Artist Spotlight: Benjamin Holmes

zombie faire 1make upWith hobbies that include Art. sculpture, painting, drawing, and working with many mediums such as metal, clay, wood, plastic wool, and even cardboard, he is a jack of all trades and an artistic force to be reckoned with. We were fortunate to get an interview with this up-and-comer in the Horror-Art world.

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

Benjamin: Oh golly! lets see… I think what first gave me the push to go into makeup and film work, specifically, was sitting in theaters as a boy watching “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

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Dixie: Peter Jackson’s vision of Tolkien is visually stimulating — but how did you get into makeup, masks and costuming specifically?

Benjamin: Well in “The Fellowship of the Ring ” I was blown away by the range of dazzling creatures, environments and costumes. Then I started thinking ‘Some one must have been payed to make that and I bet I could too, some day’. Later I searched on the internet for resources for what seemed like months and months trying to come up with some information on the industry. Slowly after some costly mistakes in the lab work and practice I began to hone some of the vast range of skill sets necessary to become an Mummy 2effects technician. I am still learning, and always will continue to learn for my entire life.

Dixie: Fantastic! You must tell me, what piece of yours are are the most proud of?

Benjamin: Well to date, the most ambitious costume I have made, both in sculpture and construction, has been the mummy — So that piece wins by default. It took a long time to construct and get to a point that I really felt okay with the final result.Mummy 1

Dixie: Wow! That is an amazing costume! Would you say that the Mummy is your favorite Classic Monster?

Benjamin: That’s very kind of you to say. As far as classic monsters go — while i love the obsession the Egyptians had with preparation for life in the hereafter (and the beautiful imagery it conjures) — I’d have to say my favorite classic monsters are all from H.P. LoveCraft’s “Yog-Sothothery” (the name he personally gave to what is now known as the “Cthulhu Mythos”). I’d say Yog-Sothoth, the haunter of the dark, and John Carpenter’s The Thing, are some of my favorite monsters of all time. formless, ever changing, adapting and utterly powerful beyond anything a human can tackle on there own.

Dixie: It’s amazing how H.P. Lovecraft was able to spark the imagination so profoundly and inspire such ghastly and bewitching imagery.

Your cadaver masks are also very beautiful. What is your process for achieving such realistic textures in your painting?

Benjamin: The way i paint them is usually by starting out with a base coat of what ever color i need, (flesh tone, green, blue etc) With a combination of “modeling” and stenciling with the air brush I exaggerate the high and low points of the form to create the illusion of depth and transparency to the skin surface. That’s the general idea at least.
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Dixie: Do you start every project with a sketch? How hard is it for you to take a 2D image and render it in a 3D medium?

Benjamin: Well, not all, but most. I like to work from sketches and especially reference material as often as i can. the more detailed the sketch the better also. The more i practice at transferring 2D to 3D i learn how to transform those lines is to space. But once again, the difficultly often depends upon whether on not the 2D and preliminary designs are worked out. if the sketches and descriptions are vague then i have to go back again and a gain and again to the person having the commission done to ask questions about what shapes they really envisioned, because what looks good on paper where you can fake the illusion of space and form may not look near as good when those forms are put logically to clay.

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Thanks for taking some time to answer our Questions, Benjamin!

If you’re in the St. Louis Area this weekend stop by Transworld’s Halloween & Attractions Show and maybe you’ll bump into Benjamin Holmes! Tell him, Horror Hosts and Creature Features said Hi!