Manon Delacroix is a self-taught artist who has been drawing monsters and characters since she was a wee person. She recently studied with Imaginism Studios in Canada and has worked with Mamtor Publishing, Ilex Press, ImagineFX, Dare Studios and Murky Depths amongst others.
What first drew you to horror illustration?
I had a childhood filled with creepy nightmares for some reason, and these were set off by fairly tame movies like Sinbad the Sailor, Clash of the Titans and Star Wars! Then accidentally watching late night horror movies when everyone thought I was in bed added to the creatures and sometimes I would even see these monsters peeking out from behind a lampshade or through the crack in the door when I was awake… I had a vivid imagination. It wasn’t until I was about 17 that these nightmares, filled with monsters and ghosts, dissipated. However, there was one creepy experience I had at that age which to this day, I still can’t figure out. It involves a disembodied hand tapping on the window of the second story of my childhood home and then when I looked up it whisked itself out of sight and I ran for it out of that room! No what that was but that house was definitely a bit strange!
I think that drawing the things in my nightmares helped get rid of them as these days I don’t dream about the creepy things. There must be a connection and ever since I have been drawn to painting things which creep people out, even though that is not the largest part of my work. I am more interested in a suggestion of the frightening rather than showing it all-out with all the details.
I don’t think I have any famous work just yet, at least not that I am aware of being famous but I have a couple of pieces I’m most proud of, one of which is the Zombie Bunny which I love as it grosses people out at the same time as making them laugh. If I can elicit that response in the same image, then I’m very happy! I have two other favourites at the moment which are the close up face of the vampire woman with black eyes which is getting great reactions from people and my Siren painting which although not ‘horror’ per se, she won’t be inviting you round for tea anytime soon.
Talk us through your artistic style.
I think style is something that happens through years of drawing and painting whilst absorbing the work of all your favourite artists as you go. After a while it all amalgamates and you are left with your own style. It’s hard to describe what my style is, but generally I would say it tends towards realism with a strong emphasis on creating an atmosphere and lots of dramatic lighting. Mood is very important.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a book which is really only in ideas phase at the moment but it is kind of a cross between an art book and, hmm, well it’s hard to explain, but it is all very top secret at the moment! I have a string of really great creators joining me on this project which is very exciting.
Which horror artists do you most admire?
My number one favourite horror artist also happens to be a good friend of mine, Dave Kendall. I have, as yet, not found another artist who fills me with the creep factor quite like Dave’s work does. Another favourite is rather obvious, probably, that is HR Giger. I would call it beautiful horror.
Most of the time I like to imply the horror, to have a sense of something being sinister or creepy rather than going for all-out gore. However, every now and then I like nothing more than to go to work on an image with lots of drool and blood on his chops like my recent Werewolf.
Why will people like your work?
I think that people will like my work because it is, compared to some, fairly tame on the horror stakes, so maybe it’s a ‘gateway’ to horror art! I also think that the humour will appeal to a lot of people.
What makes a good piece of art?
Wow, this is a tricky question! I can only answer from my own personal opinion. For me, a good piece of art needs to tell a story and have great composition. Another thing which really appeals to me is beautiful linework and stylisation.
Do new digital technologies such as the iPad and Kindle provide an opportunity or threat to traditional art?
I don’t think there is any threat to traditional art from digital art, and that’s coming from someone who loves to paint digitally! I started with traditional (pencil, charcoal, pastels and oils) and will always go back to those. People want an original and will pay for that. There is nothing like having an original piece of work in your hands to hang on your wall.
Recommend a graphic novel.
My favourite graphic novel is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen so I would recommend that. Brilliant words and gorgeous artwork.