The Edward Gorey Envelope Art Contest


Every year, for Halloween, the Edward Gorey House invites artists of all ages to submit original artwork for a competition. The only stipulation is that the art must be done on an envelope (any size) that is posted to the Edward Gorey House in Massachusetts. Winners selected from the  five different age categories – ranging from under 7 to Adult – will receive a ‘prize pack’ and have their entries displayed at the house. My artist friend Derek Gray, a long time Gorey fan, alerted me to this competition and I was immediately consumed with the idea of submitting my own artwork. I was excited to do something spontaneously and (for me) uncharacteristic, and managed to complete this over the course of two evenings. Above is the front of my envelope, and this:


is the reverse. Edward Gorey was a genuine eccentric who made a career from his art without ever compromising on his obsessions. You either got it or you didn’t, and clearly the likes of Tim Burton did very much get it, as the imagery in his early films is heavily informed by Goreyana. I grew up loving pulp magazine art, weird comix and horror novels, so this project allowed me to dial back to a younger version of myself, one who secretly hoped that one day he would “make it” as an artist of oo-ee-oo. And somewhere in an alternate universe I fulfilled that ambition, and now live in a strange old house full of cats, walking around in a fur coat, hearing strange music played by no earthly hand.

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