The name above may strike you familiar, as the artist known as Adam Cutler has been affiliated with this website for many years, having designed both official logos for Nefarious Realm used of the years as well as a regular contributor. Cutler graduated in 2007 from the New England Institute of Art with a graphic design degree and since has been responsible for logo, release layouts, and other designs for various bands, clothing lines, and other companies. Though a vast amount of his work has been digital graphic design, the need to hand create has always been apart of his motif.
Initially started to keep focus, keep up creativity, and simply for his own enjoyment, Cutler has sketched a gruesome creature and shared it among friends and family each and every Monday, for the past three years. He calls the series Monday Mosh Monsters and you can check out the creepy and sometimes fun creatures here.
What made you initially want to start doodling these creatures?
Before I started getting into art professionally, I used to draw almost constantly. Once I spent almost four years studying graphic design and started to work in various day jobs and with various freelance clients, I just became very detached from both physical art and creating just for my own enjoyment. So, a little over three years ago, I got the idea for this project that would not only give me a little spark of creativity at the beginning of each week, but really discipline myself to make at least a tiny bit of time to actually draw again. It’s been incredibly fun and fulfilling, and has even pushed me to integrate illustration more into my everyday career.
Looking through all of the them, some are obviously designed to a specific theme like the Abraham Lincoln and Batman, but most seem completely original. How do you come up with them?
Like you said, sometimes I work with a theme around holidays or current events, but more often than not they just kinda come out of my head. Usually I just start drawing and whatever happens, happens. On occasion I’ll have a preconceived idea that comes to me before I actually sit down with my sketchbook, but they’re mostly stream of consciousness. This is really conducive to my original goal of the project to kinda kickstart my creativity before the work week really gets rolling.
Typically, how much time goes into each sketch?
It varies, but I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than half an hour on any of the particular drawings. Since they’re meant to be fast and rough, I rarely even erase any lines. I pretty much just roll with it and sometimes even crank them out in ten to fifteen minutes. In a career where a meticulous attention to detail is a vital part of every day, it’s a welcome change of pace to just bust something out for fun without having to think about it too much. Some of the sketches I love, some of them I’m not crazy about, but I never dwell on it much either way since there’s always next week.
Do you ever name them or ponder how they came to be or any powers they may have?
Given the somewhat transient nature of the drawings I just described, I tend not to think about any of them too much to give them that much additional personality. However, you’re not the first person to suggest accompanying stories to me, so maybe someday I’ll collaborate with a writer to make that happen. I’m just trying to let this project grow organically. It seems to gradually gain more followers, but I don’t really have many long term goals with it. I started the blog for my own volition, so anyone else enjoying it or being inspired by it is really awesome. If it becomes some huge thing that I can start branching out and expanding that would be awesome, but if it just remains an excuse for me to draw a silly monster every Monday morning then that’s equally awesome.
All the sketches are black and white, why no color?
I’ve always gravitated towards black and white in my personal work. Just a preference that stems from a lot of my early influences, I think. Especially from my childhood…I really wanted to be a comic artist and absolutely adored work from guys like Frank Miller and James O’Barr. Stephen Gammell’s work from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was also very impactful on me, so I think a combination of all that led to my affinity for a lack of color.
Have you thought about making prints or doing anything else with the series aside from a digital gallery?
I’ve considered a couple options. Once I hit the five year mark I’m thinking of releasing a compilation book. The idea of releasing a giclee print for each year including all 52 sketches has also crossed my mind, but again I’m just letting the project evolve organically and will pursue stuff like this if and when it feels right. As I’m trying to move my career more towards producing my own art prints and vending those both online and at local art festivals, I’m sure I’ll end up rolling some of my Mosh Monsters into that.
Aside from your weekly creatures, what else are you currently working on?
On top of my day job as a designer, I also do loads of freelance projects. Most of those used to be for bands, but this past year I’ve done a lot more corporate work. I’d like to get back to the band stuff a bit this coming year, as working within the music industry has always been the most fun to me and is the reason I gravitated towards graphic design in the first place. I’ve been pretty bad with my online and social media presence lately, so I’m working on rehauling my brand and website to really start pushing my services and being more promotional with my work again. I’m also shooting to have an online store open for the first time before this year is up, and already have a handful of prints I’ll be putting up there.