First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who
don't already know you?
Hello, my name is Arfon Jones - I am an artist/illustrator/indie comic artist
from North Wales and I have a horror art channel on YouTube called Vid-O-Rama!
- where I paint tributes to the movies that we rented on video
back in the day!
Do talk about your show Vid-O-Rama!,
and what was the inspiration behind it?
started out around 4 years ago. I am an
artist that draws, then paints - in other words I do things the 'old
fashioned way', and unfortunately most people these days assume your work
is done on a computer, and don't fully realise that I can't simply remove
or alter my work by pressing a button! I can be a slow process that
involves hours of mixing paint and adding layers of detail. One day I
decided to document the process and uploaded it to YouTube, hoping it
would offer some insight to my process, and people seemed to like it. So I
decided to do more of them and started painting tributes to the movies
that I loved. My earliest videos were fairly short and basic, and they
featured either the music from the movie or a trailer, but unfortunately
YouTube comes down hard on channels using copyrighted music these days, so I
found myself having to record a voice-over instead, explaining what I was
doing - but I would sometimes run out of things to say! So, I started to
reel off all the useless movie trivia that I have gathered in my head over
the years! My wife and I felt that there were too many negative videos on
YouTube, devoted to so called 'bad' movies, featuring people berating
films - I wanted to create something positive, something that hopefully
encourages you to watch the movie. I try to mix them up, exploring all
genres of horror and I paint movies that I like, that I feel are worthy of
a view. As for the name itself , that's the name of my home video shop,
that houses my VHS collection.
What got you
into painting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training
on the subject?
always drawn pictures, as far back as I can remember. I did attend art
college and I hold a ND in Graphic Design and a BA in Illustration, but I
regard myself to be entirely self-taught. For most of my life I worked in
felt tip pens but I noticed that the ink would fade after a time and
thought it best to invest in a medium that retained its, colour and so I
taught myself to paint, I took to acrylic (probably because it was all I
could find at the time) and practised/worked on how to use the paintbrush
and mix paint - and that was 20+ years ago!!
You predominantly paint horror motives -
is that a favourite genre of yours, and why (not)?
Yes, I love
comedy, and I love sci-fi but I've always liked horror, especially monster
movies/creature features, and even though I aspired to becoming an
animator/cartoonist someday, my work could be quite dark and would stray
into horror at times. Back in 2009 I was commissioned to paint a movie
poster for a locally produced indie horror movie called Zombies from
Ireland, and was later approached by indie horror comic publisher
Hellbound Media to work on their Slaughterhouse Farm series, and so I found
myself working in horror circles.
generally speaking, how do you get the inspirations for your individual
paintings on your show, and how do you determine their layouts?
it's just a case of having
watched the movie the previous night I feel compelled to share it with
others. I have quite a broad/obscure taste in horror, favouring low
budget/indie movies, cited at times as 'B' movies, and I have amassed a
large collection of them on VHS and DVD. With regards to layout it can be
either be that I have something at the back of my mind that I would like
to try out that month or it's simply trying to work within the confines of
an A3 sheet of card.
talk about your painting techniques for a bit!
Well, having settled on which movie I want to paint I watch the movie
again with a sketch pad on my lap and jot down ideas/things that I would
like to feature. I draw up a rough sketch of how I think it should look
(adding elements I would like to feature, that I hope will entice someone
to watch the movie or prompt someone that has already seen it before to
watch it again) and then once I have settled on the design I draw a main/central image (pausing certain scenes on the DVD or trawl Google image for
reference shots). I tend to draw figures separately as I like to just let
go, and get the likeness right, and then when I have all my drawings I
need, I cut them out and stick them on a sheet of A3 paper, working out
the layout (sometimes I resize the drawings to fit), and then proceed to
add further detail/defining edges. Once I have settled on design and I am
happy with it, I then photocopy the image to thin card for painting (I use
card as it takes the paint better than paper). The colours that I use are
usually what I think suits the 'feel' of the movie but sometimes I will
pick a colour simply because I like it or I haven't used it for some time.
Once I have selected the two colours I wish to use, I also add black and
white, I use the white to lighten colours and black to darken. Detail and
outlines are added with pens, and this is when I really apply all the
Of all of
the paintings you did for Vid-O-Rama!, what are some of your
favourites, and some that gave you the hardest time?
I can't really
single out my favourites, let's just say I have ones I like more than
others! Paintings that have been endorsed by the people involved in the
making of the actual movie are always special to me. I've also had people
reach out to me telling me of a connection that they have with a movie,
that it holds memories of loved ones for them and that my depiction had
stirred up special memories for them, that's always nice. When I am told
that someone actually watched the movie for the first time because of my
painting, I take that as a genuine compliment. I couldn't say that one in
particular painting gave me trouble, each one is different and requires
its own process, a process that I try not to take for granted! Sometimes
getting someone's likeness right can be a challenge, especially if it's an
obscure movie with little to no reference pictures to work from - but I
$64-question, where can Vid-O-Rama! be seen?
can be found
on YouTube, simply search for Vid-O-Rama! on there OR go to
We can be found on social media:
Facebook ► www.facebook.com/groups/vidorama
We have an Etsy-store ►
And if you would like to join the Vid-O-Rama Video Club (offering all
manner of rewards) ► www.patreon.com/arfonjones
talk about your painting career before/outside of Vid-O-Rama!
Being the weird kid I was often bullied and so would
stay indoors at every given opportunity, and so I was raised on a healthy
diet of 1980’s – 90’s television, comics, toys and videogames, and I
continue to surround myself with these things in my studio - so I never
feel uninspired! Art is very important to me, I am genuinely hard pushed to
think of a time when I wasn’t drawing or working on something, be it
drawing, clay sculpture or a puppet of some sort – I always tried to
stay creative. As I mentioned before, I originally wanted to be a
cartoonist for several years, and so I worked on my drawing skills
taking influence from the countless television shows and comics. During
the early 1990’s I became interested in American superhero comics, in
particular DC and
Marvel, and during this time I worked at a vintage comic
mail order company during evenings and school holidays, and this also
proved to be a major influence on my style.
During my time in art college I
had a few 'run-ins' with my lecturers'/differing opinions on what
‘art’ was, and this caused many a crossed sword/causing frustration
for me, but being stubborn I continued my work regardless and developed my
own style. But during this time I kept myself busy by working on outside
commissions, working for both television and media working on
illustrations, comic strips and animation concept art. As I grew older I
abandoned the prospect of becoming an animator when I realised that I much
preferred to be in full control of my own ideas and taught myself how to
paint. I concentrated my efforts on creating single pieces of work and
settled on being a freelance artist/ illustrator, and over the past twenty
five years I have worked on countless books, comics, album covers, movie
posters and DVD covers from all over the world. My work has been publicly
displayed in the UK, Europe and America, and my craft has allowed me the
opportunity to meet and work with the people that inspired me and brought
me into contact with many other creative/like-minded people from around
filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?
My artistic influences vary, animators such as Chuck Jones, Tex
Avery, Bob Clampett, Max Fleischer, William Hanna and Joe Barbera, comic
artists such as Jack Kirby, Brian Bolland, Doug Mahnke, Jack Davis, Mike
Ploog and Bruce Timm. Classic artists such as Leonardo De Vinci,
Michelangelo, Botticelli, Sir Nathaniel Bacon and The Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood right up to more modern artists such as Jim Hendson, Coop,
Mitch O'Connel, Brian Froud Chris Sievey ('Frank Sidebottom') Wilf' Lunn,
Jamie Hewlett... special mention to visionaries such as Stan Lee, Walt
Disney, Lloyd Kaufman - to name but a few!
Actors that I like: (the
greats) Vincent Price [Vincent
Price bio - click here], Boris Karloff [Boris
Karloff bio - click here], Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Bela
Lugosi [Bela Lugosi bio - click
here], Bruce Campbell, Jim Carrey, Laurel and Hardy, Groucho Marx,
The list varies … Ghostbusters,
Batman ('89), Back to the Future
1-3, Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Movie, Robocop...
ask me tomorrow I might have a completely different
list! But my all time favourite movie is Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
I would break out in a rash if I had to watch movies like
Bridget Jones Diary, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman... movies deemed 'chick
flicks' make my skin crawl! As a collector of VHS I come across these sort
of movies all the time! I like escapism, so not much into drama/'real
life' situations - who needs that?
for the interview!