Empress of vibrant Macabre, Zosofurioso, reveals best Iron Maiden albums, murdered parent nightmares, and what annoyed extraterrestrials think of humanity.
I notice you have an Ankh symbol on your handle,
do practice magic?
I do some things, but it's more for self-reflective purposes. Much of life is about how it's perceived, and sometimes using tools like tarot cards can help gain perspective. Though much of my art is interpreted as Satanic, it's more so that I enjoy dark art, and a lot of that goes hand in hand with spirituality. Symbolism helps communicate what I want to say.
What is the origin of the name Zosofurioso?
My favorite band has always been Led Zeppelin. When I was in grade school, I used to draw Jimmy Page's symbol all over the place, especially my hands. So eventually, zoso just inadvertently became my nickname. A friend suggested the furioso part as a joke, and it ended up sticking.
What are your thoughts on life after death?
I have no theories of interest, and it makes no difference to me what happens. As far as afterlife, religion, and faith goes, I feel there's no way of knowing, so I'm not going to worry about it. I think the word "interest" denotes positivity, so I wouldn't use it to describe the way I feel about any theories since I'm entirely apathetic. Religions are cults, and when I think about the idea of the world (living and after), the best way I can describe it is the second law of thermodynamics. Remembering constant entropy is how I try to relate to my environment. I guess I'm more of a science/nature person. I'd like to be buried without a coffin and give back to the earth.
Describe your artistic process...
Typically, the idea hits while I'm watching something or looking at other people's art. Artists like Bernie Wrightson, Ralph Steadman, and Frank Frazetta get me going. From there, I'll start to sketch some ideas and research some techniques to achieve the look I have in mind. It depends on the medium I'm using for the next steps, but usually, I'll sketch the general outline, then use a lightbox to make a clean outline in ink and go from there. I have a hard time sleeping if I don't finish, so once I've started, it's all I can think about until it's complete.
What was your recurring childhood nightmare?
I had this horrifying dream that my parents are violently murdered, and during the funeral, the church collapses. I felt this need that I had to save them still even though they were already dead. The building is so dilapidated that the site is abandoned for years with my parent's bodies remaining inside, and there is nothing I can do. The dream fast forwards to me as an adult looking at the rubble, knowing that their bodies are still there. Night falls, and I move the coffins to my car. I take them to a beach where a small boat is waiting. I drag the coffins onto the tiny boat and row myself out to this pebble of an island. There is one palm tree on it, that's how small it is. I pull the coffins onshore, open them, and my parents haven't aged. They are no longer mangled or decrepit. It looks like they are sleeping. The dream always ends as the island starts to sink. I had that dream for years.
What are your favorite theories on the UFO phenomenon?
They're laughing at us and intentionally keeping distance.
What are your favorite Tales from the crypt Episodes?
My absolute favorite is Collection Completed. Honorable mentions would be Abra Cadaver and Easel Kill Ya. Such a great show. It was like The Twilight Zone on steroids.
How has art helped you through hard times?
The toughest time I've been through isn't too far behind me. From October 2019 to January 2020, my life took a crazy turn in every way possible to the point where all I could do was laugh. Art and music helped me find my way back when I felt like I couldn't remember how to navigate internally. It helps me develop and harness my anchor.
What were your favorite Saturday morning cartoons?
Ren and Stimpy, H.R. Puf'n'Stuf, Garfield, Rocko's Modern Life, Courage the Cowardly,
and Cow and Chicken.
What are your favorite theories on the paranormal?
When I was young, I was able to see things, but I lost my abilities as I got older. I feel the law of conservation is accurate in that energy cannot be destroyed or created, only transferred. Paranormal activity exists, but since we're creatures of pattern, most things will continue to cycle with small degrees of variation over time until our energy disperses into the galaxy.
What are your favorite books?
Hunter S. Thompson is my favorite author, so I'd have to say Rum Diary and Hell's Angels. I am also a huge Stephen King fan, so I'd have to say The Shining series, Nightmares, and Dreamscapes, and It. I'm also big on biographies. Growing up, I loved No One Here Gets Out Alive, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, and Hammer of the Gods. I also really enjoy reading Ayn Rand, and anything about history, musicians, film noir movie stars, or serial killers.
What are your favorite Horror and Sci-fi films?
The movies that made me the most uncomfortable are my favorites. The Texas Chainsaw, The Exorcist, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Misery, Carrie, and The Thing heavily influenced my taste. I love the depravity, detachment, and gore. As far as sci-fi, I love the Alien Anthology, Star Wars, Total Recall, 2001 Space Odyssey, Terminator, and Blade Runner.
Let's talk Iron Maiden...
I realize this is an unpopular opinion, but I love Paul Di'Anno, so I have to go with the first two albums being my favorites. For Dickinson, I love everything up to Seventh Son, but my favorites would be Peace of Mind and Number of the Beast. For songs - Strange World, Phantom of the Opera, the entire Killer's album, Gangland, Duellists, and Evil that Men do.
That was the hardest question of this whole interview, haha.
What are your thoughts on psychedelics?
I've experimented with them but never had any genuinely significant impressions or realizations. I just felt it made me more myself. I connected to the innate abilities and thoughts I have without the distraction of circumstances or standards. It's a subjective matter, and you should check it out if you're up for it.
How does Los Angeles influence your work?
I've had the same friend group more or less since I was around 13 years old, so living close to such a dynamic area like Los Angeles, we got to experience all kinds of cool cultural events. We went to shows, galleries, and festivals, so a lot of that exposure still influences me.
Are you open to commissions?
I do commissions, but I am selective. If you're interested, I need to know the medium and size, and you must sell me on an idea. I require clients that can sufficiently communicate their visions and collaborate with me to develop the concept further.
I like commissions that are collaborations between the client and me.
Do you have anything you would like to plug?
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm attempting to become more consistent with my work,
so stay tuned. Instagram - @Zosofurioso