— Hide menu
Heroes are crucial because they represent everything we aspire to be. I’ve always had them, both mythical and real, and they’ve been very influential in my life. For many years now, my hero has been the artist Clive Barker. It’s been said that a true artist must create like a god, command like a king and work like a slave, and that absolutely describes Clive Barker. Aside from his formidable imagination, his work ethic is legendary. Clive truly walks the talk.
One of the big problems with modern artists is that they’re more focused on achieving fame and fortune than on doing art. They seem to forget that doing art means doing work and involves perspiration along with inspiration. Modern celebrity culture has certainly contributed to their misguided mindset. The modern landscape is littered with self proclaimed artists who have achieved substantial fame and fortune without any discernible skills. For the modern artist, talent is entirely optional.
But then there’s Clive. Years ago, Stephen King proclaimed “I have seen the future of horror fiction and his name is Clive Barker”. Clive more than lived up to that proclamation. He’s authored over fifteen novels, numerous collections of short stories, screenplays and even comic books. He’s produced several films including the Oscar winning Gods and Monsters. He’s also directed films, including one of the most influential horror films of all time, Hellraiser. And with Hellraiser, he created, in my opinion, the greatest horror icon of all time, Pinhead. He’s an acclaimed painter too with literally hundreds of works under his belt. And he’s even got a couple of toy lines! This guy is a machine.
In march of 2010, I heard that Clive would be the guest at a horror convention in my hometown of Indianapolis. I immediately booked a flight. There were many other celebrities attending, but I was only interested in Clive. I stood in line (in the cold) for about five hours before I got to meet my hero. Meeting heroes can be a tricky thing. More often than not, they end up being complete assholes. Clive was anything but. He must have been completely worn out after having personally greeted a thousand fans, but he treated me like I was an old friend. I told him I had just completed a novel that was due to be published and he was genuinely elated. Someone took a picture of us together and it’s one of my most treasured possessions.
When I returned to Vegas after having met Clive, I felt changed. His encouraging words regarding my novel made me feel ignited. I felt as though I’d been touched by a magic wand. And when I did rewrites on my novel, I felt more energized and the material seemed much more improved. Clive took both myself and my novel to a whole new level.
Heroes are crucial. And when they turn out to be as cool as Clive, they’re life changing. Clive is the man.
If you want to know more about this remarkable artist and gracious man, visit the site below. You’re in for a real treat.