Readers may be familiar with some of your beautiful images but not you Chantal so can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a freelance artist, originally from Nottingham, England. I live with my wonderfully supportive husband and four boys in Queensland. I drink lots of tea and love all things vintage.
When did you decide to make art your career path?
I have always loved drawing and painting but nothing more than scribbles on paper when I was young. I never thought about making art my career until after finishing school and going to Graphic Design College, even then it was about finished art and layout rather than drawing and illustration.
Everyone said “you can never make a living being an artist” and I think it must have stuck with me because I followed my head and not my heart, attending the Advertising Academy in Brisbane Australia, to study Graphic Design. I really enjoyed working in the graphics industry and I gained an excellent knowledge of layout and printing etc. but after working for 10 years I finally grew tired of sitting at a computer and not being able to actually draw. I ‘ve always been interested in animation so I applied to Griffith University, Queensland College of Art and was offered a place. 3 years later I completed a Bachelor of Animation learning 2D & 3D animation techniques. I love animation and creating an art form that comes to life on the screen is amazing and lots of fun!! I worked in the animation industry for five years.
Tell us a little bit about your background, how you came to Horror Art specifically?
I’ve read ghost stories and watched horror movies my whole life and I’ve always wanted to bring the love for the genre into my artwork. Not all horror excites me though, I’m not a big fan of Slasher movies or films that are based too much in reality, I love the supernatural and ghosts. My artwork usually encompasses the feeling we get from horror, the fear. I try to capture that look in my art!
What is your preferred artistic medium and why?
I work with pastels because they not only allow me to work very quickly, but I can also walk away and come back without setting up all over again! It’s a very messy process though; I usually end up with pastel chalk everywhere, usually on my face!
You've been garnering some very deserved attention lately, from online Horror Mags, and industry people as well with your Babadook piece getting some notice from the film site itself, can you tell us a bit about that and how it happened?
The Babadook is everything in a movie that scares me and the characters just had to be drawn! I was honored when the film crew shared my work with their fans! The Internet has really helped me to connect with like-minded people and gives me the confidence to put my artwork out there. I love the feedback I get from fans and enjoy creating a new artwork to share with them. It does feel weird when I get attention from people I look up to, but it drives me to create better art.
Is that the first time you have been recognized by the other artists that you help immortalize in this new artistic form or have you been contacted by any of your subjects before? What is that like for you?
It’s crazy! I never expect to receive feedback from the characters I draw, so when I get comments from Clive Barker and Elvira for example I do a little happy dance. Lol! I deeply admire everyone I draw so to be contacted by them is amazing! Having George A Romero retweet Karen from the Night of the Living Dead was brilliant! J
How do you go about picking your subjects? How long do the pieces take from start to finish?
I focus on female characters, the final girls or lady-killers. Whether they are from the film or a book I have always gravitated towards the feminine side of horror. You will however, see the odd scary male creep into my portfolio now and again.
Because I work from home and have small children, each piece usually takes about a week. I used to try and draw at night when the kids were asleep, but I’ve come to realize that drawing consistently for two to three hours a day, I actually achieve a lot more. It also allows me to concentrate on other things I need to do.
Everyone was really positive; I think everyone secretly loves horror on some level! Lol! When I tell people I’m a horror artist, they are usually very surprised, as I don’t fit the typical horror fan mold. I suppose they think I should get around dressed as Morticia Adams!
My children watch many various horror titles with me and their dad, I am curious are your children aware of who these characters that you paint are? Are they fans of the genre?
We love horror movies in this house too, but because our boys are still young we limit what they can watch. Of course they’ve seen pretty much everything by Tim Burton, are big fans of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter! Huge Scooby Doo fans, basically anything scary for kids we watch! The characters I draw are from some of the scariest movies in history so I’ll introduce them when they are older! I can’t wait!! Lol!
I see you offer a variety of items based on your art works, where can fans get there hands on these items?
That’s right, I offer prints of my work through Nuvango http://nuvango.com/chantalhandley and you buy Stickers, Pillows and bags etc through RedBubble. http://www.redbubble.com/people/horrificbeauty Both sites are great, they just offer different items.
The original artworks are also available to buy.
Where do you hope this journey in horror art will lead you in the future what goals are you hoping to attain in the next few years?
Through horror, I feel I’ve really grown as an artist and I’m excited about the future! I'm hoping there are lots of projects that I get the chance to work on. There are so many creative new authors coming along I would love to collaborate with. I would absolutely love to illustrate my own spooky children’s book, I’d like to create covers for books and comics. I want to continue to meet wonderfully creative, fascinating individuals who I can create art with.
Don't forget to swing by the gallery of images available for you to enjoy in the featured work section of The Horror Nation, just follow the link below.