Name: RobRoy Menzies
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska.
What is your background (i.e. career, education, etc)?
I graduated from the Pacific College of Art & Design. My entire career has been in the commercial/graphic art field. I've worked in video production for decades including animated and 3D graphics, forensic animation, video editing, audio recording, illustrations, & fine art. I currently own The Bigfoot Art Gallery in Palmer, Alaska where I provide customers with matting and framing, sell variety bigfoot memorabilia, my art & even guitars.
What will you be talking about at the expo?
I will be talking about my experience thru the years of drawing bigfoot & talking to eyewitnesses, sharing my art & what I have learned as an illustrator. I will talk about how my business "Bigfoot Art Gallery" in Palmer, Alaska came to be, and share my experience & stories I have heard.
What initially got you interested in this topic?
Ever since I was a kid, I've been into monsters, dinosaurs, aliens, UFOs & anything cryptid. Growing up in the 70's was full of cheesy documentaries and "In Search of" type shows. I was especially curious about bigfoot and what they might look like. Back then, it was hard to find any really good, professional illustrations of Bigfoot. Blurry pictures, crappy drawings, along with the giggle factor, seemed to erase any legitimacy to the subject. I decided to use my artistic talent to discover for myself what these things look like, & perhaps add some credibility to all the stories. So began my journey into the world of Bigfoot. Always open to listen to someone's encounter and asking a million questions about what they saw. I am still searching, asking eyewitnesses & illustrating scenes of Bigfoot & other cryptids hoping one day I will truly know.
Do you use descriptions from local witnesses for your bigfoot art?
Yes, my art always reflects what I have learned about them. Since I've never seen one, I can only go by what others describe to me. All those years of taking notes I feel I am close, but expect to be wrong.
What are some of the biggest differences/contradictions you have heard from eyewitness descriptions?
When I first started drawing from eyewitnesses, it was apparent that people had a hard time describing the nose. I learned to use examples of noses to help with their descriptions. Another difficulty was most eyewitnesses don't get to see the face. They see it from the back or just didn't get a good look at the face. Those that got a clear view of the face I pay extremely close to what they describe.
What was your inspiration for opening/naming your gallery?
Being born and raised in Alaska, I'm aware we have plenty of stores, galleries & restaurants that use the "Alaska" theme of bears, moose & eagles. But no Bigfoot! And being that I liked the subject & had plenty of art work to display, it was a no brainer to go with the Bigfoot theme. Bigfoot has become such a commercialized character, I felt it would be a fun name and theme for my store.
Is the Bigfoot Art Gallery a place where people can share their encounters? Absolutely! I had a suspicion naming my business "Bigfoot Art Gallery" would also open the door for some good stories to hear! And yes, it worked! I get people in my gallery all the time to share what they saw. Most people walk in & instantly feel comfortable talking about it. One of the benefits of my business if you ask me! Your drawing of the PG film subject Patty has been shared thousands of times. What are some of your favorite reactions people have had to that drawing?
Well, there's the typical reference to her breasts. Some people had no idea it was a female. So I get a lot of comments about that. I always enjoy the ones that say "Looks like my old girlfriend!" etc... If you could go to one place to look for Bigfoot, where would you go?