Badass Artists To Watch: Becky Cloonan, Leilani Bustamante


I’m an artistically-inclined metalhead (mahurrhurrhurrrrrr!), meaning I like to stare at things as much as listen to them. Even when it comes to metal–especially when it comes to metal, in fact–an artistic aesthetic can really help me enjoy a band.

So I’m always on the lookout for cool new artists, and the other day, during my constant perusal of Tumblr and Inside the Rock Poster Frame, I discovered two damn good ones. Check ’em out:

Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages

The first is Becky Cloonan, a comic book and poster artist and a big fan of metal and the Devil. Cloonan has illustrated songs by Deafheaven, done posters for Mondo representing particularly evil movies (her Häxan poster, featured above, is just the creepiest), and drew a particularly stunning comic rendition of the classic Conan story Queen of the Black Coast that I’m a big fan of. Her illustrations for this version Dracula are out of this world. She also did all the art for this year’s Roadburn Festival, adding to her metal cred. Her clean-line style mixed with her occult-oriented subject matter has a style all its own, one that is often missing from the overly-Photoshopped world of metal album and merch art.

Follow Becky on Instagram to check out more of her killer art.


Next is Leilani Bustamante, a San Francisco-based artist whose dreamlike works delve deep into both dark occult psychedelia and childish scary stories (who else could make Where the Wild Things Are look like a stoner metal album cover?). Bustamante’s use of murky colors, altered focus, and watery shadows takes even traditional figures like Snow White or Jean Grey and allows us to see the magic behind their minds and motives. When applied to dark characters, such as the above portrait of Hades or her featured representation of the King In Yellow, her technique is downright haunting.

Follow Leilani on Twitter to keep up with her work.

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