Interview with coverartist Andrej Bartulovic (AllThingsRotten.com)


What have most of the releases that come out in common? Yes, nearly all of them have a cover that often is made of a artwork. Many of them come with a booklet that often also features illustrations with them.

The point for young and unknown bands is: who can they contact if they need such things? Sure there are the big names out there like Andreas Marshall (Running Wild), H. R. Giger (Carcass, Danzig) or Derek Riggs (Iron Maiden). But those are not affordable for those bands.

Happily enough there are freelance illustrators out there that can help bands to get a decent cover for a affordable price. One of them is Andrej Bartulovic, known as Maggotmaster and under the sign of All Things Rotten.

(c) by All Things Rotten, used with kind permission

Metal Underdogs would like to help bring all the people in the scene closer to each other and so we took the chance and had a talk with Andrej about his way into this job, his past band experiences, where he draw's inspiration for new covers from as well as his thoughts on today's modern and everywhere-present lyric-videos. If you're interested in setting up a interview please send me a message through the contact form at the right navigation bar or look my Email adress up in the Blogger profile.

Contact Data

If you want to get in touch with Andrej Bartulovic please use one of the links below:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Things-Rotten/158201837535762
Email: contact@allthingsrotten.com
Homepage www.allthingsrotten.com

The interview

Metal Underdogs: Could you please introduce yourself a bit to our readers? (who are you, where do you come from, what are the things you focus mostly upon with your work - cover art, logos, booklets, shirt designs etc.)?

Andrej Bartulovic: I'm Andrej Bartulovic, known as Maggotmaster around world wide web I guess. That has been my screen name since late 90s. And no, it has nothing to do Slipknot, it's the name of the song by Nocturnal Breed (album "Agressor"). Born and living in Croatia for 35 years already. Working for bands mostly, but also doing tattoo designs, book covers, was also a concept artist. I do everything, I'm gun for hire ;)

How did you become a cover artist? What were your first experiences especially with metal bands?

I'm metalhead since I was 13. Always into horror stuff, be it literature, music, video games or movies. I was artist for video games first. Then I decided to bring together 2 things I like the most, my love for everything horror and music. My first experiences were really cheap or even free cuz I've had no portfolio whatsoever. Some of the bands I worked in the beginning were Fury (uk), Hellhounds (Fra) and Snowy Shaw... that was 6 years ago, I think but I can easily be dead wrong. I'm bad with dates, years..

In the process of creating ideas for a cover: do you sometimes pre-listen stuff from artists and they ask you to come around with an idea? Do some even send text-material or something to give you a better idea of what the record will be about?

Depends of the band. Some provide lyrics only, that's perfectly fine. Some provide music, even better but usually it's about description, text description of stuff they would like to see. Then I'm onto sketching, rough shapes.. we go back and forth a lot so we can minimize repairs and mistakes that may occur later on. Everything can be done in timely manner and properly if feedback is on time.

Which sorts of painting techniques do you use/ prefer?

I prefer more comic book approach, but I also do classic digital painting and photomanipulations. Again, depends what band is after. I don't have time to work in traditional techniques sadly. I really, really wanna do more of traditional stuff. But it's slow process and I'd proly had to charge more.

Could you also imagine to fuse your paintings with photography or do you prefer to keep things mutually exclusive to one style?

Actually I do some paint overs from time to time. As I work digitally (drawing tablet) everything is possible.

Do you prefer covers that have a message or do you like to have it a pure fantasy way?

I always prefer covers with symbolism over straight to the point art. But, again, it's usually not my call. If band has a specific vision I have to follow it. I think that symbolic elements lift the whole art to another level together with the music. But it also depends of the mood, sometimes you just wanna work on gory fucked up scenery. Really depends on numerous things. But the band has the last vote. I'm just a tool. Someone who's job is to make band's vision come to life.

Have you ever thought of setting up your work in a gallery for exposition / printing a book with a selections of artworks or an exhibition on events (think of open airs, festivals or shows)?

Well, I've had some exhibitions in my hometown...but that was, oh god, like 15,16 years ago, while I was working traditionally, for myself. One was called "Abominations - a tribute to trash", another was "Copycat". I'm actually planning to do an exhibition soon, but not sure exactly when. Those things require money and extra time. I wanna do it badly, I have a lot of things waiting to be printed. About festival/show exhibitions; well, if someone would call me I'd gladly accept the opportunity to come and show my stuff.

Do you also work on lyric videos? Some of them have a quite impressive "living" coverart in them.

Nah, takes too much time, at least it WOULD take much time from me because I didn't do any of lyrics videos ever. So I'd have to lear the software first. Personally, I don't like them, there's something really lazy about them. I totally understand that music industry is fucked and artists don't have the money to release video with every single. But dammit, I'm sick and tired of lyric videos. It's like screen is slaping you every 3 seconds and forcing you to read stuff.

Which other artists are amongst your favorites? Would you count these as sort of influence for you?

I always mention Greg Cappullo. I love that guy. He was an influence for sure. Others would be Ashley Wood, Giger, Bosch, ...heck, many more.

Are you still playing music? Which instrument do you play or did you play back in a day?

Nope. I was bad at it, really bad. I played rhythm guitar in a band. I was lazy as fuck, never practiced at home. Back then I thought it was perfectly fine, but man, I sucked ass so hard, haha!! Again, that was 16,17 years ago.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer the questions.

Thank you for showing interest, your approach and the opportunity. Appreciate it! Stay naked!

If you want to get in touch with Andrej Bartulovic please use one of the links below:

Contact Data

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Things-Rotten/158201837535762
Email: contact@allthingsrotten.com
Homepage www.allthingsrotten.com

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