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Spotlight on Animator Gary Tussey

 photo by  Alexis Campanis

 

How did you get your start in animation?

I first used a copy of 3DStudio3 and also CAD in around 1994 – I was 16.  From an early age I had an interest in art and drawing but also had a lot of mechanical and technical skills learned from working on cars, drafting with pencil and paper and being a wood shop nerd reading plans and thinking in 3D. After graduating high school turned down a couple TINY tennis scholarships and went to the Art Institute and that was that.

My first professional animation position was at a small animation and tech company doing 3D content for – Medical, Aerospace, and Transportation for the military.  I created a lot of award winning medical animation back in the early days of 3D. Later in 2010 we won an Emmy for a 3D Commercial I animated called ‘Globeology’.
Medical animation history 

 

What is “Globology”
It was a 30s regional TV spot made in 2009 to market a new Exhibit at the Wildlife Experience Museum called ‘Globeology’
This is the commercial

Where do you go for inspiration?
EVERYWHERE – I am a passionate person in general I love to try new things and I do it mostly without fear.  Most of my inspiration comes directly from each client’s and their project requirements. I help them as their partner to fulfill the goals of the project.  When something is 100% my own idea, that’s when actual fear does set in.

 

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Spotlight on Aleksander Tokarz (ArchiGuru)

Your work stretches across various disciplines, do you identify yourself as an artist or architect?
Ever since I was 8 years old I wanted to be an architect, and it’s the profession I have been involved with in the past 10 years. However I always find myself doing different projects that have nothing to do with architecture: mostly art, design, and other urban interventions. I also love taking pictures and writing, which I try to do as much as I can with my magazine. For me its important to be able to design and experiment in various scales, from airports that span across miles to small 3D printed objects. To me, they each hold an equal weight in terms of creativity and energy.

 

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
Right now I like working in public spaces and making small-scale interventions. It’s also really important for me to involve people from the surrounding community in these projects as well. I usually try to reach out to local cultural centers and see how my talent can be used to help improve the local neighborhood, either by doing workshops or making a project.

 

 

You have been living in Mexico City the past 2 years. What’s it like to work in that type of urban environment?
It’s very chaotic and unorganized but also very welcoming and open. In the city there are many opportunities for small-scale projects and there are many people here who have the same ideas about urbanism and community involvement. I have also been very fortunate to be part of the team that is currently working on the new airport for Mexico City. Its one of the biggest projects in the country and it will be finished in about 5 years.

 

You were a street artist involved with graffiti for many years…how does this passion translate to your current projects?
I stopped painting illegal graffiti a long time ago, but the energy to leave a mark on the streets is still the same. I am currently struggling with different projects that I personally want to do on the streets, which would be done illegally. These of course do not hurt anybody or damage property, but they would be unauthorized interventions in public spaces. Expression is important to me and sometimes I want to avoid the hassle of asking local municipalities for the proper approval.

 

 

What inspires and motivates the choices you make in your work?
I get really inspired by the urban environment around me, anything from street art to sculptures to buildings. My main problem has been that I like a lot of things and when something grabs my attention I focus on it for a long time. I try to see if I can duplicate it or make my own interpretation of it. That is why my work spans across so many disciplines and I try to experiment with different materials as much as I can. While at times my work seems to have no relation from one project to the next the energy that I put into each one is the same, just the result is different.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in getting your art done?
Mainly picking the right thing to focus on. There are so many projects I want to get involved in, community workshops to organize, exhibitions to make. Lately I have been very picky and trying to make projects that will have a long lasting impact, especially in the public realm. What’s the point of having a painting in a gallery when only 5 people a week will see it. The project should be thought out so that it can have a positive impact on the community and the people who experience it.

 

 

What are your aspirations for the future?
I will probably live in Mexico the next few years and continue further developing my ideas. I would like to open an official studio by myself but I’m always collaborating with different people, so being mobile makes more sense now. As long as there is an opportunity for me to create something cool I will be up for it. I will also transition from making magazine issues to books. To me publishing a book seems more timeless than a magazine issue. Someone can pick up a book I made 50 years from now and it still will be relevant.

 

Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?

 

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Spotlight on Artist Sabin Aell

 

What brought you to the U.S.?  Why did you make Denver your home?
The US was my favorite place to be since I was 18. I dreamt of living there one fine day.  Around 2004 I submitted lots of my work to “Call for Entries” to get my work out. One was in 2005 to the Center of Photography in Fort Collins and got into the show which Mark Sink curated. I flew out for the opening reception met Mark and the artists…all amazingly open, welcoming people. At that point I knew that Denver would be my choice. I fell in love with the people and the exciting electric creativity I felt boiling underneath the surface. While developing relationships with my new friends I made a plan and started collaborating on a project with Mark Sink. I came back in October 2005 to work on “Perfect Beauty” with Mark. During that time I met my husband Randy – it was love at first sight. One thing led to another and in December 2006 I moved to Denver permanently, it was a very magical time for me.

 

 

You opened Hinterland Art Space in 2008, what inspired you to start a gallery/art space?  How did you come up with the name?
For a while back then I was thinking about being involved in a sort of a communal space. I didn’t think about a gallery specifically. When the Month of Photography came up in 2008 a friend called me and asked if knew of any galleries to show her work for that occasion. All the galleries I knew were booked up at that time. So, I spontaneously suggested that we could set up a gallery space and have a show here at our new warehouse location which we just started to rent and had moved into. Shortly after Randy and I started with the build-out Hinterland was born. The name developed out of a conversation with a close friend who was visiting from Europe. It seemed to be the perfect fit. The Hinterland —where there is the unknown —beyond what is visible —David Bowie once wrote a song about the Hinterland: “Red Sails” and the lyrics go like this:

 

Do you remember we another person
Green and black and red and so scared
Graffiti on the wall keep us all in tune
Bringing us all back home
Red sail
Red sail action
Red sail
Some reaction
Action boy seen living under neon
Struggle with a foreign tongue
Red sails make him strong
Action make him sail along
Life stands still and stares
The hinterland, the hinterland
We’re gonna sail to the hinterland
And it’s far far, far far far, far far far away

 

This song is exactly what Hinterland is about, discovering new things, some might be frightening but they are new, colorful, exotic and strange. We are artists, explorers of the soul, emotions, stormy seas and vast lands. But what we find and come home with are treasures beyond words.

 

 

 

 

 

Can you speak to your design career before moving into art full time?
I went to a college for graphic design as I wanted to have something to support myself. After school it was hard to find a job. I looked for a year and couldn’t find anything. So I decided to buy myself a computer. I taught myself photoshop, html, and javascript. I started my new business as a web-designer. It was a total window of opportunity for me – I could use my newly acquired programming skills, illustration and photography to build top websites. In Austria at that time the web design business was all just starting. There were not many people who where savvy in this newly developing design industry. I started building websites for big companies like Austria’s biggest insurance company, KTM, etc. But I really wanted to move on and leave Vienna. The only way I could do this was by getting hired by a company in another country. Various applications later Frankfurt was my next destination. I got hired as a creative director  by Ogilvy & Mather Interactive which is one of the biggest advertising companies with headquarter in New York City. Some of the clients I worked with included IBM, Mercedes, Daimler Chrysler and the Dresden Bank. It was highly interesting to see how the big corporate world worked. Years in this business taught me how to streamline processes and focus on the most important essences.

 

 

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Spotlight On Josh Berger of Plazm

“OnCreativity” a new film project by Plazm a creative studio founded in Portland, Ore., in 1991.

We all have the ability to create. But what is creativity? How does it work? Plazm’s “OnCreativity” series explores these and other questions via informal interviews with designers, artists, musicians, animators, and educators. Like creativity itself, their differing points of view inspire, provoke, confuse, and delight.

Since our founding in Portland in 1991, we have believed that creativity can change the world. “As human beings, we have to get over the period of competition,” as Arturo Vega says in an upcoming OnCreativity interview, “and we have to replace it with one of collaboration and compassion.” 

See the trailer  Project site

 


 
Plazm started as a cooperatively published, not-for-profit periodical that sparked a nascent creative community in early 1990s Portland. As the magazine garnered accolades and awards, it spawned a commercial design and branding firm whose clients have included Nike, LucasFilm, and MTV, along with local businesses and nonprofits such as PICA, the Northwest Film Center, and Fort George Brewery.

 


2016 Bend Design Conference during the Plazm “Come Fail with Us” workshop

About Joshua Berger: One of Plazm’s founders Joshua Berger believes that design can change the world. He co-founded Plazm magazine in 1991 and went on to run the award-winning creative studio Plazm Design. He’s worked with larger agencies as well, including Wieden+Kennedy and Liquid Agency, where he was Brand Content Director. Josh enjoys working with inventive, rigorous brands like Nike, MTV, and LucasFilm, and helping launch local successes like Fort George Brewery. He is active in the creative community, with organizations including PICA and Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, and this year the Bend Design Conference. Josh has won various design awards and his artwork has been shown from The Museum of Sex in New York to the ZGRAF Festival in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

What brought you to Sisters, O.R.?  It was really a health-related move. I wanted to be in a quieter place, and my wife developed a mold allergy. We drove around Oregon a couple years ago with our son and a travel trailer that we inherited and found that we really liked it here. So about a year ago we made the move.

I have also been interested in regionalism for some time, in particular finding ways to foster a regional design dialog. We’ve been working on connecting Portland and Seattle design communities over the past couple years. I look forward to seeing Bend become a part of the conversation as well.

 

After the film, what’s on the horizon for you? We will continue to do new interviews—there are a number of committed subjects, we also have a lot of others already in the can that just need to be edited. “OnCreativity” will also become a book.

At the same time, we’ll also keep doing commercial work with clients who share our values. I hope to find some great clients here in Central Oregon too!

We’re also working on a new issue of Plazm magazine on the theme of ‘creativity around the world.’ We have curators, designers, and jouranlists in Chile, South Africa, China, Iran, and Native Nations in America.

Spotlight on James Kenney of Interstitch

The newly published book, Searching for Hell, follows teams of filmmakers around the globe as they produce segments for the documentary of the same name. For the film segment set in the Congo, director, James Kenney, places us in the first-person POV of a child accused of being a witch. The boy becomes our guide as he searches for his mother in the vast pockets of tribal neighborhoods of Kinshasa, known to its inhabitants as Can City, because most of the structures are a precarious combination of cinder blocks and corrugated tin roofs.

Kinshasa is a mass of people estimated at nearly ten million. No one knows its exact population, because the poverty is rampant, and the government is insufficient for the care of its citizens. The majority of the city is divided into nests of alliances – invisible to strangers – who just see a sprawl of chaos mostly without running water or electricity. Tenuous wires snarl through alleys and across rooftops, attempting to tap into any grid. The din bustle of people is constant.

And yet James writes that he felt safe there:

I had read that it was moderately dangerous in Kinshasa, but after spending a few days there, I was surprised by the dichotomy of seeing relatively few police and yet general order among the people. I witnessed no crime. I asked my guide how this was, and he explained, in his broken Belgian-English, that people mostly stay in line because the consequences of not doing so are severe. Before 1960, under colonial Belgian rule, one could have a hand, or even a foot, cut off by machete for each infraction—such as not meeting your quota or causing unrest. Baskets of hands displayed the power of the King, and in Belgium you can still buy little chocolates in the shape of hands. The mostly docile culture is also a continuation—city-mind-thought—of the strong-arm dictator, Mobutu. He introduced the doctrine of Article 15, “debroulle voi”: suggesting to his people that they just get by, fend for themselves, hustle, finagle; however you need to, just don’t do anything too violent or serious and definitely nothing against the government. Under Mobutu, you could be sent to prison without trial and tortured for years, and then you might be mysteriously released and appointed to the government, where you would surely be an obedient minister. The memory of these rules survives into modern Kinshasa. I have certainly felt less safe in cities in the United States.

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