What do you get when you mash up the visual equivalents of Rockabilly and ’80s horror punk? We didn’t know it could be done, but the answer is Horror Rudey—a truly distinctive and expertly skilled illustrator, specializing in t-shirt designs on 99designs.

Being that Halloween is upon us, we could think of no better person to talk to. Check out the interview below—we discuss inspiration, developing a personal style and the challenge of filling an esoteric niche. Plus, the important matters: Rudey’s all time favorite horror flicks and candy.

horror rudey

Name: Edo Kautsar Ma’ruf
99designs handle: Horror Rudey
Bandung, Indonesia
Specialty: Psychobilly and Horror Punk

Let’s get right to it. “Psychobilly” and “Horror punk”—your professed styles—what are they?

Both of them are first and foremost music genres, combining ‘50s rockabilly & ‘70s punk with a horror twist. As styles of visual art, they take related source material like ‘50s B-horror movies, ‘50s cartoons and classic hotrod culture, and mix it with tattoo art, ‘80s monster movies, kaiju (giant monster stuff) and everything insane…

Wow. That is awesome. How did you get into this?

I’ve been a huge fan of horror cartoons since I was little. My parents and family think I’m a potential maniac… I, however, believe that we humans always have at least some evil-ish thoughts on our minds, and we need an ability to release them in a creative way. I release those evil-ish thoughts in a “fun” way. The last thing I want is for people who see my art to do actually “evil” things : )

beer labels by horror rudey
Beer labels for Legends of The Minch and Signor Bologna’s Swazzle

I have to ask. What are your top five horror films?

Evil Dead, Ghostbusters, Freaks, The Adams Family and all Tim Burton movies.

How would you characterize your approach to this genre?

My inspiration mostly comes from translating music to illustration. I see myself as both making old school art in a modern style, and making modern art in an old school style. The result is that people feel familiar with my art, even as it is something they have never seen before. That’s what keeps it “weird.”

t-shirt design by horror rudey
T-shirt designs

Do you have any advice for other designers looking to hone their illustration skills?

When making art or illustration, you have to be yourself. Draw whatever suits you and keep at it! Ultimately, just keep making cool stuff for yourself (whatever it is) and you’ll be happy.

Participating in 99designs is not so much about making the best designs, but about finding the correct contest for your style. When a client feels a “click” with your style or theme they will pick you as their champion!

t-shirt designs by horror rudey
T-shirt designs “Drink up, witches!” and “Voodoo Vixen

What do you do when you aren’t designing?

Well, on weekdays I work in the local district government office, nights I work as a freelance designer and on weekends I perform with my band wearing bloody & rotten flesh make-up on the national scene… and when I’m not doing all that stuff, I’m a loving father and husband.

You rule.

If you’re interested, my nickname as an artist is “Horror Rudey” (which you know), and my band is called “Kereta Susana“.

Living in Bandung, Indonesia, it’s pretty hard to make a living as an artist. The salary is quite murdering, and many people prefer using Google as their designer—and Psychobilly is not exactly the most popular genre here either. I realized I’d have to go international in order to survive… and so I did!

t-shirt designs by horror rudey
T-shirt designs for “Queen of B-Movies” and “Electrofunk

Alright, it’s Halloween. Let’s end with your favorite candy.

Silverqueen strawberry white chocolate Valentine edition.


Curse the valentine. I’m a Halloween guy! —but I love the chocolate.

See more of Horror Rudey’s work here.