There is nothing more beautiful than a woman. Their curves – their shapes – their allure. Let’s face it – woman are one of nature’s most intoxicating creatures and artist Carlos Valenzuela has an impeccable eye for capturing a woman’s form in each and every one of his brush strokes. But let’s not forget that nature has a few other creatures too.
The kind that go bump in the night.
The pairing of beautiful damsels and terrifying monsters is an age old art that gets a fresh breath of life in Carlos Valenzuela’s work. The MurderHers were lucky to have a chat with Carlos – check it, and his art out below.
GT: First off – fan girl moment – your work is AMAZING! Tell us about you as an artist – and specifically why you started drawing retro horror and sci-fi pin ups.
CARLOS: Hi Meg, many thanks for this interview, I feel so flattered and I’m so glad that you liked my works.
Well, I’m an illustrator and (sometimes) comic book artist from Chile. I have worked as a freelance illustrator for several companies in the entertainment field (Fantasy Flight Games, SQP Publishing, Comics Buyer’s Guide, Pyranha Bytes, Avatar Press, Arcana Comics, etc.) doing from book cover illustrations, posters, interior book art through artwork for collective card games. My artistic influences are mainly from classic illustrators (Frazetta, Corben, Wrightson, Elvgren, etc.) plus the classic publications from EC and Warren, and also I’m a huge fan of the classic sci-fi and horror movies from the 40’s and 50’s.
My art has always a ‘classic’ or a bit ‘old fashioned’ feel, especially my fantasy stuff, but it wasn’t until I did the illustration ‘The Visitor‘ when every piece began to fit. People dug it immediately and started to notice my art a lot since then. Because of that I started a series of ‘retro damsels being stalked by classic monsters’ illustrations and bang! A lot of commissions and assignments with this ‘new’ style arrived at my mailbox. I haven’t stopped since then. I’m so happy doing this kind of art and it seems that people enjoy it too.
GT: You seem to homage many infamous Universal Monsters. What is your favorite classic horror film, and why?
CARLOS: Tough question, I have several favorites. But if I must choose just one it might be ‘The Bride of Frankenstein‘. From the backgrounds, the photography, the wonderful characters, everything is incredibly well done. The illumination from all those films are still unsurpassed. Second on my list is ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon‘. I have a great affection for the Gill-Man, and of course Julie Adams was simply gorgeous in this film.
GT: Speaking of horror – how do you feel about all the modern remakes of cinematic classics? Has there been a recent film, novel, or comic that you feel has brought something new and fresh to the genre?
CARLOS: Hmm, I really don’t like remakes at all! Simply there are some things that you don’t have to do, never. One of this things is a remake of the classic films. Too much CGI this days just ruined the stories. Nowadays movies looks like a longer video game cinematic trailer. I must confess I’m a purist.
The last remake that I enjoyed was ‘The Wolfman‘ because I knew that Rick Baker was behind the make-up FX. If I want to see a good horror movie I always look for the new European blood (REC, The Orphanage, Let Me In).
GT: We’d love to know what inspires you. What causes you to want to create? What medium you prefer and perhaps you can share a little wisdom with some of our readers that are hoping to hone their own artistic skills?
CARLOS: Well, I grew up watching sci-fi and horror movies, besides I read comic books since forever, so when I realized that I could grab a pencil and do my own stories and characters I just never stopped. Then in my youth I discovered the works of Frazetta, Moebius or Corben and I decided that I wanted to be a fantasy illustrator. It’s not an easy road to follow but here I am, fighting to become a better artist each day.
About the technique, today I work a lot digitally. I developed a technique that let me achieve a ‘traditional look’ on my works that I’m very comfortable with. But from time to time I come back to my all-time favorite inked style, using just pen and brush. I wish I have more time to do this kind of stuff more often.
GT: We can’t wait to get our hands on a copy of your art book – “Gorgeous: The Art of Carlos Valenzuela“! Can you tell us more about it? Any sneak peeks of what may be inside? And where can our readers pick up a copy or prints of your artwork?
CARLOS: It will be an awesome goal for me, I’m so excited with this. At this moment I’m finishing some new pieces done exclusively for the book. Also I’m writing a short story that will be fully illustrated in the vein of the classic horror/sci-fi comic book stories from the 50’s, very retro. Plus a tutorial section where I explain how I create the illustration of the cover, from sketch to finish. Since the beginning I didn’t want just an image gallery, but a book that is entertaining to read as well.
Well, in the meantime until the book is ready, people can get prints and posters from my artworks at my online gallery on Deviant Art (http://valzonline.deviantart.com) or through Fine Art America (http://carlos-valenzuela.fineartamerica.com/)
Wants some of these fantastic monster pin-ups on your wall? Then head over to his Deviant Art page and pick up a few prints!
We are super excited about his upcoming book release for Goregeous – The Art of Carlos Valenzuela and look forward to picking up a copy of our own. Keep a look out on Gores Truly for news on when the book is officially available for purchase!