01. Introduce yourself!
Hi! Just Bleu here to wish you a good evening and sate your curiosity.
So a little wind about me:
I’m a professional illustrator, brain-to-page printer, and colorful conversationalist moonlighting as a black hole.
For shits, giggles, and inspiration, I hang my heart in the forest and keep my soul in the creek.
I will drink all of the hot drinks. Mostly coffee, but also: All. The quiet humor and innocence of animals makes my cup overflow. I love to digest empathy, the flow of time, and the complexity of nature [in life and print] but then give me a creepy graphic novel to munch.
Ferns, sage, and moss–all day every day. My dogs are fuzzy gargoyles that hug my soul.
In another dimension, I am a 93 year old fortune-telling bar tender.
02. Tell us a little about your work.
As a day job, I create custom artwork for pinball machines. I paint statues and get to push the oh-so-tempting red button on the laser to etch and cut acrylic for lighted toppers.
On the side, I illustrate textbooks that explore the unintentionally creepy microscopic world within water and water treatment. Because I’m all about finding a balance within chaos, I tip the scales by taking pet portrait commissions—a means of scratching the itch for a poof of floof between all the bright burning lights and intense close-up and personals with bacteria.
And for a bit of personal devious fun—I carve bones into tiny guardians and make sketches of rides in my “dark little park where the mood takes you and the rides break you”: Lytle Amusements.
03. D&S is a dark fantasy and horror magazine. Tell us about some of the other media you enjoy in and around those genres!
I consume horror films like air and will happily take the good with the bad (and very bad). I devour all things Hannibal-related, but the television series has a special place in my tiny black heart—the thoughtful, sensual artistry at play is stunning.
In stark black and white, I love to visit the strange and twisted worlds of Junji Ito’s graphic novels and anything dealing with the human experience of time and space opens my spine-tingling door.
04. Have any of the above inspired your own work in any way?
I always have some strange film or show playing for background static as I work. I like to think of it as bloody fuel that keeps me sketchy.
05. What is it about these genres that attracts you most?
Watching the nature and design of each character expand with every reaction to the sudden (and often nonsensical) chaos they face.
06. Tell us about something that frightens or disturbs you. Are you attracted to media that includes this? Why or why not?
I don’t scare easily, but I’d say I am most disturbed by natural and unnatural disasters, especially when forests or animals are involved.
I don’t often watch or read media including these things because I am totally transfixed by the destruction and I sit as if hypnotized, unable to do anything else for the duration.
07. Tell us about one of your favorite fantasy or mythological creatures.
Gargoyles. I find it interesting that they are a symbol of the grotesque and evil that are most often found on religious architecture to divert rain—reminding us that some bad things serve a purpose. I also like the modernized versions that break out of their statuesque shell to explore the night because I love the idea of depth and life inside of stone.
I live with a few gargoyles but more often than not they tend to bring rain inside the house. Also, they are super fuzzy with a great sense of humor.
08. If you could spend next Halloween anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? Why?
Worlds End State Park– because I always want to go into the woods and that forest houses a labyrinth of giant stones. Perfect place to be lost in the thinning veil.
09. What does the word ‘magic’ mean to you?
Color, glimpses of the future, and the ability to see inside others.
10. What do you hope readers will get out of Dusk & Shiver?
A taste of eye candy, a touch of brain-scrambling, electric chills, and a thrilling temptation to return.