Bryan Proteau is an illustrator from San Fransisco who works under the name of Cloven Hoov, I found his work through the artwork he’s done for a whole heap of bands around the world including Gottesmorder, Obolus and Lycus. Check out his work at http://clovenhoov.tumblr.com and tell your friends.
Can you introduce yourself, and briefly describe what it is you do?
My name is Bryan Proteau aka Cloven Hoov. I’m 22 and live in San Francisco, California and I draw for Natvres Mortes Illvstration.
At what age did you realize you wanted to make a living out of art?
That’s hard to say. I always wanted to be a tattoo artist and to me that was the most realistic way to make money through art because I had no expectations of being a gallery artist or a commissioned artist. Even now I’m still dreaming of that day when I can make a living from art. And I still want to be a tattoo artist.
What inspires you to create this style of work?
Many different things. Directly, the work of Goya, German printmakers, symbolist painters and a handful of modern illustrators shape where I want to be visually. It is also a reflection of the music too and the music I am hired to create visuals for.
The Imagery you portray is very dark and occultish, can you explain why you choose to work with this style?
I’m participating in an artistic tradition thousands of years old. The fascination with the darker side of things is present throughout art history. This kind of imagery just moves certain individuals more than others. The occult aspect that is present in some of the pieces is more aesthetics than a profound understanding of the occult.
How does music play an important part in your creative process?
It’s totally crucial. If I’m working for a band I’m not familiar with I need to immerse myself in their music to see what I can come up with to represent them visually. Or if I’m going for a specific feel, like more black metal, I’ll put on some black metal.
What do you like to listen to when working on a piece?
Anything in my collection really. But I really enjoy listening to more “loose” stuff like Horseback, Locrian, Time Hecker, Mamiffer or the first two Grails records when drawing.
Have you been in bands yourself?
No, and I’ve always wanted to be. Making art for bands is kind of my way of being part of that community and feeling that sort of camaraderie I imagine comes with being in a band and touring etc.
Did this help to broaden your artistic vision as well?
Working with bands on projects has expanded my artistic vision, totally. I’ve drawn things I never would have unless someone asked me to specifically and that’s pretty invaluable to broadening my horizons.
What materials do you like to work with the most?
Pen and ink on a few different kinds of paper. I love the look and feel of it and it translates well to screen printing. If I had more time I would experiment with lots of different materials, but with a job and deadlines it’s more convenient to just stick to what I know.
What runs through your mind when working on a piece over many hours?
I’m usually thinking about the next one haha. Truly though when a piece is taking a long time I usually will think of something else or get inspired to work on the next piece. I do enjoy seeing a piece take shape. Almost every time I start a piece I’m convinced it’s going poorly and I should just start over but then it usually works itself out.
How can people contact you if they would like some work done?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my tumblr which has all of my work and contact info as well: clovenhoov.tumblr.com
Thank you very much for your time, any final thoughts?
Thank you. I just want to say thank you for your interest and good luck with your zine.