Interview with Illustrator and Indie Comic Artist James Seymour Guinneyan

Having taken a look at and enjoyed James Seymour Guinneyan’s work, we wanted to make sure we shared it with our audience. So below, please find a few samples of his art along with our interview with him. You’ll read about how he became an artist and horror fan, where his work has been shown, his latest project, and more…


-PH: Please start by telling us a little about yourself and how you became an artist.

-James: I am born and raised in Ireland and lived there until 2006. I travelled for a year in 2006, living and working or short spells in New Zealand, Australia as well as Thailand. From 2007- 2019 I mostly lived in Asia, living for 5 years in South Korea and another 5 in Vietnam. My interest in drawing began as a young child, drawing from comic books such as 2000 ad, Batman and Scream and other fleetway publications as well as drawing from VHS videos of Thunder cats. From childhood I knew that I wanted to be an artist as I was always the best in class and won drawing competitions.

When I was in High School I would take art classes twice a week and had decided to go to Art College when I graduated aged 17. I spent 6 years in College, studying Art and Art History as well as appreciation for a year. A year spent studying animation before then completing 4 years in Fine Art Printmaking, obtaining a diploma and degree in the fine arts. After completing college in 2003 I began my career in Art, joining Limerick Printmakers.

-PH: And what kind of art do you draw?

-James: A lot of what I do would be considered as Horror art. My style is mostly realist and a bit surreal. I do a lot of portrait and character studies as well as figurative work.

-PH: Why horror? When did you become a horror fan?

-James: I have been a huge fan of horror since I was a child. I would watch a lot of classic MGM horrors, inspired especially by the Phantom of The Opera original Black and White and The Invisible man as well as Frankenstein. I also was a big fan of the Nightmare on Elm street movies and especially Halloween as well as shows like Tales from the Dark side and Tales of The Unexpected. I think my love for horror comes from my Irish traditions and the stories I would hear from my parents and from my Celtic Traditions and background, a lot of which has a lot of supernatural elements and themes. As a child I was also an avid reader with my favourite books being horror themed. One book that had a big impact was A Christmas Carol.

-PH: How did you end up combining your talent with your love for horror?

-James: In school I would often draw horror themed doodles and this carried on through to my college days where I would create work that had an unsettling edge to it. After I left college I had more freedom to draw what I wanted and so began focusing more on horror art. My choice of topic was also a pushback against those who take te safe option and create cookie cutter art for mainstream consumption.

-PH: Your work has been well traveled and seen in several countries. How did that happened and how does it feel to have people from all over the world enjoy your work?

-James: When I left Ireland in 2006 I wanted to continue my Art Practice but also find more time and freedom to do so. I decided to do a TEFL course which allow me to teach English as a foreign language, allowing me to make a living wage and then allow me time to travel and create my art. When I moved to South Korea in 2007 I joined the International Artists of Korea which gave me a platform and allowed me to participate in many exhibitions and this in turn also opened the door for other opportunities and collaborations.

For me personally it was exciting and validating to be able to show my work and receive some feedback from fellow artists and the public. I was able to participate in some really fun events and gave an opening speech for an International exhibition in Seoul as well as newspaper interviews and features in Korean English magazines and a TV interview for Arirang TV. Although financially it was not rewarding, it did do a lot for my confidence and self belief in what I was doing.

-PH: And now to a current project, ‘Dead Gulch Creek.’ What’s that about?

-James: Dead Gulch Creek is a collaboration between me and writer Lee Taylor. The story is a Zombie Western, set before the turn of the 1900’s. In the story a strange salesman wanders into the town of Dead Gulch Creek offering a strange elixir which then leads to a zombie outbreak. Uneasy alliances are made between the town folk in  order to defeat the Zombie Hordes.

-PH: How did you come to combining the west with zombies?

-James: Lee Taylor is a horror writer who is inspired by 80s horror movies and a big influence on him. He is also a fan of westerns. He watches quite a lot of movies and noticed that there has never been a decent Zombie Western. This lead him to decide to create his own Zombie Western and he began looking for an Artist who could bring this to life.

Like Lee, I am  a big movie fan and also of the horror and Western Genres. I had just come off of a project which was a horror Western but with Vampires. With the amount of visual research I had done, I knew this was a project I was very interested in. Both genres have kind of had their own separate days in the sun but never have they been successfully paired together. This comic is an opportunity for both of us to mash these two genres together to create something fun and scary for us and the readers.

-PH: Is this the first time you worked with Lee Taylor?

-James: Yes this is our first time working together but we have been in contact since 2017. We both have very similar interests and tastes in movies but maybe not so much in music lol.

-PH: What can you tell us about the artwork you did for it?

-James: I started off working mostly in traditional materials  but since December 2020 I have moved over to digital. I am still getting used to the differences but the amount of options and tools at my disposal are exciting. My artwork is mainly inspired by artists who like to do a more photo realistic style, such as Jorge Zaffino and Brzeka. I was also inspired by Brian Bolland, Glenn Fabry and Steve Dillon as I grew up reading 2000 AD which had some incredible talent.

-PH: Will this be a stand alone comic or do you expect more issues to come?

-James: This will be released as a standalone graphic novel at first but then released in floppies after. What happens after that is in the hands of Lee as he is the writer, but I hope to work with him on some other horror stories in future.

-PH: When do you expect crowdfunding to start for the comic? What rewards will fans get with their contribution to the campaign?

-James: We are just finishing up our prelaunch and shall begin crowd funding in the next couple of weeks. For rewards we hope to offer up some stickers, pinups and badges. For bigger contributions we will offer up Zombies sketches, portraits and some T-Shirts. We would also like to offer up the chance for backers to get a cameo in the comic as a background extra.

-PH: If funded, do you have an expected release date?

-James: We plan to release the finished book late summer 2021.

-PH: Here’s your chance to promote anything we haven’t talked about. Let us know something more about the art, the comic, the campaign, where people can find you, or anything else you would like to mention.

-James: I can be found on twitter at: @Sirenhill /Instagram: akuma79/Facebook pages: Red skull Press Comics and illustration/James Guinnevan Seymour Art. Original art prints and artbooks as well as merchandise such as t-shirts can be bought at my store at James Seymour – Artithmeric

We would like to thank James for taking the time to answer our questions. Hopefully this was a good introduction to his work, and we hope you will take some time to check it out. Also, please remember to be on the look out for ‘Dead Gulch Creek,’ which will be crowdfunding soon on Indiegogo!

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