Chet Zar's art depicts his passions...monsters, horror, the odd.  His fascination for these things began at an early age and he has fine tuned his depictions masterfully over the years.  From makeup and models in movies, to concepts and digital art for rock monsters Tool...his current passion for oil paint and creating creatures that bend your imagination is nothing short of masterful.  Please enjoy 9.5 Questions with Chet Zar.


1 - A rotten tree is removed from your backyard and low and behold, a hole that is a Gate to another dimension is revealed.  You have to battle tiny demons to enter, but the reward is worth it… you’re able to travel in time to work effects on any movie from the past.  What movie you were not involved with would you have liked to work on? 

That's tough...probably a relatively recent one- "Cabin in the Woods". For old school, "Zombie" or "Dawn of the Dead".

2 – Short list of living artists you dig right now that you feel should be better known.

Christopher Ulrich
Brian Smith

3 – You’re thrown into an arena and handed a nice size femur to use as a weapon.  Across from you are three glass doors.  Behind the doors stand, Leatherface (with chainsaw), Chucky and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Luckily you get to pick who you fight to the death.  Who do you choose and why?

Chucky, because I think he is lame.

4 – As a semi-professional doodler, I feel like my imagination has steadily declined in parallel with aging and learning how stuff really works.  Do you ever have issues with creativity in regards to getting older/wiser?

I think it's like a muscle. If you exercise it regularly it's no problem. I think my creativity works better the older I get.

5 – Has anyone ever tried to commission you to create something that is totally out of the norm compared to your typical output?  I’m talking a painting of a ‘My Little Pony’ or something similar?  Would you do that?

They try, but I usually won't do it. I won't do a commission that I don't think I can do a good job with.

6 – There was a strange ‘synchronicity’ at one of your shows where a man sat in front of one of your paintings to charge his cell phone not realizing he looked eerily like a mirror reflection of the painting in front of him.  Have you reflected on that moment anymore since?  Any new revelations/thoughts?

Not really. It was an incredible experience but I have had enough synchronicities in my life to know that you can't think too much about them. There is no real answer as to why they happen that I can understand. It's covered pretty extensively in the upcoming documentary about me called "I Like To Paint Monsters: The Chet Zar Story" www.iliketopaintmonsters.com

7 – What’s the oddest or most interesting question a fan has asked you?

Nothing comes to mind. Like myself, my fans are more 'normal' than you might think.

8 – You acquire a device that allows you to transport into an 80’s cartoon (e.g. – He-Man, Thundar the Barbarian, G.I. Joe) and live within all of the episodes as a character.  After the series finale you then transport back to ‘real life’.  Which cartoon would you pick?

I can't really speak of 80's cartoons. They all suck to me because I was old enough to know good animation vs. bad animation when they came out. If you named some shitty 70's cartoons I could have given you a better answer, which probably would have been "Milton the Monster"

9 – The subject matter of your paintings has remained consistent for years but has the inspiration changed?  Do you use a different thought process now during creation than you did, say, 7 years ago?

My primary inspiration has always been my love of monsters.

I plan things out more now. It makes the painting process easier and more fun. I usually make a sketch and a small 5x7" oil study before I jump into the big one.

9.5 – The characters I paint are ______________________

Answer:  Representations of us.

You can find Chet Zar here:









All photographs taken by Chet Zar.