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Tony Orcutt

Giving Horror A Face: An in-depth interview with the best horror artist you don’t know, Tony Orcutt, an incredible up-and-coming talent in the genre

About two Christmases ago, I received a black and white collage of the original “Halloween” movie as a gift. I thought the drawing was incredible. I have been taking this print with me to various horror conventions to get it autographed.  Over the past few years I have obtained Tony Moran, Nancy Loomis, PJ Soles, and Charles Cypers on the collage.  My interest in this drawing has lead me to find and begin following the artist known as Tony Orcutt.

The following is my interview with this talented artist.


1. Please tell me a little about yourself (age, where you are from, and what people should know about you).

My name is Tony Orcutt, I am 33 years old and I love horror and drawing above all else. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and I have called San Antonio my home for over 5 years. I do the convention and art circuits here.

My roots are firmly planted in Texas even though my girlfriend is from Poland, so each of the last couple of years I’ve spent about half of the year in Warsaw. The great thing is I still have a company I ship from in the States that allows me to get all my work out to my fans back home in a timely fashion.

One thing many people don’t know about me is that I went a really long time without drawing at all. People assume I’ve been drawing all my life but honestly, even though I enjoyed drawing some in middle school and high school, I never really took it serious as anything more than a hobby back then.

I didn’t even really think of my work as anything special at the time, so I went to college for engineering which I hated and eventually dropped out.  I bounced around doing oil field, warehouse, and overnight jobs for the next 10 years before finally I was laid off from a steady job I had been working at for 5 years due to cutbacks.

What I thought of at the time to be a huge set back turned out to be the greatest turning point of my life because I rediscovered my passion for drawing and this time I never looked back. I have been drawing ever since and have no plans of stopping. I love what I do for a living now.

2. What got you into drawing (specifically horror)?

I would say I’ve always been into horror from a young age, but I guess if I really had to pinpoint the things that were the gateway to it all, it would be the original “Halloween” and “Tales From the Crypt.” I must have watched “Halloween” as young as 6 years old for first time with my mom. There were also shows like “Tales From the Crypt” that I would stay up late watching when I was supposed to be asleep, lol. When I was younger I even thought it would be cool to write scary stories and then illustrate my own books. Unfortunately, I’ve never really tried my hand at writing, but the art thing panned out later for me.

3. How do you decide what project you will work on next?

Normally when I am deciding on my next project, I refer to my black book of ideas. I write them all down and choose the ones that call out to me the most. I have all sorts of plans and ideas that I write down on a daily basis. A lot of times I will mix and match ideas to try later, but right now I choose specific scenes and try and give my own flair and atmosphere to the piece. Eventually, I would love to have my own concepts with a realistic style and a much more creative portfolio of work. I still feel like I am mastering my techniques though so I have a lot of fun putting in the best work I can in each and every piece I do.

4. How do you decide what will appear in each piece?

When deciding what will appear in each piece I try to picture it in my mind’s eye before ever putting the pencil to paper, envision how I want the final piece to look. I feel like if I can see it first, then it gives me a lot of inspiration throughout the project. Often times my best ideas originate when I’m really tired and can’t draw at the moment so I’m in that in between stage of sleep and being awake, lol.

5. How long does it take to complete a personal project versus a commissioned project?

When it comes to my personal pieces vs commissioned work I really take pride in every piece of art I make so I try not to differentiate in how much effort I put into a project based on if it’s personal to me or not. Now of course there are some projects where I just lose myself completely and those are usually the best, but I go into every piece with the highest level respect I can and I never rush any of my work.

6. What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

If I were to choose my favorite piece to me (that’s a really difficult one, lol), it’s like being forced to choose your favorite child. Um, but if I did have to choose one it would be my Pennywise “It Eats You Up” piece because of how original it was to every other artist’s take on Pennywise. It was my most dynamic piece and the colors and saturation I used made it so much fun to work on. It really showed off what I can do when I set my mind to something.