Artist Spotlight: Elysium Bliss

She is our only official staff artist and is a dear friend to Horror Hosts and Creature Features and horror fans everywhere. She creates beautiful and stimulating illustrations for us and we want to celebrate her talent! Submitted for your pleasure, an interview with The one, the only: Elysium Bliss!

Dixie: First of all tell us what are some of your inspirations as an artist?

Bliss: Oh wow! I draw inspiration from all sorts of places. A few that have had a significant impact on me have been the Universal Monster movies. Those creepy, Gothic and atmospheric sets alone are just so visually powerful and hauntingly beautiful. Throw in some misunderstood Monsters, and Franz Waxman and Hans J Salter music and it’s artistic orgasm! On the other end of the spectrum are the many comics and comic book creators who I grew up with and helped shape my style and presentation. I was a comic book junky and salivated over the works of Jim Lee, John Romita Jr., Erik Larsen, Greg Capullo, Adam Hughs, Terry Dodson and Amanda Connor.

Dixie: Misunderstood monsters and Comic Books? You’re my kind of lady. What would you say is your favorite classic monster?

Bliss: The Creature From the Black Lagoon! Always has been, always will be! From a design perspective alone, the imagination and work put into the monster always attracted me. That suit is so meticulously detailed, and is so sick looking. Plus Creature was a beast of passion and was only protecting his home. I mean what would you do if some group of outsiders came into your home and started digging $#!+ up and wanted to take you captive? You’d be pissed and you’d let them know by crushing their skulls! Then he falls in love with Julia Adams (who wouldn’t?) and all he wants is quiet time with his new girlfriend but these inconsiderate macho, bare chested men start shooting at him. Wouldn’t you consider choking a sucka out? I felt bad for Creature, and always kinda wished I could be Gill Lady and make him happy. All he wanted was a quiet family life, an admirable quality in a man/beast/fish/thing.

Dixie: Have you ever drawn the Creature from the Black Lagoon?

Bliss: I have not as of yet drawn The Creature From the Black Lagoon. I don’t know if it’s out of some strange fear that I’d completely screw it up or what. That is a fear that I am increasingly overcoming as I really, really, really want to draw the Creature!

Dixie: Creature is my favorite too! He’s so cute!! Have you drawn any other Classic Monsters?

Bliss:  As much as I love my Universal Monsters I haven’t given them the love they deserve when it comes to drawing them. I have drawn Bride of Frankenstein so I’m making steps as small as they are to put out some wicked Monster works!
Dammit now I’m a girl on a mission!

Dixie: Now that you’ve told us all about that, I need to know: what is your Favorite Modern Horror character or Monster?

Bliss: It’d have to be Jason Voorhees. The body count alone is staggering and medal worthy. I guess a lot of it is the fact you can’t even attempt to read, reach out, or bargain with him, that damn mask gets in the way and really puts the fear into you. He’s a beast of pure instinct and raw remorseless power. SO savage and brutal that to end up on the other end of his machete must mean you really screwed up in some sort of karma type of way. Otherwise if we’re talking character in a horror movie who is my favorite… Ash Williams. “Groovy.”

Dixie: I would love to see your take on Ash! Bruce Campbell is dreamy, no?
— Miss Bliss, How did you get into illustration anyway?

Bliss: I don’t really have a definite answer to that one. Seriously it just happened over the course of time. My earliest artistic memories were of drawing the U.S.S. Enterprise and Freddy Krueger on the insides of my coloring book covers. However I guess illustration really took off for me when I was approached by a classmate in Junior High. He noticed I’d be doodling in class and asked if I’d draw him Batman. This was 1989 by the way just prior to Tim Burton’s Batman so everyone had this mass erection for the character all of a sudden. In any case I drew him his picture and lets face it, it sucked! I hated it because he looked more like a cat than anything else but that helped me create a superhero Universe of my own and that distorted Bat/Cat-man character I came up with has gone through so much changing and rearranging that she is now female, looks more like Emma Peel, is a spy/assassin and has catlike powers. SO yeah that is when I realized I loved drawing and wanted to do nothing but.

Dixie: I think all artists have to take a swing at Batman at least once and it’s best when they can put their own twist on the character! So tell me, what piece of yours are you the most proud of to date?

Bliss: I’d have to say the piece I’m most proud of to date would have to be Caverella. I mean this was the first freaking time I truly sat down and drew a dinosaur! Well, aside from being like six years old. Just look how it came out! That and the fact I was really under the gun to meet the deadline so to have it turn out as well as it did for the amount of time put into it. It defies logic, it defied the odds and Caverella is a survivor! Proof that if you put your mind to it, specifically big chested cave-women and man-eating dinosaurs, you can accomplish anything. Gotta love the colors!

Dixie: Oh, you flatter me! Thank you, I love to color your work — It’s a pleasure! She is so beautiful. What is your process for achieving such dynamic poses in your work? Do you use models or any photo references?

Bliss: Not really no. Very rarely will I ever use models or photo references. I have done so on occasion but overall I just open the recesses of my deranged female mind and let things flow. A key point I remember from “How to Draw the Marvel Way” was exaggerate. Make things bigger than life! You convey emotion in a picture and you do so with body language. However if it gets to the point where I’ve spent days without making progress on a piece, and I’m crying, half parched from thirst and dying from refusing to eat will I go and dig up some reference photos to help inspire. After reading some online erotica of course.

Dixie: This is Horror Hosts and Creature Features, We talked Creature Features, now lets talk Horror Hosts!

Bliss: I grew up with a few. Elvira being the one I watched most and the one who had the most impact. I mean here was this beautiful Gothic hostess who said it was more than alright for women to love horror movies, but could embrace them and geek out over them too. It wasn’t just a guys game, and yes I know Vampira was around but she was before my time. Plus who didn’t dream of being Elvira and having her… uhm… talents. To this day I share my passion of horror movies no matter how campy with a smile much like how Elvira does it. I also remember Joe Bob Briggs: Monstervision on USA network but I unfortunately didn’t get to watch it as much as I would liked. I do remember the Monstervision song! LOL!

Thanks for sharing Miss. Bliss! You are a true talent and we are so very proud to have you on our team! We look forward to working with you more in the future and sharing you work with the world! We appreciate you so much.