I don't find myself that interesting

Eliran Kantor

His artworks are mysterious, colourful, full of details and weird characters... Such a pleasure to talk with a brilliant artist from Germany, who has worked with Testament, Sodom, GWAR, Atheist and many other great metal bands, Eliran Kantor!

Thank you, Eliran, that you have agreed to have a chat with Metal On Loud Magazine!

All my pleasure!

You are a modest person - all internet resources give us a very short version of your biography. Can you open more for the readers of our magazine? What a person are you? What do you love in your job, what do you hate?

I don't find myself that interesting to be honest, my work might be the most exciting thing about me so naturally it should take center stage. I can squeeze a few anecdotes and stories from my life that I won't feel like I'm wasting people's time reading, but in most cases the colors and shapes going on in my head are more interesting than my private life.

I love doing what I'd probably would do for fun if I was to win the lottery. I love working with great music and give it a visual face.
Hate? I hate not having enough time to do more of it or to spend time doing other things I like or with the people I love, because being independent means you also have to take care of the logistics and business sides as well, which can be time consuming.

Who are your teachers in art? Who of contemporary artists or, maybe, classic ones, influenced over your vision of art?

When I was a child I was in a few after school art classes, but I'm afraid I don't remember my instructors names. I never took formal lessons as an adult so you might consider me self-taught.

I've learned a lot from observing and mimicking John K, Terry Gilliam and Uri Fink.

You collaborated with many big bands...what was your the most memorable experience?

When musicians you love one day give you a call saying they like your art and want to work together - for me there's no other feeling like it. It's never about who's "a big name" - working with a band I've always been a fan of like Anacrusis meant a lot to me, for instance. Getting contacted by Max Cavalera, developing an 8 year and counting working relationship with Testament, working on Atheist's brilliant comeback album, getting to influence a records in some cases when the artwork is done prior to the music or even contributing lyrics to a couple - many, many memorable moments.

Please, tell us more about your art technique...

It changes all the time and involves mixed media material and various techniques, which I switch up depending on the project. You can find me using very different stuff like drawing, painting, photography, clay, digital, pencils etc in most cases during the same project.

What are your personal music tastes? What are your favorite bands? What are your absolute top 3 and why?

No way can I pick only 3, here's 13: Mercyful Fate & King Diamond, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anacrusis, Nevermore, Pantera, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Voivod, Type O Negative, Death. That's as narrowed down as I can get it and it is still missing quite a lot. I got into most of them when I was around 14-16 and that's what's stuck with me through the years. These are the bands who's music moved and excited me the most.

If not metal...what bands, what music genre of, would you work with?

I would have loved to work with some of my non-metal favorite bands: New Model Army, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Kate Bush, Bjork, NIN, Rush, to name a few. 

What always make me curious...is the creation process. How do certain images are being born in someone's head. They say that either you should have a talent, or use drugs, lol...What about you? Where do you take your inspiration from? How is your creation process organized?

I don't do drugs and hardly ever drink too, it's just not for me - I know myself and developing a weed habit will probably make me lazy, and as for harder stuff I just don't think I could handle them. Ideas usually come when reading the lyrics, listening to the pre-production demos or in a lot of cases come from doing a mundane activity like walking the dog, doing the dishes or taking a shower.    

Sorry to say, but many artists become popular....after their death :). You are young, thanks God, alive and popular. What is your secret, hehe?

You tell me as I have no idea, I'm just doing my best to make stuff as good as I can make them. I try not to give myself a break and phone it in once in a while, skip or rush details and above all settle for a concept that I can't honestly say is interesting. I just obsess with every project I take in.

You are involved into the cover art and book illustration...what field of art would you like to try yourself at?

Before doing covers I've done advertising and murals, animation, video, sculpting with clay and I've also done web design, stage design, guitars, shirts etc.

I would have loved to record at least one serious song in this lifetime. I've recorded music in the past, but it was never serious but more like a few friends joking around.

What is your the most ambitious dream? What do you want to achieve as an artist?

My instinct is to not really think long-term but I do force myself to because now I have a family and responsibilities to others other than myself. I have a few things in life I'm very passionate about and they mean the world to me, and every day I wake up and try to immerse myself in them and become better at them. I aim to make less and less compromises and bring more joy to those I care about and for myself.

Where can people find your artworks to see, to buy?

They can go to www.elirankantor.com, or to my facebook page - and I'm now finalizing some details about possible exhibitions that will hopefully happen this year.

Is commercial success important for you?

As long as we're talking about covers, I keep in mind that in most cases I'm creating an illustration - meaning a visual piece that will accommodate the musician's project - and so I have to address their goals, and a commercial aspect can naturally be one of them.
Sometimes it isn't, and I'm hired to do something really expressive without regard to being communicative and commercial at all. And when I do personal work for myself, that can also be the case.

What would you wish to young talented artists with imagination: maybe, some tips how to make a name?

I can't be that pretentious to think I can honestly say something that will 100% be a positive influence for other artists. The choices I've made and the approach I've taken have only brought me to the specific point in which I am now, and for others it can be limiting and hurt their potential for greater accomplishments than mine.
Get a dog, though.

Thank you very much for your time, Eliran! Metal On Loud Magazine team wishes you much inspiration and success! Looking forward to your new creations!

Much appreciated and best wishes to all of you as well!

Tania Legrand