Friday, October 18, 2013
Interview with J. Spencer Shull.
Joseph Spencer Shull
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
I sign my work as J. Spencer Shull. Most of my friends call me Joe. I usually introduce myself as Spencer. But my friends aren't interested in what I usually introduce myself as.
Favorite city and why?
New York City. There's so much happening there. Literally. You can't blink or you'll miss something.
September 20th, 32 years old.
How would you describe yourself physically?
Fat Ryan Gosling.
How would someone else describe you physically?
Zach Galifianakis as is.
The first thing people notice about you is…
…this manly beard forest.
Hair Color/Eye Color/Race?
Brown, Blue, Caucasian.
Religion, if any?
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
Not really superstitious, but I do have a fear that one day the idea well will run dry. Pretty sure that's a common artistic fear.
Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I drink. Pretty much anything if you're buying. It's PBR if I'm buying. I bite my fingernails when I'm nervous. And I curse a lot. I've never been good at censoring myself.
Neither the fuck have I been, sir!
Current occupation/Dream job:
Artist/illustrator/toy designer. Would love to one day own my own art gallery/designer toy store.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Watch terrible B horror schlock goodness. I like writing bizarro fiction. I'm a self proclaimed foodie. And I'm usually always sketching. Can't turn my brain off.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
I don't have to run fast, just faster than you.
Weapon of choice:
Sawed off shotgun but I'm going to need a melee weapon too. Maybe a machete.
Do you have any special skills?
I create worlds with my two hands. That's some serious shit.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
Theatre and creative writing. I wrote a bunch of plays. All of them are weird.
Like Eugene Ionesco weird?
Haha. Exactly. I actually had a part in Rhinoceros in college. My work has always been heavily influenced by the Theatre of the Absurd. Samuel Beckett. Harold Pinter. I love it all.
Oh, a man after my own heart! I love most things Brechtian!
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
I have a cat named Angel who is as pure white as the undriven snow. And a hamster named Noodles. She eats her own poop, which is completely normal hamster behavior.
What is your favorite animal?
I guess dogs, but I travel too much to have one now.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
It pisses me off when a kid is going nuts over my toy designs and the parent instructs their 6 or 7 year old that they're too old for those. Yeah. Too old for the doll whose face you can rip off? It's one thing if you just don't want to buy my stuff. I can live with that. But don't try to stomp out your kid's imagination before they're even out of elementary school. My philosophy is you're never too old. I've got a toy collection that would rival any kid's collection.
Favorite/Least favorite Food:
I'm a burger fanatic. My favorite is the Elvis burger (The Vortex, Atlanta GA). It's topped with peanut butter, bacon, and fried bananas. I get mine medium rare. As far as least favorite, I'm not a picky eater. I guess I'd say cottage cheese is pretty gross. Or tofu.
What is your favorite quotation/motto/saying?
"Art is what you can get away with" Andy Warhol. This is so true. If you have an idea, do it. Don't worry about what others will consider legitimate or not. If you create it, it's art. Nuff said.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
I had a series of relationships where none of my significant others supported my creativity. They thought my ideas were weird and offensive. It was terrible. You should never have to feel sorry for the way you express yourself. And if someone cares for you, they should support your art, music, writing, whatever you do, because that's an extension of who you are.
Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Not really. I get over things pretty quick.
Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
Married my best friend.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Hard to say. I try to do good things. I stood idly by while my friend stole a book from a Barnes and Noble once. It was a terrible book of haikus he saw in the bargain bin. Lamest theft ever.
If you could kill one person, consequence free, who would it be and why?
Don't think I'd kill anyone. But I wish I could kill the embodiment of close-minded, ignorant, herd mentality thinking. It would be a slow slow death.
What do you do?
I am a painting machine.
How did you get started doing what you do?
I've been drawing ever since I was a kid. I'm lucky that I had parents that supported me even when I drew weird shit. I'm pretty sure they're completely desensitized to anything I do at this point.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
Learn marketing. Art takes talent. So you've got it or you don't. But I've seen many super talented artists go broke cause they didn't know anything about marketing themselves.
What are your tips for other artists to market themselves so they don’t starve?
Social media! Everyone's got their favorite. Some love Instagram but hate Tumblr. Some like Facebook but despise Twitter. As an artist, you have to have it all. Anything you can do to get other people's eyes on your work is a good thing. I also travel a lot. I love meeting people face to face and building connections. That's key to having a true fan base.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
Filthy Cake horror anthology (cover and inside comic). A promo comic for the movie Gangsters, Guns, and Zombies. I'm the lead designer for the indie toy company Jellykoe. I travel to about 40 comic conventions/art shows/gallery shows a year, so I'm always creating new material.
What projects are you working on now?
Illustrating a comic for the second Filthy Cake anthology being published by Scary Art Comics. Also illustrating a comic for a sci-fi anthology with a Twilight Zone feel entitled Memoirs of the Mysterious. Just released my first full scale resin toy, hand cast and hand painted.
What are you watching?
Parks and Recreation/ Mythbusters/ Walking Dead.
What are you listening to?
Hipster International playlist on Spotify. Don't judge me.
I’m not here to judge.
What are you reading?
I've been trying to finish V. by Thomas Pynchon for over a year now. Start and stop. And have to go back. I need to get more free time so I can devote my full attention to it.
The Flaming Lips.
Least favorite band/song?
I've always had a strange dislike for Hotel California.
Desert Island Music/Movies/Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Music: Flaming Lips, the Shins, any of the Elephant Six Collective bands, The Beatles, a box set of Doo Wop.
Movies: Dead Alive, The Breakfast Club, Royal Tenenbaums, Pulp Fiction, Seinfeld box set.
Books: Gravity's Rainbow, Slaughterhouse Five, Mother Night, the Stand, Rant
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
I'd totally be an astronaut. I'm mentally already in space. That's half the battle.
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional. Vonnegut. Shakespeare. Dali. They're all dead.
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Being an artist is my best job. Worst job was breading chicken at a Chick-fil-A. I totally suck at breading chicken. Oh well. No one's perfect.
Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
This was very thorough.
I’ll take that as a compliment.
Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Matt Deterior is the man. Jason Thomas. Chris Hamer. Sugar Fueled. Joe Badon.
If they’re in your FB Friends list I’ll give them an add and shoot them a request.
Got any questions for me?
Boxers or briefs? Or are you free and loving it?
Boxers. Definitely boxers. I was briefs until college but then I tried boxers and it was a life-changing experience for my genitals. I need a little room in the front yard for the step-kids to run and play.
Thanks for subjecting yourself to being interviewed!
Thanks for wanting to subject me to it.
You’re quite welcome, as I often say, “The pleasure was mine.”
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
About the Interviewee:
I get paid to extract this cartoon fever dream from my brain and put it on display for the enjoyment of others.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre is the most high God. That is all. ~ aerni
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
You can check out the blog for the book here: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
You can check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
You can check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
You can follow him at GoodReads here:
You can check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
You can check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
You can check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
You can follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
You can follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
You can check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/people/arkhamscreenings
You can join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
You can stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
You can e-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com