Written by Kostas Vaxevanos June 22 2022
Good evening, how did you get started in the music scene? How do you feel when a project is printed on a record?
My first work was for my husband’s band (Vultur). After that I started making for friends, then friends of friends and so on. The very first time I saw my work printed on a shirt and CD I felt very satisfied. After years of being involved in painting it is a kind of recognition to see your work on a CD, a cassette or a T-shirt that will travel around the world, since now the market is not limited to the domestic scene.
Which bands have you worked with so far is there any current projects?
I’ve done several projects for various bands, such as Vultur, Orchriste, Lunar Spell, Apparition, Funebre etc. Mostly I work with labels because primarily I don’t do commissions. Not that it’s forbidden, I just have more freedom to create. There are current projects that I can’t reveal yet, but the last one released these days is Mayhemic from Chile for Awakening Records.
Have you been painting since you were younger? Usually people who paint have other hidden talents. Are you involved in other creative work?
I’ve been painting for as long as I can remember. I studied civil engineering and that helped a lot, especially in pencil drawings. I like to create things like jewellery, clothes and anything related to decoration.
Do you think you get your emotions or something more intimate
on paper/canvas? A darker part of yourself perhaps?
Definitely when I make a piece, especially for death-black metal bands, it always comes out something darker. I have a tendency towards the occult and anything dark like the music that I listen to, so it comes out without too much effort. But in general I’m drawn to dark landscapes and demons and it’s something I’ve always liked to paint.
Do you like it when the band or label gives you a plan, instructions on what they want, what they envision or do you like to create independently more?
When it comes to working with a band, then an initial idea is helpful to get started. I don’t like to copy or make something similar from another band and as many times I’ve been asked to do that, I’ve refused. I’ve re-designed covers and I have
and I really liked it, but it’s one thing to do a re-design on an old demo and another thing to steal something classic and adapt it into something new. Of course, parthenogenesis is hard to achieve anymore, we all have our influences. I mainly like the Renaissance works and I think that comes out in some of my paintings.
Does it help you to listen to the music of the band or music in general during a creation of a piece?
It goes without saying that when I work with a band, I will listen to their music and read their lyrics, so I can get into their mood and aesthetic,
so that I can deliver what really suits them. But when I design
on my own, I might listen to anything from classical music to the most extreme music you can you can imagine.
What are the techniques you work with and what is your opinion of digital design. Has it helped? Or do you get a little standard and similar?
I started with pencil and black and white drawings. Then I went to acrylics and oil paint on canvas and paper. I’ve done drawings with watercolor, wax crayon and charcoal. I admire a lot of artists who do digital design but it never occurred to me to get into it. I like the tangible, the whole process, from the smell to the texture touch. Now as far as what you’re talking about with the similarity, the problem is mainly that a lot of bands are afraid to try something different, so a lot of painters make identical designs because that’s what sells.
Do you have any influences from any artists on or off the scene? I think Metal in general has been identified with great covers and the underground in general by talented people.
Of course I have influences from artists. As I said above, my main influences are from classical painters. Now from younger artists my favorite is Roberto Ferri. As far as artists on the scene, I really like Toshihiro Egawa, who was one of the first drawings I tried to study. I like Paolo Girardi but of course also Dan Seagrave, Mark Riddick, Blial Cabal and many others! I forgot to mention my biggest influence on pencil drawing, The mighty Gustave Dore! It’s true that for those of us who like extreme music covers and T-shirts have excellent designs indeed, but unfortunately i hardly see them in a gallery. They are for the few!!!
How can someone contact you and do you have some pages?
Anyone can contact me via facebook with a message to GhoulArt
(https://www.facebook.com/ghoulartgargoylekelly) or through Instagram@gargoylekellyart. Thank you very much for this interview and the opportunity to present my work!