Today’s artist on Tumblr feature - Axel Torvenius!
Please briefly introduce yourself and your work to us?
Gladly. My name is Axel Torvenius, and I work as a senior concept artist in the gaming industry (at a Swedish game studio called MachineGames). My spare time mostly consists of freelance work and my own projects such as sculptures, illustration, t-shirt/graphic design and painting. I don’t really know how to give a simple introduction to my work, other than that I enjoy working with many different materials and themes, and by other, my art often being described as “dark”. I do however myself not see my work as especially dark, I mostly see joy in my creations/work. I used to refer to some of it as “happy death” – I guess that still kind of works. Also hard to gather it all under one flag since I enjoy doing everything from sci-fi kitsch such as weaponry and bots, to more esoteric themed traditional paintings and sculptures. And in-between there, comics, photography, t-shirt design etc.
You work with a lot of different techniques. How come? Which one is your favorite?
I could never be satisfied with just one ore a few mediums. And I’d always had a hard time understanding artist that settles with “just” inking, oils or photography. To me, they are all linked and feeds into each other like a constant endless loop of creativity. I would have a hard time to choose just one or a few, but looking at the mediums I work with the most I just have to guess those are my favorites – that would be digital illustration/painting and traditional sculpture/mixed media sculpture.
Do you get inspiration from horror films? If so, which ones? Are the any particular directors you like?
I don’t get that much inspiration from horror movies actually. I get the most inspiration from my previous work, dreams and mind loops. Music is always an influence as well as native cultures and esoteric themes. I can understand that the outcome and pure visuals of my work, suggest I draw inspiration from horror movies a lot (except my obvious hellraiser tribute I did recently with the pinhead mask of course). I have 5(6) directors I fancy a lot. David Cronenberg, the Quay Brothers, Dario Argento, David Lynch and Darren Aronfsky
Where else do you find inspiration?
Mostly my previous work, dreams, random images, esoteric/occult philosophy, music – but most from the top of my head. Ideas are given to me from nowhere whenever, and I often spend time just diving into ideas and themes, trying to explore new angles of things I find interesting. I find the whole concept of where ideas and creativity come from VERY interesting.
Your art (especially the masks) are very popular on Tumblr. What do you think about that? What do you think is the reason?
Hum I dunno. I guess loads of people share the same interest and fascination as myself for masks. There is something tantalizing with hiding your face and the fascination of taking on another role etc. I have a huge thing for masks. I do not however collect that many masks as I should.
What environment is the most pleasant to work in for you?
I think I get the most done when being alone in my studio late at night, with good coffee, good music and surrounded by all my half-finished projects and different materials piled up around me. Creative chaos is a good thing.
You often share photos of your pets! Please tell us more about them!
I do not share them enough! I’ve been interested in exotic insects, spiders, milli and centipedes for quite some time. I had my biggest tarantula (a grammostola rosea) for quite some time, and used to have a pair of African giant millipedes. But recently I finally got my first snakes, 2 lampropeltis getula nigrita – Mexican king snakes. Also acquired some really cute and interesting species of both centi and millipedes. I do think though however, that my Damon Diadema “Damien”, is the coolest and cutest of the critters I have back home at the moment
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