Welcome boils and ghouls to the annual DreamslayerArtworks screamfest called 31 Days of Hell where we hope you will indulge us with your darkest dreams and nightmares. This years theme will be "Here There Be Monsters," a theme which we hope you will enjoy because monsters are the first thing most think about when someone mentions Halloween. Each year, DreamslayerArtworks holds this competition to celebrate our favorite time of year and we invite a lot of new sponsors to join in with us to make this competition something extra special. But don't think this is just about slashers, witches, goblins and ghouls as Halloween also has it's faeries, super heroes, cowboys and elves. While the theme focuses on monsters and horror, Halloween is about fantasy and you can make any image which comes to mind including humor. Let's not forget that DSA is a dark fantasy site and dark fantasy encompasses many forms of entertainment such as horror, sci fi, high adventure, swords & sorcery, goth and mythology to list just a few venues. We normally have an official story for this contest. But this year, we are hoping to get you to create some stories and maybe illustrate them if you wish. My entries are Man-Wolf... The Harrowing of Winter and The Tale of Snow White and Rose Red which I hope you will enjoy adding your own stories in addition to my own..
We at DreamslayerArtworks understand that in these troubled times, every day can seem like it is part of 31 Days of Hell when you are struggling to pay the bills and put food on the table. As a community of artists, we want to offer you a diversion maybe from the stresses of what's going on in the real world... a chance to let yourself go and allow your imagination to shine. Our motto at DSA is "From Darkness Comes The Light" and with so much darkness in the world, most of us need a little light to shine from within and hope that the light will carry on growing brighter and brighter. Very few nations are unaffected by the current economic conditions and what many of us want is to just kick back, forget our problems and maybe unleash our inner demons in a constructive way. What we at DreamslayerArtworks are trying to do is provide you with one of these constructive outlets with a contest that allows for images which might allow your more aggressive side out, maybe a little hope, some fun and a little humor which dark fantasy can offer. Our sponsors are people who also understand the troubled times we live in as many of them are no different than any of us as they have bills to pay and are finding it as difficult just to put food on the table. Thus, I hope our artists will remember our sponsors and go visit their stores, add items you find to your wish lists and maybe pick up an item or two if you can just to say thanks to all our great sponsors.
You may notice that this years contest has it's own forum devoted to making the contest easier to follow and to learning a bit more about our members. We always ask our members to take photo's of themselves, their children, the kids coming to your house trick or treating, hay rides, carnivals, haunted houses, Halloween parades and parties... this year will be no different except that we actually want to see you make an effort to share some fun and a few laughs with us. So get dressed up and on Halloween, make some memories to share with DSA or maybe travel down memory lane sharing some things from Halloweens past. What are your favorite things about Halloween? What kind of horror or Halloween themed movies do you enjoy? This year, we want you to have some fun sharing a bit about yourselves and how you dressed up as an Oscar Meyer Wiener while dressing your newborn baby as a loaf of Wonder Bread lol. What matters most is having fun enjoying the holiday and maybe getting a good scare before the night is done. But let's face facts, Halloween is about candy and getting so much of it that you are eating it from Halloween straight through Christmas hiding your horde where your mother couldn't find it. If you like superheroes, faeries and lighter elements... please remember that these are part of Halloween as well and that it's not just ghouls and goblins that will come knocking on your doors. But this year, we want you to participate and have some fun sharing with us and helping us get to know you better. If you have a vidcam or even a camera, maybe go out to some graveyards and some supposedly paranormal locations to become a DSA Xplorer for a day or two doing a bit of exploring to see if you might find some spooks or monsters lurking about. Halloween for me was a magical time where I got to be what I wanted to be as if I wanted to be a cowboy or a space ranger, this was the one day of the year where our dreams became reality... if only in our imagination.
This years challenge is simple enough as you are being asked to do artwork which focuses on Halloween and dark fantasy. The twist to this challenge is you that must include a monster in your artwork. So let's define what a monster is shall we? A monster is loosely defined as a creature that is grotesque or creates fear and nightmares. Monsters may be supernatural, natural or unnatural created by sorcery, mad science, curses and genetics. They can be aliens like the xenomorphs (the Aliens movie franchise) and the crites (from the Critters movie franchise) but they cannot be E.T. the Extraterrestrial because being an alien doesn't make you a monster... being an evil alien does. Nightmare creatures like vampires, werewolves, ghouls, minotaurs, demons, gorgons, succubi, zombies, orcs, dullahans, gremlins, hobgoblins and creepers would be considered monsters. The products of mad science like Frankensteins Monster, mutants, living brains or heads floating about in embryonic fluids, zombies (ex, Resident Evil variety) or gigantic creatures like enormous serpents, humongous insects , blobs, giant women and the king of monsters Godzilla... that's not even counting the supernatural giants like C'thulu. Then you have wraiths like black dogs, poltergeists (or evil spirits like Chucky, Freddy Kruegar) and slashers (ex, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers) which are a mix of physical and spirit energies. Spirits of vengeance like Ghost Rider or the Clint Eastwood man with no name character (High Plains Drifter and Pale Rider) represent demonic entities or wronged souls back from the grave... the Clint Eastwood type character might not seem like a monster but represent an anti hero / fighting evil with evil type situation.
A faerie is not a monster but a vampire faerie or devil would be. Thus, if you use a faerie of the sweeter kind, there must be a monster in the scene somewhere. Ghost Busters would be considered dark fantasy where they fight creatures who fit the description of monsters. Monsters Inc represents a cuddlier type of monster but are monsters nonetheless. Beetlejuice, the Addams Family, the Munsters and other comedy style creatures would be considered monsters. Scooby Doo likewise fits this profile of dark fantasy as monster hunters. Another example would be a gypsy with a crystal ball as this would not be a monster... but if she sees a monster within the crystal ball, the image would qualify as containing a monster. Haunted houses are sometimes considered possessed or living which would fall into the monster category and so would "boogie" men as part of this definition. Children dressed up as monsters could be said to count because who hasn't had to deal with these little monsters 365 days a year... lol, Halloween just allows them to show their true colors outwardly that most adults know they are inwardly. "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", the annual Warner Brothers / Bugs Bunny cartoon fest, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Garfield or other Halloween based television specials would also be included as long as spooks and monsters are present. Cute manifestations like Casper the Friendly Ghost would not qualify, but placing it in a scene with other things meeting the definition of monsters would count. Likewise, you can base your art on comic books like the old EC or DC comic horror anthologies or a favorite book authored by people like Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Stephen king or less well known writers like William W. Johnstone (author of Wolfsbane, one of the best werewolf books ever published).
Maybe you might enjoy trying to make your own crossovers like Jason vs Freddie? Or maybe turn Freddie into a Cenobite from Hellraiser... or the Tall Man from Phantasm could become a Cenobite? Godzilla or Pumpkinhead could be crossed with H.R. Gigers art which inspired the Alien movie franchise creatures called xenomorphs? Maybe you'll do a twisted faerie tale showing us your version of Little Red Riding Hood? Our artists can be very creative and imaginative so maybe a few ideas tossed in your direction might inspire you to do some of your best artwork... or at least, some of your most frightening nightmares? Or maybe you prefer a Halloween pinup girl? Just include some monsters and have some fun.
To sum it up, a monster "can represent" almost anything within given context. But a monster can't just be anything as it needs to be something which reflects the spirit of Halloween so that a real life serial murderer would not count unless they have become mythologized into supernatural creatures like Jack the Ripper. Normal human behavior leading to monstrous acts do know qualify as monsters because under the right circumstances, any of us can fall into a category defining human monsters with an example being how Frankenstein himself is not a monster, but what he creates would be and because of how he creates the monsters... he would fall into this category as a monster (maker). However, exceptions will be made for witch burnings, hangings, ax wielding fiends and the guillotine where myth and reality converge where the acts of the would be monster hunters against others prove they are the real monsters. But if you are really adventurous, maybe try to do a quality image each day for 31 days as to date, only Masterwolf has succeeded in doing this making it truly a 31 Days of Hell competition.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are from Halloween as I got to dress up, meet a lot of people I otherwise never got the opportunity to meet and the sheer joy of running about getting candy can never be replace. When I was young, I really did not know much beyond that where Halloween was concerned as the origins of Halloween were not as often spoken of back in the 1970's and early 1980's. The name itself originates as a Scottish variant of All Hallows Even (evening) which preceded All Hallows Day which, ironically enough, is a Christian holiday. But the roots of Halloween go much farther back among the Celts where the festival of Samhain represented the bringing in of harvests, the slaughtering of animals for Winter and the end of Summer. The Celts believed that the darker half of the year represented a time when the boundaries between the realms of the living and the dead were at their weakest so that the dead might return among the living. Thus, they would build huge bonfires hoping to keep demons and evil spirits away while sometimes making sacrifices, both animal and human, to invoke the gods for protection. The Sluagh were viewed as restless spirits of sinners or evil, destructive spirits who became faeries so that the festival of the dead was also the festival of the faeries during this time of year so that faeries have their part in the holiday as well.
All Saints Day is also known as Hallowmas or All Hallows where it was believed that wandering spirits of the dead would have one final time to get vengeance on those who wronged them so that Christians wore masks and costumes on this day to conceal who they were much as the pagan Celts had done. This practice eventually evolved into guising which continues today with people dressing up in disguises on Halloween while asking for treats evolved from "souling", a practice where the poor would go door to door asking for food on All Hallows Eve where they would say a prayer for the dead in appreciation for those who gave them food. This evolved in America where children began trick or treating asking for a bit of food or candy with a veiled threat of doing some sort of mischief to the person who didn't give them a treat. Carving pumpkins actually began as a practice of carving turnips into lanterns to remember the dead whose souls were held in purgatory but immigrants to North America found the pumpkin much easier to carve for this purpose. The harvest elements of Halloween are represented by things like hay rides, scarecrows, corn fields and pumpkins while gothic story writers mixed traditional mythology, monsters and superstition (ex, black cats, ghosts) into how the Halloween holiday evolved. Haunted houses and graveyards became part of the holiday representing festivals of the dead and beliefs in spirits residing in their homes after their deaths or that things which happened within the house linger on as if the past coexisted with the present.
1) The primary rule in this contest is your image must have a monster in it. Adhere to the contest theme which is stated in the description
2) There is a post limit of one image to this contest each day. If you do more on a given day, save the extra image for a different day.
3) All images must be new for this contest, no reworks allowed.
4) Images cannot be posted anywhere else for the duration of the contest.
5) Artistic nudity is allowed but our rules on child nudity apply requiring you to cover up genitals and nipples on characters our rules address as child or child like.
6) The contest is open to any medium that you wish to use, so you can enter with Computer generated pictures, photo manipulated, hand drawn, painted, or any other type of medium you can think of.
7) All images must be original for this competition and may not be posted elsewhere until the contest has finished
8) Images posted late will be excluded from judging
9) Consider adding some written text to explain your illustrations to help others better understand your image
10) ***Special Note*** If you use a MAC, please inform Avros when you win in relation to .exe files as we do not want to deny anyone a prize based on platform. We are looking for an answer where files may not be MAC compatible. We hope to make this easier for sponsors and prize winners. Thank You.
POST COMPETITION IMAGES HERE
31 Days of Hell Daily Freebies Thread