my name is david schuler and i make regular things terrible
Between 2004 and when I started making my paintings in 2012, I had mostly fallen out of traditional art. All of my work was drawn and inked on paper (usually a sketchbook), and then digitally colored in Photoshop. Originally when I first started making my horror paintings, this was the technique I used which can be seen in my Enter the Digital Age Series. In 2013 I met a gallery owner through a friend who really liked my work but asked if I had considered doing anything traditionally and offered to let me join in on a group show if I did. So I took him up on his offer and he allowed me (and a bunch of other people) to come to his studio above the gallery and work on our pieces for the show which became my second Kings of Armageddon series. I used watercolor, Micron ink pens, and marker for the first time in many years and it was such a fantastic experience that is rekindled a passion for traditional work I haven’t had in a long time.
Since then my style and approach has drastically changed, but the materials have remained very similar. Today I use gouache instead of watercolors because I like the brighter colors they give off and I now typically use bottled ink, a dip pen, and a brush over the Microns because I can get smoother, finer lines. I’ve also learned a great deal about the different surfaces I work with and what goes best on them.
Truth be told, I’m far from the greatest painter. Most of my paintings, before I lay down any ink, are fairly chaotic and have crazy colors everywhere with pretty rudimentary shading. But I am a pretty good inker and I really love the way meticulous line-work over top of the colorful chaos looks.
I have a handful of other established artists that I constantly draw inspiration from in form, subject, and technique. People like Alex Pardee, Jonathan Wayshak, Sam Keith, Tara McPherson, Greg Simkins, Dave Correia, Skinner, and Hannah Yata. Their methods and individual successes are fuel for me to continue to press forward and keep getting better while both seeing what they’ve done to get where they are and simultaneously forging my own path.
For my own personal work, I’m most inspired by both nature and music. Despite not being able to play a single note, I am obsessed with music. I tend to gravitate to metal and folk, but I think the list of what I don’t like or at least can’t appreciate is
much shorter than that list of what I can. Since music is so important to my creative process, every time I sit down to work I need something playing in the background.
Nature serves as the base of most of my art. Things like insects, oceanic creatures, skeletons, and sometimes gross things like birth defects fascinate me and work their way into my paintings. Some of the scariest and most interesting things on this planet are 100% real.