Feature Artist – Chris Woodall

Feature Artist: Chris Woodall

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. Who are your biggest influences? “My biggest art influences are Bernie Wrightson, Alex Ross, Basil Gogos and Drew Struzan.” What’s your favorite kind of art to do? “My favorite kind of art 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. 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: playing music. I've been playing trumpet since 5th grade. I was in the local ska band 69 Fingers for roughly 10 years. We all moved to Florida in 2004 and I lived there for 4 years, then moved back to Charleston. 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.” 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 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!” 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. 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. 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 and murals popping up all over the place. It’s amazing. With my job at Balance Clothing & Graphics, I’ve designed loads of vehicle wraps, shirts, signs, and storefronts. A lot of things I’ve done all can be seen all over the place. For example, the Charleston Police cars. Also, I get to take part in ShockaCon, WV’s premiere horror and sci-fi convention, started by Mike Winland. This year will be the 6th one. I’ve been involved in that since the beginning. I’ve also 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. To be able to take part in such a fun and successful enture, 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, doing an ongoing series of posters for The Company Stores, making a poster for Astral Theatre Collective’s upcoming play ”Carmilla”, painting a mural for the Red Carpet, designing a logo for local comedian Andy Frampton, creating a shirt design for the WV Citizen Action Group, and I’m also in the beginning stages of my first comic book venture.”