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Welcome to our ongoing series spotlighting original horror creations. This time we have is an illustration titled “The Night Begins” by Director and Illustrator David Hartman, also known as SideshowMonkey on DeviantArt. Be sure to read out exclusive interview with the artist as well.

The Night Begins” by David Hartman
What was your inspiration for “The Night Begins”?

I really love doing groups of monsters reminiscent of the old horror magazine covers seen on “Witches Tales,” “VooDoo” and others like them. This piece also has a bit of influence from the old Hammer films with the seductive female vampire surrounded by her horde. I really like the classic monsters and tend to draw them frequently.

What sort of tools did you use for the piece?

This piece was done completely digital on the iPad Pro using the Procreate app. I also did a time-lapse video on the creation of this piece which can be seen on my youtube channel.

Do you have any projects you are working on?

I always have too many going on. I have a comic series called “the adventures of Rite” that is available on Amazon that is a mix of horror, comedy and adventure. I also have a project with Rob Zombie going on as well as currently directing for a Netflix animated series that really delves into horror and the supernatural.

Do you have any particular horror themes you like to explore in your art?

I tend to go to the malformed, the Frankenstein monster and other man-made creatures as well as humanoid monsters. I like the creatures that are considered evil and horrible but actually have a sympathetic side to them. I also do a lot of damsel in distress type art but where the damsel has a weapon or some other device to actually have a strong chance of fighting back.

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Do you have any particular horror films/books/movies you particularly love?

Tons and tons! As far as movies I love Jaws, The Shining, Hammer films and ALL 1980’s horror films good or bad. For books, I tend to read a lot of non-fiction cryptozoology books on creatures living among us as well as most of H.P. Lovecraft’s many stories. I also go back a lot to Clive Barker’s Books of Blood and King’s Night Shift collection. Two of my favorites.

Have you ever experienced something supernatural? Anything you would like to experience?

I’ve had the “shadow figure out of the corner of your eye” and the “strange object in the sky” that a lot of people have experienced but one memory really stands out. Not sure if this is considered supernatural or not but it definitely influenced my path into horror and the strange.

I was probably about 7 or 8 years old and my parents took me to the Ohio State fair. This was right before they got rid of all the freakshows and strange animal exhibits seen at fairs. We were walking through the midway surrounded by banners for two-faced goats and gorilla women when I saw a trailer with a painting on the side showing a bigfoot frozen in ice. I had to see this! I asked my parents for some quarters to go to the arcade while they watched a show. Instead, I snuck to the trailer to see the weirdness inside.

I paid my fifty-cents to get in and walked into the trailer. It was freezing, and I was standing before a block of ice with a bigfoot inside it. I later found out this was the “Minnesota ice-man” that traveled from fair to fair. ( if you are into bigfoot and weird stories you should definitely look this one up.) That day I was instantly hooked on the supernatural and finding out more about bigfoot and other creatures supposedly living amongst us.

I think this is one of the moments that hooked me onto drawing monsters. When I drew the story “Carnival Kill Ride” for the “Devil’s Rejects” comic book for Rob Zombie I put myself as a kid in the background seeing that trailer for the first time.

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Did you enjoy David’s illustration and our interview with him? Please check him out on the web. You can learn all about projects he has worked on on IMDB and you can also follow him on social media such as Twitter and DeviantArt. You can also watch Phantasm: Ravager on Amazon.

If you have an original creation you would like us to spotlight here on Haunted MTL please let us know!

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David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

Original Creations

More Nail Polish Paintings by Jennifer Weigel

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Well, seems I’m at it again, with more nail polish paintings into found thrift store art. Why so many flowers this time…? Well a friend sent them and I just couldn’t help myself. They are so perfect for creepy fairy paintings. And for those of you who think fairies aren’t scary, you haven’t read much about the fey now have you?

More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel
More Revisitations nail polish paintings by Jennifer Weigel

Top left: Blue Fairy, originally painted by M Wadorf

Top right: Pegasus, originally painted by Edie Babb

Bottom left: Unicorn, originally painted by R Lovelace (After I painted this I realized I missed the opportunity to do a troll with a bridge and so I hope to do another along those lines in the future.)

Bottom middle: Fairy, originally painted by SD Janz

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Bottom right: Dragon, original signed FZ, very sparkly with black-light sensitive eyes

And the most horrific of the bunch this time is this mermaid, who started as a weird bucket painting by Helen Miller… So, what’s in the bucket, Helen? Body parts? Fish? Plants not yet in bloom? I envisioned a trapped mermaid waiting to ensnare some unsuspecting land-goer, because no one would expect to find a mermaid there…

Mermaid in bucket, original by Helen Miller
Is this mermaid trapped in need of help or just trying to lure you close?

So I broke down and redid the unicorn to a troll. Apparently the troll was hungry… Anyway, here is the result. I am happier with it now.

Troll with toll bridge, original by R Lovelace
Hungry troll wants bridge tolls after eating innocent unicorn.

You can find more of my Revisitations art on Haunted MTL here, including links to even more nail polish paintings…

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

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Original Creations

Bloody Mary or More Doll Costuming by Jennifer Weigel

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So I came upon a Liv doll with no wig and decided to make her a mourning ensemble. The result was so reminiscent of this Bloody Mary music video based on the Lady Gaga song, by Ruben Samuel Cortez for his film school final (not the Wednesday TikTok remix, though that is also fun) that I simply had to share.

Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel
Costumed Liv doll to Bloody Mary by Jennifer Weigel

The outfit is made up of really fancy thick black lace leftover from a skirt I decorated for a party and an old translucent black handkerchief. It really reminds me of the table dancers in the music video but black instead of white (though it also alludes to some of the other outfits too, and Wednesday’s dress from the TikTok remake).

Close up of Bloody Mary doll's face
Close up of Bloody Mary doll’s face

I love the detail on the eyes on these Liv dolls, which are embedded and not painted on.

Closer still...
Closer still…

The Liv dolls’ eyes are just so lifelike. I think this is what attracts me to the Rainbow High dolls too, and why I had to turn the Makeover Failfix 2Dreami into Lady Amalthea of The Last Unicorn…

Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I'm posting her here anyway)
Failfix 2Dreami as Lady Amalthea from The Last Unicorn (not scary but one of my all time fave movies and I love how this doll turned out so I’m posting her here anyway)

If you want to check out more of my altered dolls, I have posted several to Haunted MTL here:

Fashion Zombies

Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

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Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

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Krampus

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Oh and here’s a bonus photo of the skirt that I got the lace for originally, titled Kiss My A$$.

Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party
Portrait of the artist, dressed for a Blue Jeans and Bling party

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Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Giants Among Spiders

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So, as you may have noticed, we have a special fondness for spiders here on Nightmarish Nature.  Well, they are kind of the spokes-critters for horrifying animalia, perhaps because they are so freakishly different from us.  Or maybe it’s because I find them a little disconcerting for all that I try to take the “you mind your business, I’ll mind mine” approach, at least if they stay outdoors. Or just because I really like to draw spiders for all that I prefer not to find them sharing my home (though I’ll gladly take spiders over other bugs or mice or larger critters who didn’t get an invite).

Anyway, this segment is devoted to the largest Giants Among Spiders, as if you didn’t have enough to worry about already.  And the top place is contested based upon body mass or leg length.  Most of these are tarantulas, which globally take top place among the large arachnids.

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula
I’m hungry… I bet you are…

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula

The Goliath Birdeater Tarantula of South America is the biggest brute of spiderdom, weighing in at over 6 ounces.  They build funnel burrows and are known to eat birds (although rarely), mice, lizards, frogs, and snakes, but largely any big insects including other species of spiders.  They have urticating barbed hairs that they fling at would-be attackers as an irritant to escape.  And people even eat them after they singe the bristles off. Here’s a National Geographic video showing this spider in action, in case you wanted to see a giant spider take out a mouse.

Giant Huntsman Spider drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Creepy crawly at it’s worst…

Giant Huntsman Spider

And with the longest legs, we have the Giant Huntsman Spider of Laos, with a leg-span of 12 inches.  Their legs have twisted joints and they move in a crab-like manner, which furthers their impressive appearance. ‘Cause they’ve got legs, and know how to use ’em.  They prefer to live in underbrush and cave entrances.  These are like the big relatives of their Australian cousins, which we’ve all seen online and developed a healthy aversion to.

Everything's cuter when it's fuzzy, right? tarantula drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Everything’s cuter when it’s fuzzy, right?

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater & Brazilian Giant Tawny Red Tarantulas

Next we have two more South American species: the Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater, which boasts one-inch fangs, and the Brazilian Giant Tawny Red, believed to be the longest-lived spider with a lifespan of up to thirty years.   Both are in the tarantula family and have urticating hairs, a word you probably never read much before today unless you are in the hobby.  So apparently South America is not the best travel destination for you if you struggle with arachnophobia, though I suspect you’d figured that out already.  (I wouldn’t recommend Australia or Southeast Asia either.)

Face Size Tarantula drawing by Jennifer Weigel
Face-Size, sorry no Face or Face Hugger for scale

Face Size Tarantula

And finally the Face Size Tarantula, which has a very terror-inducing name reminiscent of the Face Huggers of Alien-glory.  Anyway, these spiders have an 8-inch leg-span and live in India and Sri Lanka.  They look kind of like big hairy wolf spiders with stripey legs, sometimes with pink and daffodil coloring.

If you enjoyed this eight-legged segment of Nightmarish Nature on Giants Among Spiders and their larger than life kin, please check out past segments:

Vampires Among Us

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Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

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Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

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