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Scribble Artist Interview with Guy Laramée!

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Pétra (2007). Eroded encyclopedias, pigment, 12 x 11.25 x 8.5 in.

Scribble Town (ST): We are constantly traveling on a journey.  It’s amazing how each part seems like a whole world of it’s own with all it’s intricacies and surprises. From books, to words, to feelings, all these experiences connect us, either to each other or to our surroundings.  That’s how I felt when I saw Guy Laramée’s work.  I found myself walking through his artworks, which are fantastical microcosms in the grand scheme of things.

Due to it’s uniqueness, I would rather not attempt to classify your art, but how would you describe it?

Guy Laramée (GL): People define me socially as an artist. I make art.

ST: What are you up to at the moment?

GL: Right now I’m doing exactly this : beginning what looks as an “Atlas of No-Mind”.

ST: Wow, I can’t even begin to imagine just how overflowing with indescribable findings this atlas will be!

Your artwork is very full, complex and interdisciplinary in a playful and magical way!  How do you combine music and art?  And what about words and art?  For example, your poem titled Rain has many oil paintings related to the text.  What came first?

Pour Calame (2010) Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm

Pour Calame (2010). Oil on canvas 102 X 147 cm


GL:
I don’t combine music and visual art. They were different moments of my life. Maybe I’m more multi-disciplinary than interdisciplinary.

I have a love-hate relationship with words, that’s why I both love and destroy books. I find that words are beautiful, they open up entire worlds, but at the same time they fix things in a way that binds us.

Rain (pluie in French) came as a body of work first. But while I was doing the research and starting the actual paintings, I collected poems and texts to understand my feelings about rain, how rain is profoundly nostalgic, calming and beautiful. To translate these feelings on a more existential level, I wrote the poem.


RAIN

May it rain
May it rain on this troubled world
May this rain erase borders
May it mix colors, forms, and times.
May it rain upon me
May the sound of this rain
Wash myself from myself
May this rain dissolve me
Until I recognize myself in trees, mountains, and people.
May I keep hearing this rain
Through the clamour of ambitions.
May it rain
May it rain upon our confused minds
And (that) through this rain
May we return home.

-Guy Laramée, March 2010


ST:
 It’s a beautiful poem!  It lends itself to giving the reader images in their minds and context for your paintings. How have your studies in anthropology inspired your artwork?  What has been you artistic path?  I can see your interests run deep and wide with the range of mediums and concepts you use.

GL: Anthropology came as a way for me to understand that there exist different worldviews and that in their own world, they are all equally valid. They clash one with another, but all worldviews have some fascinating coherence. Thus my problem was/is : if truth – by definition – is unique, if truth can be equated to Oneness, then how come it manifests itself under so many guises, in so many forms? How can Truth encompass contradictions?

The variety of mediums I used only reflect the incapacity of each medium, of each piece, of each work to say it all. The incompletude (uncompletedness ?) of each art work keeps me on the move.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.

Tuyos, Microtonal and Gestural Music for Invented instruments, 1986-92.


ST:
 The way you manipulate and use books as sculpture is amazing!  How did you start carving books?  Please let us know more about Les Livres-Lumier.  I would love to visit those mountain tops one day!

GL: I cannot really say how I’m doing it because I feel more and more that it is not me who is doing this. When I enter the process (often reluctantly…!) I am possessed by a force that is quite powerful and that “decides” so to speak how things are going to go this time, what tools will be used, etc. Tools and processes change all the time, sometime new tools have to be created. The only thing I know for sure is : since I invent tools, I’m not a monkey, thus I must be human (lol). Even that I don’t really know for sure. I’d rather see the artistic process as a process of Unknowing rather than a learning process.

DRAGON OVER THE CLOUDS. 2014.  Webster dictionary, inks,  pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.  18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches.  (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)

Dragon Over the Clouds (2014). Webster dictionary, inks, pigments, Plexiglass, wood, LEDs.
18 x 21 x 16 (h) inches. (47.7 x 53.3 x 40.6 cm)


ST:
 Your work ranges from 2D to 3D.  Do you feel that some of your 3D works could also work at 2 dimensional pieces?  How do you decide what mediums and platforms to best portray your ideas?

GL: Once I showed an art magazine to a friend who happens to be a photographer. There was a piece in there that was quite ambiguous, like a painting stretched on a sculpture. I asked him ” “What do you think, is this a painting or a sculpture ?” I went for the sculpture. I shouted at him, laughing : “It’s neither ! It’s a photograph !!”

Think about it : 99 % of the art works you saw in your life, you know then only through photographs. Interesting, right ? So in a way you could say that the ‘essence’ of the work can make it into a translation, either photographical or textual; or you could say that for you, the real work is the photograph. If you were to be true to yourself, the work for you is a photo.

So of course my 3D work works very well in 2D, people buy it after seeing it on the internet…!

Guan Yin. Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter). 2011.

Guan Yin (2011). Wood, linen, rags, integrated lighting. 16 x 16 x 13 feet ( 5 x 5 x 4 meter).


ST:
 You’re absolutely right!  The transformations between mediums and documentations of those changes creates a whole new piece of it’s own every time.

When you come up with an idea what is usually your process for working it through?

GL: If I had found a recipe to make my work, I would SELL IT ! There’s no recipe. Like in love. The moment you fix it, it’s gone. That’s the beauty of it, that’s why also I’m always in a state of profound anxiety (half kidding : it is not easy to make insecurity your home…).

ST: Did anybody encourage your creativity when you were a child?

GL: Nobody encouraged me really. My parents gave me the usual painting boxes and tools, but when they saw that it was becoming serious, they did their very best to discourage me. I wish they had succeeded, really, because see in what mess I’m in now : don’t know where the next $$ are going to come from, don’t know what I’m going to do this morning, don’t know how I will ever come out of that terrible state of solitude that I ended up closing myself in, etc etc. Creativity is not a choice and thus it cannot even be fostered. Creativity is an imperative. It is the imperative of life itself. We chose nothing. We follow the current of life or resist it. Even to think that we decide to follow or resist is fallacious. The current of life is all there is.

ST: Guy, what would be some artful advice for our Scribble readers?

GL: Don’t fear solitude. That’s the only advice I can give. When you are alone, don’t try to escape it. Drop your cell phone in a pond. Put your TV to the trash bin. Stop losing your time on computer screens. These things suck your creativity.

Be alone as much as you can. Then the voices of the muses will take care of the rest. They will guide you.

ST: I understand what you mean. We are, in the end, our own best friend even though sometimes it can seem like we are our own enemy!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  You have given us all whole lot to chew on- from concepts to techniques.  Scribblers, for more inspiration please have a look at Guy’s website at http://www.guylaramee.com.

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Scribble Artist Interview with Lee Hodges!

Goulash Disko festival - This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Goulash Disko festival – This was for a festival in Croatia. The brief was pirates, donkeys and tropical feel…This also led to an album cover of the same image, I have it on my shelf!

Scribble Town (ST): Here we have a beautiful collection of splashes of colors that speak to you in all sorts of sounds and languages! Lee Hodges knows how to make images fun and lively! He is an illustrator/artist, and as he so eloquently puts it is “based in the temperate climes of south west Uk.” Let’s see what he is up to these days.

Lee Hodges (LH):  I’m luckily very busy at the moment (so I hope it lasts!), I have been working at creating a series of posters for kids activities for the RHS gardens, a few editorials too. I have been creating a lot of gig posters for music nights (including my own) and album covers, plus some really big jobs which I can’t tell you about right now…just keep looking…all in all I absolutely love it.

ST: Nice!  Well, you are keeping me on my toes with all the good stuff that you are making!  Your illustrations are wonderful.  Your posters alone make me want to go to the events!  What’s the concept development process like for you when designing posters for these places?

Panama Cardoon - Hasta La Wiggle An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

Panama Cardoon – Hasta La Wiggle
An album front cover for Panama Cardoon, the music is very latin, tropical feeling, so I went for a Jaguar roaring, coming out of the jungle!

LH: Thanks, that’s very kind. It’s often the title or subject matter that gives me the ideas, for my own gigs I create my own title or subject matter, which is great fun. For other peoples gigs they usually have a subject and title which then inspires the imagery. For the Spring party poster that was inspired by the Jamaican ghosts called ‘Duppies’ and a particular editorial job I did recently about them, so I thought I’d channel the imagery and ideas into the Spring Party, which has a Tropical theme. I usually chuck on some great Tropical tunes to get in the mood as well!

ST: Ah that makes perfect sense- take inspiration from words to images and vice versa.  When designing your illustrations do you first sketch in pencil?  What is your artistic process?

LH: Yea, I generally squiggle in pencil and develop them from there, adding in colour as I go along, sometimes if the idea is really clear I just jump in and create a finished piece without sketching!

ST: Just go with your gut! Your images have a special feeling to them- like I want to touch them and I’ll find paint all over my hands!  What mediums do you create in?

Mexican-Night-of-the-dead-ball-2014

Day of the Dead Poster – This was for one of my own big nights which we do every year, this idea was to capture the music and feel of the festival and the night.

LH: Funnily enough, it’s predominantly digital, my aim however is too make it look as un-digital as possible, but I use a drawing tablet and try to create a screen – printed, warm feel to my images, that have a fun, vibrant edge to them. I am working more and more at applying these techniques out of the digital realm however, which is how I started.

ST: How did you get started with illustrating?  Was this what you had always set out to do?  So curious about your path!

LH: I have always drawn and been very creative, it was and is my first love. Being an artist is right at the very core of who I am, it’s just a question of channeling all that creativity in the right direction. I have been illustrating for the last few years but it’s only recently that I have decided to give it all of my focus and I’m loving it. I am a very curious person so I have tried and experimented with many different mediums over the years, including film design/animation. It’s important to try new things and experiment with your work, by doing that you are able to apply something unique to your work.

ST: So lovely to hear that art is your first love.  You two belong together!  Who are some artists that inspire you?  What about them do you like?

LH: I like lots of different artists for different reasons…I have always loved Picasso for his versatility and sheer output of images! I love street art, particularly Os Gemeos, when I was in Argentina and Chile, most of the pictures I took were of street art! I often go through phases of liking different artists or something I see of theirs jumps out at me and inspires me, I really like Eduardo Munoz Bachs the Cuban poster artist at the moment.

The-Bellman

The Bellman – This is one of my images from the Hunting of the Snark. I have tried to make this fun, colourful and intriguing…It is illustrating the line – “The Bellman himself they all praised to the skies – Such a carriage, such ease and such grace!
Such solemnity, too! One could see he was wise,
The moment one looked in his face! ”

ST: When you are not drawing or creating, what do you like to do?  Any games you like to play?

LH: I like to take my imagination on long walks! Generally being anywhere near the sea, up and around the wilds of the South west, I love the raw energy of the coastline especially Cornwall, which is where I am from.
I love watching films too, weird and wonderful films, short ones, long ones. I also run a club/arts night which entails making props for the gigs, crazy interactive inventions and most importantly DJ-ing, I Dj quite a lot and run a Radio show every two weeks.

ST: I can hear the music in your illustrations too!  Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?

LH: Well, no-one really gave me direct encouragement, it was just something I did, loved and kept at, supported by words of encouragement when I had shown my work to my parents.

ST: Well, now you have a whole fan club supporting you! Scribble Town and beyond :).  How is your project of illustrating Hunting the Snark coming along?  You are right- Tove Jansson’s version is great!  What are you hoping to bring into your pictures?

The Jub Jub Bird - Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book - “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

The Jub Jub Bird – Another one of my ‘Hunting of the Snark’ images, this is the Jub Jub bird. This is the line from the book – “As to temper the Jubjub’s a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion:Its taste in costume is entirely absurd—It is ages ahead of the fashion:

LH: It’s a great and crazily surreal book, it’s almost an artists dream to illustrate! It’s a little on hold at the moment as I have been busy with other work, being a personal project it has been put to the back for a bit. I’m hoping that I am bringing  my own interpretation to it, imagining it with a colourful south american twist, almost like lost explorers discovering a strange land….

ST: I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future!  For now, any last minute tips for our Scribblers?

LH: Tips – Experiment, play – make a mess! Use your sketchbook as a scrapbook too, fill it with colour, ideas. I love to listen to music when I work, it really helps you get into the mood! Think out of the box…!

ST: Will do! The mess in on. Everybody, have a look at Lee Hodges website at http://www.leeho.co.uk.  Thanks so much Lee!

Tropical Pressure festival - A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.

Tropical Pressure festival – A poster for a Tropical music festival in Cornwall. All hand written type, as a lot of my work is, it adds a personal touch and holds the image together. I like to think of the type as an image too, letters that bounce and jump around in the image.


Storms and Silences: Jaanika Peerna’s Art Book

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photo by Reelika Ramot

Finally, a book about Jaanika Peerna’s is in production!  Storms and Silences: Jaanika Peerna’s Art Book will be a beautiful art book revealing the first decade of Jaanika Peerna’s work as an artist, from drawings to performance to swoops of mylar.  After ten years of work as an artist, it’s time to release the first book of Jaanika Peerna’s drawings, installations, and performances.

Jaanika Peerna is an Estonian-born artist living and working in New York, Tallinn, and Berlin. Her work encompasses drawing, video, installation and performance, often dealing with the theme of transitions in light, air, water and other natural phenomena. She has exhibited her work extensively in New York, Berlin, Paris, Tallinn, Helsinki, Lisbon, Rimini, Dubai, Honolulu, Novosibirsk and Rome. Her work is in numerous private collections in the US and Europe and was recently acquired by Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris. Her work is represented in the United States by Masters Projects in New York and ARC Fine Art in Connecticut.

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photo by Arvo Wichmann

“My elements are line and light,” says Peerna. “My materials are pencils, vellum and video camera. I am a vessel gathering subtle and rapturous processes in nature, using the experiences and impulses to make my work. I record mist turning into water. I use slowly changing lights to cast shadows of mylar strips onto a wall—The slowness of shadows makes one wonder if there is any change at all. I let wind move my body so that it leaves traces on paper. I swim through thousands of layers of gray air and mark each one down. Most of my work is born in the solitude of my studio. Sometimes public performances with musicians and dancers draw me out from the safe silence of my space and expand my drawing practice with sound and movement. I am interested in the never-ending process of becoming with no story, no beginning, no end—just the current moment in flux.”

Starting with photography and digital work, Peerna has moved more and more into drawing with a real sense of physical movement combining dance, movement, and performance. After a decade of this work she has decided to put it all together in a book which will showcase all these aspects of her work, from large square black and white maelstrom drawings:

c2404f0a9bca50c1ff910b21bef45fe4_large

It’s going to be a beautiful art book, printed and designed in Estonia by Martin Pedanik, with essays by Heie Treier and Fiona Robinson, and photos of my performances in Europe, taken by many good photographers, including Ave Talu, Reelika Ramot, Arvo Wichmann, Yavor Gantchev, and others.

She says: “There is something special about beautifully printed pages in this world of fleeting digital images. Perhaps some of you will agree, and can do your part to make this project possible.”

To see how you can contribute to the making of this wonderful book, please go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jaanikapeerna/storms-and-silences-jaanika-peernas-art-book

To read Jaanika’s Scribble Artist Interview you can click here.

Posted by Andi Thea, on November 13th, 2014 at 11:53 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Books,Drawing,Featured,Uncategorized Labels: , , , , , ,


Scribble Artist Interview with Cheong-ah Hwang!

Scribble Town (ST): The first time I saw these delicate hummingbirds by Cheong-ah Hwang I swooned at how beautiful life can be. And then I realized they were made out of paper and was floored by how precise and full of emotion they embodied. She can mimic life in paper form with the simple help of scissors and glue. Amazing! Cheong-ah came to the US from Seoul, Korea 20 years ago and speaks of herself as a paper artist, wife and mom. Under those three great hats is a person that knows how to capture life in a special way.

Hummer in My Hand by Cheong-ah Hwang

Hummer in My Hand by Cheong-ah Hwang

Cheong-ah, you move and travel quite a bit. What brought you from place to place?  Where are you now and what are you up to these days?

Cheong-ah Hwang (CH): My brother moved to the US, so I followed him. I came to Columbus, Ohio to study art, and continued living and working on paper sculptures ever since.

Flower by Cheong-ah Hwang

Flower by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Your pieces seem so fragile, tender and intricately realistic!  Do you ever need a magnify glass to complete your artworks?  Or tweezers?  How do you do it?! What tools do you need to create your paper sculptures?

CH: No, I don’t use magnifying glasses. I have pretty good eyesight. I use tweezers though when I work on tiny areas. I use X-acto knife, modeling tools, stylus, rulers, etc.

ST: How do you come up with your themes for your series? Did you start out by making birds?  What other things do you create?  They all vary so much and are so lifelike!

CH: I started out making animals, plants, architecture, etc. to study textures. Then, I got interested in paper itself and expressions, so I created rather abstract human forms, experimenting different kinds of paper, scales and techniques.

ST: Your Red Riding Hood series is beautiful!  You successfully reached your goal on Kickstarter.  Woo hoo!  How has this developed?

Little Red Riding Hood by Cheong-ah Hwang
CH: I received exposure I had hoped for. More people started blogging about my works. Eventually, Penguin Books commissioned me to make a similar image for the cover of the ‘Grimm Tales for Young and Old’ by Philip Pullman.  Penguin Books also used my sculptures for a short animation to promote the new book.

 

ST: Oh Pullman’s voice fits your images and story so perfectly! Seeing your animations encourages so much imagination and creativity! Please let us know your artistic process for the CMA animation.

CH: That was a collaboration with a local media company. Lots of communications. My part was to create 3d paper models of Columbus Museum of Art. I studied the building, simplified the design, and came up with moving mechanisms for some parts. I scaled the buildings down, and drew plans. I had to cut so many cardboard pieces. I ended up performing for the animation too.

ST: I think that’s a great animation for Scribblers to watch since we all like to go to museums and galleries.  “You break you buy it” doesn’t always work 😉  Especially after watching your animations where the characters flow so smoothly and everything just seems to fit in place, you make it seem so easy!  But I know it takes loads of skill and patience.  What tools do you need to do what you do?

CH: The most frequently used tools and materials are an X-acto knife to cut, modeling tools and stylus to emboss, an awl to score or curl, cutting mat and glue.

Hummer n Hibiscus by Cheong-ah Hwang

Hummer n Hibiscus by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Any special paper or techniques we should know about?

CH: My favorite paper to use is color drawing paper which has high cotton content and comes in many colors. I love working with translucent paper and Japanese paper too. They are so much fun. There are some paper sculpture techniques such as embossing, scoring and bending, curling, tearing and crumpling.  Do you draw to figure out the layers? Yes, I make a sketch first. Then, I use the sketch to separate and assemble layers.

ST: Where do you find yourself feeling really inspired to create?  I bet there is something you do to get yourself into the mood to create. Or what about music?

CH: Everyday life is an inspiration to me. I get an inspiration cooking ramen, reading my son a bedtime story, going to the zoo, driving down the street, etc. I have been living in cities in my entire life. One day, when I was siting on my porch, a hummingbird flew in right in front my eyes. I had never seen a hummingbird in person before. I can never forget how magical moment that was. I’ve been making paper hummingbird since.

Princess Iron Fan by Cheong-ah Hwang

Princess Iron Fan by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Amongst all the inspiration, what are 5 most important things in your life right now?

CH: Family, family, family, family, and my art.

Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight by Cheong-ah Hwang

Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight by Cheong-ah Hwang

ST: Cheong-ah, thank you for sharing so much with us! You a dedicated mother, wife and artist and I see that passion in your artwork. Do you have any last minute tips for us?

CH: You don’t need expensive materials or extra ordinary experiences to make art. Pay attention to every moment of your life. Don’t miss out anything. Use all of your senses. Try to make art with what you already have. 

ST: Thank you for your advice! Scribblers, if you can need more visual advice you can check out Cheong-ah’s book, ‘Creative Paper Cutting: 15 Paper Sculptures to Inspire and Delight‘, available on Amazon. Get started with your own paper sculptures!

Squid and Friends by Cheong-ah Hwang

Squid and Friends by Cheong-ah Hwang


Scribble Artist Interview with Jerrod Maruyama!

Mickey and Minnie with Flower by Jerrod Maruyama

Mickey and Minnie with Flower by Jerrod Maruyama

Scribble Town (ST): Somewhere in between Disneyland’s heart racing Space Mountain and the soft butterfly tummy flutters of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage adventure rides we have the beautiful artwork of Jerrod Maruyama.  His work is currently on view at Disneyland’s WonderGround Gallery.  Jerrod went to San Jose State University where he earned a degree in Illustration. He loves drawing, watching cartoons and visiting Disneyland whenever he can.

Jerrod, where are you and what are you up to these days?

Jerrod Maruyama (JM): I live in Sacramento, Ca where I work from home as a freelance illustrator. I do all kinds of different projects for many different clients. I specialize in character concepts and designs. Sometimes I’m working with existing characters – putting them in different poses or costumes. And sometimes I get to create brand new characters from scratch. It’s a fun job and I’m always doing something different. But it’s also a lot of work.

ST: It sounds like a fun job and perfect for you!  When did you start drawing?  Was there somebody that encouraged you or was it the cartoons themselves that called for your creativity?

JM: I’ve loved to draw since I was a little kid. I would get obsessed with certain characters or movies and draw them over and over again.  My friends and family would certainly enjoy my drawings. I loved drawing for other people whether it was birthday cards or posters, I would always draw with an audience in mind.

Kawaii Monsters by Jerrod Maruyama

Kawaii Monsters by Jerrod Maruyama

I think that’s why I became an illustrator as opposed to a fine artist. I would get a lot of positive feedback on my drawings from lots of people – but there was never really any one person who encouraged me to go to art school or pursue art as a career. Drawing was just something I did.

ST: I love your new take on cartoons such as Modern Mouse and Alice in Wonderland.  Hipster Mickey is so great!  It’s amazing how you managed to keep Mickey’s personality going even with the new threads.  How did you get the vision for these characters?

Hipster Mickey by Jerrod Maruyama

Hipster Mickey by Jerrod Maruyama

JM: I’ve been a life-long fan of Disney animation. So, I was thrilled when Disney contacted me and asked me to create some art for their WonderGround Gallery. It was a new concept for the company and they wanted artists to bring their own interpretation of classic Disney characters – including Mickey Mouse. I have several pieces currently in the gallery with more to come. The gallery changes shows roughly every six months or so. New artists and characters are featured with each new them. The gallery is located in the Downtown Disney district at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. The next time you go to Disneyland, stop by and see all the fun artwork.

ST: Scribblers, when you get a chance go visit WonderGround Gallery!

Are you a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s animations too?!  How did you come up with those pieces for the The Supah Mash-Up Art Party?  Everything there is supah dupah cute!

JM: I love the films of Studio Ghibli. They’re such fun stories told in a way that’s completely different than what we’re used to in American feature animation. For the Mash-Up show, I got to work with Jared Andrew Schorr-  a super-talented artists that works with cut paper. Since we both love Miyazaki’s work we thought it would be a fun concept to collaborate on. We both chose films we love and did individual pieces as well as working together on one large tribute to My Neighbor Totoro. It was a really fun project and my first time collaboration with another artist. I was so pleased with the results and hope to work with Jared again soon.

Princess Mononoke by Jerrod Maruyama

Princess Mononoke by Jerrod Maruyama

ST: What is your process for getting your work out of your head- do you sketch with pencil, paint, computer graphics, etc. ?

JM: I always start with a paper and pencil sketch. I am always drawing. When I’m sitting in front of the tv, I always have my sketch pad near by. You never know when inspiration will strike and you have to be ready. Once I have an idea down on paper, I scan the image into the computed are re-draw everything in Adobe Illustrator. It’s a powerful tool for artists but takes a little time getting used to it.

ST: That’s right- strike while the iron is hot! Now I’m wondering, what your studio environment is like. That’s where the magic happens!

JM: I am at my computer almost the entire day. Whether it’s drawing, updating my website or promoting my work through social media outlets, I spend long hours standing in front of my computer. I have a really high desk that allows me to stand or sit when I feel like it. I like listening to music when I work but usually it’s music without words. I find myself easily distracted by songs so I usually listen to classical music or contemporary movie soundtracks. If I’m doing Disney work, I find listening to Disney music puts me in the right mood!

ST: From being a fan of Disneyland to now creating art for them- I’d say you are living your dream!  Any tips for us Scribblers?

Playtime in Andy's Room by Jerrod Maruyama

Playtime in Andy’s Room by Jerrod Maruyama

JM: If you like drawing, do it all the time. Give yourself a made up assignment and do it to the best of your ability. Draw what you love and push yourself to get better. Everyone will tell you your drawings are great and that’s nice to hear. But you have to continue to improve your skills and learn more about the art you love. Don’t be shy about your work. Show it to as many people as you can. Get their feedback. It can be difficult to hear negative things about your work but try to listen to what other people have to say. Some of it will be helpful and constructive and some of it won’t. But you will always learn something from it. Take classes when you can and draw as much as possible. Keep your drawings. Keep them in a sketchbook or even a box for all your doodles. It’s important to see your progress and fun to revisit old drawings. It’s not an easy job being an artist, but it can be a lot of fun and very rewarding.

ST: Thanks Jerrod!  For more inspiration please have a look at Jerrod’s website http://www.jmaruyama.com.


Scribble Artist Interview with Nate Williams!

"Danseur (09-16)"

Danseur (09-16) by Nate Williams

Scribble Town (ST): Hi Nate!  We have been friends now for a very long time now and have been following your work and want to make sure all the Scribblers are aware of your stories, colors, and art.  Please introduce yourself for us!

Nate Williams (NW): I am a Brooklyn, New York based collage artist, architect and researcher. In my free time I enjoy playing music for people to dance to. I love to travel around the world and learn about how different people live and have fun. My work has been focused on translating and transforming the arts of Africans in the Americas. I enjoy observing the ways people create their visual art, dance their dances, sing their songs, and tell their stories. I learn from these ideas and try to combine them in my ar(t)chitectural collages. I try to create artwork that tells several stories in one visual song, like a DJ might connect different songs for people to dance to.

"Cross Words Cross Worlds (001-004) (2)"

Cross Words Cross Worlds (001-004) (2) by Nate Williams

ST: Where are you and what are you up to these days?

NW: I spend my time working at my office, creating new art work, and showing my work in small galleries and museums. Currently, my collage “Nightmares H(a)unt” is on display in the group exhibition “Dia del Los Muertos; SACRED MEMORIES: Contemporary and Cross Cultural Expressions of the Day of the Dead” presented by El Pueblo in Los Angeles, and am preparing for an upcoming show in New York.

ST: What is your favorite place to create?

NW: My favorite workspace is at home, in Brooklyn, New York. I love to create moving back and forth between the length of my living room floor and my draft board in my mini home office; while spinning music on my turntables. I’ve started many collages on planes, in hotels, even in New York subways, but my apartment will always be my favorite place to create because I like to have both my music and my books close at hand when I create.

"Liquidraw Paintscape 03"

Liquidraw Paintscape 03 by Nate Williams

ST: Anyone in particular that has inspired you or inspires you now?

NW: I am inspired by being raised in a diverse, multi-cultural, multi-national family immersed in the arts in many forms from visual, to rhythmic movement, in dance or sport; lyricism, in poetry as well as in story-telling.

I have too many inspirations… Junot Diaz’s stories,  Andrew Dosunmu’s photography, DJ Rich Medina’s music, Phyllis Galembo’s photography, Malik Sidibe’s photography, Jean Michel Basquiat’s artwork, Ndong  Essinga’s music, and Gee’s Bend quilts…But I think I’m most inspired by Romare Bearden’s mixed media collages. His artwork tells stories about his life and his travels using pieces of paper and cloths, paints and pencils.

Although I am still developing my artistic process, I’ve been inspired by curator, creator, semiotician, Arlene Tucker’s Translation is Dialogue series; which has allowed me a new space to consolidate and express my interests in the arts and cultural research in mix media collage.

"Kwilt'ing IV Spirits of the Cloth 17"

Kwilt'ing IV Spirits of the Cloth 17 by Nate Williams

ST: When did you start making art and how did it begin?  Was there anybody in your life encouraging you, if so who?

NW: I’ve always been making art. I believe I completed my first mural when I was 4 years old. My parents were supportive, though they would have preferred that I painted on paper instead of my bedroom wall. My most inspirational instructor was my school art teacher, Richard Marcucci, who was both an artist and DJ.

ST: What do you hope to communicate with your art?

NW: I aspire to sample, layer, and rhythmically repeat ar(t)chitectural ideas about culture and space; people and place; in new ways that still document and archive. I hope that the stories in my artwork change/evolve with each collage series. I hope to communicate our distinct languages in ways that show that we, regardless of our backgrounds, are interconnected.

"TS Comp 01-05"

TS Comp 01-05 by Nate Williams

ST: Do you have a craft, piece of art, or art technique you can share with our Scribblers for them to make at home?  (you can send picture of this)

NW: I usually start new collages by spreading a long roll of paper the length of the room. I then layer different images, objects, paints, and finally pencil lines to tell a story.

ST: Thank you for taking the time and please let us know of your future shows and projects!  And for the Scribblers, we’d love to hear what stories and thoughts come to mind when you see Nate’s artwork.  For example, why do you think the lady below is so happy and smiley?  I think it’s because she just danced her heart out!  With love!

Kwilt'ing IV Spirits of the Cloth 18 by Nate Williams

For more information on Nate Williams please go to http://nate-art.com/

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