Steve Santiago – Genius? or Bored Psycho with Art Supplies?
In some of Lovecraft’s greatest tales he refrains from describing the horror itself in hopes that the reader’s imagination will take over and create a terrifying monster for him. However, we as humans must SEE the horror to confirm our thoughts are accurate in conceiving something so blasphemous that we love to think about it, yet pray to the gods that it really doesn’t exist. Luckily for us there has been a huge influx of artist whose psyche has been nurtured by the words of weird authors growing up, thus raising a new generation of visualists. Visualists who in the fashion of Goya, yet armed with digital pencils and photoshop, have begun to create compelling art that make most people uncomfortable when they get a glimpse. We like that stuff, and that’s why we like Steve Santiago.
I came across Steve while looking for a disturbing icon that I could call an unspeakable gibberer. I found one of his images entitled “Hybrid Horror” (click that link to see it), and inquired about using it. Turns out some of his work is locked, or need permission for use because of the stock photos used to create the image, and this was one of those. So, instead of waiting for the ok, Steve offered to create something for the site personally. Then wallah we were blessed with one of the creepiest damn things I’ve ever seen. Steve and his family dwell in Fresno, California where he is a graphic designer by day, and a father of 3 by night. He has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and has been lucky to work in the field for over 15 years. This guy knows his stuff and is one of the friendliest people I have had the pleasure to chat with. I wanted to do a little bio/interview post for Steve because things have been blowing up for this guy lately; with upcoming projects with Drabblecast, and work with the Lovecraft eZine Issue #8, I realize this guy is going places. I decided to post a couple of interview questions to help some people realize that Steve is not as crazy as you would think from looking at his work. After the Q/A are a couple of pieces Steve has previously completed. Enjoy!
Who is your favorite artist/inspiration? The first name that comes to mind is Frank Frazetta. The way he captured motion and used color still amazes me. Also the old master, Vincent van Gogh, and for a modern artist I would have to say Dave McKean for his mixed media style of perfectly blending illustration with photos and sculptures.
Who is your favorite author? Wow, to single out just one would be a crime! Growing up I had many. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Robert E. Howard, Jules Verne and of course, H.P. Lovecraft all fueled my young mind with thoughts of adventure, terror and Sci-Fi. I would then try to draw scenes from the pages I read or the covers but would fail miserably. I have to admit that I’m not much of a reader anymore. My sacred spare time is spent drawing or photoshopping for fun or competitions. But over the past year or so I have been brushing up on my Lovecraft and rediscovering his works all over again. Thanks in part to the H.P. Podcraft Literary Podcasts.
What got you into Lovecraft or weird fiction in general? My older brother and I grew up watching shows like “Kolchak the Night Stalker” “Night Gallery” and “In Search Of…” We were fascinated with ghost stories, UFO’s and creepy folklore. I was a teenager when my brother and I discovered the Michael Whelan illustrated covers that collected Lovecraft stories. That was our first experience with Lovecraft and I thought those were the most disturbing stories I had ever read, I loved it!
What is your favorite Lovecraft story? At the Mountains of Madness.
Do you have any hobbies? I’d have to say that since 2006 my hobby would be entering photoshop, illustration and logo contests that started on Worth1000.com and now on deviantART.com. It is very competitive and addicting! But it has been a great way to improve my skills. Always something new to learn.
Work/piece your most proud of? I’m never really satisfied with anything I do. I keep thinking I could have done better but I do like your web banner! I also like the cover I did for an upcoming Drabblecast episode. It incorporates 3 stories into the cover which wasn’t as easy as I thought it might be.
Do you have any goals or dreams to fulfill? I just had one fulfilled by having an illustration published (online) that has something to do with Lovecraftian fiction (The lovecraftzine.comissue 8 illustration for “The Time Eater” written by Adam Bolivar) and to do a cover for The Drabblecast which I have been a big fan of for quite some time. My Drabblecast cover should be out soon. So my new goals now are to continue to contribute art for The Drabblecast and be asked to create the cover for a future issue of the Lovecraft eZine. A long term goal would be to illustrate a book. I can dream can’t I?
With the work you’re doing for DC (Drabblecast), I’m curious if there is a story, or even an episode art that stands out most to you? Episode #206 entitled “Creature” that caught my eye and turns out to be one of my favorite Drabblecast stories. Excellent cover too.
What got you into DC? My love for podcasts lead me to find some really good anthology sites. Although when I first started listening to DC, I never imagined I would get the opportunity to do cover work for them. Thanks Bo!
Any future gigs you wish to get into/continue? To continue illustrating and photoshopping art for The Drabblecast and the Lovecraft eZine. They both have a great platform and continue to grow their fan base and I’m happy to be along for the ride.
As I write this now I see that Steve’s episode art for The Drabblecast #225 Trifecta XIX is out! good stuff, and to see that swing over to The Drabblecast’s new fancy site, or stay tuned here for a little review of this weeks episode. Below are some pieces of work that Steve has so nicely decided to share with us. For mor of these awesome pics, and to get know Mr. Santiago a little better, check out his stuff at http://www.quest007.deviantart.com.