Atelier Proprætoria - Dark Art for Dark Hearts

Dark visions for humanity

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The Artist

Can you tell us a bit more about your background and how you became an artist?
I have been drawing ever since I could first hold a crayon. I was always retelling stories from movies or books or even mythology in my doodles. I would even try to animate them to one extent or another, while I was making them. My work, on into my teens, became increasingly violent and bloody, until in high school, as an angry young Satanist, I was making pencil-drawn gore-soaked surrealism without fully appreciating what I was drawing. It was only after college (and, subsequently, after I began my occult studies in earnest) that I began to take a less hostile approach to my work. I became more interested in iconography and dark portraiture and more sublime, higher states of being. Before that time I had done a few larger-scale pencil drawings, but it was only after I started to do various experiments with ink that I began to consider the possibility that maybe I could start doing large pieces for the public. 

Which artists have inspired you in your creative process?
Generally speaking, I have always drawn more influence from artists of antiquity, as opposed to modern artists. The works of Gustave Dore, especially, have been the most potent fuel for my creative fire, as have those of Leonardo, Bosch and my alleged ancestor Rembrandt. Contemporary artists who catch my interest, while few and far between, tend to influence me more in a sense of mood, rather than content or technique. People like the late, lamented HR Giger and Francis Bacon. Illustrators, however, like Michael Whelan, Tim Bradstreet and Tim Vigil, however, are deeply influential to my style and essence.

What is your creative process like and how has the occult been an inspiration when shaping you art?
There is no real easy way to answer this. The occult, as it is for many people who explore it, has been a long, twisting and ever-changing journey for me. My areas of inquiry have ranged from the Satanic to the Greco-Roman pagan to the Thelemic to the Egyptian to the Tantric (not in that order). Alchemy and Hermeticism have perhaps been the single deepest parts of my practice which have endured and they certainly figure into my process. I distill the idea down to its abstract, then further transmute it through a musical filter for the sake of mood.

Are you working certain concepts in mind or do certain images manifest while actively being involved in occult practices?
Sometimes the ideas are rationally known. Others are more noetically understood. Art, for me, is both an active and a passive magic. There is a strong divinatory component to the work that I do. There is also a strong transmission of the Will through a completed piece, or even a sketch. The signature becomes the final thrust of the Will into the womb of the universe, which then gives birth to a furtherance of that Will. Art, as a result, becomes an oroborous.

What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition? 
An understanding of the rules of composition (things like vanishing points, the rule of thirds, the command to look, etc) and how best to either subvert or bend them to one's own technique.

What do you feel makes your work truly unique and your own?
I have my own language with my ink. I have a technique which is more or less distinctly my own, even if it is not entirely what is expected or sought after. It's a synthesis of modes of creation ranging over centuries which I have digested and paid homage to. Regardless of my own opinion of the quality of my work, I do take pride in it and one of the main reasons why is the amount of passion I put into both the theory and execution of each piece.

How has your style changed over the years?
That depends on how far back you want to go. As I indicated above, even as a child I was doing what I consider to be narrative art, yet it's only in the last few years have I returned to the idea of trying to tell stories with my art. It's a personal challenge of mine to tell as big of a story as I can with as few "words" as possible. I feel that will be where the changes will take me in the future: the deepening of the narrative.

Anything else you wish to share with our readers?
Always question your humanity and whether or not you are living up to it. If you are not, find a way to do so. If you are, then refine your understanding of what it means to be human.
DCLXVI by Propraetor

Auguries of Grief by Propraetor

In Theatro Doctrinae Immanis by Propraetor

Opvs Homo Favstvs IV - Dictata cvm Mercvrio by Propraetor

Ovvm Simplivm by Propraetor

Sacrament by Propraetor

The Tacit Apostasy by Propraetor