Skip to content

Back to Film & TV talks to... / Jun 14, 2024 talks to Steven Rhodes

Steven Rhodes is an iconic Australian graphic designer, known for his comedic interpretations of classic horror motifs and ideas. His works jump to life in a variety of child-like illustrations, and we love them. We caught up with Steven about his inspirations, ideas, work process and grilled him on how he came up with his latest hmv Exclusive design, Girls Night Out, available on t-shirts, posters and mugs.

We're giving away 2 signed posters to commemorate our first official collaboration with Steven Rhodes on the Girls Night Out design. To enter, simply order any of the Girls Night Out Steven Rhodes collection, or sign up to our mailing list here.

Shop Now

Our chat begins below

What is your favourite horror movie/ director and how has he influenced your work? 


I don’t have a definitive answer for that question, but in terms of the impact it had on horror, it’s hard to go past the original Halloween by John Carpenter. That movie really popularized a lot of the defining characteristics of the slasher subgenre like the masked killer and the final girl. It’s not very gruesome by today’s standards but the tension and atmosphere hold up well, and it has an amazing score and one of the most iconic villains in horror. 



Do you have a favourite music album / cover art and why? 


I really like the album covers that Hipgnosis made for Pink Floyd – Ummagumma, Meddle, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals



Do you prefer ghost/paranormal horror or slasher style films? 


I think there are some great examples of both. It really depends on what you’re in the mood for. Slasher films can be fun to watch with a big group with the over-the-top violence and gore, whereas paranormal movies tend to freak me out more with some genuinely chilling, goosebump moments. They can be a bit more atmospheric and thought-provoking. 



Which classic illustrators have inspired your work?


My inspiration doesn’t tend to come from any individual artists but more a style or an era. Any design aimed at kids from the 1970s and 80s – book covers, toys, board games, video games, movie posters, arcade graphics, adverts, comics and activity books.


But looking at my bookshelf I do have a lot of Daniel Clowes graphic novels. Just a brilliant cartoonist and storyteller. I’ve got endless respect for anyone who draws comics – that’s a lot of work!



What part of the design process is your favourite and why?


I think inking might be the most enjoyable for me. All the hard part of the layout and the detailed drawing is done. I find it relaxing and a bit meditative. There is some pressure though because I like to work with pen on paper so there’s no undo button if I mess it up. It’s the first stage where you really start to see what the final art will look like. 



Do you have a favourite design and where did the design inspiration come from?


There’s an older design I quite like called “He Sees You When You’re Sleeping”

I was trying to come up with Christmas themed ideas and when I thought of those lyrics I instantly imagined a creepy Santa Claus peering into a bedroom window like a scene from a slasher movie. I tried to capture that same vibe with the final illustration and the typography. 

Sign-up for emails

Sign-up for emails

Sign-up for emails

I'd love to hear about offers and promotions from hmv*