Bryan Proteau – Featured Artist July

Here is a short interview with Cloven Hoov/Natvres Mortes Illvstration – aka Bryan Proteau of San Francisco, California who was ready to answer some of my questions about his illustration. Be prepared!

0) Thank you very much. I really appreciate this!
Okay, here are just a few things that would be important for me to know:
Did you visit art school or are you a self-taught artist? Do you use specific materials that makes your style individual?
I went to San Francisco Art Institute for a year and a half and was majoring in printmaking, however, the work I’m producing now looks nothing like what I was making during my time at SFAI. It was only after leaving there and taking a break from art that I was able to really get back into it. I work with pencil, india ink pen, and nib pens. I sometimes use tattoo ink to get the really dark black if I’m blacking out a background. But the materials I use are pretty basic to the craft.

1) I really, really dig your style. Currently a lot of pretty good artists do artwork for pretty good bands..
QUESTION: What bands do you work with, who is you favourite clientele, with whom do you work best?

Thank you so much, there are a lot of great artists collaborating with bands and I’m happy to play a small part in it. I mainly work with metal bands, black and doom metal bands, as well as some off projects for record labels, clothing companies etc. My favorite client to make art for would probably be Obolus. Their total anonymity allows me to create an identity through visuals, and I feel like I have a real understanding as to what they are trying to say musically, and that helps me create the visual side. But I also have a very special working relationship with the band Deafheaven. We were actually speaking at length about this recently. I’ve been with the band very early on, and all the work I’ve done for them has been pro bono. As the band has gotten more popular and my artwork has gotten more attention the result is mutually beneficial. They’re good friends of mine and we have a solid understanding of what the other is trying to accomplish artistically.

fornAbove: “Fórn”
"Death of Marat" originally by David ca. 1793. Redrawn 2013.Above: “Death of Marat” originally by David ca. 1793. Redrawn 2013.

2) You’re Blogtographer (haha, nice!) for SF Sludge, artist for Natvres Mortes Illvstration (alone or in a team?) and writer for CVLT Nation.
QUESTION: What do you prefer most and why?

Ha I say blogtographer because I don’t consider myself a real photographer, that would be an insult to people who actually know what they’re doing. Art is definitely my main focus. Change is nice but I’m at a point where I need to be fully invested in illustration. SF Sludge has been dead web space since February, and I’m not sure if I’ll pick it back up again. CVLT Nation is fun, but like with photography, I don’t consider myself a writer. I’m intimidated by writing record reviews, but luckily I can also do gig reviews and continue photographing live music. To answer your other question, Natvres Mortes is just me.

Above: artwork for SF funeral doom/sludge band Lycus’ demo

3)“Some of his work is heavily detailed, creating beautiful, crisp landscapes, and in some he reigns in his detailing and brings your focus to the subject.” (
QUESTION: Is there anything specific about you work, something you always have in mind while creating a new masterpiece or is there a higher importance in each artwork?

This is a difficult question to answer. I am trying to develop my own unique style, so I try and keep in mind that what I’m making should be cohesive with a body of work. But when it comes down to it when I’m creating art to always just do what’s best for the image. Some are more simplistic and rely more on contrast, others are more detail oriented. It varies each time.

Above: Art Zine, black on black covers, 10 pages, limited to 30 copies. Features art from both Rainbath and Cloven Hoov. – Sold Out –

Hey Kids, do us and especially Bryan a favour and check his Tumblr blog where he shares his artwork and inspirational stuff.
In his store you can buy patches, buttons and from time to time art zines.

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