Interview with Horror Artist Michael Tivey!


When did you become a horror fan and why?

I was first introduced to horror films by my mother at a very young age (around 4 or 5 years old). I remember my mom showing me all of the Universal horror films from the 30s, 40s, and 50s (like Frankenstein, Invisible Man, Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolf Man, etc) and I absolutely loved them. They were entertaining, and beautiful, they scared the hell out of me, and I became obsessed with Jack Pierce’s special effects makeup. But it was seeing Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera that really did it for me. That’s when I knew horror was “my thing”. The way Lon Chaney was able to create a character with his own makeup techniques, the way he moved, his facial expressions, everything; it terrified me. And I wanted more. I think its in our nature to be drawn to the unknown or things that might go bump in the night. As petrified as I was growing up, I couldn’t help myself but search for the next movie that would make me check behind the shower curtain or under my bed.

How did you get into art and are you self taught or did you go to school?
I’m an only child and when I was growing up my grandmother would take care of me as my parents were at work. There, I would color for hours on end. I always needed to have my crayons handy. As I got older though, drawing really became a security blanket for me. I could always go to it if I was stressed, feeling a bit antisocial, or just wanted to relax. Its also just a great way for me to show people the things that are near and dear to me like horror movies. And in regards to my education, I’ve never actually been to an art school or had any formal training. It was always my favorite class as a child (much like gym or science class) but it was never something I studied or took too seriously while in school.

You create numerous works of horror, what’s your favourite medium and materials to use?
I only really use pencil for the initial sketch and then black India ink on Canson XL watercolor paper. If I’m doing any shading I just dilute the ink in some water.

Who is your favourite character to use?
Nosferatu is by far my favorite character to draw. I love german expressionism in films such as Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I love characters that are really lean, have long fingers, and have distorted or exaggerated facial features. Max Schreck really makes for one scary vampire and he’s just really fun to draw and paint.

What’s your favourite piece of work that you have created?
So far my favorite piece is the Alfred Hitchcock portrait. He’s a very intimidating looking man with fascinating physical characteristics that I was really excited to play with.

Have you got any upcoming exhibitions?
At the moment I do not have any exhibitions coming up. I’ve just started rolling out my first line of prints on my website. I’m hoping to start making the convention rounds in the coming year.

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m working on several commission pieces.

What’s your favourite scary movie?
My favorite scary is (without a doubt) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Check out Michael’s online shop where you can buy prints HERE

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