Black Books: Gnarwizard
Intro - Kane Horspool Photos - Ryan Grant
The Gnar Wizard has a thick sorcerers book filled to the brim with spells of stoke and stories of unhinged apocalyptic chaos. Scenes of morbid dread with a slight hint of whimsical cheekiness that make his work almost fit for a children’s book but at the same time could feature in the graphics of a Creature Skateboards deck.
The man behind the gnar is a very well liked and humble individual, on meeting the wizard it becomes immediately evident that this guy creates art for the pure enjoyment of creativity and not for any sort of ego inflating intentions.
Read bellow to learn a bit more about him and his creativity, check out his art which has the ability of getting you fired up to shred. And hold out for the final great photo of the most perfectly executed street bean the world has ever seen. All hail the Gnar.
B- Hey mate how are you doing? Have you been able to get creative lately in the lock down or is all your spare time taken up entertaining the kids? GW- Doing well mate, yourself? Been a struggle I'll tell you that much! Between breaking up punch ons over bog roll and keeping the gremlins entertained indoors, i haven't had time to fart! But definitely have a new appreciation for teachers, hats off to em!
B- Your art deals with imagery related to the Occult, Wizards, Skeletons, Bats and Owls. What's the inspiration there? How long have you been into that stuff? GW- Being an 80’s kid I was always drawn to fantasy and mythical shaped genres whether it be cartoons, books, music, films and tv shows it always appealed to me. Some of these influences include cartoons such as David the gnome, He-man, Gumby, Thundercats, books like lord of the rings, Dracula and a series by Raymond. E. Fiest called the Serpent Saga, also the influence of metal bands such as Dio and Sabbath and movies like the Neverending story and Starwars, just to name a few.. I'm also heavily influenced by tattoo culture and imagery.
B- I've noticed some more font based world creeping into your work lately. How long have you been dealing with lettering? And will we be seeing more in the future? GW- Graffiti art has definitely what got me into drawing consistently. As a 14yr down at Fairymeadow skatepark all the local boys had a word, it was a way of us making a mark on the world!. We had some Rad local writers such as Idiot, Pearl, Pudl, Ikue, Cruze, Flems, Bafcat, Kona, Samo, Reps, Syco and Natural that i can name off the top of my head, hanging round the park. Spent many school hours practicing hand styles in my school books and throughout the halls walls. I still catch myself whipping out some hand styles in the shower on the reg lol. I Usually warm up with a quick throw up or a couple of tags before drawing or when I feel my inspiration is stagnant but want to keep the pencil pushing.
B- What's you background in art? Have you been drawing horror scenes since Primary School? GW- Ha ha couple of teachers tried to get me into therapy! I've had no official training in art apart from school. I have been fortunate though to have a couple of close mates who have influenced me, give me tips, point me in the direction of some good resources and bounce some ideas off! (@bafcat and @43thieves). Also with media platforms such as Instagram it has opened up a whole new world of artists and resources that can be explored at the flick of a finger and Youtube videos of bob ross are always a winner!.
B- Are there any Modern day artists that get you hyped to create? GW- Definitely guys like Skinner, Jim Philips, Funeral French, Ratcorpse, Mike Giant, The Grime, Henry Lewis, Jeff Rassier, Tallboy, Andy Murphy and many more! Its also very inspiring to see the amount of rad local artists we have in the gong! Having events like Wonderwalls decorating the streets is also very inspiring!
B-Didnt you do a collaboration with Ratcorpse? How did that come about?
I had been following Antony vo Ratcorpse, a Melbourne based tattoo artist, on Instagram and was art crushing on his style and similar passion for skateboarding. One day i hit him up to buy some original paintings and he graciously offered to do an art trade, i was super stoked on that!!! After the art trade, of which i got some farkin rad pieces, i asked he would be into doing an over and under split art work (of which the bellow piece became the result!) I was so honoured to be able to create something like this with a truly talented artist! Check him out and give him a follow! @ratcorpse
B- Does Skateboarding influence your art?
OH for sure! Skateboarding is an artform within itself everybody has their own style and approach and its just an inspiring scene to be a part of. Whether it be the cool graphics on boards, the grimy graffiti found in all the spots of the hype of being out with ya mates having fun its all inspiring!.