You’ve seen his art here on Haunted MTL and gracing the covers of Bards and Sages Quarterly, Illumen, Scifaikuest, Thriller Magazine, and countless others. You’ve read his poetry and writing in numerous online publications including 50-Word Stories, Aphelion, Night to Dawn, Potato Soup Journal and more. Now’s your chance to meet the one and only Denny Marshall in an interview with us here on Haunted MTL.
Denny, you work in a wide range of media and styles in both visual arts and writing. When did you first start creating? How has your work evolved over time and what do you keep coming back to?
I’ve always drawn and started doing digital art in 1999 when the computer I bought had Paint Shop Pro 5 included. As far as poetry I started in my late teens but it was about fifteen years before I wrote something I liked or could be published.
I think my art has improved over time. Like everything else, the more you practice the better you get. When I first start drawing I did only realistic art. I remember at ten years old drawing on my grandmother’s chalkboard things that were in the room. Then I moved into doing mostly abstract art, then branched out to science fiction/fantasy/horror art. I always come back to abstract art but try to include all types of drawings at times. Unlike most artists I do not have any art education or training of any kind.
What is your favorite media to work in? Why are you attracted to this media?
My favorite media is paper and black ink. Even if there were a nationwide blackout or a zombie apocalypse, I would still be able to draw. Paper and black ink pen doesn’t take up a lot of space and you can do it and take it anywhere.
You are very prolific and explore a lot of different themes and ideas in your work, where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. I would have to write a novel to list everything. Examples would be outside my window, going for a bike ride, movies and books, other artists and writers known and unknown, the outdoors, the indoors, the pictures I see inside my head before I fall asleep. The mind can take thousands of photographs in a short period of time. The mind is never ending and as large as the universe.
My ultimate goal is to not have all my drawings look the same or have the same style. If I do a few drawings that look the same, I stop and try to do something different. They are many artists whose works all look the same.
What other artists and writers do you watch? Whose work has influenced you in past and present?
I like Poe as far as poetry. Writers I like are H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Agatha Christie. Stephen King, and others As far as artists, I like Picasso, Michelangelo, Hopper and many others. I like the 50’s – 70’s sci-fi art, artists like Chesley Bonestell. There are many good artists and writers in the small press also.
Among my favorites of your art are Gate 29, Cake Cutting (Robot Wedding), Chieftain, and Unidentified Legend and Stalactite Stalagmite as featured on Haunted MTL. Do you have any personal favorites of your own? Why do these resonate so strongly, were they based out of memory, or just plain fun to make, or what?
There are a lot of my drawings I like when I finish them but then maybe a year later, I don’t care as much for them. Maybe it’s because they old and we all have a need for something new.
I like Mono Track, Floodlight Deco, Celebration In The Sky, and Keys Of String Theory because readers have commented on them and others. I like The Chamber, Cake Cutting, Spiral Stairs, and 22 Stories because they are different than some of my art. I would say I really like about 20% of my published art and about 20% I don’t care for and the rest is in the middle. I have hundreds of drawings that have not been published.
Thank you for journeying with us into the mind’s eye of creator Denny Marshall today on Haunted MTL. You can find more of Denny Marshall’s work on his website here as well as in all of the aforementioned publications, Dreams & Nightmares Magazine, Star*Line, Literary Hatchet, Penumbric, Altered Reality, and Twenty-Two Twenty-Eight.