodless regime change, though given the hysteria I've heard from some in the arts community, you'd think it was the end of the world. If our current government does not represent their interests, they should at least take comfort from the fact that it does not represent mine. If I had any say in such things, most of the sanctimonious windbags who rely on government grants would be doing real work for the disadvantaged sorts they pretend to represent. As an added benefit our galleries would contain less of the insipid mush that no-one really likes or gets.
Ah, how bitter I've become. It's time for a change of scene. I'm preparing for the next big trip by swapping the wheels for steel-capped boots, the helmet for a forage cap, and going on long urban hikes. The industrial zones offer a welcome change from yuppie bars, hipster cafes and hypersensitive aesthetes. I'll usually pack a camera, sketchbook, and whatever trashy paperback I've managed to pick up for free.
Creatively I've got a lot done, and I've been more focused too. My DA posts might suggest otherwise – they haven't been so frequent this year – but in the meantime I've completed 40 Feral Steel drawings. In the past I've usually photoshopped drawings as soon as they're done, but the Feral Steel project was always meant to be a series, and I felt it would be best to have the whole lot roughed out before I started colouring. This has also helped me to keep it thematically and visually coherent. My drawing improved over time, and some of my earlier ideas were abandoned or reworked. This series will showcase a much wider range of post-apocalyptic vehicles than I've covered previously. I've gone in for hard sci-fi, eschewing anti-gravity, mechs, etc. for real-world technology.
My recent work in Photoshop comes from a very different place. In some ways this has been a difficult year, and the In Extremis series has helped me deal with the worst. My more anti-social urges have been recast as grotesque but harmless figures with darkly comic backstories. I've found the creative process as beneficial as its end results.
My cultural spectrum's a bit broader too. I've discovered another dark ambient band called Midnight Syndicate, which slightly predates Nox Arcana and deals with very similar themes. Metal fans are better advised to try Fleshgod Apocalypse, the first Italian metal band to really strike a chord with me. The "Labyrinth" album provides just the right mix of emotional and technical excess – for me the palpable menace of "Minotaur" and dark grandeur of "Under Black Sails" are highlights.
Some books deserve a mention too, but I'll save it for another time.
Thanks for your interest,