“The Secret of Dreams“, pictured on the right, is an illustration of Ralph Steadman’s interpretation of Sigmund Freud having the secret of dreams revealed to him in 1895. The poster shows Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis and one of the early 20th century’s most influential thinkers, sitting at his desk working. Behind Freud is a surreal mass of strange imagery, or “the secret of dreams”. Ralph Steadman spent over three years researching Freud and creating artwork inspired by him. He even visited Freud’s hometown and spent time in the rooms where he analyzed his patients. These works were ultimately published in an art book titled “Sigmund Freud”.
“Savage Journey“, pictured on the left, is based on Hunter S. Thompson’s book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Steadman illustrated the novel which was published in 1971. “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” tells a surreal nonlinear narrative of characters traveling to Las Vegas on a psychedelic journey. The book explores themes of the declining American dream and the 1960s counterculture. Steadman and Hunter S. Thompson had a long partnership of Thompson writing books and articles which Steadman made illustrations for.
Posterservice Inc also has a poster of this famous drawing Steadman made for the book. The poster is self-titled “Fear and Loathing”. The Hunter S Thompson novel was adapted into a movie in 1988 which has become a cult classic. Steadman appears in the commentary for the movie in the DVD set, as well as in a documentary titled “Fear and Loathing in Gonzovision”.
Steadman has worked with numerous other authors including Ted Hughes, Adrian Mitchell, and Brian Patten. He has also illustrated covers for editions of classic books such as Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and Animal Farm.
Posterservice Inc and Frame USA are incredibly honored to be able to work with such a prolific and well acclaimed artist. We take pride in making the work of influential artists accessible to everyone.
Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday
Last week on Favorite Hobby Friday I talked with our favorite monster drawing customer service rep, Kelley Kombrinck. This week I bring you the Favorite Hobby of our Posterservice Sales rep, David Estep.
David, tell us about your favorite hobby.
My favorite hobby is creating art.
Your position here makes a lot of sense knowing that; when did you first start creating it?
I have been creating art for as long as I can remember!
So then you must have a pretty neat story behind how you got started, tell our readers all about it.
I spent my younger years creating art much like every other kid until father gave me a quill pen and ink set that was my Grandfathers. To a young kid it was ancient but it was so cool at the same time. I was fascinated with the result of the ink on paper and spent years working with nothing but. Fast forward to Art School where I studied advertising design and worked a lot with markers creating mark ups. I fell in love with the bright colors of the markers and they now are a part of everything I create.
I was right, that was a pretty unique story, so how long did it take you to become a master at it?
It took me about a year to develop my own unique style before I was happy with the direction it was going. I was influenced by a wide range of sources—fine artists such as Picasso, and Matisse, more contemporary artists like Andy Warhol, psychedelic artists Alex Gray and Ed Paschke and of course comic books.
So now that you have your style developed, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your artwork?
I work on an art project, usually a few at time, almost every day.
So since you do it every day you must have a favorite part, what is it?
Everything from the conceptual to completion. There’s something really cool about each step.
If every part of the process is your favorite, do you even have a least favorite part?
I am not void of having an artist’s block, so when it comes on it can be very frustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to translate my thoughts into images.
Artist’s block is awful, what is some advice for our readers that may want to start creating art?
I truly believe we are all artists, everyone has the ability to create something that expresses a feeling or a thought they may have. So, I say go for it, don’t be afraid of the outcome. Create for yourself first, and the number one idea, enjoy yourself.
So taking your advice, tell us about the most memorable experience with your art.
I have been accepted into a few art shows that are very jury heavy such as Summerfair and the Hyde Park Art Show. I was interviewed in the Citybeat publication and on Channel 9 morning news to promote the 2004 Hyde Park Art Show. It’s really nice to be recognized for my work.
I would say those both would be unforgettable moments; what is one thing you have learned about yourself through mastering art?
There is a release for the voices in my head, my art. Kidding aside, there is some truth to this. I find I have all these artistic ideas and they really start to cry to get out which I feel I must address. Once out, I can move on the next voice/idea.
Art is such a great outlet for working through things!
Thanks so much David for taking the time to tell our readers about your favorite hobby!
Favorite Hobby Friday continues next week as Frame USA‘s CEO, Daniel Regenold, tells all about his favorite hobby!
Get to know Frame USA Employees–Favorite Hobby Friday
From what we have heard from our subscribers, last week’s Favorite Hobby Friday was a huge hit! This week we bring you the favorite hobby of one of our customer service representatives, that many of our customers who have purchased picture frames from us may have spoken with, Kelley Kombrinck.
I sat down with Kelley to discuss his favorite hobby and the talent that was first displayed here.
Kelley, we first experienced your talent when you drew a Unicorn and an elephant on a customer’s order, why don’t tell me a bit more about your hobby!
I’m a guy who likes to draw. Mainly charcoal or pencil/pen and ink on paper. Most of my work is done by hand but I’ve begun using digital media—i.e. Photoshop—to color my pictures. My genre of choice is horror art—ghosts and monsters and such—and my style is mainly comic book/fantasy, but I can still bust out a pretty accurate portrait if I need to.
Judging by your level of skill you’ve probably been drawing for a pretty long time; When did you first start?
I have been drawing as far back as I can remember, and it was always monsters, always.
So why did you start drawing monsters at such an early age?
As a kid I just drew because I wanted to be like my older brother who also drew really well. As I got older and realized I was good at it I started drawing to break the ice with the people who sat around me in school because I was kind of weird and awkward and it helped to get people on my side right off the bat.
Most creative people are a little weird, so you’re not alone in that— how long has it taken you to become a master at it?
Like most artists, I’m still mastering it and continue to develop and learn. I will say that I really kicked it into high gear in my early twenties when I started incorporating more realistic human anatomy and working harder to understand light and shadow.
The level of detail in all of your pieces is outstanding, how many hours a week would you estimate you spend drawing?
It depends on the week. Some weeks I don’t draw at all. Other weeks I might put 22 hours in. When I’m working on a hot project I’ll get lost in it.
22 hours, that’s a long time, you must really enjoy it—what’s your favorite part about it?
For me, there’s a moment where a picture is not quite finished, but where I’ve gotten all the main elements penciled in and they look how I want them to look—the picture still has a way to go and there’s a lot of cleanup and smaller details to add — but I see the most important parts and they are staring back at me as if they just stepped through a door out of my imagination. I go on and finish the picture and its great and everything but it’s that moment halfway through that is my favorite.
Wow, that was really poetic, with how you talk about drawing it’s hard to imagine that this question would apply to you but, none the less, what’s your least favorite part about it?
Oh lord it’s when I get a picture to a great place and then I go one step further and it hurts the picture. Sometimes it’s just something that bothers me and no one else really notices but I’ve occasionally ruined a drawing that I’ve put a lot of time and work into by just not letting it rest when it was done. I also hate when I go to ink my pencil drawing and I make a mistake—ink does not forgive.
Like most artists you appear to be your own worst critic! What has been the most memorable experience?
I’ve had several. One of the most memorable was having my work displayed in a black-room art show at a specialty shop back in 2001. My first— and last — exhibition. I drank all the wine and left early with a headache but I did sell one piece.
Sounds like a successful night to me! What is one thing you have learned about yourself through drawing?
I’ve learned that I can really take a critique without getting my feelings too hurt and turn it into development. People are quick to tell you what you’re doing wrong and sometimes it’s just to be snarky but if I can pull something useful out of it and improve my technique then I’m all for it. Some of my biggest jumps in growth have come out of brutally stated critiques.
That is a great ability to have as an artist— what is your advice for people who may want to start drawing?
I think that if you want to start doing it, you probably already are but if you’re wanting to take it to a level where you want to show or sell your art remember this: your style and subject matter is your own, do what you want, but when your technique gets criticized, listen with an open mind. Even if the critic is a jerk, they might be right.
I think that is something we could all use, even those that aren’t artistic—be yourself and stand up for what you believe in!
Thanks so much Kelley for taking the time to answer my questions!
I hope you have enjoyed Favorite Hobby Friday so far! Stay tuned next week for our Posterservice Sales Rep David Estep’s favorite hobby!