You're very welcome. There is a lot of great art out there, but I think this captures the essence of Azathoth the best that I've yet seen. I imagine him as being far more than just an entity floating out in space, but more as a space in and of himself. And I definitely get that feel here with this image.
I also didn't realize you did some of the other Lovecraftian artworks that I like. I feel obligated to comment on those now as well.
I think my first big breakthrough in depicting these epic cosmic entities was with Yog Sothoth :thumb55297727: I listened to some appropriately inspiring music (the Unquiet Void) and it helped me think "outside of the box" with my interpretation. Rather than a portrait, I approached it like a landscape, one that may in fact be unending. This seemed to amplify things to a whole new sense of scale.
I had never heard of Unquiet Void before, so I looked them up and listened to one of their pieces. Seems more on the side of sound effects than music, but still very atmospheric and fitting for the subject. Might add them to my playlists. Normally I listen to doom metal or soundtracks when drawing darker subjects.
I think people call it 'dark ambient' or even 'soundscapes', definitely not sing-along kind of music. Yet, I find it so evocative with the mysterious sounds that it really gets my imagination flowing, I've used it on subsequent occasions with success as well. I think something about it not sounding like terrestrial human music works in better with the otherworldly nature of Lovecraft's entities.
You know, there are some parts of the cosmos that are best left undisturbed. While the universe is abundant with wonders, it may hold its own fair share of horrors. You know how far humans will go to achieve their own self-interests, and the universe will retaliate in kind by fucking us up in the ass tenfold.
I think you're right, we have no idea of knowing what sort of Pandora's Box we're opening up by expanding on our explorations, and there's no way to know if it is a box we're able to close. It seems like the natural order of things... we'll keep pushing and expanding until something pushes back. I hope to be long gone before the retaliation.
Thanks for your kind comment and question! In the case of Azathoth, it started out with a lot of random scribbling that filled the entire surface of the paper. Then, much like one might see things in cloud in the sky, I start to recognize forms in the scribbles. Then I refine those shapes to make them look more realistic. I am just as surprised with the outcome as the viewers!
I'm flattered to hear that, thank you! I find Lovecraft's writing to be extremely evocative, but due to his avoidance of specifics it allows each of us to craft our own vision- but that makes it challenging as an artist to match others' mind's eyes.
Thank you, I appreciate your comment! I consider that difficulty to be a strength of Lovecraft's writing, he often leaves his concepts in an undefined state. I think it allows the minds eye to have fun. As an artist I find it a huge challenge (and not everyone likes to see Lovecraft's imagination crystallized into a static image), I'd almost call it an exercise in futility but I and many others still seem to enjoy the attempts.
Some things I have found especially challenging. For example, I was asked to paint some Lovecraftian style ghouls, so the publisher sent me a copy of 'Pickman's Model' as inspiration. A very nice gesture I thought, but the idea of my being able to paint photo-realistic ghouls which would cause some to lose their minds was a bit of a tall order! I doubt they'd want to scare off all their customers with art like that.
Another real tough one is trying to depict art from Lovecraft's bygone races and cultures. These are often described as a style unlike anything ever seen in human history.... and I might have a couple days to develop something convincing and wholly unique. At first I found it frustrating, but after a while I found the relative futility to be sort of liberating- so why not just have fun with it?
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I suppose one approaches it in the same way one is to paint a Pickman like ghoul which would cause the viewer to go insane- or perhaps an indescribable "colour"- or maybe even a tri-lobed menace which can only exist in absolute blackness. I jump in with fingers crossed knowing that the goal is likely impossible, but I try to have fun with it and hope other HPL fans don't mind. :lol