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An interview with: BWTCHD GRFX

Let's be honest, who doesn't love trippy psychedelic illustration and graphic design?


Well if you love those words as much as us, you're in for a treat. We speak with German based Bewitched Graphics (BWTCHD GRFX) to dive deep into the ideas behind his work and the person behind some of our favourite psychedelic designs, who describes how;


"A strong influence on my work is definitely the aesthetic of the psychedelic 1960s, Rock-Posters, Fantasy & Pop-Art."

'Black Magik Horror Trip Ritual'

BWTCHD GRFX's art would be a great addition to your lives especially as clothing or prints, so be sure to support his talent and check out more of his work via his:



Read on below for our full interview with BEWITCHED GRAPHICS...

'Virgo'

Where are you from and how has your environment sculpted your outlook on life ? 

Hi, I’m Ben from Hamburg, Germany and I am a freelance illustrator and graphic designer working under the monicker BWTCHD GRFX. Born a Pisces in 1977 I developed an interest for all things supernatural, magic and occult as well as arts and music, early on. My parents split up when I was 3 years old and I grew up with my mom but my father was always around (more or less). He told me how much he wanted to study fine arts but was forced into becoming an engineer by my grandfather and because of that he would want me to chose my own way. Since I loved and started drawing when I was a little kid I decided to try and go the way my father originally intended for himself. I wanted to become an artist...

'Libra'
...Nowadays I’m lucky enough to be more or less my own boss and work mostly for the music industry creating cover artworks, ads, merchandising and more … simultaneously I’m selling prints and things in my own little webshop and work on various other projects. Another main influence with a profound impact on my views and ways was when I discovered Psychedelics in my teen years. I was always into mystical things, folk tales and fantasy but through experimenting with Psychedelics I also developed a much deeper interest in real spiritual and philosophical but also environmental topics.

'Snake Charmer'

When did you first start creating art and how long did it take you to develop your signature style ? 

My first memory of stepping into creating was when I was at the age of 4 or 5 and I saw a movie where someone made a sketch of a pirate ship. Afterwards I spilled tons of sheets of paper with ships and boats in all kinds of perspectives. At school my teachers always complained that I’d have more drawings in my maps than actual math or grammar tasks. The art teachers at the elite school were almost the only people in the institution I kind of trusted and who encouraged me to paint, draw or be creative in any way. In 1990/91 I became involved in doing Graffiti for a few years but after getting busted I moved on to focus on illustration and less illegal ways of expressing myself.

'Search For Knowledge'
I never really had a signature style since I always had so many different interests, influences and ideas. I may have a recognizable "stroke“  or "line“ and recurring themes but a real signature style in terms of colors and so on has only evolved just recently when I started to illustrate digitally around 2019. Yet I still enjoy experimenting with different styles and techniques. During the first year of the pandemic I started experimenting with Linocut-Printing as well as Risography wich both have a totally different look and feel.

'Seven Steps To Wisdom'

What does spirituality mean to you ? and how does it inform your artistic practice ?

Spirituality to me means many things … but basically it’s believing in some sort of cosmic order (with chaos being part of it) or a connection of all things rather than worshipping an entity or supreme being that created everything. To some people being spiritual means to follow a religion, to others it’s the practice of shamanism or paganism or creating art and music. I think anything can be seen as spiritual or not, depending on the view and viewer. Even washing the dishes can be a spiritual act. It just depends on how you view and do it. My art or my method of work is not bound to any specific spiritual practice. I sometimes include spiritual, magic or occult and even religious symbols in my artworks but I like to mix things up and put them out of their original context. I call it "Pseudoccultism“. 

'Jai Ho Bolenath'

What are the key ideas and themes that inspire you the most and why ? 

Key ideas vary a lot but mostly it’s about Creation, Beauty, Decay. I’m trying to combine these things in my work and that’s why I create pieces ranging from occult inspired dark goth art to bright colorful and trippy spiritual creations. Sometimes I do random stuff that has no relation to spirituality but rather to psychedelia.

'Order In Chaos'

Are there any artists / books that have had a strong impact on you ? 

Of course I draw from many inspirations. The first big source of inspiration and motivation to creat came from Surrealist Genius Salvador Dali. My art teacher at the elite school was quite supportive and gave me tons and tons of books about different artists and Dali was definitely standing out. A short time later I became obsessed with the dark art of H.R. Giger and the worlds of Alex Grey. Mati Klarwein or Alfons Mucha had a big influence on me as well and so did most of the San Francisco poster artists like Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin and of course Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley. Apart from my art, I draw loads of inspiration from reading. The foundation was laid by classics such as R.A. Wilsons „Cosmic Trigger“, Baba Ram Das "Be Here Now“, Kerouac’s "On The Road“, Huxley, Castaneda, Herman Hesse, Krishnamurthi, the readings of Alan Watts and not to forget The Fabulous Furry Freakbrothers!

'Muses Of Lamentation'

What lights the flame of passion inside of you ?

People and events that make me see there’s an actual transformation happening already. Although this can be hard and depressing at times as it involves „negative" events and experiences, too.  I’m convinced that as of yet we are still in a cycle of duality and that light cannot exist without darkness… love not without hate and so on… but I think that once we are able to enter a state of non-duality that’s where it begins to get really exciting.

'Daylight Nightmares'

How has this past year been for you ? are there any lessons or transformative experiences you would like to share ? 

The past year has been quite crazy but my feeling is that already since the beginnings of the Corona-Pandemic the whole world has become much much more crazy than ever before … I had quite a hard time digesting all the many changes and events ... Nationalism / Fascism / Racism / Sexism on the rise again everywhere, Climate so rapidly changing, War, War, War, Everyone being an internet-expert for everything, a general idiocracy … the list is so long. I have come to accept that this is how transformation looks like … things fall into pieces before they get rebuilt. Nothing lasts.

'As Above So Below'

How are you currently feeling as we approach the end of the year ? How do you feel about the future ? 

As said before, all the contradictions, conflicts in this world and how things get more and more complex while other things simultaneously fall apart made me feel very uncomfortable for some time. My feelings about the future were quite pessimistic and in many aspects still are. I just hope that one day humankind evolves beyond the cycle of repeating it’s failures and that the crash of our cultural situation as we can see it now, is just some sort of lesson in the process of stepping up. Change is almost always a rocky road.

'Gorgone Self Destruct'

- ASTRAL MAGAZINE

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