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What does vaporwave halloween look like?

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Punp

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This question came up on chat. What does a vaporwave halloween look like? How can we best emulate it?

I intend to set out to answer this question. Please feel free to give criticism (it can be as harsh as you like, so long as you understand how to be constructive). Fellow artists, let's crack this nut!

My first attempt is "Nigerian Prince Pumpkin" I made for a thread earlier this week. Not vaporwave enough.
punpkin.gif


My second attempt feels too bright and zingy. This is the "fresh and tasty" style I've been working with, but it's too pop for Halloween. Next I'll look at old computer interfaces and VHS grain. (The A is for Agora)

vaporwave-halloween.png
 
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MisterSeen

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Interesting question. I'm not nearly skilled enough as a visual artist to contribute any actual work, but I'll try to toss out some thoughts.

I think leaning into the fun side of the Halloween aesthetic along the lines of old TV specials like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown would be the proper direction for this kind of thing, rather than something actually trying to be dark and scary. It'd fit the whole nostalgic angle of Vapourwave, since that's what I remember Halloween feeling like as a kid and I'm sure many would agree. But then again, I'm a big fan of surreal horror, and Vapourwave is known for its surrealism just as much, if not more than its nostalgia, so a scarier direction could be really interesting as well.

I like the second picture a lot, and I think it's a step in the right direction, but I agree that it doesn't feel Halloween enough. Pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns in particular) are an integral symbol of Halloween, but you need to add some other common visuals to truly nail that vibe. Skeletons in particular I've already seen used in some other Vapourwave art, so they could probably fit in pretty seamlessly.

Also, I know you're specifically asking what it would look like, but music should also be considered since Vapourwave is a musical genre just as much as an art style. Some Signalwave-type stuff sampling Halloween-themed films or the aforementioned specials could be pretty cool.
 
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eve

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This is actually a pretty interesting concept, especially since we already have stuff like Christmas-themed vaporwave, but i guess now that im thinking about it, other holiday themed vaporwave concepts would be really cool and different.

However, it can be interpreted a lot of different ways visually, since i dont think anybody has tried that before. My best guess would be something focusing on older horror movies (maybe even the really cheesy ones ? XD) and the aesthetics surrounding more occult type stuff.

As for the music itself, im not really sure. Maybe like what @MisterSeen said, something kind of lofi/signalwave ? Or maybe even something hinging off of what has been created before, where its either focused more on the aesthetics (see: Fall Festivals and The Satanic Panic), or perhaps more focused on just being "spooky" (begotten, father2006, etc)
 
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№56

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I think the trick is to not make it scary or disturbing in an overt way and to avoid copying the "low-fi 90s Halloween" style, which is its own thing and not really vaporwave. Either emulate the plastic neon look of dollar store decorations, or go for the brightly-lit "Spirit Halloween that opened up in an abandoned storefront" aesthetic.
 

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Punp

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I started work on a piece last night which ended up more as tech-fear than vaporwave halloween. I'll post that once it's finished, but it's not right.

@MisterSeen you make some really good points on the topic, thank you. It definitely needs to be more "plastic" and more commercial. Commercialism and capitalism is really where vaporwave and halloween cross over well.

@Professional Loser thanks for the music link, I'll listen to this as I work today. I really think that typical cheesey toy laugh/cackle that you used to get in cheap halloween toys is the epitome of vaporwave halloween. The Satanic Panic is also a good vein. Most of the 70s-90s ads for halloween focused on "safety" with the idea that halloween is dangerous, and razor blades inside candy.

@raccoon//aphrodisiac I feel like having a unique protagonist that you can use to put a face on Halloween is valuable and important.

@№56 the last image you posted, with the plastic buckets, are exactly the right angle. The other images are very "backrooms", and I'm not 100% sure that it's the right angle to take. I wonder if VHS distortions will help.

I'll be back after visiting the drawing board again. Just need to get some commission work out of the way. Any more suggestions are very welcome.
 
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Punp

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After reading the comments today (especially about neon skeletons) I adjusted the direction on the image I was working on. I think the bright neon colours are very important to the capitalist plastic halloween.

I took a screenshot of realplayer and repurposed it. Changed some of the icons to candycorn, rendered an edited rotating solitaire card and did my modifications to a plastic skeleton. The hardest part was changing the realplayer window colours.

I definitely feel this is too close to tech-horror still, but it's some good work in the right direction.

halloween-player.gif
 
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MisterSeen

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After reading the comments today (especially about neon skeletons) I adjusted the direction on the image I was working on. I think the bright neon colours are very important to the capitalist plastic halloween.

I took a screenshot of realplayer and repurposed it. Changed some of the icons to candycorn, rendered an edited rotating solitaire card and did my modifications to a plastic skeleton. The hardest part was changing the realplayer window colours.

I definitely feel this is too close to tech-horror still, but it's some good work in the right direction.

View attachment 39583
This rules. Reminds me of Hypnospace Outlaw, if you've ever played that. Definitely on the right track, as retro GUIs like this are a very common visual in Vapourwave, but they're usually one of multiple as opposed to the sole focus. Perhaps consider including something like this as part of a greater work? Might have too much detail for that purpose, though. Anyway, on its own, this already looks fantastic and does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit you're looking for. I'm very excited to see you do more stuff like this.
 
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Punp

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This rules. Reminds me of Hypnospace Outlaw, if you've ever played that. Definitely on the right track, as retro GUIs like this are a very common visual in Vapourwave, but they're usually one of multiple as opposed to the sole focus. Perhaps consider including something like this as part of a greater work? Might have too much detail for that purpose, though. Anyway, on its own, this already looks fantastic and does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit you're looking for. I'm very excited to see you do more stuff like this.
Yes, I love Hyperspace Outlaw!

I agree with what you said about using it as a microcosm of a larger work at a lower "resolution" (i.e. less detail, put it in the background somewhere). This post gives me an idea - the vaporwave halloween could be the perspective of someone at their battlestation while halloween is going on in the peripherals. I.e. a monitor with some vaporspook with a pink jack-o-lantern to one side.

This'll have to wait until I'm caught up on my actual work, but I'm really excited to continue.
 
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brentw

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this guy a couple of years ago with a tv on their head, leaving old tvs on people's doorsteps. i think they are the spirit of the vaporwave halloween aesthetic
View attachment 39513
Most clever way to semi-legally dump a bunch of old CRTs for free.

---

There's some fun Halloween themed vaporwave mixes out there.
Of course you won't find nearly as much halloween vaporwave as you will synthwave (especially darksynth and horrorwave) and lofi, but it's out there.

I went searching for one of my favorites but actually can't find it.
Anyways, here's another one that got nuked from youtube but I found a re-upload:

View: https://youtu.be/0NitnXJH9l0?feature=shared


But overall I think the intersection of Halloween and Vaporwave is woefully neglected.
I'm genuinely surprised there isn't more.
There's some mighty spooky vaporwave out there, like: b e g o t t e n 自杀
And old halloween themed music/tv/commercials seem like an untapped nostalgia gold mine.
You'd think it was a match made in heaven, or perhaps hell.
 
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