It all began in the dark withered forests of Virginia. The birth was marked by howling winds, volcanic eruptions and a procession from the other worldly realms to honor the child that would give their ranks visibility in the coming years.
Abigail Larson was inspired to create from the time she could first hold a pen. In spite of her parents wishes to the contrary, she grew to love things of a bizarre frightening sort, including the works of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Gorey and classic horror movies.
Nowadays, in addition to the macabre, her artistic inspirations come from literature and history. The illustrations of Arthur Rackham, Edward Gorey, Edmund Dulac, John Bauer, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Tony DiTerlizzi, Chris Riddell, Gris Grimly, and many others also provide inspiration.
She loves learning about how people once lived and the strange things they wore and believed. She says "I think our fears and superstitions reveal so much about ourselves, and I love to explore these things and interpret them in an endearing or tranquil setting through my art."
These days Abigail creates art for books, magazines, albums, events, and anything else she fancies. She works in pencil, watercolor and digital media.
Her work has been shown across America in such prestigious venues as the Museum of American Illustration in New York, New York, Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, Halloweentown, and many other galleries in Richmond, Virginia, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Missouri, and Los Angeles, California. Her artwork has been featured in Digital Artist Daily, Spectrum:18, Black Lantern Publishing, CROW magazine, and many other publications.
Do you have a dream project?
I have lots of small personal projects I'd love to do, but my biggest dream projects are all collaborative. I'd love to design characters for animated movies or shows. I've already taken a few jobs designing characters for stage productions and gaming companies, and it's some of the most enjoyable work I've ever done. I've also written a few short stories, and I would love the opportunity to illustrate them and see them published.
What are your ideal conditions for inspiration?
I find inspiration in the most unlikely places, but I visit a lot of museums and go on historic house tours to feel inspired (because so much of my work is historically inspired). I've filled my studio with old French knock-off furniture, books, and bizarre artifacts and I'll play strange music to feel inspired on a daily basis. I think, ideally, I'd like to be cloistered in a rambling, dusty old Victorian house... a haunted one.
What is your greatest fear as an artist?
That's a great question. Probably having my hands bitten off or my eyes clawed out by zombies. Though, that would be a cool story to tell at the bar!
Your illustrations depict a time, roughly, in the late 1800s. Why that time period?
I love the Victorian era mostly for the incredible artwork and design coming out of that time period. The fashion, furniture, architecture, literature, advertisements, etc. really appeal to me. This was also the time period that Spiritualism developed and became popular - mediums, occultists, ghosts, and the mysteries of life and death are all really fascinating to me, and make appearances in my artwork. Other artistic eras I really love are the Baroque and Rococo periods in Europe. I love all of the excessive grandeur in decoration, and I love modifying that style for my own work.
You are now 24 - where do you see your work in 20 years?
I have a hard time planning out my week, let alone the next few years, and it's even more difficult to imagine what my work will be like because it's constantly changing. As far as projects go, I'd love to be working not only on book illustrations, but also concept art for games and movies as well. If the opportunity arose, I'd also like to get into storyboarding and animation.
Are fear and imagination conjoined twins?
I think they really have to be. Why else do those dark shadows on the wall turn into horrifying monsters at night?
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