October 5th – Clive Barker

By and large I think art is made by people who have discipline married to talent in sufficiently large amounts to work even if they don’t feel like it. Anybody can get maudlin and decide to write poetry at 11 at night; the question is, can you do it at 8:30 on a Monday morning..?

Clive Barker

Clive Barker was born on October 5th, 1952, in Liverpool, England. 

At the age of three, he watched skydiver Leo Valentin fall to his death in a cornfield. This incident later influenced many of his works. 

He applied to the Royal College of Art in London because he wanted to be a painter, but his parents discouraged him. He attended the University of Liverpool instead, choosing English and philosophy as a major. While at school, he wrote stories, comic books, and plays and formed a fringe theatre group with friends. 

His first books, The Books of Blood, were published in England in 1984. The six-volume anthology was a success, and Stephen King called him “The Future of Horror.” With the publication of his series, he shifted his focus from plays to fiction and began writing both stories and novels. 

His debut stand-alone novel, The Damnation Game, was published in 1985. 

In his early years of writing, he supported himself by working as a prostitute, an experience he says gave him a lot of insight into the industry. It also helped inspire “The Hellbound Heart,” a story he later turned into Hellraiser, the classic horror film made in  1987 on less than a $2 million dollar budget. It grossed $14.5 million at the box office. 

In 1991 he moved from England to Los Angeles and published The Thief of Always

Barker’s interests vary widely. He has directed and produced films, written for television, written comics, and worked on video games. He is also an accomplished painter, holding exhibitions of his work. 

Lessons from Barker:

Don’t limit yourself – gain inspiration everywhere, and support yourself with whatever means you can to pursue your goal.

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