I don’t know about you guys, but pretty much from the moment I could put a pencil to paper, I tried to draw monsters. And as a life long horror fan, I’ve always had a tremendous appreciation and respect for artists, especially those that worked either in comics or within the horror realm. These days, horror art has been taken to a whole new level! Those same kids you were in class with that used to sketch monsters on a pad instead of listening are now the ones responsible from some of your favorite cover art, whether it be on a Scream Factory or Arrow Blu-Ray release or an album cover from the fine fiends at Death Waltz or Waxwork Records.
One artist whose work I’ve followed with great interest and reverence is that of Devon Whitehead. Back in the days when I worked at a video store and he’d come in looking for VHS gems, I had picked up these two pieces from him which, to this day, are proudly framed and displayed in my place.
Lately, he’s been killing it by providing the Lunaris Records releases of NIGHT OF THE DEMONS and DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE (aka CEMETERY MAN) with their stellar cover art. And on top of that, he’s done terrific work for HORRORHOUND magazine, as well as designs for the covers of WILD EYE RELEASING titles. We thought it was time to shine a spotlight on his work and let you, our devoted readers get to know him a bit better.
Blumhouse.com: What was the beginning for you in terms of your love of the horror genre? What are your earliest memories?
Devon Whitehead: My mom is a huge Hitchcock fan, so she showed me PSYCHO, THE BIRDS and VERTIGO probably when I was about 5 or 6. My parents were both really cool and they let me watch whatever I wanted in terms of horror or action, because they’d always explain to me after how it was all made. I liked watching movies, because I liked seeing how they’d make stuff or just to draw the monsters! At 6 or 7, I’d always talk to my friends like, “Haven’t you seen FRIDAY THE 13TH PART IV?” And they’d be like, “what are you talking about?” (Laughs) I quickly discovered I was the only one my age watching these movies. My dad loves gore movies, so we’d watch all the “slashers” and he showed me THE SHINING when I was 7. I’ve loved it ever since. My dad and I have been going to horror conventions for as long as I can remember.
Blumhouse.com: Yeah! Because on top of doing the art stuff, you’re a hardcore poster and autograph collector, right? I’ve seen you get every original one sheet poster autographed by all the people involved! Did that stem from going to those early horror conventions?
Devon Whitehead: For sure. My dad was a big collector and I got the bug too. We’d collect a lot of STAR WARS stuff and we started going to horror conventions to collect autographs. We used to go to Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors together every year until that ended. Now we go to Monsterpalooza. Collecting has always been a big part of our lives.
Blumhouse.com: Did you always have an interest in art? Your parents seemed super cool in terms of showing you movies, so were they encouraging of your artistic abilities as well?
Devon Whitehead: Oh yeah. My mom and dad are really supportive. I’ve always been drawing & they always noticed how much I liked to draw, so they always encouraged it and put me in art programs over the summers. I’d draw monsters or Freddy Krueger killing people and my mom would be like, “this is great! Just don’t show it to anyone!” (Laughs)
Blumhouse.com: At what point did you start drawing professionally? Because when I first met you, I picked up a few of your tribute pieces to things like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
Devon Whitehead: I went to Otis College of Art & Design and I wanted to originally be a concept artist, which I still do occasionally. I went there for 4 years and I graduated and started working at Sony Games. That was my first professional job. Shortly after that, I started working for an illustration company where they did toy boxes and video game covers and posters. I started doing a lot of that for a while. Once I started working freelance, that’s when I focused on my own kind of stuff. I got a few commissions from HORRORHOUND magazine and realized, “cool, I could do horror stuff which I love and get paid!” I was hired after that by Wild Eye, the DVD Company, and I’ve been working with Rob Hauschild from Wild Eye for 3-4 years now. I do every single one of their movie covers.
Blumhouse.com: Doing stuff for HORRORHOUND and WILD EYE, did that put you in touch with Lunaris Records? Because now you’ve done a couple of really fantastic covers for them.
Devon Whitehead: A poster that I did got sent over to Chad at Lunaris Records and someone suggested I should do the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS cover, because they knew he was planning that soundtrack release. So I started working with them on that. Then DELLEMORTE DELLAMORE after that and I’m still continuing to work with them!
Blumhouse.com: I just got the DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE vinyl release and the artwork is gorgeous! Not just the front, but the gatefold and back has your art all over it.
Devon Whitehead: Thanks, man! NIGHT OF THE DEMONS is one of my favorite horror movies. And I’ve always loved CEMETERY MAN. So it’s great to get to work on releases for movies I grew up loving. I also did the concept art for Dave Parker’s SWEET TOOTH segment of TALES OF HALLOWEEN. I’m super proud of that.
Blumhouse.com: And you’ve also worked on art for bands too, correct?
Devon Whitehead: Yeah, I did a few of the covers for the band WOLFMEN OF MARS. Those were fun.
Blumhouse.com Lastly, I know one of the aspects to your collecting revolves around VHS tapes! In fact, you appear in the documentary ADJUST YOUR TRACKING! Do you still collect VHS and what’s the appeal for you?
Devon Whitehead: For me, I’ve always collected tapes! When I started making my own money, I started buying more and more and it just accumulated. Once video stores started closing down, I felt like “oh no, I have to go buy all these tapes & preserve them before they shut down.” I love most of the movies, but a lot aren’t that great. I just like the covers to a lot of them. It’s like trading cards. Some of them are so rare that I just like having them. And the artwork is either so bad it’s good, or just really fucking awesome. When video stores started going out of business, I drove all over LA and started buying everything. That’s where a lot of my collection comes from.
Blumhouse.com: Do you have a rough estimate of how many you have at this point?
Devon Whitehead: Maybe 2000 or so? And only a few hundred that are really special. I stopped collecting as hardcore as I used you about a year ago because I caught the STAR WARS bug again. (Laughs) Finding space in my place is always an issue. I’ve had to move tapes around and make way for a lot of my STAR WARS figures!
You can keep up with all of Devon’s latest projects & artwork via his official Instagram page. For commissions, you can Direct Message him via Instagram or email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click through the full gallery below to see some of his artwork!