Sean was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1977, where he lived until he made the big move out west to Eugene, Oregon in 2002. When he's not gracing our eyes and ears with the creation of his art and music, he works as an Audio Grip for the Stage Hand Union as well as an Audio Engineer. But life outside of the office is where you'll truly find the essence of Mr. Schock. Sean lives in a tiny, crooked house with the most metal roommate of all time, and the only children for him, a beautiful 13 year old dog and a chatty pre teen cat. He spends the majority of his spare time working on his artwork, playing music with his friends, booking gigs for friends bands, or playing old rpg Super NES games (he just finished Breath of Fire and just started FInal Fantasy 2; awesome).
Visual art preceded music for Sean in his journey as an artist. Growing up, school did not particularly capture his interest, however in the 6th grade pencils, notebook paper and Iron Maiden album covers combined forces and sparked some artistic inspiration for him. Sean would cram the LP cover of his brothers copy of "Somewhere in Time" into his book bag, prop it up on the back of the chair of the kid who sat in front of him, and then duplicate the image on notebook paper. Diligently maintaining his disinterest in school, he continued to spend most of his class time drawing Star Wars battles and Metal album covers.
In the 8th grade, Sean's Dad brought home a crappy acoustic guitar that he began to play along with Danzig albums. He quickly found a kid to trade the crappy guitar for a pink Arbor Flying V. He played guitar until high school when he switched to the drums due to a lack of drummers in his scene. He's been a drummer ever since for some incredible bands, and he picked back up with visual art again in his late twenties.
The medium that has been the most comfortable for Sean to use in his artwork is ink from start to finish, however lately he's been doing a lot of work with pencil first and then inking. He does not have any formal art training, so he tends to use the methods that simply just work for him. Something that doesn't work for him is thinking out a sketch too much. He likes to get the basic elements down, and then get creative with them. The computer is an integral part of his artistic process, as he spends more time digitally manipulating his sketches than he actually does drawing them. All of his work is very symmetrical, so it saves him time to draw half of an image and then scan it. At that point, he is able to really play with the image, adding things and changing the perspective quickly and easily.
When Sean started seriously making art with the intention of getting it on posters, shirts and album covers, he would make a flyer for a show that he was throwing or for a show of a band that he really liked as a means to make contact with the bands about working on a piece for them. His initial inspiration for these projects came from a feeling that all of these killer underground bands were also deserving of killer posters. Eventually bands started offering him money to make their posters, and then shirts, and the process has grown from there into what it is now. Clients typically see his work online, or via friends bands or bands that they are fans of that he has done work for. They'll send him an email inquiry and he will respond with a quote and some questions about elements or concepts. In the art that he creates for bands, it's important to Sean to get a feel for the kind of people the band members are, where they come from and what influences them as musicians. He works with those ideas and then tries to physically create the images that come to his mind. Sean will work with any budget as long as the deadline isn't ridiculous. If the client needs something specific completed in 3 weeks, they're going to end up paying full price. He finds that having a short time frame with a strict deadline is too much stress and the work doesn't end up coming out as something that he can be happy with artistically. It's one thing for the band to be happy with what he has created for them, but if he doesn't feel that the work has met its potential to the best of his ability then the project has been a waste of time.
The most rewarding project that Sean has worked on to date is the insert work he created for the latest Mournful Congregation full length, "The Book of Kings". He is a huge fan of the band and actually emailed them out of the blue to offer up his services for free (which he has been known to do from time to time). He and Damon corresponded for a while, talking mainly about music, and found that they were influenced by a lot of the same Doom Metal bands. It seemed as though he would be a good fit for the project. Damon ended up flooring Sean by offering to pay him for his work. He spent about a year working on the project that consisted of making 12x24 borders for song lyrics. He then sent the borders in for the band to pick which ones to use. He has yet to hold a copy, but the proofs he has seen look amazing. A couple of other personally noteworthy projects he has worked on are a Yob shirt and a Buzzov*en tour poster. These projects stick out for him for two very distinct reasons. He feels that the Yob shirt captured an essence of the band, which was fascinating because he wasn't even thinking of Yob as he was creating the image. The Buzzov*en poster, on the other hand, was meaningful because it had been a dream in his younger days to do imagery for that particular band.
*Biography Written By: Alicia Travis