Music and art have long since stumbled through the years hand in hand. Inspired by the grisly attire of Preston’s lunatic doom-mongers, Evil Blizzard, artist Laura Hunt created a collection of water-colours featuring the band. Fans loved them and a limited edition run was snapped up within an hour. The band, which consists of four bass players, a singing drummer, a cleaver wielding pig and a mask clad mop man were said to be secretly delighted. I wanted to find out more about the artist and her work…
Who are you and where are you based?
Hello! My name’s Laura Hunt and I’m based in Staffordshire. I can also be found in various places online as Gasara.
How long have you been illustrating?
My earliest memories are of drawing so it’s something that I’ve always done in some form. I got into acrylic and watercolour painting when I left school and then started dabbling with comics in my late teens. Getting a computer in my early twenties and being introduced to digital art was a pretty important step. I met a great many artists on deviantART.com and had some wonderful opportunities to get my art into print through them.
What inspired you to sketch the characters from Evil Blizzard?
It was largely the machete-wielding pig, I think. Also, the thought of taking these slightly grotesque masks and turning them into something adorable really appealed to me. It seems almost obscene to make them look so cute but the idea of it made me laugh.
Have you sketched any other bands?
Embrace have been immortalised in paint quite a lot recently. I’ve painted a couple of stills from their videos as well as some slightly more abstract pieces based on their songs and a whole range of silly cartoon things. There’s a lot of great Embrace-based imagery (and amusing shenanigans) to get down in paint.
Who or what else influences your work?
Music generally has been, and continues to be, a massive influence. Even if the subject of a piece isn’t music-based then the colours or tone are probably inspired by whatever I’m listening to at the time. I tend to name a lot of my paintings after songs too. I also love the style of various anime and manga and that’s definitely what influenced the way I draw characters the most. Western comics have played a small role in that too I guess, especially Hellboy. Mike Mignola’s art and Dave Stewart’s colours are to die for.
Where did you train?
I haven’t actually had any formal training. I’ve got a GCSE in art and that’s it. It probably shows but what I’ve learnt over the years is that painting shouldn’t be about trying to achieve perfection but about enjoying what you’re doing, even if it turns out a bit wonky. Too many people make themselves miserable trying to get other people’s approval. I’d much rather doodle Richard McNamara with an owl and have a laugh with it rather than worry about whether it’s good or what other people will think.
How has your style evolved?
I think my way of drawing people was pretty generic until the Japanese influences started creeping in. I’d always drawn in a cartoony way rather than realistic and that just developed further as I got into anime. Over time that style sort of evolved into what it is now which I suppose is somewhere between the two. People can usually recognise my artwork from its style (my characters usually have completely black eyes) which I think is a lovely thing.
For the last eight or so years I created my artwork digitally but I’ve recently taken up my paints again. I love the look you can achieve digitally but there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a bit of paper and painting the day away.
If you weren’t illustrating what would you do?
I’d still be doing my day job working in retail. I’d just be more miserable.
Is there anyone you would love to sketch?
I think that I’ve already drawn everyone I’d like to. These things normally happen on impulse. I am looking forward to drawing a great many more Embrace-based pictures though. And I’ve been told that there are about 50 more Evil Blizzard bassists I have to paint too…
Where can people buy or view your work?
My website can be found at www.gasarasrevolution.co.uk