Nathan Michael Barlow is a freelance artist and designer based between Nottingham and Sheffield.
Inspired by all sorts of pop culture. Horror, Sci Fi, Music, Tattoos, Graphic Novels and everything in between.
When did you become a fan of horror?
I first became a fan of horror as a young boy. I remember watching films like The Crow, Friday 13th and Halloween when they were on TV in the 90s, and they always stuck with me. This led onto my musical interests and tastes, getting into bands such as Slipknot and Rob Zombie as a teenager, allowing me to see more sides and elements of horror, which then took me onto the artwork of horror, be it characters, posters or set design.
Are you self taught or did you attend college?
I studied Art at GCSE and A Level, before going on to complete a Foundation course at College and Degree at University, so i learned a lot during this time. I’ve been an Art teacher for the past 8 years, and have managed to develop a range of knowledge and skills via teaching. However, it’s only over the past 2 or 3 years that i’ve really taught myself how to use more materials and develop more of a style. I broke my leg playing roller derby and got back into drawing to pass some time. After developing a bit of interest, it became more serious and has led me to where i am now!
What medium do you use to create your work?
I like to play around with a range of materials, including pencil, pencil crayons, water colour/acrylic paint, biro and spray paint. However, my favourite and most used medium are Pro Markers. I find these allow me to build my colours and style to how i want my work to look. I also often use Photoshop to play around with certain images, or even to just put some finishing touches to my work.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I like to use my personal interests as inspiration. I enjoy creating all sorts of artwork, and will happily work with a customer on any sort of commission they wish (within reason!). However, my main source is pop culture – anything ranging from horror films, graphic novels, tattoos, music and anything in between. Since having my first Horror Con stall last year, i’ve realised that a lot of my horror work is what goes down the best (and is often the most fun to create), and so i’ve tended to try and create work that i know my audience will like!
What’s your favourite piece of work so far?
My favourite piece of work is probably ‘Don’t You Like Clowns?’ – it’s a Captain Spaulding inspired piece of work that i designed for Horror Con 2017, which had Sid Haig as one of the guests. It took quite a while to draw and colour, but i think the overall design and colour work sums up what i enjoy doing the most, and what i think I’m best at! I’m really pleased with how the brightness compliments the dark content – big inspiration here from Rob Zombie’s style, in particular the film ‘House of 1000 Corpses’. This is the design i played around with and had added to t-shirts as well. To top it off, i managed to meet Sid Haig and got him to sign a print of this design!
What are your upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on a couple of commissions and tattoo designs, then need to focus my attention on my next convention, which is Harry Potter themed! For this, i have a few ideas that i need to develop and build on for the audience that will be there! After that, i have a couple more horror conventions coming up, so will be back on with further horror themed work! Not 100% on what that will entail, but i’ve made a brief start on a Stranger Things piece!
What’s your favourite scary movie?
I don’t think i can put my finger on one favourite scary movie, but up there has to be Scream, Halloween, House of 1000 Corpses and Friday 13th. Not all particularly scary, but some of my favourites! On a side note, i’d have to say my top 5 favourite films of all time have to be The Crow, Terminator 1, Terminator 2, Beetlejuice and Batman!
Visit Nathan’s shop HERE