INSPIRATION: Music – Nine Inch Nails

Certain things inspire me more when it comes to creating art than others. One such thing is music. I am very influenced by various types of music in my art, as evident by my black metal project Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, but the one band that really stands out in my mind as a huge source of inspiration is Nine Inch Nails and the creative genius behind it, Trent Reznor.

I discovered Nine Inch Nails more or less by accident when I was 9 or 10 years old, by way of the music video for Closer (from ‘The Downward Spiral’ album) being aired on TV one afternoon. At that age I didn’t much care for the music video but I loved the music in it. This was back in the mid-90s, and I didn’t catch the band name at the time, so I had no idea what this new (to me) amazing band was called. I discovered that a few years later, when ‘The Fragile’ was released and my household fortunately had MTV 2 which provided me with more music videos and information.

I loved it.

It was weird, dark, slightly menacing, gritty and perfectly articulated my teenage angst.

So I became ever so slightly obsessed with this band – Nine Inch Nails – and over the years I would use their music as inspiration. I would also look to the album cover art, and various promotional works of art, for inspiration in my own work.

I’ve always felt that if I were to make music at any point in time, it would probably sound a lot like Nine Inch Nails in that layer-upon-layer-style that still to this day provides me with new nuances in the songs I’ve listened to a thousand times before. And these nuances are what inspires a lot of my work, along with the gritty industrial feel. I spent numerous hours wandering about my hometown taking photos of rusty old pipes and barbed wire in my youth while listening to – you guessed it: Nine Inch Nails.

For your listening pleasure, I’ve compiled a playlist of Nine Inch Nails music videos (in chronological order, no less):

 

What are your main inspirations?

 

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Commissions – For Exposure

This is a sore subject for many artists, and The Oatmeal summed up the essence of it all.

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(Click the picture!)

The other day I was asked to do a commissioned illustration for a friend. The piece is for an album cover for one of his music projects. He was up-front about there not being much in way of money as payment for this (as it is a bit of a niche-album with a fairly small audience, myself included).

I am – basically – doing this for exposure. And I’m fine with that. Why? Well…

As of right now, about 10 people on the planet are aware of my art. I’m not exposed – at all. I have no exposure to refer people to, other than this website, my facebook page, my instagram and my youtube-channel. I am working on changing that fact, but as it stands – right now – I need all the exposure I can get. If I am ever to sell a piece of art, I need people to be aware of my existence as an artist: I need exposure.

Let me be absolutely crystal clear: My friend did not assume I would do this for free / for exposure – at all.

I did – however – suggest a sort of deal for my commission work. A commission for commission, if you will: I asked my friend to make a snippet of music I could use for my YouTube-videos in exchange for me creating album art. And I made sure to say it would be “as payment” for the commission. My art will get exposure, and his music project will get exposure, as he will be credited wherever and whenever I use the music.

So – why is this whole for exposure business such a sore subject for artists? If you ask an artist – who makes a living through their art – to do something, that artist will charge you for it. It’s their livelihood – it’s what puts food on their table. Be prepared to pay for art, that’s all I’m saying.

The artist can choose to do something for free / for exposure, but it’s the artist’s call – not yours.

 

Am I an Artist?

What makes an artist? A lot of you would answer that question with something along the lines of “person who creates works of art” – and that is true. Here where I live, however, the term ‘artist’ is somewhat defined as “a person who has undergone minimum three years – ideally five or more – of Fine Art education at University level, and is therefore eligible for Art Project Scholarships and/or funds” – which is, for the most part, true for many artist who do art full-time. It is also, however, limiting in that getting accepted to a Fine Art University program is anything but easy.

My personal definition of what makes an artist is wonderfully vague: Person who creates works of art and have these works of art exposed to the public. Very often I define the “exposed to the public” part of this as having their art shown at a gallery or similar. Whether or not they do art full-time is largely irrelevant.

In spite of this, I (still) struggle with calling myself an artist, because I have not gone to art school (although I have taken a few painting courses, many years ago), and I have not exposed my art to the public by way of exhibition in a gallery. For now, my personal definition of when I get to call myself an artist is the moment I have sold a work of art. I would like to call myself an artist now – but I’m not entirely sure I can.

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What do you think makes an artist?

Hopes, Dreams and Support

Initially, this website was meant to be just for my Art Photography. I have later come to realize, however, that I do more than just that: I write, I draw, I make videos, I sometimes do a combination of all of these things.

I am currently working on a couple of book projects which will encompass most – if not all – of the forms of art I dabble in: The first being a children’s book, where I’m now in the process of revision / re-writing / fleshing out the story, and later I will attempt to illustrate it as best as I can. The second book project I tinker with from time to time whenever I feel the urge to develop the world and characters for it is a longer novel, primarily aimed at a New Adult / Young Adult (teenage – mid-20s) audience.

On top of this, I also still take pictures.

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So – this website or blog or whatever you want to call it will from now on serve as a hub of art and creativity. Whatever I may launch myself into, it should go through here at some point in time.

Also, because my over-arching goal in life is to a) write and publish (at least one) a book, and b) sell a piece of art, and these things sometimes require a bit of support, I have tweaked my Patreon-page to accommodate that fact. It is meant to serve as an option for those who wish to support me, and you should in no way feel obligated to do so.

My Patreon-page can be found here: https://www.patreon.com/vinterheim

So, there you have it – new year, new opportunities. More art. More everything.