Midnite Collective interviews Sebastian Mazuera, Illustrator
Medium(s): Ink, Pencil
Based in: San Diego, CA
Years Active: 7 years (working)
Most Recent Clients: Sangus, Voidwrath, and Gav
Current Albums in Rotation: Sacrificio’s recent release, Spectres over Transylvania (Cultes des Ghoules), Akel Lahempana Sataanaa (Horna), Minor Threats Discography, Demonic War Demo and Melissa by Mercyful Fate
So, to begin, how did you come to use the alias Necromogarip? What does it mean?
The alias Necromogarip is a fusion of two things that I feel represent my body of work, spiritually and aesthetically. Mogarip was derived from a piece of Magickal Literature known as the Black Venus Text. Information on the Daemon is scarce to none, only mentioned as a seal within the Ritual Magic. Mogarip was part of a pantheon of Spirits known as Olympic Gods, which are tied to Goetic and Kabbalistic Magick. The seal of Mogarip appears in the matters of summoning demons, angels and spirits from offices beyond this realm. To my understanding, Mogarip is like the great Anti God, the Blackness of Space and that which holds the other Spirits. At least to me, it has come to mean the vast omnipresence of the void. If the Stars in our systems are like Gods and Fathers, then what is the great vastness in which they sit? To me, this is Mogarip. It also means “Night Prayer” in Arabic. The Necro is for my representation of Necromancy or Necromantics, involving the dead and forms of Black Magic.
You incorporate many different types of “characters” in your works – typically, very supernatural beings. Many of your work is very esoteric or spiritually-infused, utilizing these creatures or overall themes. Where do you find these creatures? How would do you develop a theme or concept for your pieces?
The Characters I use in my works are always derived from an ancient practice or civilization. Predominantly Sigils of Solomon, Pagan Runes, Egyptian Glyphs, Witchcraft and even Military Insignia (Medieval). The Beasts and Spirits I portray in my work will be at times renditions of their existing descriptions or interpretations. As a practitioner of Chaos Magic and Hallucinogenic Rituals, a lot of these visions or creatures will come to me in altered states of consciousness or dreams. When working with bands, I look for the themes they follow and attempt to place symbols or figures that can be infused with that esoteric energy and further their efforts. Lovecraftian beings play a role in my Art as I am constantly inspired by the mythos, and in my own truth, have found many things not too far off from what he spoke of. One element I try to convey within Occult art is not just the worship of Skulls and praise to the Black Goat; but the multitude of the spirit realm. The creatures and lesser beings passing right through you as you read this completely invisible to your eye, or the thing that tries to take your soul during sleep paralysis. These are morsels of inspiration to me, as I suffer them occasionally, and scribing them into paper almost traps them for me.
Furthermore, you have also created many pieces surrounding or inspired by comic, film or television titles. You seem to share many captures of occult films or re-creations you have done of comics/cartoons. That said, what are some of your favorite comics, films, and television shows past and/or present?
Comics, old TV and games have influenced my art tremendously. I was never able to afford art school of any kind, so album covers, comics, VHS covers and game manuals quickly became my teachers. As far as which ones, I wish I could condense a thousand titles into a paragraph, but I’ll keep it relatively short, haha. Horror and Fantasy Films are my biggest favorites like: The Church, Demons, Excalibur (’81), The Deadly Spawn, Dragon Slayer, Dark Crystal, From Beyond, House, The Thing, Conan the Barbarian etc., I could go on forever, I’m a huge fanboy. TV shows that I still watch or inspired me have mainly been Japanese as I’m a big fan of OLD SCHOOL Anime, like Genocyber, Devilman, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, CyberCity 808, Getta Robo, Mazinger Z, Gatchaman, Venus Wars etc. American shows have been along the lines of: Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside, TMNT, Are you Afraid of the Dark, Headbangers Ball, Beavis n Butthead, and old Battlestar Galactica at times (not big on TV though). Games have been a great source of motivation, I’m obsessed with “spooky” adventure games, rpg’s and fantasy hack ‘n slash. Titles I worship are: Castlevania, King of Dragons, Magic Sword, Legend of Zelda, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Demon Crest, Act Raiser, King of Monsters, Splatterhouse and Gauntlet. More recent titles would be: Skyrim and Colonial Marines. I’m a Dungeons ‘n Dragons loyalist, so at many points my gaming energy goes to on paper and dice rolling. My favorite console is Super Nintendo.
Typography and lettering seems to also be a pursuit within your creative endeavors. Many bands and magazines have enlisted your lettering work. Although somewhat a type of illustration, it is an entirely different medium. Do you take a different approach to lettering than your illustration pieces? Also, do you take a lot of influence from the previous mentions (comic titles, specific theme movie titles, etc.)?
Lettering has always been challenging to me, and perhaps why I still pursue it to this day. Being into music all my life, band logos have always stood out and since middle school have always been scribbling away at doing different letters and the likes. Typography is usually less organic for me, unless the text calls for it, so I take a lot of time to make sure it looks balanced, symmetrical and proportioned, and that it fits the overall piece from a distance. As fans of extreme music, we know that logos and lettering divides our subcultures like banners of Orc clans. We can, more often than not, decipher if a band is Crust, Death Metal, Anarcho Punk or Black Metal just by the form of lettering, layout and so on. Within the universe of Film, Toys and Magazines, lettering always lets you know what you are in for. There are the giant monster letters, the drippy haunted house letters, sci-fi text, and adventure fonts. Many of these forms allow us to know what genre it plays to, like the font for Indiana Jones-you see that pulp style lettering and know “Oh, this is gonna be a high adventure story!” So, I always try to keep that in my work.
Tattooing seems to have been another realm you dove into – where did you get your start and do you still work within that medium now?
I got my start with tattooing when I got my first tattoo at 19, at Workshop Tattoo on Bankers Hill which is currently no more. I learned under the very talented Christopher Ryan, who is also a phenomenal painter. Working at Vishuddha Creatives for some time before moving on to focus on my Daughter and Illustration. Due to several life tribulations in recent years, I’ve been on hiatus with tattooing, but I’m getting back into it within this year, so I’m very excited to create new bodies of work. Tattooing is an archaic and connecting thing for me, a pinch of human vanity, mysticism and love for Art. Although requested frequently, I don’t like translating my illustration work into tattoos. I’m a big fan of dark Americana and the classic style of drawing tattoos. It’s a form that fascinates me, and one day I hope to incorporate into the occultism of my themes.
Lastly, I would like to rub in how incredibly underground you are, yet your work is really apparent if people pay attention and recognize your style. Your clients almost seem very word-of-mouth as far as how they connect to you. That said, do you plan to unleash a website and/or webstore soon to expand your evil presence? Or, is there somewhere folks should watch out for you in coming days?
Hahaha, thank you! Yes, word of mouth and social media sites are currently my main source of exposure. Actually, I would like to open a webstore by winter 2014; it’s been long overdue and I have lots of new things on the rise. Hopefully, I will be attending the Lovecraft Film Fest coming up and expect to have some merch to sell, as well as bringing stuff up for Midnite Communion, which I’m looking forward to! Just keep an eye out for Necromogarip, or my other alias Sebastian Bloodcastle, as it will be tied into any storefront or catalog in the near future.
Just wanted to say thank you so much for your time and those were some awesome questions.
Thanks to you, too!, for constantly creating an endless body of fascinating and often haunting works. It’s a pleasure to take time to rip open your skull and see how you tick. Any parting words of wisdom or wizardry?
My parting words at this moment would be: this is not the only dimension of existence – stay grounded in humility and search for hidden truths.
Cheers! And krush the cross.
Sebastian, better recognized as Necromogarip, is participating in this years Midnite Communion at The Complex in Los Angeles on November 15th. His works will be on display but you can examine more samples at www.instagram.com/necromogarip and contact him for commission or possible product inquiries at email@example.com.