Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Know You Will Die, Hang Out in a Pool and Other Tips for Making BIG ART Projects from Clyde Petersen

I have been having a hard time falling asleep the last two nights thinking about Clyde Petersen's latest Kickstarter project. I am that excited about his story and the way he wants to tell it and that through the modern process of crowd funding it could actually be given voice. And we can all be stop action animation extras!

Please click below to watch the Kickstarter appeal. After you have donated, keep reading for my mini interview with the incredibly talented Clyde Petersen.

You have created work with other musicians and spoken word artists. How did you think illustrating other people's stories prepared you to tell your own? Do you think it will be easier, harder or just different to make such a personal narrative?
For the past 6 years I have been teaching youth the skills involved in animation. i have also been making music videos for many bands. I think in many ways it has prepped me for the long road of telling my story the way I want it to be told. I have a lot of tools in my imaginary tool belt. After helping other people for a while, I got to the point where I felt like I was ready to finally take on a big project. I would look at people making feature films and think, well they made a feature, why can't I?

I can't imagine starting a feature length animation.What tips do you have for someone with a huge dream project they are afraid to start? Basically, I would tell them, you're gonna die. Who knows when. You better start doing exactly what you want to be doing, ALL THE TIME. Not just after work, not just before work. Your art is your WORK. One of my friends who I really respect told me that a job is a JOB, Just over Broke. I like that. When I talk about work, I mean art. When I talk about my job, I mean my JOB. I think it is pretty important to say "being an artist is my job" or "doing _____ is my job." No one else can do exactly what you are going to do, or say it in the way you're going to. That is your gross value, right there. So taking that value and story and giving it some respect and time is really where it's at. Otherwise you will just help other people tell their stories your whole life.

What do you do when you feel stuck, scared, or bored in the middle of a project? 
I usually go lay around in the pool at the gym, go for a run, watch star trek: TNG, stare at the wall in a comfy chair, flip through an encyclopedia style book, skype a friend (I recommend this over a phone call because you can show your friend visual things and talk about why you are stuck,) read a Nate Powell graphic novel. Mostly I just space out and say to myself, "it's not happening right now, but that is fine because it will happen soon."

Do you do anything to celebrate the end of a project and acknowledge your hard work?
 OMG YES. I clean my room and change my clothes and do laundry. It's a real process to dredge out the used materials from a film. I have a home studio, it's my bedroom. It makes me a little bonkers, but it sure feels good to clean all the detritus out when a project is done. It's a little odd too, because often I make something and then it has to wait to be released into the music video system by record labels and PR companies. So it is not quite an instant feeling of success. When the movie goes out into the world, then it feels pretty good.

Who or what is inspiring You right now? 
 I am really inspired by a million things all the time. Here is a list of things you should check out! Nate Powell
Amanda Kirkhuff
Jeffry Mitchell
Wynne Greenwood
Kimya Dawson
Aesop Rock
By Hook or By Crook
Boating with Clyde

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