An Interview with Steven Yoyada: Crafting the Visual Aesthetic of Stoner Rock

If you’ve been a fan of the Stoner Rock music scene over the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the captivating artwork of Indonesian visual artist Steven Yoyada. Even if you weren’t aware of it, his work has likely graced your favorite album covers, shirts, posters, logos, and more. In the world of Stoner Rock, a Yoyada-designed piece has become almost obligatory.

We had the privilege of chatting with Steven to delve into the roots of his artistic journey, what fuels his continued passion, and his exciting prospects for the future. Here’s a glimpse into the mind and artistry of a master in the world of Stoner Rock visuals.

Slightly Fuzzed: You have a recognizable style, and I’m sure it’s taken a while to get there. When did you start drawing?

Steven Yoyada: I started drawing when I was kid. I often drew sci-fi creatures and dinosaurs. For the commissioned artwork, it’s been six years. Before that, I only made artwork for myself or printed them and shared them with my friends.

Slightly Fuzzed: I assume you’re a huge fan of Stoner Rock music considering your art is used so frequently in the genre. What got you into Stoner Rock?

Steven Yoyada: I really like Stoner Rock because I had listened to Black Sabbath, Sleep, OM, and other Stoner and Doom bands for a long time. I tried to made a Stoner/Doom band with my friends here. That’s why I really like it. I played bass in my band. Stoner and Doom Metal have something that makes me excited when I listened to them.

Slightly Fuzzed: When I think about the artwork around Stoner Rock, you are one of the first names that come to mind. How did the two come together?

Steven Yoyada: Both of them come together because I like the music. I think my artwork or my taste when I’m drawing are related with Stoner/Doom and Sludge.

Slightly Fuzzed: Who was the first band you made artwork for? How did that come about? What was it they saw that made them want to use your artwork?

Steven Yoyada: I was focused on the Stoner and Doom scene with my artwork, but the first band who ordered my art was Humungus, a Thrash Metal band from Richmond, Virginia. They sent me a message, but I don’t know why they loved my style!

Slightly Fuzzed: What were some of the artists that inspired you or continue to inspire you?

Steven Yoyada: I really like Bernie Wrightson, Roger Dean, Arik Roper, and many more, but I try to find my own style when I am drawing.

Slightly Fuzzed: Were there any specific album covers that influenced your desire to create the artwork that you do?

Steven Yoyada: There are many covers that I really like. Something like Sleep, High on Fire. I know lots of Stoner fans really love Dopesmoker. Arik Roper is the best one, but I don’t want to be like him. I must find my own style when I’m drawing.

Slightly Fuzzed:  You’ve provided art for some of the best bands in the scene. What are some bands you would like to work with but haven’t yet?

Steven Yoyada: I wish I could make artwork for Sleep, High on Fire, and lots of big Stoner or Doom bands.

Slightly Fuzzed: Outside of rock music, what else do you want to do with your art?

Steven Yoyada: So far, I don’t know… Maybe something like horror movie artwork or something simple like badge artwork. But I still want to use like wizards, mushrooms, and weed in my artwork. [Laughs] I have plans to sell my artwork on my website. Maybe I’ll make a exhibition or something like that with my friends here.

Slightly Fuzzed: What kind of mediums do you typically work in, and has technology changed your approach to art?

Steven Yoyada: I remember when I was in college, I made artwork on paper, then I’d scan it and add the colors and it needed. I know it’s vintage but I don’t want to try it again right now. I like to draw with water color, but with fantasy or sci-fi themes. I don’t really support AI technologies for art because many people use another artist’s work and don’t ask permission beforehand.

Slightly Fuzzed: You are constantly putting out new work. When you hit a creative roadblock, what gets you going again?

Steven Yoyada: Sometimes I just watch movies or read a book and sometimes I just talk with my friends to find any ideas.

Slightly Fuzzed: What do you think it is about your artwork that appeals to this type of music and their fans?

Steven Yoyada: This one is hard to answer… I don’t know, I think if I like my artwork, people will also, because I think that we have similar taste. Even if my artwork looks too crowded or I used lots of colors.

Thank you Steven for providing us with some insight into your passions, influences, and processes. If you haven’t yet checked out Steven’s incredible body of work, go check him out on Instagram.

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