• Lilith Starr

Satanic Artists Speak, Part Two


Making art can often be a major piece of a person's Satanic practice. The individualistic nature of Satanism encourages practitioners to explore their uniqueness and be proud of the differences that make them who they are. Art can be a way in which the Satanist expresses the self, a path to learning more about one's own feelings and beliefs, and a means to reach out into the world and contribute something to the larger Satanic discourse.

I interviewed a number of Satanic artists about how Satanism informs their work. My hope is that this will serve as inspiration to readers to make their own art. No matter if you're a professional artist or just playing around on your own, creating art can be a helpful way to explore your own unique Satanic perspective.

Artist: Alexander "Lex" Corey

Q: What artistic medium(s) do you work in?

A: I like to work in a variety of mediums mostly depending on what I feel my concept calls for. Primarily, prismacolor soft-core pencils and acrylic paint, but I also enjoy watercolor, pen and ink, mixed media, graphite, and gauche.

Q: What or who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

A: I'm a huge fan of Surrealism. So of course I have a profound appreciation for Salvador Dalí, as well as Francisco de Goya, Albrecht Dürer, and Gustav Doré to name a few of the greats of the past. As for current artists that I'm consistently astounded by, that list is far too long and I'd be embarrassed to name them here. It's a great time to be alive in terms of art appreciation.

Q: What role does Satanic philosophy play in your life? Do you consider yourself a Satanist, an ally, or do you simply use Satanic elements in your art when you feel inspired to do so?

A: I identify as a Satanist, with modern-Satanic philosophy being a major part of who I am, and I like to express that in my art when I feel as though I should create a window. To explain, there's this freedom I have that is lacking when I do pieces outside of my "Lex" artwork. It feels much more structured and inspired by classical/romantic themes, as well as deeply personal. I love blasphemy as catharsis, and I think I feel that most when I'm creating Satanic artwork. Thus, a window into who I am as a Satanist rather than just aesthetic-driven concepts in my everyday work.

Q: What does Satanism mean to you?

A: Satan, to me, means liberation and hope. It's a philosophy that keeps me unapologetic in areas that without it, I would have been made to feel ashamed of. It also opens me up to issues greater than those that impact me personally; in its modern incarnation, Satanism can be very self-less while still preserving the individual. It's our understanding of our freedom to expression and existence that keeps me passionate about others' freedom to the same.

Q: What Satanic themes do you explore with your art?

A: As I mentioned above, I happen to be in a close relationship with blasphemy, so I love to explore that whenever I can. I enjoy taking a passage from the Christian bible and see how I can expand upon it through imagery and pervert it to suit my artistic needs. For example, back in 2016 I had made a silver pendant named "30 pieces" (the amount that in myth, Judas had been given in return for the whereabouts of Jesus.) My statement on it mentions: "Different from most art pieces, where the process, subject matter, and final product is praised, the greater statement of this pendant is of its sale.

I want the process of its purchase to be mutually beneficial to the maker as well as the customer, as a symbolic representation of "selling Christ.""

Q: Let's talk about your featured piece. What Satanic elements did you incorporate into this piece, and why?

A: This piece is a light and shade study in graphite for an upcoming project that I got a little overzealous with. It wasn't my intention to become a stand-alone piece, as it is a depiction of one of seven heads belonging to the Beast that the Whore of Babylon rides. Each head will represent one of the seven tenets of The Satanic Temple, this being the seventh. The inspiration for this head comes from both that tenet and this passage; "...your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour," -Peter 5:8.

The Whore of Babylon in the book of revelation is known as the "Mother of Abominations" and in proper fashion, as I myself am an abomination, represents the end of tyrannical theocratic disapproval of my sexuality. I'm excited to start the final piece itself, but I'm also very happy with how this study turned out on its own.

Q: What challenges did you have to deal with in making this piece?

A: The only challenge I can think of was knowing when to stop and leave it be, which I failed miserably at. As the piece this head will soon belong to will be in color, I had to allow the greyscale carry it through to give it the proper "body."

Q: What would you like audiences to take away from it?

A: It has always been my firm belief that the perfect piece, whatever that may be, shows the viewer exactly what the artist wishes them to see. As that is something to be debated, that is what I personally aspire to do in my artistic career. I don't think I have accomplished that, if even I ever will, so it's my hope that audiences will find a personal connection to the imagery and meaning.

Q: Are you open about your Satanism? If so, how do you feel that might affect the reception of your art?

A: I'm quite open about my Satanism, definitely. In this unique political climate, very few discussions pertaining to our society happen without me displaying my passions. Sadly, the world we live in allows those with religious privilege to bully and threaten those outside of their bland ideology, so I use a pseudonym for all of my satanic-themed artwork. That stated, when I work under the name Lex Corey, I like to think that my intention is plain as day. If the piece challenges you, why? If it inspires you, take that, and go do good with it. Receive it as you will, let it disgust or enlighten you to something you otherwise may not have considered without it. That is, after all, what art does best.

Q: Any tips for aspiring Satanic artists?

A: My advice to aspiring artists who do Satanic work as their activism is to keep going until you're happy with the outcome. You have already found that you can't just settle with commonality, why do so with your art? Take it to that next level, challenge yourself as you would challenge societal norm. Take the V.I.T.R.I.O.L. that you apply to the world and formulate it within yourself. Own your expression and give yourself some room to fail. Be unapologetic and daring. The world needs more of us.

You can find Lex's art at: @lex_corey_art on Instagram

Artist name: Sadie Satanas

Q: What artistic medium(s) do you work in?

A: Acrylic, pencil, pen mostly. I have also done graphic art pieces, photography, mixed media, music and Satanic themed adult modeling. I tend to bounce around.

Q: What or who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

A: Gender Dysphoria and a feeling of 'otherness' has always played a role in my obsession with monstrous, distorted things. I am inspired by artists from a variety of backgrounds and mediums. Some examples: the stories of HP Lovecraft and his contemporaries, and the works of Clive Barker. The photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. Steven Johnson Leyba, Ryan Gillikin, Lou Rusconi, Vincent Locke, Jon Zig, Erol Otus, Tim Vigil are all artists I admire. I also get inspiration from metal bands and old film scores.

Q: What role does Satanic philosophy play in your life? Do you consider yourself a Satanist, an ally, or do you simply use Satanic elements in your art when you feel inspired to do so?

A: I am a Satanist and member of The Satanic Temple, so Satanic philosophy plays a large role in my life.

Q: What does Satanism mean to you?

A: To me Satanism means standing in direct opposition to tyranny and oppression. Embracing the non-binary nature of things and the fluidity of human nature. Championing enlightenment, equity and reason. Being true to oneself in the face of adversity.

Q: What Satanic themes do you explore with your art?

A: Blasphemy is a huge theme in much of my art. Cosmic indifference. Facing the unknown, ever transforming nature of things. The inevitability of life ending. I think death is a very Satanic thing conceptually, because as Satanists we do not delude ourselves into thinking there is life after death. We face the reality of death without the comforts of platitudes that promise an eternity in paradise. I find painting and drawing dead things and monsters helps manage my anxieties about them.

Q: Let's talk about your featured piece. What Satanic elements did you incorporate into this piece, and why?

A: Before finding TST, I was a LaVeyan Satanist, which is known to employ themes and rituals based on HP Lovecraft's mythos. The Satanic Rituals for instance contains 'The Ceremony of the Nine Angles' and 'The Call to Cthulhu.' Aesthetically, cosmic horror has many Satanic themes. Humanity is aware of a fraction of what exists outside its own perception. Utilizing logic, reason, science and also imagination are keys to the discovery and understanding of that which lies outside of that perception, not the supernatural. Enlightenment, even at a cost.

This one is a 24"x36" acrylic on canvas titled 'Aza(dmt)hoth.' I painted it after a DMT experience. I sketched most of it out immediately and started painting soon after. This was during my first few months on Hormone Replacement Therapy, and I think this was a way to purge self-destructive feelings I had coming to terms with the viciousness of the faceless masses many trans people face when coming out publicly. Hence all the teeth and eyes.

Q: What challenges did you have to deal with in making this piece?

A: Making it look as detailed as I would like. Finishing it on a deadline, as it was purchased before it was finished.

Q: What would you like audiences to take away from it?

A: Nightmares if I'm successful.

Q: Are you open about your Satanism? If so, how do you feel that might affect the reception of your art?

A: I am open about my Satanism to the point that I incorporate it into most everything I do creatively. I think in some regards, it having potential to frighten customers will always be a deterrent for some, and a draw for others.

Q: Any tips for aspiring Satanic artists?

A: Don't censor yourself. Follow your vision and do the damned thing. Art begets more art.

Artist Name: Kirstin J. Hill

Q: What artistic medium(s) do you work in?

A: I primarily work in digital media (clip studio paint) and I do all my drawing and ink work with physical tools because I can’t handle doing details with any sort of cognitive dissonance associated with using a drawing tablet.

Q: What or who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

A: Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, Marc Chagall, Der-Shing Helmer, Kory Bing, Mike Mignola (the first three being fine artists and the latter ones being comic book artists).

Q: What role does Satanic philosophy play in your life? Do you consider yourself a Satanist, an ally, or do you simply use Satanic elements in your art when you feel inspired to do so?

A: Satanic philosophy to me is a promise to stay true to myself and to value myself, and I do consider myself a Satanist.

Q: What does Satanism mean to you?

A: Satanism, to me, as previously stated means a promise to stay true to myself. For far too long in my relatively short existence, I’ve thrown my life to the whims of others and as a direct result my mental health has degraded significantly. Satanism is really about survival, for me.

Q: What Satanic themes do you explore with your art?

A: Glorification of self, bodily autonomy.

Q: Let's talk about your featured piece. What Satanic elements did you incorporate into this piece, and why?

A: In the story associated with this piece, the main character finds his true self as a powerful, self motivated leader after living as a subservient for some time. The story is a direct reflection on my personal journey and how the LDS Church deeply affected my ability to value myself for being myself.

Q: What challenges did you have to deal with in making this piece?

A: Really just staying focused.

Q: What would you like audiences to take away from it?

A: The value of inner power.

Q: Are you open about your Satanism? If so, how do you feel that might affect the reception of your art?

A: I’m somewhat open. I don’t think it would affect the reception because my work already only appeals to a niche audience.

Q: Any tips for aspiring Satanic artists?

A: Just go balls to the wall man, there are way too many kitschy Christian artists out there and we need more Satan to balance it out.

Art doesn’t do jack shit if it doesn't provoke thought or self reflection!

You can find Kirstin's art at: https://www.sonofdawncomic.com/

Artist name: Tabitha Slander

Q: What artistic medium(s) do you work in?

A: Mostly digital art; I make a lot of logos and profile pictures. I have worked with acrylics and pastels before, but not for business.

Q: What or who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

A: Well, Jhonen Vasquez, Kate Beaton, Mike Mignola, Evan Dorkin, Toby Fox and Genndy Tartakovsky mean a lot to me. I love cartoons, retro video games, comics and and cute fuzzy things with big eyes and evil grins.

Q: What role does Satanic philosophy play in your life? Do you consider yourself a Satanist, an ally, or do you simply use Satanic elements in your art when you feel inspired to do so?

A: I am indeed a Satanist. More than anything else, Satanism informs my decisions, gives me a way to articulate some of my thoughts and feelings, and is just a satisfying way of life. It just feels comfortable and real, like my favorite hoodie. For this piece in particular, it’s 100% Satanism. For the bulk of my artistic endeavors, I mostly draw silly things. Still Satanic, because the philosophy I stand by is that you can’t take things too seriously because that would be terribly boring. Satanism feeds me that freedom and I hope that comes across in the work.

Q: What does Satanism mean to you?

A: I’ve never really had religion before (I know I’m one of the lucky ones), so there is so much camaraderie and fun in the community. I feel really privileged to be a part of it. (This is where I plug the podcast, Black Mass Appeal: Modern Satanism for the Masses! Check your favorite pod catcher or BlackMassAppeal.com!)

Q: What Satanic themes do you explore with your art?

A: In general, I like the aesthetic. I like drawing cute, weird cats and giving them demon horns with upside down crosses on their heads, because that’s what cats really look like in their heart of hearts.

Q: Let's talk about your featured piece. What Satanic elements did you incorporate into this piece, and why?

A: This panel was part of a direct parody of the old Chick Tracts you may have seen at bus stops or being handed out by worried grandmothers instead of candy on Halloween. Daniel Walker (who is also on the podcast) and I came up with the idea. He wrote the words, and it was something I couldn’t wait to get my hands on and start illustrating.

Q: What challenges did you have to deal with in making this piece?

A: This was my first full comic and it took a lot of work to get to the finish line. I have never worked so hard and for so long to make art happen, and I am so very proud of how it came out. Making a comic for the first time comes with its own set of things you never really expect until you are staring at them. Trying to draw characters over and over so they at least somewhat look like themselves page after page, making somewhat believable backgrounds, and getting into the chair day after day to work on it, even though it feel like it’s going to take FOREVER to finally feel done, are all real things that are hard mountains to climb, but ultimately worth it.

Q: What would you like audiences to take away from it?

A: I hope most people get a good chuckle out of it, and I hope that people who believe in the morals that it speaks of feel proud to be part of the struggle for separation of church and state, and to be Satanists in general.

Q: Are you open about your Satanism? If so, how do you feel that might affect the reception of your art?

A: At this point, I’m pretty sure most people in my life know I’m a Satanist, though there are some circles I don’t talk about it in as much as others. This comic isn’t really as much for those circles I’m quieter in. This (and the next one I’m working on with my friend and fellow Satanist Brigid) is for Satanists and people interested in Satanism, who want something entertaining and digestible to maybe whet their appetite.

Q: Any tips for aspiring Satanic artists?

A: Love what you do. Sometimes I think my art isn’t evil or dark enough because I draw silly things, but I have to keep reminding myself, “If it was made by a Satanist, it’s Satanic Art.” Keep making Satanic art, it’s worth it.

You can find Tabitha's art at: https://www.instagram.com/tabithaslander

Artist: Vajra Conjure Wright

Q: What artistic medium(s) do you work in?

A: Pencil, pen, marker and metallic marker.

Q: What or who are some of your biggest artistic influences?

A: Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Artemisia Gentileschi.

Q: What role does Satanic philosophy play in your life? Do you consider yourself a Satanist, an ally, or do you simply use Satanic elements in your art when you feel inspired to do so?

A: I consider myself an atheistic Satanist. I'm interested in all things Satanic, whether from proper political information to lyrics that reflect a theistic Satanism. I adore it all.

Q: What does Satanism mean to you?

A: Satanism to me represents freedom from the present dominant paradigm. It offers a chance to think for oneself as well as offer a shock value to the complacent.

Q: What Satanic themes do you explore with your art?

A: Lyrics from Satanic songs as well as sympathetically Satanic quotes from authors such as Nietzche and Baudelaire.

Q: Let's talk about your featured piece. What Satanic elements did you incorporate into this piece, and why?

A: It's a quote that states "Sine Diablo Nullus Dominus" which means "Without the Devil there is no God."

Q: What challenges did you have to deal with in making this piece?

A: Getting the banner in a correct position and crafting an appealing background and pattern that would pull the entire piece together.

Q: What would you like audiences to take away from it?

A: That the art of hand lettering is alive and well and breathes life into quotes and lyrics.

Q: Are you open about your Satanism? If so, how do you feel that might affect the reception of your art?

A: I am open about my Satanism and I think the fact that I am just informs my art and makes it more genuine.

Q: Any tips for aspiring Satanic artists?

A: Practice, practice, practice!!

You can find Vajra's work on Instagram at @ConjureOils_and_art

Check out Part One of this article for more Satanic artist profiles!

Lilith Starr is Chapter Head of the Satanic Temple's Seattle Chapter, and the author of "The Happy Satanist: Finding Self-Empowerment."


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