Interview: Alissa Jo Rindels, Part 2

by subterfusex

As we brainstormed questions for Alissa’s interview, both of us wanted to address the inspired quality we found in Alissa’s art. We found traces of this inspiration everywhere, from the elegant Grecian forms of her Greek gods and goddesses series, to other complex mythological characters.

Alissa wrote us insightful  — and often surprising — answers to these questions, and we are happy to share them with you in our second installment.


Where do you get your inspiration? Who are your muses?

As a kid, I read a lot of comic books, watched a lot of anime, and I surround myself with Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino films. I also read A LOT, see a lot of movies and am an iTunes junkie. I constantly surf the net, admiring other artists’ work. I really just look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere I can get it.

The vast majority of your work depicts women. Why is this? What about the female form most appeals to you?

There are really two reasons for this. First and foremost, women SELL. I easily get three times the sale amount when I put a female character up for auction as opposed to male characters. Secondly, I just find the female form more FUN. There’s a lot more room to convey both hard muscular parts of the body alongside the smooth soft curves. The female form is a wonderful canvas for contrasts and that keeps things interesting.

Blood is sometimes spattered on these women, and we usually get the impression that they are the ones who spilled it–and they don’t regret it. Are these women righteous warriors, or should we be afraid of them?

I think there are a lot of people who think I am obsessed with blood, nudity and violence. I will tell you what usually dictates whether there is blood in my pieces or not. Contrast. Does the piece call for that in your face blast of red? With the genre of art I stick to, it just makes sense that there would be blood. I like to depict characters battle hardened, coarse and raw. No one gives a crap about the character crying and sniveling in the corner — they’re looking at the devil in the background, or the guard holding the whip. That’s where the story is. Again, I guess that is the appeal of primitive life for me. The character has to be strong, self sufficient, or they’re just fodder for the story.

What is your most popular painting? Why do you think this is?

One of my most popular paintings continues to be “Bellona Sleeps”. It was commissioned cover art for “Lucifera’s Pet” by Mike Murphy. I think the biggest reason this is one of my more popular pieces is the incorporation of the werewolf. It is not typical subject matter for me, nor is depicting more than one character in a piece. Plus, Mike’s characters are pretty awesome and I think that really shines through!

Which is your favorite painting? What special significance does it have for you?

I have to say one of my favorite works so far is Bird of Prey. As an artist, there are few times when the end result very closely relates to what I had originally pictured in my mind. Things tend to evolve and take on their own life as you work, so it is pretty satisfying when I can preserve my original vision, which Bird of Prey comes very close to.

You mention in your bio that Brom is your primary influence. What about his work appeals to you?

Brom is my hero. From an artistic stand point he really is what I aspire to be, although I don’t have any hope of being half as talented as he is. His art always seems to be perfectly executed; perfectly balanced. His attention to the small details and embellishments are truly what makes his works so interesting. His artwork delves into the dark, mysterious and bizarre. His characters are a perfect mix of beautiful and monstrous. He is truly an icon for dark fantasy.

What influence does mythology, legend, and other stories have on your work? We see you have Greek gods, Biblical allusions, and fairy tales. What else is visible in your gallery? Through what lens do you usually reinterpret these stories?

I love to take well-known mythology, legends, and stories biblical and otherwise, and give them a dark twist. I am always looking for an opportunity to do this; It’s really a love of mine. It’s a way for me to take characters and literature that I admire, and make them my own in my own way. For the most part I think people enjoy seeing how I interpret other creators’ characters and environments. Every once in awhile I get someone who misses the point and tirades about how “Artemis does NOT look like THAT and she is NOT naked like that, and this is HORRIBLE”.

I’m not looking to rehash what has been already done. I’m looking to give it my own touch, even though it may be straying from original description. If everyone worked to give the same interpretation, life would be boorish. That’s not what art is about.

*

This concludes the second part of the interview. We give you the third section — Context — on Friday.

You can visit Alissa, see her gallery, and purchase artwork at either DireAtrium.com or her DeviantART account.

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