Hi, if you're looking for Shawn Cross, that's another guy who definitely doesn't do the art I do. At least I don't think. But anyways, I'm a dark art artist from Ohio. I've been working at my craft professionally for 9 years as an independent artist as well as an artist for the widely popular webcomic series, Cyanide & Happiness. I'm also a co-owner and artist for Ohio based lifestyle brand, Any Means Necessary clothing.
Though I've been known for my association with Cyanide & Happiness, in 2016 I created the mental health series, Inktober Illness, as part of the annual Inktober series which completely altered my art direction to focus more on artwork that helps create a conversation on mental health. My art has been all over the internet and bodies of many fans and it's still spreading. It's been life changing to say the least that an artist from Ohio is able to connect with so many who feel like they don't have a voice.
Where do you get your inspiration from? There's no easy answer to that question, and I get asked it a LOT. The best way I can explain it is that the same way you think to ask that question or any other is the same way I come up with ideas. We all have people and things that are inspiring, but defining inspiration is like defining the shape of water. It's something that happens and I really have no answer, my brain just thinks in a certain way that it forms images with the ideas.
Do you take request? As much as I love requests, I just don't have the time to create something based off of ideas of my fans, friends, or family. While they may inspire me to create a future piece , typically I require payment for fan submitted ideas because, well, I have bills to pay.
Why do you charge X amount of dollars for art? I charge what I think my time is worth and the demand for my art. It's a hard concept for many to understand but working as an artist is like any other job, we put in hours, and pay taxes, and we pay bills with our money earned. It's VERY disrespectful for you to tell an artist you think they charge too much or that you can find someone cheaper. It'll be the quickest way for me to go tell you to fuck yourself (in private).
What was your inspiration behind Inktober Illness?: I have a medical background (I'm also an ER nurse!) and spent time researching case studies and online sources to come up with the best interpretation of each illness I created. The hardest part was to try to identify the illness in a single image, and while some may not relate to the symptoms shown, doesn't mean someone else can't. No two people who have the same mental health behavior may share the same symptoms or even severity of them.