Since I already posted about Cynthia’s Hell survey I should probably give some attention to her actual artwork. Cynthia is the creative force behind ThornyThoughts Artwork, and lately she’s contributed artwork to bands like Urfaust, Self Inflicted Violence, Der Weg Einer Freiheit, Aosoth, and a few others. She’s designed some pretty sweet band logos as well.
Cynthia’s style is easily recognizable - her works are often in simple black & white and seem to be either etched or sometimes drawn with ink. As with Saint John’s work with Inkshadows, this style works perfectly in the context of black metal, so its no surprise that ThornyThoughts has become one of the main providers of artwork for Urfaust’s releases and merchandise. It also helps that Cynthia’s imagination yields some particularly disturbing imagery, both beutiful and morbid at the same time.
Cynthia was nice enough to provide a little insight into what inspires her and her artwork (and name-drop some excellent bands, a few of which I’d never heard of):
A great source of inspiration is probably failure and the chaos in my head. It’s a mistake to give everyone else the fault for things going wrong. In reality you should work on your own mistakes as well. So what I’m doing is (as long as it’s a personal work) a kind of self reflection or a trial to ‘ban’ the horrors and endless questions of every day life onto a medium, maybe kind of a self-therapy. It’s processing negativity by turning it into productivity through ‘art’.
Of course I find inspiration in music, art, graphic novels, books, films, conversation and dreams. As long as it moves and touches me, gives birth to feelings and visuals inside me, I’m happy with any genre.
If you need ‘proper’ examples: the islandic/swedish BM Band Skendöd inspired me with the album Vanskapt as it meant a real musical ‘illustration’ of a dark time in my life. Listening to it and feeling understood was largely satisfying to me and inspired me to do something similar - processing and banning my personal abyss onto a medium like I explained above. I admire people who have the gift to illustrate a whole train of thoughts and feelings with its ups and downs. Other examples in music I admire are Ikuinen Kaamos: The Forlorn, Self Inflicted Violence: A Perception Of Matter And Energy, Slumber: Fallout, Skogen: Vittra, Totalselfhatred s/t …and many more in other genres.
In art I admire since I was a little kid Hieronymos Bosch, Käthe Kollwitz and Zdzislaw Beksinski and Enki Bilal.
ThornyThoughts currently doesn’t have an online store, but you can buy original etching prints of her work by contacting Cynthia. She also mentioned that Viva Hate Records will be releasing poster prints of her work for Der Weg Einer Freiheit, with each personally signed by Cynthia.
If you’re interested in her work, check out the ThornyThoughts page on MySpace for several galleries of her prints, shirt, album and logo designs!