Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Getting to Know Andy Paciorek

Name: Andy Paciorek
City: North of England
Date: 9th July 2012

1. What is the best weather, in your opinion?
All weather is good. I love to see the turn of seasons. Here this year alas, there is very little summer.wettest June on record and July looking the same way. I like the rain, but not perpetual it would be good to see a bit more sunshine.

2. Which creature has been your favorite to draw?
I've drawn the portraits of hundreds of weird creatures and strange entities now, that it'd be pretty impossible to pick a favourite. The work I'm currently doing and other possible projects that have been in recent discussion do include yet more bizzare beasties. Good job I rather like drawing monsters! Another good thing with myth and folklore subjects and also new weird fiction, is that with some of the more obscure beings, I may be the first person to have rendered them and with more known ones there is always scope to re-imagine their likenesses.

3. Have you written any books of your own?
I researched, wrote and illustrated a book entitled Strange Lands: A Field Guide to the Celtic Otherworld (available to purchase from - http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1957828  ) . In time I may complete a book entitled 'Black Earth', which is about the beings and beasts of Slavic folklore and myth.
I have not yet written a novel, but it is something that I may possibly do one day. At the current moment I am content with illustrating the words of other authors, but writing is something that I do more sporadically when the urge takes me.

4. What is the best flavor of ice cream?
Cherry ... no Rum n Raisin ... no Tutti Fruity .... hmm, I dunno I don't think there is a best. There's lots of great flavours!

5. What is the craziest haircut you've ever had?
My barnet has had some adventures from shoulder length ringlets to shaved crop, but the worst was probably the one I sported through a lot of my secondary school days - basically a mullet with extra long fringe which at times bore streaks of black, auburn or burgundy. At one point it was short at the back and long at the front.

6. Do you play video games? If so, what are some of your favorites?
I haven't played any video games since the days of Sega megadrive - then it was mainly Sonic the Hedgehog and Streetfighter.
Sometimes I can get too easily distracted and if I got into video games now, I could see more hours whiling away and less work getting done, so I'm best keeping off.

7. What was your first paranormal experience?
Hmm ... the first was quite possibly not paranormal at all, but it was odd enough to stick in my mind. Basically all it was that one day when I was about 6 I was out playing on the field near my house and climbing the old ash tree, when I was joined by a boy I hadn't seen before. I recall he was very quiet, but also notably pale and had very white hair. I think he said his name was Samuel. Anyway we played alongside each other by the tree for quite a while, but then I was called in for my tea. He said he had to go too, but he didn't go to a house but to the chapel in the street. I never saw him again and nobody else I'd spoke to in the street knew who he was or claimed to have seen him.

8. What do you do to further your education?
Books, documentaries sometimes, conversation with varied people on myriad subjects.
9. What were your three most enjoyable subjects in school?
Art (no surprises there, I guess), English Literature and Biology. Though oddly enough, my highest exam grade was in Religious Education.


10. If you could receive any gift from a good friend right now, what would it be?
I guess a good friendship itself is the most valuable gift ... though as good friendships mean accepting others as they are, if someone were of such a character to want and afford to lavish other presents upon me, well hell, it would be wrong to try and change their nature  :P

Eevee asks:"What doez Shah (Andy's cat) like the very most?"
Ha! Welcome to the online Cat-dating service! Tell Eevee, that Shah seems mighty contented with cuddles, combs, catnip, chilling and mad nocturnal spider-hunts. ;) Shah is a star. I love nature and animals but I do have an especial soft spot for cats.
(Shah is seen to the right)

11. What do you have coming up?
I've just signed a publishing contract for a book written by the author Karl Shuker, that is accompanied by full colour illustrations of mine. It is entitled 'Creatures of Shadow and Night' and should be available next year. I'm currently working on illustrating a book by another great writer Bob Curran, which is entitled 'Carnival of Dark Dreams' which is progressing really well and touchwood that should be available also in not too distant future. I have also been in conversation with both of these authors about other possible future collaborations and some very interesting ideas have arose.
Also planned for release either later this year or possibly into next, is the 'Cumbrian Cthulhu' anthology which is a selection of new 'Lovecraftian' weird fiction but set in the English Lake District. I have illustrated those stories as well as writing a number of my own for it. As well as being a really good read, all profits from this book will go in charitable donation to the organisation that deals with lake and mountain rescue in Cumbria.
I've also been asked to contribute a short story to a different horror tale anthology, which is planned for release at Christmas this year. So fingers crossed on all those projects.

If you'd like to learn about Andy Paciorek and see some

 of his artwork, check out the links below :D

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