Saturday, September 6th is a very special evening - the Totoro Forest Project auction/art show at Pixar Animation Studios. This is an amazing collection of work full of wonder, spirit and tribute, and if you have the chance you shouldn't miss it. Some of the Nucleus staff will be there - join us there for a wonderful exhibit! You can still purchase tickets here (though the basic general admission ticket is sold out).
The beads of sweat have run profusely down my face for hours, and exhaustion begins to set in as I and Master of Imagination Graham Annable trek a rarely tread part of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu in search of erstwhile inspiration for his next work. I've been reluctantly pulled along for this adventure in hopes that I could get answers for the questions I am asking each artist participating in the Great Great Grandshow opening this Saturday. We finally take a moment to rest.
W: What was it like to draw inspiration from the past?
GA: It was a lot of fun and very educational for me. I usually just started with general notions of time periods from my memory. Whatever classic images from films and books that got me interested in a certain era. Once I zeroed in on an idea, I began to do the real work of researching the particular time period to get the details correct. I would dive into the details of an era and discover all sorts of surprises I hadn't been aware of before.
W: Wow, I can't believe all the research that went into this work. That is impressive. Once you felt more knowledgeable about an era, what was the process for creating the pieces?
GA: I would do very rough thumbnail sketches to feel out the composition and values of each piece. Then I'd lightly sketch out the final image onto watercolor paper and ink in the characters in black. Afterwards, I'd apply the tones in whatever color I was going with and finish it by doing the final work on the backgrounds.
W: Well, the pieces are fantastic and all of your work has paid off. Of these pieces, do you have a personal favorite?
GA: I suppose "The Unfortunate Demise of Sven, Olie, and Lars - 1024" is my favorite. It took the most work and planning to accomplish and overall I felt good about the end result.
Graham Annable | The Unfortunate Demise of Sven, Olie, and Lars - 1024 | Ink and watercolor on paper | 14" x 11"
W: As you should. Are there any people in history that you find particularly worthy of admiration?
GA: Oh, there are tons of people in history worth admiring. Just like there are tons of people with us today worth admiring. I focused on trying to imagine events and people that history didn't record or admire for the rest of us.
Graham Annable | Sissipuss, Gentlest Ruler of Rome - 158 A.D. | Ink and watercolor on paper | 7" x 5"
W: Let's say we at Nucleus let you borrow our time machine for a day. Which period of time would you visit and would you bring anything back with you?
GA: I suppose since I've been reading a bunch of Arthur Conan Doyle that I'm currently interested in visiting the late 19th century. I'm not sure what I'd bring back though. Maybe a nice hat or something.
W: What can we expect from your newest animation, From Whence Before Times, set to debut at Saturday's Great Great Grandshow? GA: I think you can expect a similar sensibility expressed in the pieces I've done for the show. Bizarre and not so bizarre events unrecorded by history.
W: Can't wait! ...Ouch, what the hell was that?
GA: Oh, that can't be good, I think those little brown snakes are pretty poisonous. Are you feeling okay?
Keep checking back as Jon Klassen and Israel Sanchez share more about their work in the Great Great Grandshow!
The Great Great Grandshow will have an accompanying color catalog filled with glorious artwork, a candid interview, and a rare glimpse into the artistic process behind these masterpieces. It won't be released to the public until early October, so be sure to stop by the show this Saturday and make a pre-sale order. These babies will sell like hotcakes.
We're only a few days away from this Saturday's opening reception for the Great Great Grandshow, and all of us here at Nucleus are antsy to share with you some info about the show. Depicting previously undocumented moments from as far back as prehistoric times, artists Graham Annable, Scott Campbell, Jon Klassen, and Israel Sanchez have taken on the heralding task of compiling these untold stories for you and I. I had the opportunity to chat with each artist about inspiration and the steps in creating the work for the show. I sat down with Scott Campbell at Cafe Rouge in Manchester, England for a bit of tea & crumpets and here is what he had to say about his contribution to the show:
W: What was it like to draw inspiration from the past? SC: It was spooky! Because sometimes olde-timey people look so serious, but there are other times when they look like they are having a blast in their sepia (and sometimes slightly colorized) outfits. I started investigating inventions and the inventors behind them and I was surprised to see the crazy things that were created back in the late 1800's. It was fun to imagine people enjoying these inventions.
W: Where did you find such sources of inspiration? SC: I went to the New York Public Library initially, but that was too overwhelming. I went back to using Google and Corbis searches. I also have some old books that give me certain good olde-timey vibes.
W: Describe your creative process for these pieces. SC: I wanted to get the feeling of the old, aged photographs. At first just sepia tone, but then I realized the colorized photos add a cool feel. My color palette is usually pretty muted anyway, so it went well. I printed out all of my references and just brainstormed all over the xeroxed pages and scanned it all in the computer and pieced it together in Photoshop. I printed out those roughs and traced them onto toned watercolor paper. Then, I just watercolored them all in a conveyor belt fashion! Colors, lines, words, signature, done!
W: So interesting. Of these pieces, do you have a personal favorite or perhaps one that stands out for you? SC: The one that makes me laugh the most is "The Shirt Magnet" because the invention is so dumb... and impossible. The dude's expression is so excited and pleased, hoping the ladies are impressed. I also think "Adorable Garden" is the heavy hitter of this new series because it has lots of fun things to look at and all the gardeners and onlookers are so serious-looking compared to the happy cute plants.
Scott Campbell | The Shirt Magnet | Watercolor on paper | 10" x 7.5"
W: Are there any people of history that you find particularly worthy of admiration? SC: Yes, Dr. John Stith Pemberton invented Coca-Cola, but before that he invented all these crazy elixirs and medicines. Plus he had an insane beard shaped like a lizard tongue (see Example A).
Example A: Dr. John Stith Pemberton sports a lizard-tongue-shaped beard.
W: Let's say that Nucleus has finally completed construction on a fully-functional time machine, and we offer to let you try it out. Which time period are you off to and why? Would you bring anything back? SC: I think the year 1900 because there were so many awesome world fairs and good times to be had. There were fancy outfits and new inventions for people to enjoy. I would bring back a person in olde-timey clothes and watch what funny antics would ensue when this person comes in contact with modern times... and then I would film it and pitch it to the movies because "movies" is a living being that I can pitch ideas to.
W: Sounds fun. Can I have the rest of your crumpet? SC: Yes, but of course.
Scott Campbell | Adorable Garden | Watercolor on paper | 10" x 23"
Be sure to check back each day for more preview images as we talk with the artists participating in this Saturday's Great Great Grandshow. The opening reception starts at 7pm. Join in the fun by dressing up as your favorite historical figure and receive 15% off anything in our store!
The fourth annual i AM 8-BiT exhibit kicks off this Thursday, August 14 with an Opening Night Extravaganza celebrating the nostalgia of videogames through '80s gaming-inspired art. For the first time, the independent touring art show will be appearing at Hollywood's World of Wonder gallery.
Amanda Visell | One Pill Left | 16" x 20"
The new show will see contributions from a number of noteworthy artists and illustrators including Luke Chueh, Amanda Visell, Joe Ledbetter, Scott Campbell, Ashley Wood, Jose Emroca Flores, Yoskay Yamamoto, Tessar Lo, Joe Vaux, Michelle Valigura, Elizabeth Ito, Gerald de Jesus, Mr. Jago, and Tanner Goldbeck.
Yuta Onoda | Wish Upon A Star | 16" x 24"
Said organizer Jon Gibson, "Mario, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Sonic are just as iconic as The Beatles to our generation. They are our childhood heroes, our babysitters, our most awesome fantasies - and it's amazing to see how wildly and diversely artists choose to interpret them, because every experience is a personal one."
i AM 8-BiT Opening Night Extravaganza August 14, 2008 8 p.m. to Midnight
World of Wonder Storefront Gallery 6650 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, CA
Yet another fun Saturday in roasty toasty LA! Check it out:
The website info was a bit vague (Cultural Investigations?) but from what I gleaned, I think it's a one-day event with a bunch of indie publishers selling products at their booths (man, my reading comprehension skills while on their website was abysmal). Either way, there will be music and other goodies that should be a great way to escape the scorching outdoors this Saturday.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 9TH, 2008 | 1P-9P 1331 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Even though I only partook in Comicon-goodness for one (fun) day, I thought you might enjoy a little glimpse into the hard work, long hours and general antics that go into these shows. Special thanks to Tim - not only for dominating the workload at the Nucleus booth - but for cutting these neat videos of the experience. He's releasing them in bite-sized chunks, so stay tuned to his blip.tv page for more...