Steve McGinnis is an accomplished artist whose skill transcends multiple mediums. I recently had the pleasure of talking with him about his work.
Steve thanks for taking the time out to chat with Tom Holland’s Terror Time! You have created illustrations for such horror magazine as “Fangoria”, “Gorezone”, “Diabolique”, “Gore Noir” as well as your continuous work on a variety of contracted projects. You have also created your own graphic novel entitled “Rise of the Harvester” and featured illustrations in over 40 children’s books.
TT: With such an impressive and ever growing portfolio, when did you find out you wanted to be fully immersed in illustration and make this more than a passion but a career in and out of horror?
SM: I think it really hit me that I could make a career out of illustrating horror at my first horror convention in 2011. The organizer brought together the entire cast of the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They asked me to do a poster to celebrate the event. I had table space at the booth and fans loved my art and kept asking if I could do this character and that character. I realised that I could do this full time.
TT: Looking at your work, many artists say the illustration starts with the eyes, where is your starting point for each piece you create?
SM: So true. I always start with the eyes. They say everything. You could have a great portrait but if the eyes are dead it makes it flat.
TT: I would think that the variety in your projects helps you to grow as a creator and artist, is there a particular creation that has taught you about your craft as well as yourself?
SM: I think comic art has done that. People buy comics, read them and look at the panel art but not realize the amount of effort it takes to tell a story through art seamlessly. You have to bring all your skills to do it. You need to know proper POV, perfect perspective, and a doctor’s knowledge of human anatomy. Also when inking you need to know lighting to really draw the reader into the panels.
TT: What has the experience been for you working on some of the most acclaimed horror magazine in the world like “Fangoria”, “Diabolique” and “Gorezone”?
SM: It’s been a really positive experience. Typically, they have a theme for the issue and an idea of what they would like to see and then let me run with the art design. Which, I think gives the best results.
TT: Talk about the mental aspect of creation and design as well as continuing to be a student of game?
SM: The mental aspect is interesting for the creation. I don’t know about other artists but I go though moods of art. I might draw pencil portraits for a month or so and then jump to digital and not touch the charcoal or paper for a while. It’s almost like a bite I need to work through my system till it’s done. I’m always learning new techniques as well. If I’m
struggling with something, I’ll reach out to other artists to ask how they do it and then keep doing it till I get it right.
TT: What have been some of your crowing achievements and horror figures you have enjoyed bringing to life in your illustrations and work?
SM: There has been a handful the past couple years. Barbie Wilde asked me to illustrate a piece for her book Voices of the Dammed. I couldn’t believe it when she contacted me about it. To have my art in her book was amazing and then, having it beside other amazing artists like Clive Barker was surreal. Another one was illustrating the cover of Cemetery Dance. A collection of short stories by many horror writers such as Stephen King. I was really proud of that one.
TT: What do you have coming up next and where can they find out more about Steve McGinnis Illustrations?
SM: I do a handful of shows every year. In June I’ll be in Niagara Falls Canada at the Niagara Falls Comic Con and Falls Horror Fest. In July, I’m at the Dark Carnival in Hamilton Ontario Canada. Put on by Rue Morgue.
You can view any of my art or contact me at my web page http://www.steveillustration.com
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