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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

2024 Artist Interview Series: Ben Clayton

Our third artist interview is Ben Clayton. Read more about his remarkable background below!



Did you always want to be an artist?

I’ve never even thought about it. It just was, is, who I am, and always have been.


When did you first begin to draw and when did you start drawing horror pieces?

I began drawing as a toddler; I imagine. I wasn’t born with a pencil, but I imagine I had one soon after.  


What is your favorite thing about being an artist and what are your favorite mediums to work with?

I love being able to create something, anything. It doesn’t matter what it is. It can be a painting, a sculpture, a prop, a part of a prop, a photograph, a digital painting. I am really into using craft materials right now, but I’m also very much into digital painting.  


Do you do any interior illustrations for the book or movie industry currently?

I don’t currently work in the movie industry, though I have helped create pitch books. I’ve done book covers and am in discussion to create the cover for a new book, and possibly some illustrations inside the book. I don’t work for others often, but occasionally I will.


If you could work with any author, creator, or movie director, who would it be and what would be the project?  

I’d like to work for Neil Gaiman again. He appreciates my darker style. I’d like to work with Tim Burton. In days past, I would have loved to have worked with George Romero and Lucio Fulci. I’d love to work with Dario Argento, and Asia Argento.


What advice would you give to other artists?

Keep at it. Always push yourself to improve. Some people do have a talent for art, but in the end, it is a skill, so it can be improved.


Where do you hope to see yourself in five years with regards to your artwork?

I’d like to be a little more known so that I could create more and deal with marketing less.

What are some of your favorite pieces or projects that you have done so far?

I have a giant decapitated head I made that came out really well. I enjoy looking at it. I am planning to evolve the concept and do a couple more, perhaps going so far as to add electronics the next time.


What are your thoughts, if any, on the use of A.I. generated art images?

I don’t use A.I. to create my art. That said, it has its place. It can perform routine tasks that can be tedious and do not involve much creativity, such as enhancing resolutions and cleaning up blemishes.


What is your favorite thing about being in/a part of/or a fan of the Horror industry?

I’ve been into horror since I was about 3 years old. I love being able to create things others consider odd. I also like the looks I get from non-horror lovers who don’t get it, but I especially like being part of the horror community with so many amazing people, from fans to artists, to film and printmakers, and more.


What other services do you offer clients?

I offer “vanity” style ghost photos of clients and their families, like the old timey looking old west novelty photos. I also offer head shots for thespians/actors.


What current projects are in the works that you would like to mention?

My primary focus right now is making some more giant heads and some shrunken head replicas.



Biography of Ben Clayton aka FlyinCadaver


Born in the mid-1970s, I developed a deep connection with science fiction and fantasy books, shows, and films from an early age. My fascination with the unknown expanded to include horror, captivated by iconic works like the Thriller video and its making-of documentary, Piranha, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, and more.

My journey into the world of makeup effects began at the tender age of 3 or 4. Inspired to turn my hair into monster hair, I used chewing gum in my hair, quickly learning that it doesn’t come out easily—an unfortunate but memorable start to my artistic pursuits.

At the age of seven, my artistic talents were recognized when I won a contest for a school project presented to a state representative. This early accolade was followed by a third-place win in another contest for my essay, "What America Means to Me." My passion for writing continued to flourish, and in my final year of high school, I published my first article, a poignant poem about a small town with defunct coal mines, subtly critiquing the local resistance to our theatre class performing at the historic opera house.

Embracing both art and writing, I established my own art studio business. Collaborating with an illustrator from Greece, I began publishing my own books, merging my love for storytelling and visual art. Our studio worked on art commissions, including Hollywood projects, and I was also actively involved in photography, photo manipulation, and digital painting—services that I continue to offer today.

My studio is known for creating unique and striking pieces, including a giant decapitated head and shrunken head replicas. In a memorable project, I cast three fake zombie arms using my wife's arm as the mold. One of these unique creations was requested by Neil Gaiman, and I had the pleasure of providing it to him.

Throughout my career, I have remained dedicated to exploring the realms of the fantastical and macabre, constantly seeking to push the boundaries of creativity and imagination.



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