GALLERY ARTIST INTERVIEW: VINCENZO “VINNY” SAVASTANO OF GRAVEHEARTS DESIGN

How old are you?
35

What is the primary medium you work in?
Digital and traditional illustration.

What is your favorite medium to work in?
Digital Illustration

What is your favorite subject matter?
Halloween, the occult, and anything spooky. I tend to focus on the more mysterious, and magical side of horror. I am also a big fan of American Traditional Tattoo art which influences my work quite a bit.

What art tools do you use, and do you have any tools or brands that you recommend?
Most of my pieces start out as drawings in a sketchbook, even my digital illustrations. From there, I either photograph or scan the sketches into my computer and trace over them in Adobe Illustrator. I still use a mouse and the pen tool, which is a significantly slower, more painstaking process than drawing on a tablet, but it allows me to get the precise, clean lines that are a big part of my desired aesthetic. For my hand drawn pieces, I always use Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Markers, and I do all of my line work with Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. I get all of my art supplies at Art Supply Warehouse in Westminster.

How and when did you start creating artwork?
I’ve been drawing since as far back as I can remember. It was always my favorite thing to do, even as a kid. I was the nerdy kid that stayed inside to draw during recess while all the other kids played outside.

If you could give any advice to your past-artist-self, what would it be?
Stop doing what you think art is, or what you think other people will like, and just start doing what makes you happy. That love will reflect in your art, and people will respond to it.

If you could create anything in the world, what would you create?
My dream for as long as I can remember would be to create an epic Halloween Theme Park. Something on the scale of Disneyland with multiple themed areas and various types of rides, games, and entertainment. A place where Halloween could be celebrated year-round.

What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
My goal as an artist is to just make connections with people. Having someone tell me I’m one of their favorite artists, or that a piece I’ve done is one of their favorite pieces, and just knowing that my art connected with them in some way is probably the best feeling on earth.

Are you ready for the Halloween season? Is it your favorite holiday? 
Halloween is absolutely my favorite Holiday! The main reason I create Halloween themed artwork is so I can basically surround myself with Halloween imagery, and wrap myself up in it all year. Halloween is home to me.

What do you love most about The Haunted Mansion? 
I love that it takes elements and imagery that are normally frightening and uses them in a very whimsical, magical kind of way. I have always been drawn to darker things, as I’m sure many of the artists in this gallery are, and The Haunted Mansion shows us that there is beauty in dark things in a very special way. It made all of us creepy kids feel like maybe we weren’t that different.

Who is your favorite Grim Grinning Ghost/room at the Mansion? 
I always loved the Raven. For me he’s the star of the whole thing. He is guiding you on this terrifying journey all the while mocking you with his cackling caw and glowing red eyes. When I was a kid, I would always look for him in every scene and try to see how many times I could spot him.

The 2003 Haunted Mansion film with Eddie Murphy, yay or nay? 
I have actually never seen it!

Which is better and why: the traditional Haunted Mansion, or Haunted Mansion Holiday? 
Gotta go with the classic Haunted Mansion.

Would you like to share any stories/experiences/special memories that revolve around The Haunted Mansion? 
Back when we had Disney passes, my fiancée and I would go on many occasions JUST to go on the Haunted Mansion.

Would you take a hitchhiking ghost home? 
That depends on which one! If it’s one from the ride then maybe, but I’ve met some real life ghosts that I DEFINITELY wouldn’t want to take home with me.

Have you participated in the Artist Lodge Gallery before?
Yes, I did the Mega Mini Monster Mash which was a lot of fun because it was held at the Art Institute of California, which is my alma mater. I was also in the Legendary Creatures gallery, as an artist AND a vendor. This was a very special show for me because it was my first time as a vendor.

Anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to say what an honor it is being a part of this gallery with so many incredibly talented artists. Seeing everyone’s work in progress posts on instagram really made me want to step my game up. I’m excited to see everyone’s finished work.

YOU CAN FIND MORE FROM VINNY HERE:
Website
Instagram

*Please note that all artwork is reposted with permission from the artists. Please do not use, alter, or repost the artwork without direct permission from the artists. Each artist may have a different Creative Commons license on their work/images and you will need to contact them directly in order to obtain permission for your uses.

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