We sat down with one of Charleston’s talented artists, Chris Woodall, and asked him a few questions about his work, his life, and his plan for the future.
Did you go to school for art/design?
I only went to WVSU for a couple semesters, majoring in Graphic Design.
My biggest art influences are Bernie Wrightson, Alex Ross, Basil Gogos and Drew Struzan
Favorite kind to do?
my favorite kind of art to do is painting. “Little Lights” is a mixture of paintings and photoshop work. I would’ve loved to paint all of it, but more than likely it still wouldn’t be finished.
Favorite piece you’ve done so far?
Favorite piece? Probably my Joker painting. I started it around 10 years ago when I lived in Florida, and it just sat unfinished for years. I finally just finished it last May. Also, you may want to note that all hope is not lost in this painting, if you look back in the alley you’ll see a silhouette of a familiar hero who’s there to stop him!
How do you decide what to create?
Thanks! How did I decide what to create for the album? All of it came from the amazing brain of Matt Marks. He had most of it planned out in his mind already, and the rough sketches he gave me helped immensely.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you do instead?
If I wasn’t creating art I’d be even more immersed in my 2nd passion, which is playing music. I’ve been playing trumpet since 5th grade. I was in the local ska band 69 Fingers for roughly 10 years, we moved to Florida in 2004, and I stayed for 4 years until I moved back. I never painted much until I was living down there. Before that I mostly did pencil and ink work. I was also in the bands The McGees and Super Heavy Duty, and now I play with Beggars Clan.
What’s your favorite kind of thing to paint?
My favorite things to paint are comic book and horror related stuff. I also enjoy painting ‘normal’ portraits of people and landscapes.
Do you listen to music while you paint? Anyone in particular?
I normally listen to reggae when I paint, even if I’m painting scary monsters and such hahaha It’s so relaxing and gets me calm, collected and happy. I also like to occasionally listen to film scores. Nothing like painting Batman while listening to Danny Elfman’s iconic 1989 score!
Why’d you move back to WV?
I moved back for several reasons, one being for a relationship that didn’t work out (you can leave that out if you want), I got to move in with Mike Winland for a few months while I painted lots of backdrops in his photography studio, and I wanted to be closer to my family.
Do you think living in this area benefits you in what you do?
I do think living here benefits me, especially because of how much the art scene has grown since I moved back. Not too long after I came back, I was in my first art show and it was in a house. Art shows were scarce back then. Now we have an official huge artwalk once a month, murals popping up all over the place, and it’s amazing. With my job at Balance Clothing & Graphics, I’ve designed loads of vehicle wraps, shirts, signs and storefronts, so a lot of things I’ve done all can be seen all over the place. Such as the Charleston Police cars for example. Also, I get to take part in ShockaCon, WV’s premiere horror & sci-fi convention which was started by Mike Winland, and this year will be the 6th one. I’ve been involved in that since the beginning. I’ve painted the huge 40ft backdrops for the stage at Beni Kedem center for the past 3 years, as well as other things for the show, including the ShockaCon hearse and various t-shirt designs for example. To take part in such a fun and successful venture, as well as getting to meet and hang out with various celebrities is awesome to say the least!
What are you working on right now?
Currently (outside of work / my day job) I’m working on the cover for Harrah’s new album, an ongoing series of posters for the Company Stores, a poster for Astral Theatre Collective’s upcoming play “Carmilla”, a mural for The Red Carpet, a logo for local comedian Andy Frampton, a shirt design for WV Citizen Action Group, and I’m also in the very beginning stages of my first comic book venture.