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An Interview with Dark Artist and Visual Designer Chad Savage

Artist Chad Savage
Dark Artist and Visual Designer Chad Savage

As I told Chad Savage when he said he finally had time to answer my questions and to send ’em on over, I’m a HUNORMOUS fan of this man’s work. (I initially contacted him at the end of September/the beginning of October. a.k.a. An extremely busy time for anyone involved in the Halloween/haunted attraction industry.) I’m really grateful he got back to me as soon as he could after the madness died down.

In addition to his original art and prints, he’s also the mastermind that commands the helm of Sinister Visions. And if you think you’ve read about him here before, you have. (See Dabbling the Dark Arts.)

Here’s his answers to my questions. As a bonus, Mr. Savage consented to allowing me to post examples of some of his wickedly sinister artwork, too. (But to see examples of his logos, website designs, and other commercial print work be sure to check out the Portfolio section of Sinister Visions.)

I am dying to know this because you’re name is just too cool (especially considering the type of art you create)…is “Savage” your real last name?

Yep. I come from a long line of Savages. My dad was an architect; the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has an award named after him; my grandfather was literally a World War 2 flying ace – a sargeant in the Air Force, and one hell of an artist. Art and design are in the Savage blood, and have been for generations.

ZombOLanterns by Chad Savage
Zomb-O-Lanterns by Chad Savage

Wow. That is really cool, both that “Savage” is your real name and art and design are in your blood. Guess it’s fair to say you were born to do what you do!

I told you when I thanked you for agreeing to this interview what a huge fan I am of yours and what a big deal it is for me to interview you. Who’s someone you’d love to design a website for, have commission you to create an original painting for…basically, who’s your dream client that you’d love to approach you about creating something, anything, for them?

INDIVIDUAL: Clive Barker. I’m a huge fan of… well, pretty much everything he does, and I came very close to getting to design his website years ago. It fell through, and I’ve always lamented that.

COMPANY: Fangoria. I was asked a few years ago to submit a website design concept for Fangoria.com, but then the liaison company that hired me parted company with Fangoria, so it didn’t happen. I’ve been reading Fangoria since I was a kid – I’d love to do some work for them. I love Rue Morgue Magazine, too, but RM is already in VERY capable art/design hands – inspiringly so. Gary Pullin and Vincent Marcone are the bomb. 🙂

Neat answers! It’s always fun to learn who my idols look up to. Now to switch gears and ask a Haunt Jaunts specific question…Have you ever had any paranormal experiences on any of your travels? (If so, please explain.)

Funny thing about that. It’s not just a “no”. It’s a total wash. My wife (and her mom) are very paranormally perceptive and can tell you stories that’ll curl your toes. I, on the other hand, am apparently one of those people for who the paranormal is a closed door. I’ve never seen, heard or experienced a single thing that could remotely be considered paranormal, which probably explains my fascination with it. I would also probably freak right out if I ever DID see a ghost, if you figure I’ve achieved the ripe old age of 41 with no first-hand frame of reference for The Other Side.

I would love love LOVE to see a ghost, though, even if it scared the bejeebers out of me!

The Halloween Lovers by Chad Savage
The Halloween Lovers by Chad Savage

LOL. Funny answer! What about the manufactured side of the paranormal. Do you ever tour any of the haunted houses before you create the artwork or websites for them? Or do they commission you so early that they’re not even up and running yet?

9 times out of 10 I’ve never seen the attraction I’m designing for – I’d be on the road all year if I did. But I do visit any/every haunted house I can, whenever I can. I see more haunted houses February – June (thanks to haunted attraction tradeshow tours) than most people see in October!

I noticed on your blog that you were asked to write the Afterward for the Graveside Tales anthology Harvest Hill. Do you ever design book covers?

Absolutely, and I love doing it. The great thing is when I get approached for the artwork, I often talk them into letting me do the design layout as well. You can see a gallery of covers at http://chadsavage.com/illustrations/book-covers/.

Zombo the Clown by Chad Savage
Zombo the Clown by Chad Savage

If you could jaunt to any haunted place for inspiration for your craft, where would you jaunt to?

Ireland. Salem. New Orleans (I love New Orleans). The Waverly Hills Asylum. The Queen Mary. The asylum where Session 9 was filmed. Gettysburg. Anywhere where the combination of human trauma, time and the elements have conspired to turn a place into an atmospheric powderkeg!

I’ve been to New Orleans and the Queen Mary (but would go back any time I could), but would also like to jaunt to some of the other haunts you mentioned too. Excellent picks! Along the same lines, do you have any dream haunts you’d like to take. (It doesn’t have to be to a haunted place.)

I’m not completely sure what you mean, but if you’re talking about haunted attractions, there are a stack I’d like to visit, including Netherworld, The Bates Motel, Headless Horseman, The Asylum in Denver, The Chamber in Bakersfield and, to be honest, most of the haunted houses featured on the Travel Channel in the last 3 years! 🙂

I’m not completely sure what I meant when I asked that question either, but I loved the answer you gave. In fact, I really appreciate all the answers you gave. Thanks so much for taking the time to humor me with this interview. It’s a huge honor.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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