Thursday, 19 February 2009

Interview with Daniel Cantrell

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)My name is Daniel Cantrell aka The Horror

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live in a small town in the North of England called St. Annes on sea. I work as a freelance film editor and so I work all around the U.K.

q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)Ugly, twisted bodies, too many teeth and violence. The savagery of modern life is a constant theme.

q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)Well, I still can’t call myself an artist! I started in the arts by doodling. Doodling through school and drawing little comic strips. It started to get more of a passion and obsession about 2 years ago and it started taking up all my freetime.

q)What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)Paper, cheap fineliners and markers. I like these because they are cheap and disposable. I draw a lot whilst working or on a train so they are very handy.

q)What/who influences you most?

a)Books and newspapers have a big influence. I read a lot and so I take big references from this. The internet is also a great influence in that I can look on flickr to see new artwork by people and seeing someone doing new artwork makes me want to do new artwork.

q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)I start at around 10 at night. After work and dinner. I put on some punk rock (usually some 70’s punk like Stranglers, The Kids, The Damned or something like that) and then I start to sketch what I was thinking about that day. Some days the pics come quick and other days it’s very slow and these pics always turn out terrible.

q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)For me drawing is just a real passion. It’s not about making money, making people happy, getting shows or fame, it’s only about getting what I want on to paper. My goal is to improve and try to make the image I am thinking of come out better. If I could make money from it it would be great but I think not many people will ever be interested in my work. Maybe a real dream is NEVER doing anything for Adidas, Nike or Computer Arts!

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)At university I had some history of art modules but art history and art theory does not influence me really. There are so many artists out there that interest me. I am not interested at all in computer art and GRAPHIC DESIGN but the real pen, ink, paint artists out there. Artists that I like are Satanik Mike, Mr Atomic, LL Cool Jo, Dav Guedin, and Crao Man.

q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)If it is flowing I think like an hour or two hours. If not it can take me a couple of days. A couple of days of scrubbed out lines and frustration. I draw every day, if I don’t I get kind of miserable.

q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I love selling them. For me making the picture is the most important thing. The finished product after it is scanned is quite useless. They just stay there in a pile. I don’t even look at them again. So if someone wants it and likes it, then it is useful. I sell some and I give some away.

q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)I love music. That punk rock ethic (of original punk, not this modern watered down pop like Blink 182, Offsping etc) of doing your own thing. Not caring about fashion or trend is definitely in me. Music that I am listening to now are old punk records. I also like all the Funkadelic/Parliament stuff. Right now I’m listening to the Best of Radio Birdman and New York Dolls.


a)I am a massive reader so this might be a boring old list. Books I really like and have made an impression are; Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, The Decameron, all books by Kobo Abe, Moby Dick, Bunuel’s autobiography, The Early History of Rome, Candide, all D H Lawrence……

q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)I think the creative process is polluted through each person’s life experiences. Emotion and experience is something that can be lacking in peoples work. It is like Bukowski said, he wants to feel someone who screams when they burn. My work is very personal and includes all my fears, sadness, and experiences.

q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)Listen to music, play guitar and read.

q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)I have issue 3 of my magazine Good vs Evil coming out in mid March. It is the MAN VS MESCALINE issue so should be good. I am also doing a project with some Korean artists and it will be Korean artists and European artists. It is called DODOS and will include me, Heiko Mueller, Miruki Tusko, Ll Cool Jo, Niark 1 and Brecht Vandenbrouke.

q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)I am not interested in scenes as they remind me of school cliques or something. Very incestuous and uninteresting. I like people working on their own stuff and their own style. I look at Flickr, Myspace and see a lot of peoples work. I don’t buy magazines.

q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.

a)Why haven’t you killed Coldplay yet? One day, one day!

q)Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Enjoy what you do.

q)Where can we see more of your work online?

a)You can see my website at or or


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