Frequently Asked Questions :: Rats In The Walls ~ Dark Fantasy Illustration / Goth Punk Drawings by Rick Shelton

Frequently Asked Questions

"He's like a cross between Clark Gable -- and Godzilla!" - Unknown

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wrong with you?
I am a bit near-sighted and also I have red-green color blindness, thanks for asking. Of course, the question probably refers to my mental state, which is easily categorized as "doin' fine". *goes off to sharpen some knives*

Can you see any colors at all? What color is my shirt?
I can see red and green just fine, however really dark greens look more like dark brown to me, and sometimes if a red color is against a background very similar in shade I have a hard time distinguishing it. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what color their red or green article of clothing was, I'd be a wealthy man.

Why do you only do black and white drawings?
Although most of the artwork on display is in black and white, I don't have anything particular against using color in a piece if it warrants it. Most of the things I feel like drawing don't end up needing color. Contrary to popular belief, it is not because of the aforementioned color blindness. Originally, I started drawing in pen and ink because the pens I use are inexpensive, and the ink happened to be black. Black and white is rather distinguished, I think.

Where do you get ideas for your pictures?
The pretentious, partially-true answer: I scrape them from the darkest depths of my scabrous soul. The not-so-pretentious, also partially-true answer: Sometimes I get inspired by a particular song I am listening to, sometimes from movies I've seen, or a book I am reading, or perhaps a dream (daydream or otherwise) I've had.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Nine Inch Nails, Weird Al Yankovic, Marilyn Manson, Tom Waits, David Bowie, Babyland, KMFDM, CHEMLAB, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Pink Floyd, blah, blah, blah.

Are you a Goth?
No. If I had to choose, I'd be a Cyberpunk. The Future is Now, muthafucka!

Are any of your drawings inspired by drugs?
No. I have never used drugs in my life, nor will I. I don't smoke, and rarely drink alcohol. Once, during 1994, I smoked cigars. I think that lasted a month or so. And once, in 1996, at a party, I drank enough alcohol to get violently sick all over the back seat of a car (while I was sitting in it). It wasn't fun, so I never did it again. Look at me, I'm high on Life!

What tools do you use to create your art?
I generally use precise roller-ball gel ink pens (Pilot is the preferred brand) or markers on bright white paper for the pen and ink stuff. For the initial sketches, I use a rather nifty Staedtler mechanical pencil and one of those cheap Click-Erasers to clean up. On the computer, I use Adobe Photoshop to scan and clean up the drawings and prepare them for the web. For my fonts, I use CorelDraw and Fontographer.

Have you ever had any public showings of your artwork? Will you?
Not since I was in school. I'm not adverse to it, but doing a show is something I haven't really looked into because I am a lazy bastard.

Why don't you submit your artwork to <insert role-playing game or comic book company name here>?
For the same reason I haven't done any shows.

Who is your favorite Author? Director? Musician?
Franz Kafka or H.P. Lovecraft. Terry Gilliam. Roger Waters is my favorite lyricist, David Bowie is my favorite singer, and my favorite band is Babyland. Nine Inch Nails does the best live shows.

What is your favorite book? Movie? Song?
Dydeetown World by F. Paul Wilson. The theatrical (not the Director's Cut) of Bladerunner. Chemical Halo by CHEMLAB, or perhaps Fucked Equipment by Babyland.

What is your favorite horror movie?
I don't like horror movies very much. I mostly watch comedies. If I had to choose, I'd probably say it'd either be In The Mouth Of Madness or The Wicker Man, since those are the only two horror movies I've voluntarily watched more than once. That movie The Ring creeped me the hell out for a few days after I watched it, but my wife said it was weird not scary.

Who is your favorite Artist?
I don't have one. I particularly enjoy the artwork of Heironymous Bosch, H.R. Giger and Simon Bisley, though.

How did you learn to draw like that?
Practice, practice, practice. It is my firm belief that, although natural talent is a factor to consider, EVERYONE has the capability to become a decent artist through practice. The ability to create art is one of the most basic human abilities, just like singing, or writing. Also, it is my firm belief that my art kinda sucks. I wish it were better. Must practice, practice, practive...

How long have you been drawing pictures?
Since shortly after I learned to walk. As long as I can remember, I've been scribbling pictures of things on other things.

Is it okay to "borrow" this pic for my website?
I'd rather not, but I know that since the only way to prevent someone from, ahem, borrowing a picture of mine is to not put it on the web in the first place, I can only request that if someone does decide to appropriate something I've created, they give proper credit and maybe a link back to my site.

Do you get a lot of hate-mail? Does it bother you?
Not too much, though I have gotten a few interesting missives from some inspired writers. Actually, I enjoy reading the negative mail almost as much as the positive mail -- at least I'm getting a reaction. The worst email I've ever received was actually a piece of spam that was intended to trick me into linking my site to a spammer's "baby snuff"-themed domain. Draw one skeletal baby and people think you have some sort of fetish...

Are you anti-Christian?
No, though I am not a Christian myself (surprise, surprise).

Are you Satan Worshipper? A Wiccan? An Atheist?
No, I don't believe in the "Devil" or some malevolent Evil Spirit bent on tempting Man, except as the imaginary scapegoat for man's self-determined moral failures. I don't know anything about Wicca, except that there may be "magic" involved -- I don't really believe in "magic" either. And I'm not an Atheist or Agnostic, either. I suppose I could be considered a pragmatic Deist. Officially, I list my religion as "Bhudoo" -- the belief that Man must live in harmony with his fellows or run the risk of being forced after death to rise from the grave to feast upon the flesh of the living. It's kind of a Bhuddism/Voodoo mixture, get it? I get to call myself the High Priest if anyone asks. No one ever does.

Do you believe in the supernatural at all?
Yes. Because of my personal experiences, I believe in certain types of psychic phenomena, and consequently or coincidentally, I believe in ghosts. Or at least, I believe in the existance of phenomena beyond the bounds of current human understanding that might be best described using the general, but perhaps inaccurate, term "ghosts"...

What's the coolest thing about you?
Whenever I sleep, almost all my dreams are "lucid" -- I know I am dreaming and can control every aspect of the dream like a god.

What's the weirdest thing about you?
I really don't like to go to sleep. Like Edgar Allen Poe, "Sleep, those little slices of death, how I loathe them."