Getting Into The Halloween Spirit - Hallowed Art *NSFW*

25/10/2017


*Quick disclaimer - this post features some NSFW artwork, not suitable for viewers under the age of 18.*


Welcome back to the final week of my weekly Halloween season themed posts, where I've been bringing you a new post each week for the month of October. Not had the chance to read the previous posts yet? Check out my Seasonal GamingOctober Soundtrack & Spooky TV & Film.

In this fourth and final week of my seaonal posts I'm going to briefly go over some of the awesome Halloween inspired artwork that I've seen online recently. Hopefully you'll discover some new artists along the way, be sure to give them a follow if you love their work!

Pokémon Go Halloween Log In Screens 

Pokémon Go always has some great log in screens all year round, usually themed to the specific time of the year. Halloween is no exception, last year Gengar graced the log in screen, lingering in the woods waiting for unsuspecting Pokémon Trainers. This year, Gengar has brought a whole host of Ghost, Dark and Poison type Pokémon along with him to the log in screen! I absolutely love this piece of artwork for the log in screen and think it'd make a great print to hang up!

I love Dark & Ghost type Pokémon, have you been playing Pokémon Go lately or any other Pokémon games for that matter and had chance to catch any? I've not had chance to play much of them during this month, though I did pick up the Silver remake for virtual console on the 3DS.


Halloween Pokémon by @_AshKs

Sticking to the theme of Pokémon for a moment, whilst scrolling through some artwork posts on my Twitter feed, I came across these awesome illustrations of the Bulbasaur evolution chain which has an awesome added Halloween twist! I love the colour scheme of the orange contrasting against the Grass type evolutions and giving the leaves on top a crisp, dark orange autumnal glow.

These illustrations are done by AshKs, her brilliant illustrative work can be found on Instagram, Tumblr & Twitter. Go and check it out!

Matt Bailey Illustration

Probably my favourite pieces of art that I've come across online this month, Matt Bailey's illustration is iconic and once you've seen his style, you'll instantly recognise his work again wherever you may find it. I love the pen and ink process that he uses on his print range. Black pen & ink drawings are something that I'll always be drawn to, especially ones that have a BDSM/Kink or darker tone to them like those of Bailey's.

I really love kink/sex drawn artwork, I've no idea why really, perhaps its just the way artists interpret the kink/darker sex, or how the female form is taken and portrayed along side a darker theme. I especially love the little details on these prints that I've added below. The little nipple details, spit and drool along the tongues and partial shading, all done with line work. Seeing artwork like this really inspires me to make some kind of print or digital mini-series in a similar tone and style!

Check out Matt Bailey's awesome work on Twitter and you can order some neat prints through his website.



Edgar Sandoval Illustration

I think one of the things that I love about art, illustration and design is the fact that it doesn't have to be serious and often, never is taken too seriously. Edgar Sandoval was another artist that I came across this month whilst on my search for darker and Halloween themed artwork. Upon looking at his storyboard style pieces I instantly fell in love with the way that he shows the female form. He doesn't generally do the typical stick thin figure of a woman, each piece of his work features all kinds of body shapes and some really kink/bdsm heavy themes with some Succubus styles (one of my favourite dark themed art characters). 

His artwork is super detailed with lots of flowers, skulls, dark themes and sexual overtones. Perfect for this seasonal month! Check out his work over on Tumblr.




My Drawtober 2017

Of course, I couldn't make a post about Halloween inspired artwork without doing a little plug for  my own art, could I? Over the month of October I've been participating in Drawtober, a great daily drawing challenge where each day you create a piece based around a different Halloween style theme. I've been keeping mostly up to date with Drawtober and have been enjoying every moment of the artwork process. It's really helped me keep the creative juices flowing this month and has made me realise that I need to try and keep creating each day. I don't want Drawtober to end!

You can check out my Drawtober pieces over on my Instagram or follow my uploads daily on Twitter.


Day 3 - Double double toil ‘n trouble


Day 17- Daddy Long Legs

And here we come to an end of what's been a great Halloween month for Music, Gaming, Tv & Film and now also Artwork. The season isn't quite over just yet though and I intend to be carving pumpkins, watching as many horrors, looking at as much kink art and playing as many spooky games as I can until November 1st.

How's your Halloween season been so far, have you got any great plans for Halloween night? Let me know below. Do check out the artists which I've featured in this article too!

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Getting Into The Halloween Spirit - Spooky TV & Film

18/10/2017


Welcome back again to the third week of my Halloween season themed posts, where I'm going to be bringing you a new post each week for the month of October. Not had the chance to read the previous posts yet? Check out my Seasonal Gaming & October Soundtrack.

This week's theme is all about the TV & Film that I watch around the Halloween period. Typically, I aren't one for many horror films and have to really be in the mood to watch them, though I do love some of the cult classics and more modern ones that have a side of humour or deeper plot to them, rather than just mindless killing and butchering; oh and good luck to anyone who tries to get me to watch anything remotely paranormal (demon babies flying around the room and strange things climbing around ceilings? no thank you, good day to you, sir!) So here are some horror TV & films which I really love already and some that I plan to watch soon.

Saw


Saw is probably one of my favourite horror films, the original that is and perhaps the second, any instalment afterward is just a blatant cash cow and terrible film by my books. What made Saw so appealing for me was how original the story was. I remember heading to Blockbuster as a kid with my friend and his Dad when the film released on tape and us begging him to rent it out for the night for our sleep over in his loft. His Dad ended up renting the tape for us and we pulled an all-nighter watching it, playing games and eating sweets (oh how I wish I was a kid again, all-dayers are hard enough to pull off these days, nevermind the thought of an all-nighter).

The storyline to Saw is always one that comes straight to mind whenever someone asks me what my favourite horror films are; its filled with great plot progression, gruesome horror that actually makes you think and uses it as good plot device for the main story. Its not just some mindless killer killing for the sake of it, there is method and reason behind each death and the killer is a cunning mastermind and the story really does make you think.

Cabin in the Woods


I love horror films that have a slight hint of humour in them without going completely wacky and Cabin in the Woods nailed this perfectly with a horror theme, an overarching plot to the story which isn't quite fully explained and leaves you to think about it afterwards and draw your own conclusions. When I first watched this film I was pleasantly surprised by how it panned out as I expected it to just be the typical group of teenage friends get it on in a cabin and then end up being murdered by a Jason-like psychopath in the woods -- this was not the case though.

Without giving too much away about the main story, I love how horror folklore and different styles of horror are worked into the storyline and how each main character plays a role in the varying styles of horror included. If you haven't checked this film out yet then I seriously recommend you do over this Halloween period, its even on Netflix right now!

Young Frankenstein



A cult classic of comedy genius mixed with horror fantasy themes. This hilarious film is, what I consider to be one of Gene Wilder's best performances; seeing him play the role as the Dr. Frederick Frankenstein inheriting the estate of the late Dr. Frankenstein in Transylvania, discovering and then going on to recreate his late Grandfather's work on reanimating the dead.

With witty humour, charming and clever sexual tones and innuendos that only Wilder could pull off, as well as a great support cast that just cracks you up with laughter, Young Frankenstein is a light hearted comedy/horror fantasy film that is a must watch for the Halloween period. It's also available right now on Netflix too!

Other notable seasonal films that you shouldn't miss out on

Beetlejuice
The Addams Family
Shaun of the Dead
Freddy vs Jason
Hostel

On my Watch List

Lore



Whilst searching through Prime & Netflix for horror and fantasy films to watch this Halloween season, I came across the trailer for Lore on Amazon Prime. The art style and brief write up instantly pulled me in and enticed me to watch the trailer for the series. The six-part series goes over the history of folklore and the history behind the most iconic horror figures of today, ranging from vampires, werewolves and more. From the sounds of things it seems to be factual information, mixed with some drama and fantasy filmed perhaps a little like American Horror Story. After watching the trailer I cannot wait to jump into this series and learn more about horror icons! 

The Walking Dead Season 8


Season 8 is here soon and man, I have mixed feelings about The Walking Dead as of late. What a rough road this show has been, with some seasons having non-stop action and others being mind-numbingly boring, I really don't know what to expect from this show anymore. I love Negan as a villain and the ideas of the different factions banding together to overthrow him but each episode from the last few seasons has always left me high and dry without actually delivering the goods, too much seems to centre around Rick and just when you think everything's going to be hunky dory again, shit hits the fan once more and everything seems to get put straight back to square one again, leading up to more long and depressive episodes of not a whole lot happening!

That being said, I am looking forward to the series returning and its always a good addition to this time of year. The Walking Dead Season 8 returns on Monday 23rd October.

Stranger Things Season 2



I. Fucking. Love. Stranger Things. Season one was one of the only TV shows that I had to sit and binge watch all day until I reached the end, something that I very rarely do. When this promo shot for season two appeared with the gang in Halloween costumes as the Ghostbusters I nearly imploded with nerdjoy as the theme, subtle 80's references and storyline to the first one was just so perfectly executed in the first season, I cannot wait for more of Stranger Things.

I think the thing that I love most about Stranger Things is how there's just such an awesome community around it, making cool art, merchandise and all kinds of cool stuff related to the show. It's kind of just become this huge entity that isn't going to be going away any time soon and I fucking love it! Hell, this month they even released a FREE mobile game WITHOUT micro-transactions (hell has officially frozen over, water is no longer wet, the end is near) based on the first season in a style just like the old retro games of the 80's! 

Okay, before I go on and talk about Stranger Things for too long I best wrap up this blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading through some of my favourite picks for TV & Film for the Halloween period. Hopefully you get a chance to check out some of them over this season. Do you have any favourite TV & Films to watch over Halloween? Let me know below!

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Getting Into The Halloween Spirit - Seasonal Gaming

11/10/2017


Welcome back to the second week of my Halloween season themed posts, where I'm going to be bringing you a new post each week for the month of October. Not had the chance to read last week's seasonal post? You can check it out here!

This week I'm going to be doing a quick run down over three video games that I tend to play throughout the Halloween season each year, as Halloween is such a fun theme to explore in the world of gaming and it doesn't always have to be a scary horror game either!

Overwatch - Halloween Terror Seasonal Event


Its finally that time of year again in the Overwatch universe where Dr. Junkenstein is up to no good, sending wave after wave of his zomnics (zombie omnics, Overwatch's self aware robots which were originally created for labour) at a group of 4 players who have to survive the night by going up against staged boss fights with scaling difficulties.

What makes the free additional seasonal themed game mode so fun is the chance to obtain limited edition Halloween themed character skins which change the appearance of your favourite characters to a more spooky style. Check out the trailer to Halloween Terror below for a quick look at some of the new skins that have been added to the seasonal event, it also looks like last year's skins have been reduced in price and are still available to obtain in this year's loot boxes also, so if you missed out on that sweet Mercy Witch skin like I did last year, you always have a chance this year up until November 1st!


Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017 Trailer

Cthulhu Cultist Zenyatta and Witch Mercy, you shall be mine! 

World of Warcraft - Hallow's End Seasonal Event


My favourite time of year within WoW has got to be Hallow's End. I just love seeing the major city streets filled with pumpkins, people casting spells on one another to turn other players into bats, wraiths and other spooky entities, and of course, the Headless Horseman's dungeon in Scarlet Monastery Graveyard!

Its been a few months now since I last stepped foot into the world of Azeroth but now seems like a great time to delve back into such an amazing fantasy world and get into the seasonal spirit. I'm going to be rolling a fresh character with Vee and we're going to head off exploring, dungeoning and picking up as many spooky treats as we can along the way throughout the Hallow's End event, starting October 18th, I seriously cannot wait!

Screenshot from last year's Hallow's End event. The Sinister Squashling pet is my favourite!

There's all kinds of loot that you can get from doing dungeons, daily quests and simply picking up candy from the pumpkin heads outside of each Inn, dotted around the world. Two of my favourites are [The Horseman's Horrific Hood] which lets you scream out the terrifying laugh of the Horseman himself and of course, [The Horseman's Reins] letting you fly the skies on his horrific steed.

Full details on the Hallow's End event can be found here.

Fallout 4


Fallout is a video game franchise that I'll always hold close to my heart; since first playing Fallout 3 back in 2008, the charm of the post apocalyptic world of 1950's stylised, yet futuristic America will always be one of my favourite open worlds to explore in gaming.

The whole theme of the nuclear powered, incredibly stylistic 1950's inspired world which is filled with all kinds of dangers, from mutant animals that have been transformed by the radiation of the bombs that fell in the nuclear war, quirky factions that worship the very radiation coming off of unexploded bombs laying idle throughout the landscape and out right hilarious quests which can sometimes put you right on edge if there are a gang of these little fellows waiting to greet you inside of an abandoned building that you're about to explore..

Waddup Ghouls, it me, ya boi

Fallout 4 tells some great stories throughout it's main campaign, side quests and additional DLC. Some of my favourites which are perfect for playing during this seasonal period would be the hunt for alien technology from a crash landed space ship, visiting the Museum of Witchcraft in Salem and finding a sinister surprise inside, and of course, Halloween wouldn't be complete without donning the Silver Shroud costume and taking on the persona of a cliché crime detective/super hero inspired character, tackling the miscreants of the streets!

Fallout 4's Museum of Witchcraft, Salem - filled with all manner of spookiness inside

So there you have it, my three seasonal top picks for gaming during October which I always get around to playing this time of year without fail. I'm a sucker for anything iconic that has a pop culture Halloween theme to it when it comes to gaming and will always find the time to play. Do you have any favourites to play during October which has a Halloween/Horror theme? Let me know below!

(header picture from Wallpapersin4K)

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Getting Into The Halloween Spirit - My October Soundtrack

04/10/2017


It's finally October, my favourite time of the year! I don't know whether its because I'm a November baby and I've always gotten excited as my birthday comes closer or just that I'm from the cold north of the UK and grown accustomed to the colder climate pretty much all year round; but seeing the leaves turn a golden colour, the sun fighting through the cold mist of the mornings and seeing people's excitement for Halloween gradually develop throughout the month.

Now, I couldn't let the month go by without making some kind of seasonal celebration, so I've decided to run a small series of posts all throughout October, one post a week, each with a different theme in turn -- so, join me in this first post of the month where I'll be talking about my soundtrack for the month of October.

Spooky Cover Design Influence

Whilst curating my soundtrack I started to notice how a lot of the songs that I'd picked out went right back to when I first started getting into alternative music and gradually into heavier metal. There's something about metalcore and 90/00's rock that has always just screamed out spookiness and Halloween to me right from getting into it in my early teens. Perhaps it was seeing Slipknot's masks for the first time after school on Kerrang! TV or after picking up Bring Me The Horizon's first EP, 'TIWTEOYSWMF' off of the shelf in Virgin Megastore (R.I.P. Megastores, you are still missed) and instantly falling in love with the cover art. Whatever the reason, metal has always kind of made me feel more alive this time of year.


BMTH - 'TIWTEOYSWMF' EP Art 
('Who Wants Flowers When They're Dead? Nobody' is still my fav song /cry)

BMTH's EP wasn't the only cover art that I adored whilst going through my early teen years and discovering more and more alternative/metal music; take Alexisonfire's cover art for 'Watch Out!' or Slipknot's 'Vol: 3 The Subliminal Verses' -- I remember when I first laid eyes upon these and instantly having a sense of wonder and amazement over the illustrations and kind of design that was used. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this is where my love for graphic design really stems from, I've always loved looking at album artwork and picturing what kind of music I'd hear on the disc based on it.

Alexisonfire - 'Watch Out!' LP Art

Slipknot - 'Vol. 3 The Subliminal Verses' LP Art

To look at some of the selections for my soundtrack which have been produced in more recent years, the spooky/alternative and kind of general darker theme is still very prominent within the metal/rock scene, just taking on a more cleaner aesthetic with influences from old school tattoo flash and medical illustration. I absolutely adore this style of art at the moment, based around tattoo flash, old anatomical drawings and just general alternative and quite darker themes. Lately I've been working towards achieving this kind of art style with my own prints that I've been drawing on my iPad and I can't wait to show you guys some of what I've been working on in the near future.

Stick To Your Guns - 'The Sun, the Moon, the Truth: "Penance of Self"' Single Art

Fit For A King - 'Deathgrip' LP Art

So here's my October Soundtrack, 31 songs for the 31 days of October Halloween. Its been the motivation to get me through a lot of my work load and has gotten me right into the Halloween spirit, I hope it does the same for any other metal heads out there also! Starting off with some heavier new metalcore and some local talent from Hull also, then moving onto 90/00's rock before finally throwing in a few wild cards with the last three songs to get real spooky!


I hope you've enjoyed my little look at how cover artwork inspires and affects the way that I listen to music. What are your favourite spooky/autumnal themed songs for this time of the year? Let me know if you dig any of the tracks I've added to the playlist, hopefully you discover some new bands you might not have heard of!

Keep them peepers peeled for next week's post where I'll be talking about my favourite spooky themed Halloween video games that I love to play during Halloween!

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