Midnite Collective interviews Farron Loathing, Illustrator, Painter
Medium: Ink drawings & acrylic and oil painting , mixed medium , whatever the work calls for, basically.
Based in: Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: 1973 – Present
Most Recent Clients: Temple of Dagon/ Bummer High Skates/ Han Cholo
Current Album Rotation: RHINOCERVS demos RH-7 through RH-16 and Mica Levi’s score for the 2014 film, Under The Skin.
Your works are very versatile in that you do not stick to one medium. You have illustration pieces, paintings, and many mixed media compositions. On a given project, how do you typically decide or dictate what you will use to create it?
Yea, it’s kind of all over the place, huh? It is probably a byproduct of my attention deficit hyper disorder. Usually the client has seen something within my visual vocabulary that they want for their project and it is requested that I create the piece in that style. If it’s personal work or if I have a client with a “do whatever you want” attitude, my approach is dictated by the information I want to communicate. The impressionistic style paintings I find convey more raw emotion and atmosphere than my more illustrative style, so I am more likely to use that technique when the message is more of a feeling than say, a story or scene that I am capturing.
Many of your pieces are straightforward in that there are characters and often a story that is taking place. However, you have some projects (many of your paintings, specifically) that are very ominous and almost trigger a dream-like state in what they invoke from the viewer. Almost blurred visions of an ominous nature which triggers an even more haunting or feeling of looming doom. You clearly take influence from the darker side of things but what, specifically, seems to inspire the subject matter of your compositions? What is part of your creative process in developing your composition from subject matter to final piece?
I pull from my subconscious for those. I set my intention for a piece from an altered state or gnosis, if you like. Once my eyes role back into my head and I am feeling especially magical, I make a fucking mess (usually in black and white house paint). The results are a pile of flash card size, non-representative abstractions. I scuffle the deck and lay them out before me in a particular manner that would be a little difficult to explain here, but let’s just say that by the end of this process I have several snapshots from areas of my mind that are usually a bit harder to navigate. I find several compositions there and I usually choose the one that best captures that feeling of horror, revulsion and ecstasy.
You seem to gravitate to a lot of symbolism and sigils within many of your compositions. Where do you draw these symbols from? Do many of them have an extraneous purpose or meaning? How do you decide when to include them within the concept of your compositions?
A sigil is an image that is made from an abstracted message or desire. In that sense, all of my art is a sigil in some respect. A viral sigil I will deploy in my artwork or graphic design and you will quickly recognize it as a sigil or symbol (this is frequent with LSOD), in time if it is re-used or tattooed or used as a patch or sticker, it’s charge slowly grows as it is seen over and over. It becomes living information and it’s initial purpose becomes it’s nature and habitat. I will also use sigils in finding compositions for some of the more illustrative pen and ink drawings that I do. They usually have a distinct shape and that shape began as a sigil which was later destroyed and intentionally forgotten as it was transformed into characters and an environment. This means of course that there are often sigils upon the sigils.
Some time ago you participated in an art show honoring Hellboy, contributing a very interesting painting: a classical portrait displaying the red anti-hero as quite the distinguished gentleman. In many of your pieces, actually, one can clearly see a connection with interest in the comics and their illustration and overall artistic style. What is your favorite comic book character and why? Furthermore, which artists from the world of comics inspire you?
Well, obviously I love Hellboy and worship Mike Mignola. I have always loved comic books, I am a shameless comic geek. Wanna see me crawl out from my cocoon misanthropy and yap your ear off? Chat me up about comics. I kind of lean toward Marvel because their characters are more monstrous. I love Ben Grimm who is The Thing, I just look at him and it makes me stupid happy. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) I have always been drawn to. She definitely has the best costume in the history of super hero comics, she is also really goth, her origin is truly fucked up. Her parents were Hydra scientists that experimented on her when she was a child. Dr. Strange is great, I LOVE The Inhumans too, but my favorite would be Dr. Victor Von Doom. A master of both magic and technology, there is no good or evil, there is only Doom. Comics are what made me learn to draw, I hold them in such high regard that creating my own comic is a painful act of self surgery because my criticism is ultimate. I would scrutinize every panel against masters like Mike Mignola, or Bill Sienkiewicz, Bernie Wrightson, Neil Adams or Jack Kirby, who is the fucking KING.
Given your association with the music community (after all, you are Autarch from Lightning Swords of Death!), do you ever use music to guide your artistic mood and movement? Do you have specific music you choose to listen to for different projects or is there a sort of “creative mix” that you curate? If you do have a mix, can you provide insight as to what it is and how you developed it?
It’s always different. Sometimes I hit shuffle, sometimes I will listen to film soundtracks. If I am working with a band I will often listen to their music, especially if I am creating a logo or album cover.
Visit www.farronloathing.com for more selections from the body of works of Farron as well as contact information for submitting your concepts for commissions.