Fear drawing ideas

Draw Your Fear | Doodle Addicts

Drawing Challenge

It’s officially the spookiest time of year, chock-full of ghouls, goblins, monsters under the bed, and the ever-feared Pumpkin Spice Latte. All jokes aside, we’re challenging all of you artists, designers, fear factor veterans, and scaredy cats to take on your deepest (or most shallow) fears to draw something you’re scared of.

Whether that’s spiders, zombies, heights, confined spaces, or just your dentist - jump right in and illustrate that thing that makes your skin crawl. No fear is too big or small, and whether it be real, imagined, a one-off occasion, or your everyday nightmares we encourage you to doodle it out and share the story of your fear in the caption.


Francisco Toledo

The fear of our own fears

Joel Heydenburk

Michelle Swazoe


Bethany Fortner

Giovanni Rodríguez

Sharon Gauthier

Aiste Minkute


Christine Liu

Aleksa Reed

Gökçe Yavaş Önal

Monica Ortega

Lynne Jenner

erik cheung

Dietrich Adonis

Yaleeza Patchett


Laura Goodman

TaNisha Marie

Kriti B

Emma Frignani

dee La La


Hanna Müller

Pratik Parwatwar

Kyle Shamburg


Shelby Hurley



Chris Fraser

Jessica Vincent

Rafil Q Hughes

Joan Worth

Junkyard Sam

Paul Mennea

Sophia Addorisio

Niels Mud

I have the most votes, am I the winner?

Not necessarily. As stated in our guidelines, the public voting from the community helps bring the most popular art submissions to the top. Once the public voting is over, the editorial team at Doodle Addicts (along with the sponsor), will then vote internally from the top group of submissions.

I made a mistake, how do I fix or replace my entry?

You can delete and resubmit your entry anytime before the submission deadline. Just click on the “Replace Image” button below your submission (on the challenge page) to delete your original submission and replace it with your new one.

Am I allowed to have my fans, friends and/or family vote?

Yes, of course. We definitely encourage you to spread the word on your participation in this fun drawing challenge.

There are so many good ones! Can I vote for more than one?

Yes! You can mark one, two, five or all of them as your favorite.

What do you do about cheaters?

Any fake votes we catch will be removed. Let’s keep this fun everyone, the prize is just the cherry on top.

Still have questions?

Make sure to read the guidelines and the terms and conditions, most questions are answered there. If something is still not clear, feel free to email us and we’ll try to help.

100+ Quick and Simple Drawing Ideas Inspired By Your Life

Photo: Mint Owl

Practice is a vital part of perfecting your drawing skills. Learning the basics and repeating them over and over again is the only way to improve. For proof, just check out what a few years of drawing practice can do. It’s truly incredible the progress that you can make by dedicating time to this pursuit. Those who do have gone from scrawling simple figure sketches to fully-rendered portraits in seemingly no time.

Photo: EndOfAllHope

Although the best way to improve your drawing is to just get started, figuring out what to sketch can be challenging. Like all creative endeavors, everyone goes through “blocks” where they can’t figure out what to put pencil to paper. Well, have no fear! We’ve got a list of 100+ easy drawing ideas for you to try and fill up your sketchbook with. They range from everyday objects to fantastical cityscapes—we recommend trying a variety in order to flex every bit of your drawing muscle.


But First, Gather Your Supplies


Graphite Pencils

Investing in great supplies will help ensure that you expand your sketching capabilities. So, check out our recommendations for the best drawing pencils, best sketchbooks, and best type of paper. Although pencils are the most popular tools when it comes to drawing, charcoal is also fairly popular for those who like to sketch and do it fast. While working on drawings that have deep shadows, charcoal will offer rich black tones perfect for shading. You can check out our selection of the best charcoal pencil sets for artists.


Drawing Pens

Does your artwork depict intricate details? Try using a drawing pen. Pens offer consistent linework and precision. There is a pen for almost every type of linework, including sketching, cartooning, drafting, calligraphy, and more. Check out our picks for the best drawing pens. And if you’re looking to add color to your work, we’ve identified some of the best colored pencils to use, too.


Photo: Pixabay


Drawing Ideas That Anyone Can Try


Still Life Drawing Ideas You Can Find at Home

You don't have to go far to find inspiration for what to draw. Just look around your house for what to sketch. Every object is an opportunity for drawing. If you're feeling ambitious, try combining them into a still life.

  • The interior of your living room
  • A houseplant
  • Kitchen utensils, like a whisk or slotted spoon
  • A necklace, ring, or another piece of jewelry—try combining them in a still life
  • House keys attached to a keychain
  • An interesting knick-knack (or knick-knacks) off your shelf
  • An interesting doorknob or door knocker
  • Crumpled fabric or a pile of laundry
  • An object in a glass dish
  • Your dinner that night…
  • … before you've prepared it (the ingredients)
  • Collection of your favorite things
  • A still life featuring old technology
  • Your favorite condiment from your kitchen—be sure to draw the label
  • Things that make you feel cozy
  • Your most interesting pair of shoes
  • The items on your coffee table
  • The view from your window


Ocean Waves, Trees, and More: Creativity Inspired by Nature

Nature has long provided artists with inspiration for drawing. Trees and the sandy beach are both beautiful to look at and are also fun to draw. As you improve on your drawing, try revisiting these same subjects to see how differently they now look.

  • Trees outside your window
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers (try colored pencils with this one)
  • A myriad of mushrooms
  • A landscape scene from your favorite vacation
  • Head to a park and draw what you see
  • Your favorite tree
  • A seashell or collection of seashells


Have a Lot of Fun Drawing People With These Ideas

People can be a daunting subject matter to tackle, but humans are exciting models to explore. From self-portraits to sketching the body, you'll never tire of these interesting and challenging ideas that revolve around people.

  • Your self-portrait
  • A famous person you admire
  • Your feet (or someone else's feet)
  • Your hands (or someone else's hands)
  • A closeup of your eye
  • Sketch someone on public transit
  • A portrait of your significant other
  • Someone who looks worried and is biting their lip
  • What you're wearing today
  • The back of someone's head
  • Curly hair, from gentle waves to ringlets


More Great Drawing Ideas
  • A furry friend (working from a photograph is probably best)
  • The exterior of your favorite building
  • A cute baby animal
  • Fresh fruit that's been cut in half (citrus fruit works well)
  • A cup of coffee and pastry from a local cafe
  • Your favorite wild animal
  • A spider in a spiderweb
  • Play with perspective by looking straight up at a skyscraper or at a bridge
  • Make a copy of your favorite painting or statue (bonus points if it's in a museum)
  • Recreate scientific renderings of bugs or birds (such as John James Audubon)
  • What you see from your car's rearview mirror
  • Frog on a lily pad
  • The view from a bridge—either from or underneath it
  • The inner workings of a mechanical object (like a watch)
  • A ballerina on their toes
  • Draw your to-do list
  • Find a receipt and draw one item that is on it
  • Sketch the same subject in at least five different ways
  • Document your day, each hour, as a comic
  • Aerial view of your favorite place


Photo: Syda_Productions/DepositPhotos


Creative Drawing Ideas Inspired by Holidays

Get into the spirit when you sketch. Holidays have their own imagery that you can source when trying to think of something to draw.


Halloween Drawing Ideas
  • A bat flying in the sky
  • Your idea of a haunted house
  • A massive spider web (you decide how big)
  • Pumpkins with scary faces
  • A group of witches brewing a boiling cauldron
  • A spooky ghost that could live in your town
  • A glamorous vampire and their vampire hunter nemesis
  • Zombies walking through the city
  • An old graveyard that is coming alive


Thanksgiving Drawing Ideas
  • A cornucopia of different fall foods (like pumpkins and corn)
  • Your favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish
  • Colorful fall leaves falling from the trees
  • A portrait of a turkey
  • Something that you're thankful for


Christmas Drawing Ideas
  • A Christmas tree decorated by you
  • A portrait of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus
  • All of Santa's reindeer playing in the snow
  • The biggest snowman that you can imagine
  • Santa's sleigh with Christmas lights
  • Your family as gingerbread people
  • A snow globe containing a beautiful winter scene
  • Your Christmas stocking (filled with goodies)
  • A yard filled with candy canes


Photo: Javier Gonzalez


Drawing Ideas Inspired by the Imagination


Imagine Your World With a Dragon and a Rainbow

Draw the world that you want to see. If it's cloudy out, imagine a sunny day with a vibrant rainbow. Want a protective pet? Sketch what a friendly dragon would look like. With these ideas, the sky is the limit to what's possible on the page.

  • Design the exterior of your dream house
  • Now, the interior of your dream home
  • Build your own castle
  • What's at the end of the rainbow?
  • Imagine life underwater
  • Picture a home in outer space…
  • … and the ship that will take you there…
  • … and the creatures you'll meet
  • A neighborhood of treehouses
  • Superheroes in real life
  • Your world in LEGOs
  • M. C. Escher-style interior
  • Imagine a city in outer space
  • Imagine an album cover for a fictitious band (or real band)
  • Make up your own flower—for an added challenge, make it a whole bouquet
  • Make up a music band and draw their album cover
  • Draw a new album cover for an existing musician
  • Combine multiple animals into one creature


Cool Drawing Ideas Inspired by Fantasy

Fantasy is all about imagining things. We often think about it in terms of grand worlds like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but at its core, fantasy is about picturing things that don't exist today.

  • Imagine a wolf made of branches
  • Combine two subjects that don't go together into one scene
  • Draw a new fish tank for a fish
  • Draw a still life in the Cubist style
  • Everything in the world is topsy-turvey (up is down, down is up)
  • Animal dressed like a human
  • Give an object a face
  • Mashup of two characters in pop culture
  • A mad tea party
  • A forklift lifting spaghetti and meatballs
  • It's raining… (not water)
  • Randomly select three words and draw what they mean together
  • An animal holding a balloon
  • A llama that's about to tap dance


Patterns and Other Easy Things to Draw

You don't have to draw dragons to exercise your imagination. If you like design, try creating your own patterns or filling a sheet of paper with stylized flowers. These ideas will get you started.

  • Cover a sheet of paper with an array of flowers
  • Fill a silhouette portrait with geometric designs
  • Make your own pattern
  • Many mandalas in different shapes and patterns
  • Reimagine a famous pattern like paisley
  • Illustrate a vivid dream you or someone else has had
  • Render your favorite memory
  • An unlikely pair of friends
  • A drawing of a drawing
  • Swap the scale of two subjects
  • Illustrate the phrase “it's a small world”
  • Illustrate the phrase “your head in the clouds”
  • Illustrate part of your favorite song
  • Illustrate an idiom in a literal way
  • Your favorite video game character
  • A cityscape in the lenses of sunglasses


For even more drawing prompts, pick up your copy of 642 Things to Draw!


Learn How to Execute Your Drawing Ideas Step by Step

Photo: rawpixel

While there are seemingly endless cool drawing ideas floating around, some of the most popular subjects tend to be nature-themed or revolve around the human figure. Get acquainted with how to draw them with some of the step-by-step guides below. You never know—learning to draw them might spark even more drawing ideas!


Drawing Animals

Photo: Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

How to draw a cat in two different ways — Whether you want to sketch countless tiny fur hairs or are looking to design the next Garfield, this guide will introduce you to basic cat anatomy and how to draw them in a realistic or stylized way.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Draw a tiger step by step — Ready to draw a big cat? Learn how to draw a tiger in 10 steps.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Learn how to draw a panda — Pandas are some of the most beloved animals on the planet, and it's easy to understand why. This tutorial will teach you how to draw a panda sitting while holding a shoot of bamboo.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Master drawing a cow lying down in a field — No depiction of a bucolic landscape is complete without a content cow, grazing away on some grass. Learn how to draw a cow with these step-by-step instructions.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Sketch a polar bear step by step — In this tutorial, we will go through the steps of sketching a polar bear walking through the arctic under a full moon.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Draw a sleeping arctic fox in nine steps — With their plush coats and charming personalities, it's no wonder foxes are among the most beloved animals on the internet. Now you can learn to draw one!


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Make your own drawing of a sea turtle — Follow this illustrated guide to learn how to draw a sea turtle in pencil and then go over it in ink.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Learn a bat step by step — Bats are often regarded as a symbol of Halloween and all things spooky. Learn how to draw a bat with these step-by-step instructions and illustrations.


Drawing Human Anatomy 

Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

A “handy” guide to drawing hands — Drawing human anatomy is tricky, and the hands might be the most challenging body part of all. In this guide, we break down the internal structure of the hand and how you can articulate the bones and muscles under the skin. Follow these steps to bring your drawing to life.


Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

Know your nose with this tutorial — Of all the facial features, the nose is one you might not give a lot of thought to. But don't ignore it—this feature helps define the face. We'll go over the anatomy of the nose and how you can draw it in a realistic way.


Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

Set your sights on realism — Learning how to draw a realistic eye is all about understanding that it’s not just the pupil that makes it appear lifelike. The shape of the eye, the creases in the lid, and the eyelashes are also important in achieving likeness—and we'll go over all of it.


Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

Perfect your portraiture in this tutorial — Portrait drawing has long had an important place in art history and remains a popular subject for contemporary artists. If you too are a creative who wants to carry on this tradition, it’s important that you know how to draw a face.


Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

Learn to draw a skull — It’s a necessary and helpful exercise to learn how to draw a skull—even if you’ve rendered a portrait before. In this tutorial, we’ll look at the proportions of the head as well as an easy step-by-step process to sketching the bones.


Nature-Inspired Subjects

Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Embrace the fall spirit and draw a pumpkin — Whether they're orange, green, smooth, or bumpy, pumpkins are synonymous with autumn. We've put together this step-by-step drawing tutorial that will help you draw a pumpkin in just a few steps.


Photo & Art: Margherita Cole | My Modern Met

Sketch a sunflower in nine steps — Channel Van Gogh's painting when you follow this step-by-step guide.


Photo & Art: Sara Barnes | My Modern Met

Learn how to draw a rose — The rose is an enduring symbol of love. Just as writers have spoken of its beauty, artists draw its delicate petals. But just because the rose is popular doesn't mean it's easy to sketch. Loaded with layers of petals, it can be a challenge. But have no fear—we break a rose drawing down so that it's both approachable and fun.


Interested in other blooms? Here's how to draw a variety of flowers —There are so many types of botanicals in the world that it’s impossible to learn how to draw each one. But once you understand the basic structure of a flower, you can use that knowledge to sketch any botanical you like.

Photo: Rawpixel

If you're itching to sketch all the things, check out the top drawing tutorials on YouTube. These artists will help you learn to draw for free. And if you're looking to empower your creative journey even further, check out our illustration courses on My Modern Met Academy.

Photo: Art: Melissa De Nobrega | My Modern Met Academy

Portrait Drawing for Beginners: Learn How to Draw Anyone You'd Like — Learn to draw facial features, characters, and people. Melissa De Nobrega breaks down one of the most complex subjects into bite-sized lessons where drawing the human face becomes simple and approachable.

Photo: Art: Demi Lang | My Modern Met Academy

Architectural Illustration for Everyone: Draw Buildings in Ink and Colored Pencil — Draw architecture like a pro with this course by Demi Lang. She'll take you step by step through the process of drawing buildings using ink and colored pencil.



This article has been edited and updated.

Related Articles:

Best Drawing Pencils for Professionals and Beginners Who Love to Sketch

Detailed Architectural Drawings Are a Modern-Day Homage to the Art of M.C. Escher

Adults Are Filling Drawings with Calming Patterns Instead of Just Coloring Them In

Artists Are Re-Drawing Their Old Work to Show How Much They’ve Improved

Artist's fear of a white sheet

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  4. Fear of the white sheet and 5 ways to deceive it

In front of you is a clean shiny sheet of paper. There are a thousand ideas in my head what to draw on it, but any stroke or drop of paint seems simply blasphemous. And so you look at the sheet and do not know how to start drawing. Familiar situation?

Author: Elena Shadchina

Enterclass tips nineteenAugust 2021

Many articles on the Internet offer to understand why the fear of a blank sheet appears and sort out different options for fears:

  • fear of a new one - starting something is always scary;
  • fear of failure in drawing (it will turn out ugly, we will make a mistake, that's how untalented I am)
  • fear of ruining an expensive sheet (do you know how much good cotton paper costs?)
  • fear of being disappointed (this is not mine, “oh, that’s it! I won’t draw anymore”)
  • and an infinite number of other reasons. .. But are they really that important?

Instead of dealing with the cause of fear, we suggest you take it and find out what exactly you can do now to start drawing.

Ways to fight and overcome the fear of a white sheet shared by famous artists:

  1. Buy black sheet. Or colored (grey, yellow)

This is the very first and easiest way, which few people remember. We are used to the fact that the drawing sheet must be white, but this is not at all the case. Paper for graphics and pastels comes in a variety of shades. Psychologically, it is more difficult to draw something on a snow-white sheet - suddenly you get dirty, ruin it? Every squiggle seems like villainy. While drawing on a black sheet is easier - you create white or bright spots! And a tinted sheet (especially a yellow-gray shade) immediately seems somehow “dirty”, which means you can safely arrange any handwriting on it. This is especially important for beginners, when we just put our hand in sketches. nine0013

Tatyana Glushchenko shows how to draw on black paper with a white marker and corrector pen. white and colored pastel pencils and much more.

You can also tint the sheet yourself! If you are working with watercolors on cotton, do the first very light fill and then after it is completely dry, apply a pencil sketch. It is almost impossible to spoil the sheet with a translucent fill, and at the same time, it will no longer be so white and frightening. nine0013

  1. Draw on pieces and damaged sheets. Sheets are consumables and you can draw on them during training from two sides. The quality of the sheet does not suffer from this (only the presence of texture distinguishes the front side from the wrong side).

And you can also draw a sheet on a ruler into rectangles or even cut it into pieces (large and small): use trimmings for coloring and practicing techniques. Believe me, ruining a small leaf is not as scary as a big one. Learn on small formats. nine0013

If you are afraid of the white space on the page - reduce this space and your fear will decrease!

To work out individual elements, Lev Kaplan uses small formats

  1. Use cheap paper. For dry techniques or wet painting in one layer, use cellulose paper or paper containing cotton during training - it will come out many times cheaper. If you work in wet equipment and you definitely need 100% cotton, but you don’t have money for expensive paper, you can take budget options: Chinese brands or European brand thin cotton paper. For example, paper with a density of 180 - 200 gr. will be much cheaper than paper 300 or 600 gr. nine0004

IMPORTANT! If you are using thin paper, you definitely need a good flatbed that you can pull the thin sheet onto tightly! Or get gluing, then the paper is not deformed during the drawing process!.

  1. Wash cotton paper. Experiences for many novice artists arise most often when it comes to expensive cotton paper. It's scary to study on it - you'll ruin it and lose money! But 100% cotton has one undeniable advantage over other types of paper - it can be washed almost clean under running water. If you don't like the resulting picture, quickly take the sheet to the bath! You can wash cotton fabric, can't you? So here too! nine0004

IMPORTANT! Just do not rub the sheet (pellets may form), but carefully wash off the paint from it with a stream of water from the tap.

  1. Draw live with famous artists. When time for drawing is limited (for example, a marathon or a live broadcast in full swing) - there is no way to look at a blank sheet for a long time and give food to your fears. All thoughts about how to have time to draw together with Sergei Kurbatov, Ilya Ibryaev, Anna Ivanova, Olga Abramova and many other artists. And if you are still participating in some kind of competition, then the main idea is not “oh, I’m afraid to draw!”, But “oh, I’m afraid I won’t have time to draw on time!”. Then prudence and passion will act as a united front and defeat the fear of a white sheet! nine0004

Yes, yes, it's true!

Try to draw live next Saturday or take part in the current marathon!

Courses referred to in article

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See also:

Dark art. Culture of Fear - Oleg Moshchenko at DTF



In a previous article by Art Director AMT Games, Alexey Mikhailov spoke about his experience of creating dark art, and Yaroslava Matveychuk, Creative Director and psychologist at the My Room School of Psychology and Soft Skills, spoke about what fears are and how you can deal with them . nine0013

In this article, we will talk with Maxim Verekhin about what he considers scary, what techniques he uses to work, what he likes in drawing in general and in dark art in particular. After that, Margarita Avetisyan will tell you what stories associated with fears are most often found in visual art. Go.

Maxim Verekhin

Freelance concept artist known for his scary art. Thanks to his style, Maxim took part in such major projects as Diablo IV, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Middle-earth, Mass Effect and many others. Now Maxim is working on Path of Exile 2 and calls it the most interesting project on which he draws what he would draw for himself. nine0013

What do you like about the visual style of Dark Art?

First of all, I like to create it. I perceive it as a language in which I communicate and express my ideas. With it, you can scare a person, creating an atmosphere in which he is uncomfortable. I am attracted by the characteristic setting (everything is dark and gloomy), the general aesthetics, the visual impression of the gloomy atmosphere, suspense and other things. I like that it's realism - if it's dark, then it has to be realistically dark to make the right impression. nine0013

Realism in general plays a decisive role in achieving maximum effect in art. If you draw a horror realistic and disgusting, then this adds strength to the idea. And if you came up with a cool concept, but implemented it poorly, then not everyone will understand your idea, and maybe they won’t even delve into the plot of the picture. Drawing in 2D is far from the best way to translate ideas, so I'm now gradually adding animation and 3D to my work.

Animation provides more tools to influence the viewer. In All Father, I made a Playstation 1 style animation and it worked well. Triangular graphics and nostalgia about how they were afraid of all this in childhood gave their effect. However, I believe that with realistic graphics, horror animation will work much more efficiently. nine0013

Tell us about your series of illustrations All Father. What is the idea?

A group of people feed on Olfazer's body while he regenerates the meat back. They pray around him for him to regenerate without ceasing. I heard the idea in Scandinavian mythology. Warriors of Valhalla, every day fight each other to the death, and then sit down at a common table to feast, surrounded by Valkyries. This is their idea of ​​paradise. They eat the meat of the boar Sehrimnir. Every day he is resurrected to be eaten again. I have interpreted this idea in my own way. nine0013

What is a good drawing for you?

In general, drawing for me is a way of self-identification. With it, I can declare myself, at least to myself. I consider successful the work in which I was able to convey the original idea as vividly and concisely as possible. When creating a sketch, I form an idea, working on it in the future, trying not to lose and supplement it. If you conceived something very cool and at first even drew a good sketch, but then got sidetracked, then you did a bad job. nine0013

For example, the first task for the Rustle in the bathroom illustration was to find an interesting design for the head. She was conceived not just as a horror story, there had to be something interesting in terms of perception in it. If I had the task of creating a disgusting head, I would do some nasty stuff with pus or something. But in this case, I tried to create a design that would be intimidating and memorable in texture.

What do you find scary in general?


This is a deep question. I think what scares you the most is what you can associate with your own life. For example, my series of illustrations "Home Horrors". One of the frightening elements about it is that you can imagine yourself in this situation. I don't think that some monster or troll from The Lord of the Rings can scare. They are not up to the task.

What working methods exist?

When something human is distorted or mixed with something inhuman. Silent Hill often uses a human figure woven into a completely surreal design, and it's scary. I think it is very important to refer to real mutations and deformities, because in the horror genre this will work very well. The bodies of the drowned change so surrealistically that it looks mega repulsive. You realize it was once a human, you see the similarities and it looks super awful. nine0013

What has influenced you, impressed you lately?

Games impress me the most. Of course, one of my biggest influences was Silent Hill. The biggest twist in my understanding of design came from Dark Souls 1. I was very inspired by him at the time. Then came the ingenious in its visual style "Bloodborne". The horror component there was very powerful. From the latter, a very cool game "Resident Evil 7", it hits the spot with what I like and what impresses me. P.T. also cool. In terms of books, King has some good monster stories like Gray Goo, but they still don't make as much of an impact as the games. nine0013

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What are your plans for the future?

In the future, I'm going to find a way to work more for myself and do what I like. Now my friends and I are playing. We are making a teaser, looking for funding and will try to go full-time to this project. nine0013

We conceived a triple-a project. At first it was a horror game, now it has added action. It will look like Resident Evil 7, plus we want to make everything based on physics, so that it is interesting to hit enemies, interesting environments, so that everything falls down, collapses a little, the enemies will be semi-ragdoll.

What quality do you think helps you in creativity?

I often think about everything, analyze, notice. Such a purely creative observation. For example, if any moment in a movie or game seems interesting to me, I will analyze why it is interesting, why it is scary, how it works and how it can be applied. Not just "Oh cool" but "Oh cool! And why?" Plus, I try to pass information through my perception and create my own ideas and stories. nine0013

Now let's give the floor to Margarita Avetisyan, PhD student of the Faculty of Philosophy of V. N. Karazin KhNU and course coordinator at 3DMAYA

What are the most common fear-related themes in visual art?

There is a statement that in addition to the creative essence, there is also a dark side in a person, thirsting for destruction and self-destruction. Standing over a cliff, we tend to fall down and, at the same moment, we try to push ourselves up. Without delving into psychoanalysis and the subtleties of a destructive nature, we will only indicate what such searches for consciousness and the desire to convey truly hidden experiences led to. nine0013

The most common experiential themes we encounter in visual art:

  • The theme of death. Fear of death and everything connected with it: diseases, horrors of violence and other things. The most popular aspect of fear that screenwriters rely on in both film and game development.
  • Apocalypse theme. General human feelings about the survival of the species and fears about the threat to civilization. From here come such genres as cyberpunk, zombie apocalypse and post-apocalypse. nine0004
  • Children's fears and phobias. Most often they use the fear of getting lost or losing their parents, the fear of being rejected, the fear of the big and unknown world. Many children's books, films, and cartoons are based on these fears, although they are not scary in and of themselves. Harry Potter, Monsters Inc., American History, The Land Before Time and others.
  • Existential fears: alienation and loneliness. The main trend of thought of the 20th century, which placed fear in the main focus of attention. For existentialists, fear is a state in which a person exposes and comprehends his essence. nine0004


Fear in the subjects of painting is found from the time of rock paintings, and before posts on Artstation. Visually vivid scenes with fears are revealed on canvases during the late renaissance: Bosch, Lucas Cranach and others. At that time, artists expressed indignation about "not eternal life." A good example of the medieval style in modern graphics can be considered the work of the Serbian artist Igor Krstic.

In parallel, the theme of death developed in the painting of the East. More often motives are found in the art of Japan. A prime example is Utagawa Kuniyoshi

In the painting of the era of romanticism, we see an appeal to the sensual in man. A bright representative of the time is Francisco Goya.

One of my favorite expressionist painters is Edvard Munch.

In modern times, fear takes on a more individualistic character, we see the themes of loneliness, despair and alienation. Avant-garde and surrealist artists, referring to the theme of the subconscious and dreams, turn to the most terrible stories that arise in our minds. I recommend to get acquainted with the works of Dorothea Tanning. nine0013

One of the most important artists in the horror genre is Hans Rudy Giger, known for his designs for the Alien universe. His works are made in the genre of fantastic realism, and the style was called "necro-gothic" and "biomechanics". He collaborated with musicians, designed the covers of alternative bands. Concepts for many video games have been created under the influence of his work: in particular, Ecco the Dolphin, Contra Hard Corps, Metroid, The Astyanax, Scorn and others.

In CGI illustrations and concepts, we know whole dark styles. I really like the style of Max Verekhin, I follow him on Artstation. If you are also interested in similar art, I recommend that you get acquainted with the work of these artists: Victor Hugo Harmatiuk, Hugo Richard, Hassan Tabrizi, Miklós Ligeti, Piotr Jabłoński, Jeff Simpson. Special attention is given to the Creatures theme in 3D: Franco Carlesimo and Pablo Munoz Gomez. nine0013


Turning to the expressions of fear in the cinema, we will talk more about plots, since the space of the film plays on many levels. There are several popular sub-genres of horror films.

Thriller. This subgenre has passed into cinema from literature. It works at the expense of suspense (tension), causing the viewer to feel anxious expectation, excitement, fear. "If a thriller fails to tickle the nerves, then it doesn't do its job," writes James Patterson. The most famous director working in this genre was Alfred Hitchcock. In addition, we can distinguish psychological thrillers that create tension by focusing on the fears and emotional instability of the characters. nine0013

Slasher. A characteristic feature of such films is the presence of a psychopathic killer who pursues and kills in turn a group of people, most often teenagers, who are far from help. Thrillers had a great influence on the formation of the subgenre. Classical representatives of slashers: "Friday the 13th", "Halloween", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".

Splatter . A sub-genre of horror films that demonstrates violence, gore, and dismemberment as realistically as possible. According to George Romero, who is considered the author of the term, splatter is a film in which blood and severed body parts occupied 80% of the screen time. The most famous splatters: Blood Feast, Dawn of the Dead, American Horror Story. nine0013

Monster films can also be distinguished - a direction that arose as a result of the adaptation of folklore and horror literature. King Kong, Godzilla, Jaws, Tremors, dragon movies. Ghost films and their found film subgenre (Blair Witch, Report)

Separately, I would consider the aesthetics of Tim Burton's works and Mexican-style cartoons, where the theme of death is revealed from the other side. Death in them is not taboo and is well stylized. It is especially customary to resort to stylization in cartoons. Because children perceive fears as exaggerated, and its grotesque image conveys them best. nine0013


Games provide much more opportunities to manipulate emotions. The dark aesthetic of the setting sets the atmosphere, the game mechanics keep you in constant suspense, and well-choreographed cut-scenes reinforce the effect. No wonder games are in huge demand.

As with other art forms, quality horror in games doesn't have to be player friendly. On the contrary, he should put pressure on the psyche, making him feel as uncomfortable as possible. There are more than enough horror games: Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Doom, Dead Space, F.E.A.R. You can go on for a long time. Of the lesser known, but deserving attention, we can distinguish the game Forbidden Siren from the creators of Silent Hill. The development team took as a basis techniques from the films The Ring and the Healing, Japanese fairy tales and myths. As a result, Siren turned out to be the most Japanese, and damn creepy game. nine0013

Also, in games we often see scenes from mythology. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, created according to the plot of Scandinavian mythology, the developers showed their vision of Valhalla (Sovngarde). One of my favorite lines of Greek mythology games is the God of War series. And from Slavic mythology, of course, I would single out the Witcher, who is at the junction of mythology and magic.

Judging by the trailer for the new part of Hellblade, this will be one of the most exciting projects, in my opinion. Ninja Theory worked with experts in Norse mythology and psychiatry, as well as charities and people with psychosis, to ensure that these themes were faithfully reflected in the game. An important component of the game is the madness of the heroine: Senua perceives the world around her through the prism of her psychosis. nine0013

What do you find most frightening?

Personally, what scares me the most is the absence of real emotions or their inconsistency with the context. This is called the "uncanny valley" phenomenon. The concept was introduced by Masahiro Mori, a Japanese robotics scientist, in 1978, after he conducted research on people's emotional reactions to the appearance of robots.

This effect is being used more and more often, like the Clown from “It”, or remember that viral creepy video with a singing mannequin in a wig? The night did not sleep.

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