Originally posted at http://www.terrortube.com/html/Interview-with-Chad-Savage-of-Sinister-Visions.html
Profile: Chad Savage of Sinister Visions
By Heather Wixson
Judging by Chad Savage’s macabre-themed work through his design company, Sinister Visions, it might surprise many that there are still things that can actually scare him: zombies and the movie JAWS.
And even though Savage’s life celebrates horror themes almost year-round now, that wasn’t always the case.
“I was raised in a Southern Baptist family,” explained Savage. “While it wasn’t the “zealous, crazy” experience most people think when they hear that, it was a very reserved childhood, like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.”
“When people see my work now, they assume there must have been some sort of childhood trauma I faced,” Savage added. “But the thing is, I have always been like this. I’ve always loved Halloween and those types of themes are the kind that I have just gravitated towards for my whole life.”
Savage went to school and in 1991 earned his Fine Arts degree from the University of North Texas which allowed him the opportunity to unleash his talents in to the design world.” While working the “normal” design job by day over the years, Savage continued to hone his “spooky” craft by doing freelance work under the title of Sinister Visions.
It was in the early 2000s that Savage’s personal life ended up dictating his professional choices.
“Two days after I got fired from my day job, I found out I was going to be a dad,” said Savage.” “Soon after the baby came, we found out my wife had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and then a year later, we found out that she had a non-cancerous tumor on her skull.” So I had no income and had to find a way to bring in an income and not have to leave my house so that I could take care of my wife and my child. I was very fortunate to be a designer because I can do that from home and keep my own schedule.”
“Sinister Visions was definitely the silver lining to those couple of years,” added Savage. “When your back is against the wall like that, you don’t have the benefit of self-doubt. You just don’t have a choice sometimes and that can end up being the best way to get yourself motivated.”
Since going into business for himself, Savage rarely finds himself in the position to need to seek out new clients. That can be attributed to the fact that Savage worked tirelessly early on in his career developing his extensive portfolio and making contacts within the horror-related industries.” He amazingly handles 100% of the work himself as well, so he truly is in business for himself.
Beyond eating, sleeping and breathing all things related to Sinister Visions, Savage has been an active member in the horror communities by staying involved with the World Horror Convention, Flashback Weekend in Chicago, Horrorfind.com, and Haunted Attraction Magazine, just to name a few of his side projects.
“I am just a really huge horror fan,” explained Savage, “and this is just everything I’ve wanted to do with my life. I am lucky that for me, “work” is essentially just me throwing down cool ideas I have rolling around in my head and seeing what works and what doesn’t.”
Although Savage said that he doesn’t get very star-struck when he meets people in his field (this is coming from the guy who got to chaperone BUBBA HO-TEP director Don Coscarelli and his family around Chicago last summer!), he does admit that there is one person who he might be star-struck by meeting: Clive Barker.
“Barker’s work has always had such a huge influence on me,” said Savage. “I want to make sure that if I ever get the opportunity to meet Barker that it’s not like in one of those “meet-and-greet” lines.” I want to get the chance to sit down and actually talk to him and not just get shuffled through a line of people.”
Overall, Savage is living the dream life he didn’t know was possible when he was just a young kid living down South, obsessed with vampires and other creepy creatures.
“If you would have told me then that I could do what I do as a career, I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Savage. “It’s amazing to me that every year that goes by, just by doing my work with Sinister Visions, I can improve the living situation for me and my family.” Even on my worst days, I still feel very lucky.”