Wednesday 25 September 2013

A Very Sturdy Mind: Interview with Nicolas Huck

A weirdo in the best way, Nicolas Huck is reclusive, intermittently misanthropic, German, artistic and irreverant. He did the art for my band Djinn and Miskatonic's first album, 'Forever In The Realm'. For people curious to know more about him, here's a little interview I did with him over e-mail.

1. I first got to know you as an illustrator who works with the horror writer Jeffrey Thomas. You're also doing the cover art for an anthology of original Lovecraftian fiction I am putting together for Aetherial Publishing. What draws you to eldritch horror and all things Lovecraftian?

It is weird (how fittingly!)... but I have to admit that all my author friends (all... without question!) fueled my passion for Lovecraft and everything beyond. *shivers*
Even this evil social network (Facebook)  I am visiting and using for slandering about humanity has become a sheer pool for eldritch input these days. I mean I was a huge Lovecraft-fan before... but now, it is pure madness! And I like and enjoy this kind of madness there a lot. Tentacles... everywhere!

2. What are some of your favourite horror stories and films, especially from the perspective of the visuals they evoke/portray?

Oh this is an excellent but also a "hardcore" question... specially as fanboy of all things gory, strange and creepy! Famous and mostly american movies like Dead Alive, Fright Night, An American Werewolf in London, Poltergeist are surely some flicks we know and I appreciate. But i think "The Thing", "Evil Dead" and "A Clockwork Orange" are the clear favorites that inspired me for creature design and cinematography. All in all I should blame David Cronenberg, Chris Cunningham but principally Stanley Kubrick for their visual perfection, or at least for changing the way we look at movies. But for written tales and stories... hmmm, I think mentioning Lovecraft is almost needless, right? So I may just move on and mention one of his minions here: My friend Jeffrey Thomas with his classics "Punktown" or "Monstrocity". The man changed my reading habits! But I also love my non-Lovecraftian, Russian authors from Asimov up to my personal modern masters Lukianenko with "Spectrum" and Dmitry Glukhovsky & Co. with their "Metro 2033"universe.

3. I sense that the world of gaming is also an influence on how you visualise your art. Is this a fair guess, and what are your favorite computer games?

 Correct! As old schooler I love and will always love the dark realms of this certain game called "Quake" by the way. It really deserves respect, because it is truly one of the most unique and also "lovecraftian" games ever made. Always wanted to defeat Shub-Niggurath? Here you go! It is grim, disturbing and still unbeaten. But I am also a huge adventure game fan. Especially the "Quest for Glory"-series with "Shadows of Darkness" inspired me massively in my more atmospheric sketches and paintings. The developers Cory and Lori Cole are just two great people. The never get tired of showing people that they can be real-life heroes themselves. Oh, did I mention that they also had a huge Lovecraftian influence within their fourth "Quest for Glory" installment?

4. What is your usual process? Is it all digital or do you sketch/paint as well?

It is all about digital work since a few years now. I'd love to do a traditional painting someday tough. But as a user of all this modern computer "magick", I want to push and simulate it as far as possible. I respect and appreciate the way modern software can simulate oil paintings these days for example. Maybe I'm just too lazy for cleaning my hands after work anyway... *hahaha*. Seriously  i feel like a cretin here! Real brush-swingers have my full respect here and should not compared to me anyway. They are true artists!

5. Who are your visual/artistic influences?

This may come across really weird, but I can't remember about any old or new visual artist I dare to point my paws at and shout: It's all your fault! *hehe* I think I devoured so much of many styles and ideas, my mind just mixes a "Bloody Mary" out of them and so I can't identify the masters here anymore. I somehow prefer written lines as my basic inspiration. I don't know, but it seems I dislike to copy styles, ideas, colors... just features that are there already. It maybe allows me more freedom for brooding over my own style and ideas somehow.

6. Can you tell us more about the Huckbros fan videos?

 Haha, unholy thanks for mentioning it! My brother and me started creating our freaky videos for showing love to all the grindhouse and trash-flicks out there. Actually the "German trash cinema" has become pretty suppressed and hefty underground these days. I mean "officially", because it is cooking below the surface! Our pretty prim and non-flexible society just doesn't allow the genre to grow high. Maybe that is why we're taking care of it? Maybe! It is just our passion to create strange videos since a Lloyd Kaufmann dropped out his first "Troma"-movie or Christoph Schlingensief brought us the "Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker" ("The german chainsaw massacre"). Schlingensief was truly the master chief here! Sadly, also our time for making movies has changed. Ordinary work keeps us away from the projects we love to do. But the fire is still burning... and we know it all: There is no rest for the wicked! *hahaha*

7. Your music is electronic, and very cinematic. What inspires you to make it, and do you have any more musical projects in mind?

I'm somehow glad to haven't found my personal favorite genre, yet. Seems staying flexible is my actual mantra... or I just haven't found a genre where i'm good at. But oh yes, seems I'm very into this cinematic stuff. I was fan of all the strings, brass and drums since I enjoyed my all-time-favorite action-flick "Die Hard" with its excellent score of Michael Kamen. Also the great Alan Silvestri made me crave for good or almost lovely-cheesy orchestrals! For any other kind of wicked inspiration i have to blame Sepultura, Fear Factory, Gojira, Metallica, AC/DC, Megadeth, NIN, Portishead, Aphex Twin and everything that comes from the golden ages of music aka oldies. I think I'll try to do evil sonic mayhem with the genre of "Industrial Metal" soon. Hmmm... my muses? Well, many of my friends inspire me to go further and further here. I dedicated almost every track to them and their creative projects, such as indie games and movies.

8. Finally, what advice do you have to aspiring artists, especially those who want to make it as freelancers?

Stay stubborn and never give up in everything you do in your life. I'm not a good artist... but I may compensate that a bit with being... well, let's just say "being very sturdy" in my mind. It will be not always about creating a "good" or even "perfect" work ( least when not having to work for morons), it is about creating something you like yourself without counting the hours of becoming it finished. There is also no "good" or "bad" in art for me, generally. Most people have no good or special taste anyway, so never let yourself be scares away by anyone or any institution that apparently knows what a fine work should look like. Show your works to your family, friends and everywhere on the web, not only those self-called masters and manipulators at art schools for example. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can archive or not, especially not this rotten and selfish society. *hehe* Talent is hard work, not some kind of gift.

Finally, some Huck-links: 

Huck Bros Pictures
Nic's Music
Nic on Deviantart
Oh! and Nic's Professional Page! 

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