This is an interview that I recently done with Christian Artist Jason Butz. He does some very cool and original artwork pieces including working with bands.
C.W.: How did you first get started doing your artwork?
Jason: Well, I started young like most artists. I have always loved to draw and color things. But for a long time I only doodled some of my thoughts down on paper. I actually stopped drawing for a few years because I did not have a focus with any of it. A few years ago, however, I asked God to reveal to me my purpose in life and to help me determine what my true passions really are. When I submitted to Him and wholly gave him all of my life, He made things start to happen. Things started to make sense to me as I was given a clear direction in my desire to minister. I have always loved Christian metal and have been a fan for many years. Christian metal saved my soul and spoke to me like none other! God showed me that I was to use my talents to help Christian bands further their ministries and success by providing them artwork, that at the least, could be considered intense. I had no more than started to pick up drawing again, after all those years, when God opened an unbelievable door to work with Frost Like Ashes (http://www.frostlikeashes.com). It is a long story how it all happened and quiet interesting, but in short, God made it all come to pass. Working with Sebat Frost and the guys of FLA was awesome and an opportunity that I am very grateful for! I now have to laugh about it all because I was such a rookie with professional drawing for production, but God was working through me and FLA was a great band to work for! Basically, that was the start of NWR Studioz a little over a year ago. To side track a bit, the name NWR Studioz came about from my yearning to be a "New" man, a "Warrior" that has been "Resurrected" in His mighty blood. (aka Rezerekshun). I am a sinful man and am damned without Him. Each day I need to renew my mind in His truths or be swallowed by the crap that swarms throughout this world. And that is the basis of NWR Studioz…
C.W.:What different mediums do you like to use?
Jason: I use pencil, colored pencil, acrylic paint, and Photoshop. I use Photoshop for the most part if I need to create something fast. I have found it easier to produce more art if I mix drawings with Photoshop. Plus, this is most typically what bands and organizations are looking for. It is, of course, what we commonly see on the marketplace when it comes to most cover art. I love using this tool, but I do not create art like others do. In short, I stick with my passions and what message the Lord wants to have conveyed. I am not concerned with creating wallpaper artwork. On the flipside, however, my first love is traditional painting. I use acrylic, but have started to dabble with oils. I have several concept pieces that I have sketched that I plan to paint early in 2006. I have never seen paintings presenting the concepts I am working on, so I am excited to see how they turn out and pray that they have a large impact.
C.W.: I seen from your website that you have worked doing artwork for several bands how did that come about? ...And is that something that you would like to do more of?
Jason: Yes, my main focus is to work with bands and any organizations involved in the Christian metal world. It all started with FLA and the hard work I put in for them. From there, it has consisted of me marketing my art to many bands and organizations. It is tough and involves many sleepless nights creating artwork that will prove to bands that I am the artist to work with. Also, the approach I use to get my name out there may be unorthodoxed but God has blessed it as I have been able to work with the bands Dead in Christ, Banshee, and the music distributor, Shaver Audio and Video. Yes, I would love to work with many more bands and so on, along with record labels if I get the chance. Ironically, my clients thus far have all been black metal (by simple definition), but I do desire to work with bands of many rock and metal genres. I am very inexpensive and aim to always keep my prices low so that those in the Christian metal world can have awesome artwork for whatever they do and don't have to settle for something cheesy. Also, I am very willing to work with non-Christian clients. I am willing to create just about anything, except for out-right satanic and pornographic pieces. I will however, create dark imagery and concepts that an outsider (one who is not into Christian metal) would consider borderline, evil, or depressing. This goes along with every piece that I create. I always face myself with the same question of accountability, "WHAT IS THE MESSAGE?" If I cannot biblically answer it or use the concept for outreach purposes, I do not move forward with it. I seek to worship God through depicting horrific scenes of truth, peaceful and majestic landscapes and a variety of other art.
C.W.: What part does faith have in your artwork?
Jason: My faith in Christ and what sacrifice He has done for me is everything in my art. When God first started to make NWR Studioz come to reality, I told him that I am not willing to do any of this unless it is totally glorifying to Him. He saw my staunch heart, took my stern oath, and began to give me more talent with art then I had ever previously had. NWR Studioz operates by the following scriptures that can be found on my website: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" Romans 12:2; "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." 2 Corinthians 10:3-4. There are also two other thoughts that are always on my mind when creating artwork; "Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." 1 Corinthians 9:19 and the powerful voice of the Holy Ghost telling me to make all my work glorifying to the Master.
C.W.: Where does the inspirations for your pieces come from? Do you have an idea of exactly what you want to do before you start or do you just start and the inspiration flows and the piece forms as you go along?
Jason: First, inspiration comes from Christ and what He has done for me. The least I can do is use my God-given talent to spread his gospel and give Him thanks. Christ said, "I did not bring peace, but a sword." I seek to do likewise in service to Him. I do not desire my artwork to be bland or generic. If it is not thought-provoking or worshipful in some sense, it is useless. Beyond that, I always am thinking of a new concept to create--hopefully one that the world has never seen and that turns a lot of heads. I do usually know what I want to create before I start. Of course, along the way, things can change and the piece turns out a little different then I had envisioned. I simply see that as God's
divine power working through me to convey what He wants, not necessarily what I had thought it should be.
C.W.: What do you hope that someone takes away with them after viewing your artwork?
Jason: I hope and pray the people's lives are in some way affected by my art. I truly believe that awesome Christian artwork combined with great Christian music (whatever genre it may be) is an extremely powerful weapon that can have a profound influence in people's lives. It did in mine! Mainly, I want people to see my art, see the overwhelming love and sovereignty of Christ in it, and be faced with the thoughts of, "Who is my master? What awaits me after death?" and to realize that we are at war. Truly, life is Hell and I hope that I can encourage people to fight for their souls. I am just thankful to have had the opportunity to work within this realm and for anything that God brings my way in the future!
C.W.: If someone is interested in either purchasing or having you do some artwork for them what is the best way for them to get in contact with you?
Jason: I can be reached at-
firstname.lastname@example.org . I am always willing to talk about my art, sell the rights to my art, and to create whatever a client wants. Prices are flexible and based on the amount and intensity of the work requested. I do work by contract… I keep them simple and use them to benefit both parties. I am also very determined to work within the timeframes that my clients have and to give them total control over what they want the end product to look like and feel like.
You can also find more examples of his artwork at his website:
C.W. Ross is a freelance writer who enjoys listening to and writing about Christian Music. You can contact him and learn more about his writings at his website:
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