It's always fascinating when artists come up with reinterpretations of classic imagery. For example, the artist Damon Hellandbrand refashioned the zodiac imagery we're all familiar with and turned each sign into a horrific monster that would haunt the scariest nightmares.
When he was growing up, Hellandbrand would often spend hours recreating art by Walt Disney. As a kid, the artists Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta, and Ralph McQuarrie inspired Hellandbrand. These days, he finds inspiration in all types of art, “from the great masters of the past to the current masters of the present, as well as the amazing works of mother nature!”
Hellandbrand speaks about his general artistic process on his website, where he breaks it down into 6 different steps:
- He comes up with a cool idea to draw.
- He starts working on a couple of different sketches and then selects the drawing that best represents the creation within his mind.
- He then goes to work on his selected piece, which (he says) usually doesn’t end up working.
- And so he revisits step 2 and begins again on step 3.
- He uses pencil, watercolor, acrylics, charcoal, or any artistic medium he is feeling inspired to use.
- Lastly, he transfers his drawings into Corel Painter to add finishing touches and bring his artwork to its full potential.
Hellandbrand has spoken about how he has a fascination and fondness for drawing fantastical characters - things that don't exist in our every day reality. Thus, the zodiac presented him with everything he could have wanted due to it's mythical origins. When brainstorming what to draw for each sign, Hellandbrand broke each character down to it's most basic nature - depending upon its name, and went from there.
Hellandbrand employed a number of different methods and mediums to create his final product. For example, with some images he started with a black and white pencil drawing on paper, which he then scanned into a drawing/painting program known as Corel Painter. Using this program, Hellandbrand then added his finishing touches.
Because Hellandbrand worked more off his imagination than mythological research in creating these creatures, he ended up getting a fair amount of feedback from people who critiqued the historical and mythological accuracy of his artwork. In response to the feedback, Hellandbrand commented, “…needless to say I’ll be making a few new pieces to redeem myself.”
Here are the original 12 drawings of the Zodiac! Enjoy!
Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and it is symbolized by The Ram. Aries tend to be born leaders and are generally the first in line to get things going.
Taurus is an earth sign and it is represented by the image of the bull. Taurus is known for its stability, loyalty and dogged determination. Bulls want to get the job done, and they will.
Gemini, is represented by the image of the Twins. Gemini are known for their ability to think clearly and effectively communicate.
The Crab represents Cancer. This water sign is known for its tenacity when it comes to protecting its home and loved ones.
Represented by the Lion, it's no surprise that those born under the sign of Leo generally take center stage.
Industrious, methodical and efficient, Virgos are represented by the virgin, but this should not be taken literally.
The Scales symbolize Libra, a sign said to represent the element of air or intellect. The great strength of the Libra-born is their quest for fairness, peace and harmony. They are considered the great diplomats of the zodiac.
Symbolized by the scorpion, scorpio is a powerhouse - highly motivated, driven and determined to accomplish whatever it sets its mind to.
Sagittarius are truth seekers. Symbolized by the archer in the form of a centaur (half man/half horse), sagittarius is constantly searching for knowledge and truth.
Symbolized by the goat, Capricorns are determined and always striving to reach the top and achieve their goals.
Visionary and progressive, Aquarius is the trailblazer of the zodiac and is determined to make the world a better place. Aquarius is symbolized by the water bearer - bringing the precious gift of life.
Pisces is the 12th and final sign of the zodiac cycle. Pisces are generally selfless, spiritual and very focused on their inner journey. Pisces, symbolized by the fish, tends to have a very fluid and flexible personality.