Back in March, I attended my first Monster Mania Convention and really my first horror convention. It was an overwhelming experience but it gave me the chance to meet some amazing people. One of those people is the extremely talented abigailbramanart.
I remember I was walking down the aisle and I immediately stopped at her table when I saw a painting of the “Pale Man” displayed at her booth. I was blown away by the details of the painting and the life like qualities that they had. I immediately introduced myself to her and grabbed a business card. A few months later I sat down with Abigail to interview her and we had an incredibly fun conversation about horror, art, movies, and influences. I’m proud to present an amazingly gifted and talented woman in horror, Abigail Braman!
SM: Hi Abigail! Thank you so much for joining me today! So please, tell us a little bit about yourself, how long you’ve been doing art, where you are from, where you went to school, etc.
AB: I am from a town in Pennsylvania called Stroudsburg. It’s located kind of right inbetween New York and Philadelphia. I’ve always been here but I would like to move at some point. I have a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art with an Art History Concentration. I’ve always been drawing, since I was a kid, but I’ve been painting for about 5 years and that’s what I really like to do. I also do some Illustration work as well.
SM: What medium do you like to use the most?
AB: Definitely painting. I use both acrylic and oil. I’ll use an acrylic under layer first and then I do oils on top of it. However, I like to experiment with a lot of different things. Most of the paintings that are on my site are either acrylic or oils. A lot of people think they are airbrushed which I don’t really get but it’s nice because I guess it means the blending is really really smooth, but it’s just the type of canvas that I use that makes it look like that.
SM: A lot of your paintings are obviously horror related, so how did you get into doing that?
AB I’ve always liked darker subject matters, even from when I was younger, but I’ve always been into horror movies. When I was younger I always enjoyed watching The Wolfman and all the classic horror movies. When I’m painting I’m usually watching something horror related and it’s very inspirational.
SM: What about the horror genre interest you? Or what inspires you to paint these horror icons?
AB: What I like about certain horror movies, well in all movies in general, is production design, set design, and character design. If you have all those elements and they are done right than that’s what inspires me. That’s what I like about Pan’s Labyrinth, it’s a great story and it also has great artwork in it and great great scenery. I’m all about ambiance, if good environments appeal to me than that’s really inspiring.
SM: Is there anything that scares you?
AB: Honestly, I was thinking about that the other day when I went to go see It Follows, which I did really like. I was reading all the news on it and people were saying ‘Oh it’s the scariest movie since blah blah blah.’ I didn’t think so but I guess that’s because I’ve seen everything.l I guess movies that I wouldn’t say scare me more so are just kind of like unsettling to me and make me uncomfortable are movies likeMartyr. I bought it last year and was like I hadn’t watched it yet so let me watch it – and just watching it made me feel really uncomfortable. I know this also sounds cheesy, but also The Human Centipedemovies really bother me too, I just don’t like the concept. I was avoiding watching the second one even though I read everything about it and I was like I’ll just watch it anyways it’s on Netflix haha but yeah stuff that involves involuntary surgeries kind of bother me. You are getting turned into something else and there is nothing you can do about it, it’s really creepy. I’ve seen Serbian Film and that doesn’t bother me all, which doesn’t make sense haha. I guess Serbian Filmwas’t as realistic as someone getting kidnapped and getting surgery performed on them. Even with Tusk, I love that movie, but when you sit down and think about it, that would be really really terrible if that happened to you in real life.
SM: Have you done any commission work for any celebrities?
AB: No, I wish! Last year I got in touch with the production designer who was working on the ABC television show “Forever.” They rented out six of my original paintings and they were using them as set design and poster art in a character’s bedroom for one episode.
SM: Is there someone in the horror genre that you would love to do a custom piece for?
AB: Oh man, I don’t know, everyone!? I don’t get commissioned to do a lot of horror. I’m doing a commission right now for a non-horror book cover as well as a mural at a ski resort. I would love to do horror commissions though.
SM: How long does it take for you to do one of your paintings?
AB: The horror ones I’ve gotten pretty quick at. If I’m doing one of the Skeleton paintings they take a bit longer because I have to think up a color scheme and that takes awhile. If I’m doing a horror painting I’m usually using a picture as reference so my colors are already mapped out. The “It” painting of Pennywise that I just finished, that was probably the quickest one I’ve done and that took about 15 hours. The Freddy painting took about 20 hours so they are definitely getting quicker. I also don’t need to worry about a background as well.
SM: How do you get inspired to do your work?
AB: Usually by movies and animation. I’m a huge animation fan – I love the whole process. As I mentioned before, I’m all about ambiance and I love scenery and sets and I want people to feel like they are a part of it. Even Disney World and The Haunted Mansion ride, I love that you are just in this whole other world there.
SM: Is there any horror related artwork that you would like to do that is different from the horror icons? Would you do anything that maybe shows the victims perspective?
AB: Oh yeah there’s a lot that I would really like to do. I feel like I would paint something random from a movie but people wouldn’t know what it is. I’m just better at painting monsters and stuff like that. I’ve started doing an Antiviral painting because I love that movie – David Cronenberg’s son, Brandon Cronenberg, directed it – but I just never finished it which happens sometimes. Same with a Pinhead painting – it started pissing me off haha. The face has been the hardest part so I decided to come back to it another time.
SM: Do you have a favorite horror movie?
AB: Oh man that’s so hard! It changes all the time – but I guess one of my all time favorites is Rosemary’s Baby – the book is also awesome. The writing in that movie is so good and the actual movie is really creative and well done. You feel like the main character and you know something is wrong but there is nothing you can do about it. I’ll also go through phases where I watch certain movies non-stop until I get burnt out so I’ve been rewatching Starry Eyes and Preservationswhich I really like.
SM: I’m a really big fan of Digging up the Marrow by Adam Green
AB: Oh yeah he’s a super nice guy! I got to meet him at Monster Mania!
SM: I love the monsters in the movie!
AB: Oh yeah it’s great!
SM: I just found out he has a show called Holliston which I found interesting because back where I grew up in Hopkinton, MA the town next to us is called Holliston. I did some research and was like oh shit Adam Green is from Holliston, MA! Now if only him and I could be bestfriends haha. Anyways, moving on, do you have a favorite horror icon?
AB: Oh geez there are so many! Who is my favorite? I don’t even know. I definitely love werewolves – I love the Wolfan. I just love anything werewolf orientated and vampires are cool but I feel like they are losing their edge.
SM: Yeah I blame that on Twilight. They will come back around. I feel the same way about zombies right now. I feel like it’s really oversaturated.
AB: I’ve never been a big zombie fan – it’s all kind of the same. I’m not interested in the concept – there is only so much that you can do with it.
SM: I do give credit to The Walking Dead but at the same time ENOUGH WITH THE ZOMBIES they are everywhere! Anyways I digress, is there a favorite piece of work you’ve done?
AB: The wedding portrait with the Skeletons. There’s a new series that I want to work on but it’s under wraps at the time being! It’s going to involve more antique stuff and incorporate found objects, artwork, and music.
SM: What pieces have you gotten the most notice from?
AB: The Audrey II piece, from Little Shop of Horrors, and the Pale Man, from Pan’s Labyrinth. You don’t see many things from Pan’s Labyrinth or Little Shop of Horrors which is why I think they are so popular.
SM: Has there been a favorite reaction you have gotten from a fan?
AB: I gave a copy of the Twisty painting to John Carroll Lynch when I attended Monster Mania – I feel funny doing that as I’m not trying to show off but he really really loved it and was so super nice.
SM: What can we expect from you in the future?
AB: I’m going to be working on a project with my friend Dave. He did all the stop motion for celebrity death match and he’s a super nice guy. He wants to do his own stop motion movie and ironic enough it’s going to be zombie orientated. He gave me his script and wants me to do the set design and character design and I’ve always wanted to do stop motion. That’s what I’m super excited about working on this year!
SM: Thank you so much Abigail for letting us get to know you more! It has been such a pleasure and we here at Nightmarish Conjurings look forward to seeing what you have in the store for the near future!
If you are interested in learning more about Abigail Braman and her artwork, she can be found at the following sites:
FACEBOOK: Abigail Braman Art