Taxes, corruption, debt, bankrupsy, it seems that nowadays everything related to Greece is smelling death and misery...well...according to the medias in fact, because if you are looking closely, you will see that, as usual, Greece is also a fantastic cultural country, full of history, philosophy and arts and this, the IMF will never manage to take it away from the Greeks. Old half naked dudes with a leaf on their dick ? this is the way you see greek art ? So have a look to Andreas wonderful gigposters and you may change your minds ....
I probably had my ears on the kings of the norwegian vagrancy (aka Darkthrone!) and some raw n' noisy crust/punk stuff maybe, not quite sure... come anyway!
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
When did you start drawing?
Andreas is my name, 28 years of age, and i live in Patra-Greece. I work as a mechanic in an engineering construction factory, and i have music and graphics as my hobbies. In the last 12 years i've joined various bands in the extreme music undergound of our town (mostly metal and hardcore) mainly behind the mic and the drums. For the time being, i play the drums for stoners "Dala Sun" and for the crusties "Lethe", both DIY bands in Patra. Although i've been drawing as a kid, the last 5 years have been very creative on the field of cover-artworks and live-posters, since i've chosen to take things a bit more serious and contribute to the scene or friendly bands or any other bands or groups of the same selforganized/undergound ethics, by "dressing" music and gigs with images and shapes. I love drawing and i love listening/playing music, it's my biggest get-aways and "remedies" towards society's filth and all the daily problems we face, my mental equilibrium and my physical relief!
No course or anything similar, and yes, most schoolbooks were fucked up by inks all the time back then.
Just following my own ways, practising a lot and having my fav-artists work, as reference of taste that i usually develop according to my tastes, subjects and drawing styles.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
As i said before, i am working as a mechanic, although with greek economy going downwards and unemployment hitting terrible rates, the future looks very fragile and fearfully uncertain over times, but i guess that's another story. I 've chosen to keep my sketching and graphics as hobbies, or sometimes as light income, depending on the amount of work and the recipient's ethics and after-use of my art. The levels of commercialism play some serious criteria on my choices, regarding bands, events, etc. To put it simple, i consider all arts as an expression from the depths, something that could never be restricted or censored or labelled as product with a price, it's just so controversial in my mind. An expression should always be true and authentic, some terms that modern capitalism daily represses and controls, in the name of profit and various interest. So no, i'm not living from my art, nor intend to in the near future.
As for commercial magazines, i believe that my previous answer covers a big part of this question. As for underground fanzines, no i'm not working regurarly, but there's something interesting cookin' with some friends from Athens, that we plan to work on this winter. I'll keep you posted in my blogsite.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
My main influences: the dominant powers of nature combined with the deathlike element, not necesserilly in a negative aspect as more of a "life cycle" aspect, depecting the supression of daily social matters and situations, anticapitalism, the "back to the primitive" and innocent approach of illustrating, antisocial/misanthropic and against-trends surrealism, and most of all dark and provocative anti-christian/religious topics. I love the aesthetics and social sureallism that Eric Drooker gives to his paintings, as well as sketcher Nesha from "Doomsday Graphics" who i believe is responsible for the biggest wave of dot-sketchers over the last few years and one of my biggest influences. David d'Andrea combines primitivism and nature in an awesome degree, as well as John Baizley's 70's colourfull and awesome psychedelia.
Since the most difficult and crucial part of an illustration is the starting lines, i firstly do a pencil sketch of the basic lines, using my imagination or real-life photos of shapes/anatomy/objects/etc as referencial guide, that i reform according to my taste and subject. Then i draw the basic lines with thin black-ink pens and do the heavy shading with thicker ones, as to give volume and sense of lighting. At that point i start the dotting work which can take from 4-5 days up to 2 weeks, and is the most painfull and interesting part of my drawing method. Afterwards it's scanning time, and digital process.
I don't draw on my PC, i use scanner to work on my drawings afterwards, making contrast corrections, adding colours, and digital fonts layout where needed. Most of my sketches are in one-piece A4 paper, but sometimes i use different small sketches from different papers, merging them digitally for the final outcome.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
From 3-4 days up to 1,5-2 weeks time, depending on details and sketching area's size.
I don't draw things that i ethiclly argue with, and things that i don't find expressive interest in. I don't negotiate styles either. I will draw for everyone who trully wants this style, and does not expect from me to make it look like someone else's work, it sure is going to be unique and "from me".
Some of the bands i've done poster-art or artwork for: Fields Of Locust, Hybernation,Ruined Families, Sarabante, Dala Sun, Progress Of Inhumanity, Mass Culture, Bernay's Propaganda, Godsleep, Nightstalker, Now Exploding In Saigon, Chernobyl Attack, Phineas Gage, Waxing Gibbus, Revolting Breed, Terror Detonator, Weathers, Mother Disobedience, Hellstorm, Lucky Funeral, Javaspa, Bohemian Grove, Blacklisted, Go Filth Go, Hazarder, Kvazar, Vitamin X, Korrigan, Divine Element, Electric Funeral, Caterpillar, Slavebreed and many more.
I'd love to do a poster for some underground show of the blackmetallers, Ash Borer. These guys blow my mind! but apart from them any underground band with noisy, extreme and trippy tunes (regarding black metal, hardcore/crust, sludge and experimental/noisy music) are most welcome!
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Well, of course yes! Meaning i'm open to be contacted by anyone, but i will get to say the last word as when it's drawing time or not. There's no such thing as "we pay, you draw!" here.
The first few hours i guess. The initial concept and placement of objects and lines when concepting an outcome, is 95% of the final visual success. Then comes the shading part, regarding dimension and softness or roughness.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
Sure, we are too many to be mentioned individually. One thing's common, we all serve rock'n roll! \m/
Oh, Goodie! You can see all my music-artwork as well as poster-art on my blogspot http://admczeroseven.blogspot.com/ , there's also contact information there and various links as well. In real life, i plan to do some exhibition anytime soon in cooperation with other artists of the same underground logic/ethics, combined with live events probably in some autonomous recreational place or political squat. I'll keep everything posted on my blogsite.
The best praise you received lately?
There's no descrimination between praises, all praise is good and makes me happy about making people feel things when seeing my stuff. But i preferablly enjoy the critique ones, they always make me better and bring little important details to my view for future improvement.
You can wish me all the best with my conceptual creativity and originallity, meaning the artistic freedom of entertainement's expression beyond boring stereotypes, that it's always refreshing to see! Thank you so much for this interview opertiunity, be in peace and don't forget, it's only rock'n roll!
.....but I like it ;) Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!