From The Deep: A Cool But Creepy Start-up

From the Deep…..

From the deep crawl eyes that creep with green and hidden terror.
They beckon those who crave their throes of sadness and despair.
They spread their slime and turn to grime the believers who in error
lose their hope and for proof grope after a deathly prayer.

From underneath the Charlottenburg Rathaus, just east of Ernst Reuter Platz, there is a dank basement that lies hidden as the tourists tramp above. Berlin is bustling. As the artist hub of the earth, it bears this unofficial title proudly and effortlessly supports the hordes that come to soak up what it has to offer. Perhaps the magnetism in the earth shifts, and locations, through no real merit or fault of their own, become these artistic Meccas. As it was in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century and New York in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the Zeitgeist of the moment is located in Berlin.

Certainly there is a pull to the earth as the innocents tramp along. Is this like the magnetic horseshoe that collects iron flecks as it passes above? Are we the people simply being sucked unwittingly into this current magnetic spot? Is it like a black hole of the Earth, ingesting all who come across its mouth? For artist, Douglas Prince, it seems to be so.

The air is close and warm. The stench of something long forgotten bides its time in the dank room. The sun is hot overhead, but in the heat there is the promise of cold yet to come. Native Berliners are escaping the press even as the tourists are flocking to it. As Douglas languishes in time, a dream of unseen horror blankets his mind. The despair fills the crevasses as he claws the walls to no avail. The horror calls him ever closer, muffling the sounds of happy tourists eating ice cream up above.

There is no hope, nor ever was, he soon realizes in his anguish. The only option left to him is to accept this dark existence, to welcome it with open arms. His hands, skilled at fashioning works of beauty, start to twitch with a hidden force. In the dark, with just a match to light his eyes, he feels the stub of a pencil. On the concrete, greasy floor, his hands working with foreign brain, he sketches the only hope for his escape from this murky cellar…

Copyright  Doug Prince.

How long had it been? No way to know. The oppressive heat had lessened by a half degree. The sounds of cheerful, carefree tourists had dwindled to a faint piano. Sasha Prince, accustomed to Douglas’ bouts of madness, had not thought to search him out. However, as the sun dipped behind Charlottenburg Schloss, she thought she should search him out. As the corners of the two room flat were quite bare, she rose to explore more remote reaches. Winding stairs descended into damp air as she entered the basement door. There on the floor, next to her prostrate husband, was something sketched, no etched, upon the floor. And as the door began to swirl, she clutched at walls no longer vertical, as the darkness turned to green…

Douglas Prince is a self-taught artist who has spent the majority of his career creating video games and multimedia. He entered digital art while working as a promotional artist for various bands in Austin, Texas, where an incredible poster art scene had been going strong for many decades. Douglas had a roaring time producing art for various bands, including promotional art for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. He then discovered early 2D and 3D software packages and turned his artistic efforts towards making video games during the growth of Austin’s tech boom. Since then he has art-directed projects for many companies, both large and small.

Since moving to Berlin, Douglas has founded a small art and design company, Studiofabuloso, which will produce works for clients as well as some of its own original publications. As an artist he has always appreciated the imagery presented in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and similarly inspired by the art and creativity that is deeply woven into the fabric of Berlin society. One night he was struck with an ironic idea: why not create a toy, one which would incorporate the horror of Lovecraft with the innocent banality which is the rubber ducky? Thus was Dthuhlu born.

Copyright  Doug Prince.

As Douglas is pursuing his dream of having his own art company, his burning desire to spread the hope (and despair) of Dthuhlu has increased. He has been perfecting the design of Dthuhlu for the past year: painstakingly printing copy after copy of it, folding the paper into various models, his ideas developing, and at last he has arrived at the final product. A tribute to the great Cthuhlu, Dthuhlu can watch you as you relax in your bath, its eyes can follow you as you circle your apartment, it can gaze at you in your sleep.

The design of the Dthuhlu poster was inspired by Douglas’ love of poster art.  “The poster art scene in Austin blew my mind in my early 20s. I met incredible illustrators and artists in Texas who worked in the poster world and were truly revolutionary.” Aside from comics, Douglas describes posters as a key influence in his artistic development. In designing the Dthuhlu poster, he wanted to invoke San Francisco classics like Mouse and Kelly. To get in the vintage spirit he listened to lots of ‘70’s music while working - lots of Sabbath. Living in Berlin has inspired Douglas to get back to his roots as an artist and creator. After a fun career in video games, he is ready to reinvent himself yet again. The creative atmosphere in Berlin, the graffiti, the never ending art gallery scene and more were very influential in his decision to begin focusing on his own creations.

Douglas will be offering Dthuhlu and the Dthuhlu poster, as well as other items on Kickstarter. The campaign will be underway in September. Dthulhu is the first self-produced work offered through his company, Studio Fabuloso.

By Sasha Prince
Sasha is a classical singer and animal lover and has been in Berlin since 2014. She is from the US and the place she lived the longest is Austin, Texas.

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