New this fall is the 810 piece puzzle Crumbling Creek, filled with highly-detailed strange characters and mini-scenes.
Here's an interview with the artist Samuel Hayward where we dig into this artwork and show-off some crops of the details.
Question: What's the story behind Crumbling Creek and its strange world of goblins, adventurers, and monsters?
Sam: Well, I prefer to let people try and puzzle that sort of thing out for themselves.
Question: We see a few signs about Greb in the image, what is Greb?
Sam: I'm reliably informed the goblins want greb on. Someone should probably give them what they want before they cause more mischief.
Question: What's your favorite character in Crumbling Creek?
Sam: This goblin - you have to admire his optimism:
Question: Are any of the characters you?
Sam: All of them I suppose, but mostly this guy:
Question: So there's a big line to get into the tree, with a centaur bouncer keeping people out. What cool thing is happening in the tree?
Sam: I wish I knew! They don't seem to admit goblins, no matter how convincing your disguise is.
Question: Crumbling Creek is one of many highly-detailed artworks you've created. Are there common themes or characters across your art?
Sam: There's quite a few recurring characters to find in the pictures; Upside-Daniel, The Midnight Frog, The Crumb Twins, and the ever-enigmatic Greb, to name a few.
Question: We see you studied art at college, is this what they teach in college? How has your professional art training informed pieces like Crumbling Creek?
Sam: Not as such... But I think the most important thing with going to art school
is meeting lots of creative people doing different things.
Question: Your art is astoundingly creative. Do you have any creativity tips or practices you can share?
Sam: I think the main thing is just to keep your eyes open; the world is full of interesting ideas you can steal, and put together in new ways. And that's just as true in forests and supermarkets and train stations as it is in museums and art galleries.
Question: Who's influenced you artistically? Who are your art heroes and why?
Sam: There are so many people I could name, but I decided to pick three so I'm not up all night:
Tove Jansson (the Finnish artist of Moomin fame) - There is a very deep love and respect for the natural world that comes through when you look at her art. Somehow she captures some small part of the mysterious beauty of nature in every image.
Edward Gorey - There's something delightful to me about how simultaneously macabre and silly his work is. There is an eerie, awkward beauty to it.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - I love the crooked, colourful people and places in his work, there is a mysterious quality to them which draws me in, in a way I can't quite explain.
Last Question: So, uh, what do you think snail juice tastes like?
Sam: Nicer than slug juice, for sure.