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Space Bat Killer Interview A Chat with Sean Bernhardt

07.08.19 – TAGS: , ,
Art: Space Bat Killer

Space Bat Killer also known as Sean Bernhardt is from Brielle, New Jersey and caught our eye. His range of work has hints of early 1900’s Dadaism melded with Pop Surf Surf Americana. His collages transport one’s imagination to vibrantly colorful planes of crossover dimensions. We had a moment to discuss his creative process, how art drew his precocious interest at an early age and the mediums that he uses most frequently. Gaze your eyes and be surprised.

What Youth: Where are you from?

Space Bat Killer: Brielle, New Jersey.

When did you start creating art?

I started creating pretty young and during grammar school is when I took more of an interest in it.

How did you come up with the name Space Bat Killer?

“SBK” came about around the time that Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey. I painted a bat head on one of my surfboards and I’ve always had that image in my head with the name, even years later.

What surroundings influence your work?

The beach, outer space, life, death, psychedelic style art, animals and plants. A lot of my drawings involve skulls and beach vibes. My collages are more wild and I just piece together a bunch of weirdness as I work.

There are elements of surfing and skateboarding in your art. Are those interests of yours?

Yes, I’ve been doing both since I was a kid. I skate more than I surf nowadays and I’m happy to be doing it so often. I’ve felt really present and driven when I get on my board. I also like skating crusty ditches and DIY stuff a lot.

Where is your studio that you work at?

I work about a mile away, in Manasquan, New Jersey. My space is in a building that was built in the early 1900’s I think? [Laughs] It has that old house/creepy vibe for sure. I finally got the geotag to work on IG “Space Bat Killer Studio”, so sometimes if you search it you can see work I have been making.

What mediums do you prefer to work with when creating your art?

Sharpie markers on paper and analog collages are the two I choose most often. I used to paint, but don’t really enjoy it anymore. I always like the way that markers bleed through the white paper, its always slightly off but crisp. Every collage I post is made just layered with magazine clippings, glue, and an exacto knife. I’ve always really been hands-on when making art.

Do you listen to music when you design pieces? If so, what kind?

I like to listen to punk music a lot when I create. Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Black Flag, Husker Du and GG Allin.

Is there a message you are trying to send?

I think the message I try to give out is to just encourage people to have fun and that there is a lot of beauty in the dark parts or struggles that we go through as humans. For me art is always really calming and a way for me to get out all that is churning in my mind. I always feel more satisfied when I put out good artwork that I actually enjoyed making, rather than quick, crappy work with little to no meaning. There’s too much of that out there!

We’ve noticed your work in the industry, what are some brands that you’ve worked with?

Billabong, Globe, Reef, Dark Seas, Loser Machine etc… sometimes it can be hard to keep up with me.

What projects are you working on next?

I don’t have much on the radar as of right now, just going to be posting more shirt designs for sale as well as prints most likely soon. I’ve been more focused on getting out and skateboarding when the weather cooperates, it’s been a funky past month here in New Jersey with rain. I am always looking for work as well!

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