We are pleased to bring you a brief interview with the accomplished Artist and sculptor Joe Menna. Menna creates highly detailed digital sculptures in the dark and horror genres. His art is a merging of skilled draftsmanship and visual rendering with the digital tools available today.
Hello Joe, can you give us a brief introduction of what you do?
I’m a Russian Academy trained traditional sculptor who’s been working almost exclusively digitally since 2005. I create sculptures for the collectible industry and also develop my own sculptures and drawings for galleries and direct sales.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m beginning to develop my own line of horror themed collectible sculptures in limited edition runs. The first of this series will be Cthulhu and my good friend, Jason Wires will be handling all of the physical production and painting beyond my digital sculpting of them. I’m also working on a series of sketches in preparation for the line and some more limited edition one of one fine art drawings for gallery shows.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What hobbies do you have?
I’ve had a lifelong passion for all things science fiction and comic books. Things like Star Wars, Blade Runner, Tarkovsky’s Solaris, the writings of Stanislaw Lem and Michael Moorcock, and the comic art of Jack Kirby and Moebius have had the greatest influence on me since I was a kid. I still spend a lot of time indulging in this work. But really if I have free time, I like to spend it with my family as much as possible.
Do you admire any artists / photographers? (dark themed or not!) what work inspires you.
My absolute favorite artist is my wife, Julianna Menna (@juliannamennaart). She’s an incredible painter and tattoo apprentice whose work is known throughout the world. It’s my honor and privilege to see her creations in progress and from what I can tell, she’s only getting started. My favorite sculptors are the Shiflett Brothers (@shiflettbros), their uniquely original style inspires me every day and they are truly geniuses (and my best friends in the sculpture world!). Graphically, it’s the work of another genius sculptor, Paul Komoda who I look at the most now. His biomorphic invention and perfect capacity for portraiture make him a draughtsman without many equals in my book. There are many others but I couldn’t begin to list them all here.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I basically work 24/7 while taking breaks for family time and to indulge in the odd hour of down time on a weekend night after work.
What role does the artist have in society?
Whether it’s fine art or fantasy, artists are the engine of our popular culture right now. There’s so much cross over. Artists who work in film, comics and toys show in galleries with pop surrealist & lowbrow artists all of the time now. There is so much fertile cross pollination across the artistic multiverse that I can’t think of a better time to be a working artist.