The Costume Studio

Costume Studio Demo Artist Daniel Crosier

Daniel Crosier will be in the Costume Studio demonstrating Monster Mask Making June 17-18 and 24-25, 2017.

Daniel Crosier graduated from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design with an BFA in sculpture. He is a mixed-media artist, and began a neo-kabuki performance group called OFM: OdAm fEI mUd in 2003, which ran till 2011. Crosier came on the comic book scene in 2006 writing and illustrating Sons of Soil, The Exquisite Vanishteer, Distortions Unlimited, Vincent Price Presents, as well as illustrating Bartholomew of the Scissors & Caustic Soda. Crosier partnered with The Enigma and Serana Rose for Show Devils comic book series, with several illustrators. He has directed short films since 2005, and is currently developing a documentary film on amusement parks. He completed Isolation Man in 2016, a mockumentary about a superhero who accidentally vanishes the western hemisphere. Daniel is also one of the founders of Dink Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo.

Photo by Ryan Policky.

Holly Nordeck: What will your demonstration look like at the DAM? What can visitors expect to see?

Daniel Crosier: A lovely mess. I’ll be conveying my processes for sculpting, mold making, casting in latex, and finish work. I’ll have those elements set out at different levels of completion, while I continue to work on them.

I’ll have a few of my rotting latex suits and demon costumes we used to wear when we were performing OFM. It’ll be a kick and silliness will ensue!

HN: In your opinion, what role or purpose do you think masks serve?

DC: Masks guard against outside elements and echo your inner self, sometimes your inner demons. They can be whimsical, fetishistic, sacred, and political. Your definitions can easily be projected on them. For our purposes during the demos, they’ll be monstrous and whimsical.

HN: Looks like you’re a jack of all trades, can you explain a little bit about what you’re involved in and what work you make?

DC: I picked up mold-making from paleo-artist Gary Staab in art school, along with wetting my palette for exploring different materials from Chuck Parson and Martha Russo. I was able to apply a lot of that DIY spirit to OFM, and create a fight choreographed play about corruption influenced by band Gwar and Lone Wolf & Cub manga. I sculpted and built the costumes and set pieces with friends and collaborators. We worked on the choreography. We worked with bands, aerialists, and makeup effects artists to pull that off.

During the OFM years, I got involved with other forms of storytelling with film and comic books. Film seemed to be more of a direct extension of directing a live performance. I really enjoyed the process mainly because you could involve a large group of talent with different skills that you don’t have and have a record, being the film, when you are finished. With comics, I was doing wood sculptures with illustrated elements and then being hired to do comic book covers, mostly horror comics which segued into sequential art and writing my own material.

Recently, I finished my first feature called Isolation Man, a mockumentary based on my Exquisite Vanisher book. I’ve produced a documentary and television segments. I am currently developing a documentary, and two more feature film projects.

HN: In your opinion how can costume and mask designs impact an audience? What do you think are essential components/elements that create such an impact?

DC: I think you need to meditate on what kind of story and emotions you want to convey. Then figure out what the audience is. However, it isn’t a bad thing when you start with the just the mask.

HN: Lastly, If you could be any comic character who would you be?

DC: None of them. They have their own problems and I have mine. I prefer mine. If we’re talking about a superhero, monthly, they have earth-shattering problems that they seemingly never solve—problems like world hunger or global warming. Of course, if I was writing superhero comics, that is how I would approach it. Solving real world problems. Batman/Bruce Wayne should develop better infrastructure for solving education and poverty in Gotham, that way crime goes drastically down, quality of life goes up, and more can actually reach for the stars… maybe go to Mars!

Holly Nordeck is a program facilitator in the department of learning and engagement at the Denver Art Museum. She loves the museum’s modern and contemporary art collection.