Astoundingly, Mr. Githens took time out of his busy schedule and designed the EYEPUS logo above - in which, I literally fell to the ground and almost broke my neck for this incredible design. A billion thanks go out to him for making the EYEPUS logo.
EYEPUS is more than proud to present RODNEY GITHENS in this brief cool interview.
When did you discover your hidden talents as a painter/illustrator?
Honestly, I cannot remember a time when I did not draw or create in someway. I spent my childhood drawing monsters and weird people. In some ways a lot has not changed that much. As an adult I spend a lot of time drawing monsters, skulls and weird people.
Who are your major inspirations for your artwork?
Obviously my work has a darker slant…so I could not say I draw inspiration from a sunset. But I do draw inspiration from all aspects of my daily life and I have some very crazy dreams all of the time. In fact, I have some sketches for a series of paintings I want to do based solely on some pretty elaborate dreams. As far as other artists go, there are numerous artists that I like including Dali, Munch, DaVinci & Durer. Anyone that does art for metal bands has to count Pushead & Derek Hess as an influence. Also, there are bunch of people working a lot right now whom I really like such as Riddick, Paul Romano and a bunch of illustrators. In addition, I draw inspiration from music of the heavy variety. For me, having a great soundtrack is a key element of the creative process.
Who are your favorite horror filmmakers of all time?
Of all time? Well, there are certainly a group of no-brainers such as George Romero, John Carpenter and Sam Raimi. Also, I would throw Hitchcock in there as the master of suspense.
Any favorite horror films of all time?
I go through different phases and as such I will latch on to different types of horror films at different points. So I went through periods where I became obsessed with all of the Evil Dead movies, Living Dead movies, Hellraiser movies but I really love the Alien movies. There is no better art created for movies than the stuff that Giger did for the first Alien movie. Also, I really love old horror films such as The Creature from The Black Lagoon, Frankenstein and a bunch of the Hammer films. As far as poster art goes those old movies had some of the greatest posters of all time.
Any favorite GORY films of all time?
I am not a very big fan of GORY horror movies. But I do remember meeting a good friend of mine, Gary in a high school gym class because he was on the bleachers looking at a Fangoria magazine. I guess I have always preferred suspense or creepy monsters rather than outright gore.
Can you tell us how you got inspired for your art works “CALIBAN” “PROVE TO YOU” and “NERVE MAN”?
“Prove to You” was created to be shown at a co-op gallery that I was a part of a while ago. The idea behind the piece stems from the frustration of teenage life as I reflected back on it…the passive being forced to follow the misguided. “Nerve Man” was originally created as a shirt design for a band but I decided not to work with them. Not sure of the actual inspiration other than creating a spindly nerve guy existing in the astral plane. “Caliban” was created for the metal band Caliban to be used for a tour this spring/summer. They wanted a zombie based design and I wanted to try something different. So I went with the zombie crossbones.
How long does it take you to do one of your works? Any particular techniques or styles you use?
It really varies depending on the piece, but often it takes me while just to get warmed up. I tend to work pretty slowly but I can turn around work to people fast and I never missed a deadline. As far as style, I have my natural drawing style that has been developed over my entire life that is the base for all of my work. I work both by hand and in the computer. But the key would be that the average person should look at your work and not think about how it was done. Whatever tool you use it should not overshadow the impact of the work.
What are you trying to do to people with your art?
I am trying to lead them to the edge of insanity, where one-eyed bandits run amok and monkeys rule with an iron fist…..just kidding. I just want them to have some sort of reaction to my work, whether it be good or bad.
Can you tell us about your website VERTEBRAE 33 and your online store?
My site is the showcase for my art and it is for all humans who have all 33 of the their vertebrae. The store was created to try to tell some of my own designs on shirts and hopefully in the future prints and originals as well.
Are all your art works printed on all the Shirts you sell?
No. Right now I have only two designs on shirts for sale through my site but you can get some of the designs I did for bands at their shows or on their websites.
Any upcoming gallery art shows or exhibitions of your works?
Right now I do not have any gallery shows on the horizon, as I am solely concentrating on doing artwork for bands and merch companies. I would love to get back into showing
Do you think the art world is competitive?
In some respects it is very competitive but doing good work consistently over a long period of time will shrink that world into more manageable components. The internet makes it easier than ever to expose people to your work but it often still just boils down to networking. Most artists are pretty bad at networking or the business side of the art world. There is a reason we are motivated to create and it has nothing to do with business acumen.
Do you have any new upcoming projects in the works?
I am currently working on shirt designs for Ring of Honor Wrestling and a couple of bands. I just finished another design for Metal Hammer magazine and a record cover for the band Sons of Tonatiuh. I have a couple of things lined up but I cannot talk about them yet, as they are still in the beginning stages.
Honestly, Do you think aspiring artists should go to art school to learn art?
I spent time at a bunch of schools and I learned something at all of them. If you get a good teacher you can learn a ton and there are some good things that can come from feedback from a group of your peers. But it all boils down to the amount of effort you put into being an artist everyday of your life.
Any great advice for aspiring painters and illustrators out there?
work…work…work….You must push yourself all of the time to be better and better. I believe that hard work and perseverance will pay off in the end.