Jonathan Garner

I first saw Jonathan’s work on facebook. He had posted a sold piece in the Murfreesboro Creative Group. I saw it and thought it was really something different. I tracked him down on Instagram and asked for an interview. My motivation for an interview was actually just so that I could figure out how he did what he did. I’m glad I reached out, because what he does is so badass that I had to share it with you.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist?
Above The DeepI have been obsessed with various forms of art since I was very young.  Though the majority of my time growing up has been focused on the art of music, meeting my wife (who is now an elementary school art teacher) really helped push me out of my lifelong comfort zone. For about ten years I’ve been experimenting with sketching and painting, but I hadn’t been very happy with my results until I started experimenting more with chaotic means of applying the paint.


Your process is a little different. Can you walk me through it for our readers? Do you start with an idea or do you just jump in?
Big Hero BoomThe process begins in the art store.  As I’m shopping for surfaces I try to see how the paint would end up looking on the surface, relative to it’s own shape.  Stretched canvas isn’t something I use very often (though I have) because they are too fragile and tear VERY easily.  As I am purchasing surfaces, I go back through the store’s stock of acrylic paints and will pick up two or three colors for specific piece ideas as well as a few more basic colors, like the primes along with black and white.
The placement of the paint relative to the explosion and the surface determines the layering that will result. Your bottom layer of paint(s), for example, will typically set the overall tone for the piece.
When I’m getting into the proper process, I first decide how I want to blow the paint up.  At first, I used coffee filters filled with paint with a firecracker sticking into the paint, then I discovered I could also use glass containers, dixie cups as well as just putting the paint in a pile on the surface and put the firecracker directly into the paint.  Each of these methods has resulted in many surfaces being completely destroyed, but as I dial it in, that’s becoming more rare. The way I layer the paint, either in the container squib (coffee filter or vase) or on the surface directly, helps to approximate where the colors will end up relative to one another.
I try to choose colors that compliment each other for the overall piece, then add in small amounts of a ‘spoiler’ color to add just a little bit more depth into each.
What drew you to this process of exploding things for art?
The idea for the process comes from one of my favorite TV shows: Mythbusters (as well as Mr Bean).  I’ve seen them use explosives to try and paint rooms, resulting in wild spreads of paint and destruction.  Having grown up in a family that celebrate Independence Day like it was D-Day, I was comfortable around dangerous materials like small explosives. My wife’s constant encouragement was the thing that really made me push myself into the process.
We all have things we want to say to the world. I felt exposing the beautiful nature of the chaos in which we are all embroiled was the best way for me to express what I value.


Do you use different grades of explosives to create different effects?
Cornells NovaYes, but that’s a piece of the process I’m still experimenting with.  Smoke bombs are easy, because they are almost always the same.  Blue is blue and when you light it you get blue smoke.  The m-90/m-1000 versions I began using were so wildly disparate in terms of consistent strength that I had to try smaller firecrackers and eventually bottle rockets. More More important than the type of explosive used, however, is the material of the squib (coffee filter paper, glass vase, direct paint application) as well as its placement relative to the surface. If I place things in the middle of a board, I get a nice circular pattern.  Placing the surfaces around the squib like walls will give a completely different effect.
The other awesome thing is chaos.  Even if i use the same materials and placements, the results will always be different.


Jonathan has another video and a few more pictures of how he does what he does on Patreon that are worth checking out. You can also follow Jonathan on twitter or instagram – both accounts are @NSFWJonathan. And I know you want to follow him after seeing him blow up paint for art. 

If you like his stuff let him know by commenting below or sharing his work.


Norbert Thiemann of Cinespire Photography (NSFW)

I have admired Norbert Thiemann’s work for quite some time. In fact, every time I saw one of his photographs I thought it would be perfect for Furies. He might be one of the reasons I came back to Furies; to be able to bring attention to local talent like him and work like his.

I was lucky that he reached out to me to be the first interview for the rehash of Furies Magazine.

Cinespire Photography - 0293-02What inspired you to start taking pictures?
Both of my California cousins took still photographs before they became immersed in creating motion pictures. Seeing their different styles and approaches was very inspiring. It helped a lot that they are both so talented.

They also influenced my appreciation for watching fine films. The name Cinespire Photography came from my realization that the photographs would in some way be influenced by things I had witnessed on the big screen. Not surprisingly, I also gravitate toward the art and photos of times past.

When did you get your start as a photographer?
My plunge into photography started somewhere around 2006 or 2007. Initially, I bought the camera with the intention of producing works in stop motion, in conjunction with film making. After a few sessions with models I was simply hooked on taking stills.

Cinespire Photography - 0272-02How would you describe your work?
I would say it is earthed in minimalism, with a hint of dark and somber notes.  I think it also strives toward creating a faux realism.

How does today’s politically correct obsessed culture effect your content and the people who model for you?
Some of the work is erotic, but the majority is not confined to that definition.  I aim for my work to be both body and sex positive.  It can become empowering for those who seek it.  I’ve essentially witnessed two types of feminism, which are sex positive and sex negative. One just seems more healthy and inclusive.

Do you plan out your shoots ahead of time or do you let the subject inspire you?
It turns out to be a combination of both.  I generally have various loose ideas for a shoot, but I stay open to my subject, location and potential props.  A lot of my photographs were spontaneously created out of an inspired moment.

Cinespire Photography - 0232-01I notice that a lot of your work is black and white or has very subtle use of color. Why is that?
Great phrasing of this question, because I had to pause and think about it. I love everything about black and white, especially mingling in the shadows. It’s my opinion that black and white aids in making experiences more universal, instead of being solely about one specific person.

Although we had color TV’s when I was young, we still had the odd black and white portable model.  In the early years, it was rare for us to go to the movie theater, however we did frequent the drive-in. I’m sure I was influenced by all the black and white and muted colors from when I was growing up.  Watch some great classics and movies from the 1970’s to get my drift.

Cinespire Photography - 0113-01Are there any local artists that you’re inspired by?
For local, I would be remiss not to acknowledge Bill Steber.

What are your goals as an artist?
Recognition is big for every artist I’m sure. I mainly wish to be more prolific, and to keep growing.

If you could shoot anything/anyone you wanted, what/who would it be?
Beauty comes in many forms, and variety is so important. For some time I have been drawn to the presence of an international model who has gained notoriety for being utterly unique. Her name is Melanie Gaydos, and she has done some very fine work.

Actually, I’m happy to keep shooting with lots of different people, because of the importance I place in variety, and beauty in all it’s forms.

You can see more of Norbert’s work on his website (or the more safe-for-work photography on Instagram). If you like his work leave a comment and go like his facebook page to show your support.

Cinespire Photography - 0094b-02

Don’t Call It Come Back

We’ve been here for years!

I went to Murfreesboro’s first art crawl last night. I was surprised to see that every venue I entered was packed. All I could think was, “It’s about fucking time!”

Where the hell was all of this interest when I was spending 40 hours a week at a desk doing this shit two years ago? That’s what I’d like to know. But you know what? It doesn’t even matter, because the interest is here now. And, damn it, Furies is going to take advantage of it!

photo (57)

This time the focus will be on Middle Tennessee with just a few national or international features for inspiration/ideas. It will be narrowed down to Visual Arts, Musicians, and Tattoo Artists; streamlined. I haven’t decided on a new posting schedule, yet. But I’ll hash that out in time.

I’m going to start looking for some fresh art and new contributors. If you’re interested in being a contributor jump over to the Contributor page. If you’re interested in being featured check out the be featured page.

Don’t act like you’re not completely fucking stoked.


Murfreesboro’s First Art Crawl

Franklin and Nashville have both had art crawls for a very long time. So, I am extremely stoked to share the news that Murfreesboro’s first art crawl will be October 9th (TOMORROW) at 6pm.

This is the map for the crawl:

You can download it on their website at if you’re going to go. And I suggest you go.

Two-Tone Art Gallery

photo 3 (16)I moved to Murfreesboro just five short years ago. I had heard stories about the cool things that had went on before I moved here at the Red Rose Dairy. I had heard stories about open mic nights and grungy artists. The Red Rose had been shut down for a while, though. There was some hope and buzz that they might reopen. A lot of that buzz was my own. But mostly Murfreesboro has seemed to be a boring, yuppy, college town with no edgy scenes outside of the cliche hangers-on at tattoo parlors. No offense, that used to be me. However, it would be nice for us to be able to step outside of the tattoo parlors into broad daylight and be accepted and welcomed; blue hair and all. That’s pretty much what Furies is about, you know. We won’t judge you for your cubicle if you won’t judge us for our lack of them. Just like we won’t judge you for your lack of tattoos if you won’t judge us for our excess of them. 

photo 4 (10)Did you hear about the Grand Opening of Murfreesboro’s only art gallery?

It happened April 10th, just off the square, on Lytle Street at Two-Tone Art Gallery. I was, of course, extremely excited. So, I went to check it out. Honestly, my expectations weren’t very high, because I’ve seen some of the art that is displayed around Murfreesboro. When I walked into the gallery I was really surprised by the art I saw inside. I literally had to walk around the gallery three different times to take in the fact that there was real art being displayed. It wasn’t abstract cows or wheat fields. I couldn’t believe it. The lines, the colors, the subjects; it was edgy, sketchy, cool. And it was in Murfreesboro. We might not have to go to Nashville anymore for art that we’d actually enjoy having in our homes.

photo 2 (15)Could Two-Tone Art Gallery be the push that Murfreesboro needs to go from yuppy to artsy?

Todd Wilson is the man behind the kick in the teeth that Murfreesboro so desperately needed. He’s a tattoo artist by night over at Icon Tattoos and Body Piercing*. And now he’s spending his days at Two-Tone Art Gallery. You can find him there Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM, at 113 West Lytle Street. He was cool enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me. 

Furies Magazine: What gave you the idea to open an art gallery?

Todd Wilson: I realized that there were a lot of people producing art in Murfreesboro, but there were no places that were easily accessible for artists to show and sell their work. I wanted to change that.

FM: Why would you do it in Murfreesboro?

TW: I was born and raised in east Nashville, but my grandparents have always been here. I visited them every weekend as a kid. That makes Murfreesboro seem really important to me, because of how good and honest they were. I have found many more people in town who are just as inspirational. Two-Tone was created for these people and anyone else who recognizes the beauty in this place.

FM: Are you a visual artist as well or is all of your art based around your tattoo work?

TW: I have created art for as long as I can remember. It’s always just been that thing I do. I was discouraged from drawing a lot but I kept going.

FM: I think the opening went really well. How do you feel Two-Tone has been received so far?

TW: So far it’s been awesome everyone that stops by really likes that Two-Tone showed up. Like they never realized it was missing until it wasn’t. And that’s just poetic.

FM: Is there anything you’d like for prospective artists or customers to know?

TW: Just to come by check it out, hang out for a while. Then buy some of the art. Or all of the art. Just support your local art community.

You should stop by often, too, because every three weeks there will be new art displayed and new artists getting the recognition that is needed for them to survive. 

Todd seems to understand the struggling artist, too, as outlined in a note on the Two-Tone facebook page. Artists don’t choose the struggle. They choose happy. It takes courage to be an artist – to face rejection on a daily basis. So, when you go in to Two-Tone to submit your work, or appreciate that of others, you can be assured that the owner really gets it and he really wants the artists to succeed. ” The price of the art is… what they have to be offered to convince them to give up a part of themselves.”

On behalf of all the readers at Furies Magazine and all of the artists that we represent, thanks Todd, for having the balls to start some fires and show this community that there is a completely different kind of artistic talent in Murfreesboro. It’s rough and it’s awesome and it’s fucking real. 


*We’ve interviewed Patrick Bennett and Ben Ritchie from Icon. 

Your Tattoo Guide


Your Tattoo Guide has been up now for a few months now, however, we haven’t had a lot of time to promote it because we’re busy promoting our artists over here at Furies. 

If you’re looking to get a some new ink done in the MiddTenn area then Your Tattoo Guide is the place to go.
If you are a tattoo parlor in MiddTenn and you don’t see yourself listed or some of your information isn’t correct you can Contact Us

The current header of Your Tattoo Guide is held by Bright Ideas Tattoo of Lebanon, TN.
We look for a new shop to occupy our header every month.
If you work in a tattoo shop in the MiddTenn area and you want to see it on our header check out the About page for details.

So that’s that. Have a f-cking awesome weekend!

Tattoo Time: Patrick Bennett

On this day I have the joy of presenting to you a man who has been using people’s bodies as his canvas for 4 years. Patrick Bennett currently inks people at Icon in Murfreesboro, TN. When you look at his work you just have to smile. His use of bright colors and vivid imagination bring a nice flare to the tattoo community. I had a little chat with Patrick about his work, this is what he had to say…


Furies Magazine: Do you have a favorite tattoo style?

Patrick Bennett: Style wise I enjoy all things bright and new school and neo-traditional.

FM: What is the most stupid question you get asked?

PB: Most stupid question would be, “Did your tattoos hurt?” My normal response is, “Come find out.”

FM: What made you want to be a Tattoo Artist?

PB: My hatred of computers but love of art made me love tattooing. I wanted to do art with my hands and have a career and tattoo art always made sense to me. At 16 I started stalking local artists. Hang out in the shops, watch them draw and ask questions on how to draw for tattoos and such. And even with all of the verbal abuse I still wanted to do it. So I went to a fine arts school and worked to get my art better in hopes of an apprenticeship and several years later one was offered and I have not looked back since.

FM: Is there anything you wish a Client would ask you to do?

PB: I wish clients would ASK for custom art instead of me having to convince them. I’d say 90 percent of my clients let me do whatever I don’t really have to do a TON of street shop stuff but it would always be nice if 100 percent of my clients were like that, hahaha.

FM: What would you say is the hardest part of being a Tattoo Artist?

PB: Hardest thing about being a tattoo artist is dealing with ignorant fuckers that have one tattoo and know more than I do. As I’m writing this there is one in our shop now being very, very rude hahaha. When you come into a custom shop with nice portfolios, understand that those artists went through hell to get there and they want to give you the best they can. I don’t work as hard as I do to do bad tattoos. A little faith in your artist goes a long way.

FM: Do you think it’s the Artist or the Equipment that gets the results?

PB: I think the artist and the equipment have to work in harmony with each other. The machine doesn’t make the artist but a poorly tuned machine will help make the work not as good as it could be. I know what works for me and what doesn’t. I use mythra and envy needles, eternal color, dynamic black, starbrite white, kiro sumi greywash, neotats for shaders, swashdrive whips for my liners, and an eikon power supply. But still I have to constantly work on my drawing and keep myself in it or after a few days I get rusty as all hell. So my best advice is buy the best so you can’t blame your equipment, then work your ass off.

FM: What’s your most memorable cover-up?

PB: Ohhhhhh god!!! Cover-ups!!!!! I don’t have a very memorable one. All I know is depending on how dark it is I’d rather not do one hahaha. I do a good bit of them though. A good bit of my bio-organica black and grey stuff is cover-ups.

FM: Which Tattoo was your Favorite to do?

PB: I really love this new color style I’m playing with. I can’t say I have a favorite at this point…… Maybe the next one will be?

FM: Any thing you wish you could say to clients, but don’t?

PB: No not really. I am pretty open with my clients in the most polite way possible, but if need be I will speak my mind. It’s a super rare thing though haha.


If you like Patrick’s work you can check him out on Facebook or you can visit him at 15 East Lytle Street  Murfreesboro, TN 37130. Either way, this is a Tattoo Artist you have to check into.