Well, I’ve long since enjoyed destroying the rainforests of the world one drawing at a time. There are a lot of things skipping around naked in my brainbox, pelvic thrusting towards my minds eye relentlessly until I give them the doodle treatment. I suppose I could try and piece together how I got where I am and figure out the things that pushed me down the path I’m walking. In doing so I might find out where I went wrong. (AHA! THAT WAS A JOKE. This will be a recurrent thing…sorry.)
SO, there are a few things I’ve always done throughout my life, breathing, sleeping, not talking, imagining, annnnd, drawing. They all come pretty naturally. For me, drawing was always a means of expressing myself, I’ve never been a chatty Betty, and have always had difficulty with blabbering openly. I’m not stuck in my own head, but more content to just listen or observe others, and always actively avoiding drawing attention to myself. So, as a child, I just drew and drew and drew. No. Really. I lived out in the isolated, perfect spot for a gruesome homicide, not even a single street light outside, country. So isolated were we that the internet was but a legend. So drawing became a means of entertaining myself, naturally. I didn’t just draw random shit. I always had a million stories in mind, characters that belonged to these individual worlds, villains, goals, ways of life. I liked writing stories, and I always enjoyed watching animation.
When I was 5, I made my first visit to the cinema, to see The Lion King, but I was in love with animation before that. Disney is an obvious influence in for any Animator, but for me it can’t be said to be my main inspiration. I was brought up on old school Cartoon Network, the strange humour, bewildering storylines and characters always had me coming back for more. The Looney Toons always took more precedence over the Disney brood for me, especially since we didn‘t get the Disney Channel. Taz the Tazmanian Devil was my first hero. I drew him all the time, I loved him. I wanted to be him. I thought he was hilarious. The best. Way better than Bugs. I fought his corner against an ignorant art teacher who said Tasmania didn’t exist and the Tasmanian Devil was just as mythical. Of course, everyone else in the class believed her since she was the adult and I don’t think I ever willingly chirped up again. Betch.
What was it about Taz? Well. I loved his style, his grunting and snarling and spinning around in circles and the eating of everything he saw. Amazing. I loved Daffy too, but never Bugs. I always remember favouring the less popular characters, choosing Sylvester over Tweetie Pie, and Wiley Coyote over Roadrunner and Daffy over Bugs. To me, they just had more…character. They had a goal, an ambition, and I loved watching them struggle trying to achieve them.
When I wasn’t feeding my sisters Ariel (the mermaid) doll to a cow in a field close by, I was using my BIKER MICE FROM MARS toys as blunt objects when we had disagreements. Yeah. I loved Biker Mice From Mars, don’t know it? You haven’t lived. I had all three of them! I also loved The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, their action orientated badassery balanced out the cutesy, forever happy ending stories of Disney.
I wonder how many people admit to being influenced by Pokemon. But, it was on Sky 1 every day at like 8 am. So I watched it. I loved it. I was young like that, y’know? Ash pissed me off, but Misty was pretty cool but Charizard was God. He never did a thing he was told, Ash would ask him to do something and he’d basically tell him to fuck off. I like that. Later, I was glued to Samurai Jack and the sporadic episodes of Dragon Ball that appeared on Cartoon Network crazy late at night.
Characters are what interested me the most. I was into games from a very young age, and their stories influenced me a lot. I lost hours of my childhood to Zelda, Donkey Kong and y’know, the usual suspects. I didn’t discover Final Fantasy until it’s later games, I was always more interested in plat forming titles. Jak & Daxter being a notable favourite. The world and the colours and the silent protagonist (for the first title anyway) kept me hooked. I wasn’t a huge reader, could never feign interest in Harry Potter for more than the first paragraph before boredom took hold. But one book series I do remember being unable to put down is the Abhorsen Series, Sabriel, Liriel and The Abhorsen by Garth Nix. I also really enjoyed Chris Wooding’s ‘Poison,’ and ‘The Braided Path,’ series, and later George R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ series. I liked the diversity of the worlds, the characters and even the politics of the fictional universes in each of them.
I have always loved to draw, that’s true, but I have never really enjoyed Art. Art class felt more like a chore than anything else. I was never allowed to draw what I wanted to, always told to draw what was in front of me. Always told to draw only what I see. I’d rather draw what I can see in my head, make something readable out of the vague vision I’ve mustered up, give it some character and life. So I was always getting in trouble for making stuff up, or just adding things in that weren’t there. To me, the idea of only drawing what was physically in front of me was boring, and I could never understand how drawing things from my mind was bad, wasn’t it more creative? Apparently not. So, I hated Art. I hated traditional Art. I didn’t like drawing flowers, or kitchen utensils. I always did my own thing on the side.
I kind of…liked English. AHAHAHA! But only the creative writing part. I suppose I got into Animation because I’ve always enjoyed storytelling. My love for drawing almost demands that I do so visually. I got a taste of the animation process when I was in 6th year, I won some competition and worked on a 2D animated 3 minute wonder for Channel 4. I never saw it myself...but clearly my part was amazing.
Obviously, I watch a lot of movies. I like horror movies quite a bit, not because I'm all unhinged, but because I like to see what people can be capable of under such circumstances. And I like scoffing at them and providing commentary about what I would do in that situation! Ha! I'm far from a movie 'snob,' and can quite happily sit through an action film with a million explosions and over the top violence and little plot. As long as it's entertaining, I don't mind. I like movies that don't try too hard. Other movies, (imma say INCEPTION) will only be watched fully when I have nothing else to do. I still haven't gotten through it. I got five minutes in before telling Chris Nolan to kindly fuck off with his dream within a dream within a dream...Whereas I LOVED Machete. I also liked Bitch Slap, which is a really bad, blatant exploitation film with the ingredients of boobs, tight clothes, water, guns and HILARIOUS ONE LINERS. Such as 'Shut up, Gland Canyon,' and 'Show 'us 'yer growler.' What's not to like?
Games are a huge part of my life now, so much so that I'd love nothing more than to be a concept character designer for a games company. Character design is really where I feel most at ease. I've developed my own style over the years, drawing influence from people like Jamie Hewlett, I like his style. It's really that simple. I also like the work of Bansky. I can't really think of many individual artists that I eyeball closely, which might be a bad sign. I'm always interested in the concept art that goes with anything.
Zombie flicks are a staple in my movie collection. I don't care how bad it looks, or how stupid it's title is. I'll probably watch it, on the off chance it's amazing or amazingly bad it's good. I've put my love for zombies and action together with my love for character design for my 4th year production; BRAIN DAMAGE. Standby for either an epic fail, or sketchy zombie goodness.
Well, my original plan doesn't go part 2012, since I've got my fingers crossed for total annihilation as the Mayans planned for us. But if that doesn't happen I guess I'd like to be a concept artist, I can't use Maya. I'm not confident enough in it to say YAH. I'LL GET A JOB IN 3D. I supposed I can storyboard, I like doing that. Maybe I'll write a book about vampire wizards at a school in a town called Spoons. Who knows. I try not to think about it...