Monday, December 5, 2011

Artist Interview

  1. Could you introduce yourself, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Scott Maynard, I'm a comic artist and animator from Central Massachusetts.
  1. Did you grow up in an artistic community?
I did not. I grew up around skateboarders and a pretty average suburban family.
  1. At what point did you decide you wanted to be an artist for the rest of forever? What made you choose this path?
I wanted to be an artist when I was very young, about the 2nd grade. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do but I liked drawing a lot. I gave up on it in high school and eventually came back to it a few years ago after some self discovery moments. Ever since then, I've been absolutely set on it as a professional and personal choice.
  1. Were you one of those kids that were always creative? Did you family encourage this?
I was always drawing when I was little, I can't sit still and I really enjoy multitasking, so drawing allowed me to listen to teachers while still keeping my imagination active. My family was kind of odd about my drawing, they wanted to be supportive but they never saw it as a career option. Some of my teachers (including my high school art teacher!) actually discouraged me from art as a profession.
  1. Who were your major artistic influences growing up?
Video games were huge for me, I used to draw characters from video games and books a lot. When I was getting into high school, web comics were just starting to be a serious deal, Penny-Arcade was getting a lot of attention and I absolutely loved their comics and their writing. I'd say they were the biggest influence on me. Realizing that I didn't just have to draw, but that I could also write was this monumental thing, I knew I wanted to be a storyteller somehow. That's informed a lot of what I do and it's why I didn't get into fine art.
  1. What pre-college arts education did you have?
I didn't have any real artistic instruction, I just drew by myself which caused me to develop a lot of bad habits that I'm still trying to break. I had two art classes  throughout my entire high school career and I took one figure drawing class at a museum. I didn't really get a lot out of those experiences, I wasn't ready for taking art seriously and my teachers weren't very good anyway. I'm still trying to make up for my lack of training today. I try to work harder than other people around me or to at least deflect from my lack of artistic skill with humor or insightful writing.
  1.  What college do you attend and what made you decide on that school?
I go to the Art Institute of Boston. I had a friend that started there a year before me that made me consider it, he's a wonderful artist and seemed to be getting a lot out of his experiences there. I finally settled in there when I overcame my self doubt about being an artist and decided to give it a shot. It was a good choice.
  1. What is your major?
I'm an animation major!
  1. Do you have a minor?
I don't, but it would probably be illustration or writing if I were to choose one.
  1. What kind of courses have you taken in school? Do you stick to your major or have you branched out into other fields?
I've taken a lot of animation and comics classes. I've also had a lot of figure drawing and basic art training courses. I mostly stick to my those types of classes because I feel I need to make up for those bad habits I mentioned earlier! Before I came to AIB, I was in a lot of anthropology and political science classes.
  1. How helpful is your school in finding job opportunities and internships?
 I think they try their best, but their strength is more in teaching people important core principles in their field and as artists in general. A lot of the professors have had jobs in the industry and have helped students find internships and job opportunities.
  1. Where have you been published?
Print publishing hasn't really happened yet, the comic has just become old enough to be shopped around seriously to publishers and school has been dreadful these last few semesters. Once I'm done in the next month, getting a book of strips will be priority #1. Plenty of websites have posted about happle tea, whether they're other webcomics like Two Guys and Guy ( or blogs like the's The Funn E Pages. I've also got an interview that I've been meaning to do forever with
  1. Who came up with the idea for your web comic?
Happle Tea has largely been a solo project. I'm very interested in mythology and religion and I had tried to start a comic to that effect with a couple of different friends but it never really panned out. Eventually, I settled into really pursuing mythology and monsters by myself.
  1. How long have you been producing it?
HT officially started in July of 2009, older comics that had Lil K and the god character in them were added to the archive for posterity even though they were a little bit older and not really from the same concept. They just sort of set the stage for everything else. It's been about two and a half years now since it became Happle Tea!
  1. Does any one help out with it or is it your own production?
I do all of the art, research, and blog writing myself, I also code the site and largely maintain it myself. I have an acquaintance who helps out when the site needs triage. I also get help writing strips from my brother Jonathan and my girlfriend Liz.
  1. How difficult is it to meet the deadlines of your classes and the comic at the same time?
It's been pretty difficult, honestly. If homework or the comic has to take a hit in quality, I've chosen to let the homework suffer. Happle Tea is my passion and it's quickly turning into a career and a door opener for jobs and exposure. I'd rather do an okay homework assignment for one class than let down thousands of people with a bad comic!
  1. What medium do you use the most with your comics?
I tend to do most of my work digitally, whether that's comic or just illustrations. I've been meaning to get more into traditional media but haven't had a lot of time.
  1. What medium do you use outside of your comics?
I like to sketch on paper but my processed work is all digital.
  1. What other kinds of work do you produce?
I enjoy writing a lot, I've worked on other comics before, and I've also done single illustrations and small animations for class. I have a short film I'm working on with a friend. It's been animated but it requires inks, colors, and sound before we can show it.
  1. What do you feel you are the best at using?
Words. Haha I'm not sure if that's what you meant, but I think I'm a better writer than I am an artist. Words and storytelling are my medium of choice, I just like drawing so I choose to do comics. If you're talking about process, I'm best at using photoshop.
  1. What types of artwork do you enjoy creating?
I like creating anything that looks like part of a story. Sometimes I will draw some simple fan art of other peoples' characters as practice, but for my own work, I like to draw illustrations that evoke a story.
  1. I know you do a bit of digital work, but what opinion do you have on non-traditional art creating means like Illustrator and Photoshop verse traditional means like paint, ink, etc.? Do you feel that one is better than the other?
This is a tough question. I've seen some digital work that looks a lot like traditional media. Some people get hung up on the idea that traditional is somehow “better” because it requires “more skill” but they're just two different skill sets, two different ways of tackling the same goal. On a personal level, I really love the look of traditional work because of the texture, but it's possible to get that look digitally as well. Traditional work carries this weigh with it, I feel, because if you really mess something up, it can be difficult to fix it. There's also the fact that you have a solid object as opposed to a digital object when you're done. I think they're both great ways to do art and I love them both!
  1. Who are the top three artist that influence you work, and why?
Mike Krahulik and Jerry Hokins from Penny-Arcade would be the top two, I think. Seeing two pretty normal guys succeed at web comics because of their persistence and the obvious passion they have for their work really inspired me to try the same. It's been a great thing to see the art (from Mike Krahulik) evolve over time from being pretty shoddy to being really great cartooning and it's been delightful to read Jerry Holkins' articles every week. If I have to pick a third, it'd probably be Hayao Miyazaki. The way his stories have touched people all across the globe and the quality of the animation is really spectacular. Spirited Away is one of my all time favourite films and inspired me to go into animation rather than illustration.
  1. What sort of self-promotion do you use?
I am terrible at promoting myself. I don't see myself as being inherently special or talented, my only self promotion has been to use tumblr, twitter, facebook, and to create my website. The site has picked up all of its traffic simply through word of mouth, fans telling other people about it and sharing it on the web. I guess the way I've promoted myself has been to remain true to myself and my comic and to largely stick with the update schedule I've set up. I don't miss many updates throughout the year.
  1. Do you see yourself working independently as an artist after school or at an in-house job?
I've got a possible job lined up at an animation studio when I'm done with school but I'd prefer to work independently. The site is only a couple of years old, which for a web comic is tough. You don't make much money at web comics early on and to earn a living later, you have to have something really special that resonates with people. I'm prepared for either eventuality. I could be happy working at an animation studio, but I'd love to just go to conventions and work on Happle Tea more as a job.
  1. Do you have a personal studio? Does you school provide a studio space for you?
 I have a studio space at home, but it doesn't look very artistic or creative! A lot of my work is done on the computer, so I tend to be a very clean artist.
  1. .As an artist what do you think your role in society is? How can this role help others      understand the need for art and the artist in a community?
I believe my job is to communicate some kind of truth to others, to either help them understand themselves or others better and to make the a world a more positive place. My dream is to make people laugh, offer them some new insights into their past or present, or help them overcome the obstacles they set between each other. All the work on the site has been focused toward these goals. I think the framework of mythology and religion can help people see their past and present beliefs in a new light and I see the character of Lil K as being a way to address modern issues in a humorous way.
  1. Besides art what do you enjoy doing? Any surprising hobbies or talents?
I love reading and writing a lot and I make a mean curry! I'm also a gamer, a guitarist, and I enjoy a great cup of tea. I don't think any of those terribly surprising, though haha  

Monday, November 7, 2011

article metaphors

1. In a L.A. childhood, the First Mysteries

The author describes his childhood home and his first memory. In the story he discovers his parents for the first time and the house he grows up in. He tells of nature and the mystery of childhood.

Visual Associations: Home, House, Buildings, Television, Sun Sine, Soil, Bees, Trees, Flowers, Orange, Fruits, Airplanes, Cul-De-Sacs, Cars, Roots, Chickens, and Concrete.

2. Norman Ramsey Dies at 96

This article is about the life of Norman Ramsey and the work he did on the Atomic Clock. It describes his work in Science and his roll in the creation of the Atomic Clock. In addition to his work with time he also worked on the Manhattan Project. His work helped develop M.R.I.s used today.

Visual Associations: Science, Magnets, Atoms, Bombs, Laboratory, Death, Clock, Clock Hands, Grave Stone, Funeral, Wristwatch, and Electricity.

3.After a Bad Accident, Finding Resilience in Balloons

After loosing her leg in a car accident Ianthe Cupid learned to move beyond her disability and opened a balloon shop in New York City. While coping after her injury she visited St Vincent, where she was from, and rekindled an old flame of hers who she later married and had two children with. When her husband lost his job she found an alternative way to support her family and opened a small shop. Since then she is determined to prevent her finical situation affect her family.

Visual Associations: Wheel Chair, Car Accident, Hospital, Children, Balloons, Balloon Shop, Electric Scooter, Crutches, Money, Business Brief Case, Coins, Flowers, and Sullen Faces.

4. Free Signs for Panhandlers Receive Mixed Reaction

Three men Christopher Devine, James Griffith and David Rauen make laminated signs for homeless peoples in hopes that the bold signs will bring attention to their blight. The signs aren't with out controversy, some think it is silly to bring attention to a problem with out a real solution and even the homeless themselves are weary of accepting the signs.

Visual Associations: Homeless People, Rags, Dirt, Cardboard Signs, Helvetica, City Streets, Money, Cardboard Boxes, Milk Crates, and Rich Clothes/People.

5. Restored: Fading Account From the Heart of Africa

Livingstone was a scientist and a badass adventurer who wrote a diary on his adventures. Though the text in some of his writings are severely faded scientist today have found ways to restore them.

Visual Associations: SCIENCE, uh diaries, the nile, alligators, water, berries, writing instruments, etc.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wunderbar Research!

wonder |ˈwəndər|nouna feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by somethingbeautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable he had stood in front of it, observing the intricacy of the ironwork with the wonder of a child.• the quality of a person or thing that causes such a feeling Athens was a place of wonder and beauty.• a strange or remarkable person, thing, or event the electric trolley car was looked upon as the wonder of the age.• [as adj. having remarkable properties or abilities a wonder drug.• [in sing. a surprising event or situation it is a wonder that losses are not much greater.verb [ intrans. ]desire or be curious to know something how many times have I written that, I wonder? [with clause I can't help wondering how Stasia and Katie are feeling.• [with clause used to express a polite question or request I wonder whether you have thought more about it?• feel doubt wonder about such a marriage.feel admiration and amazement; marvel people stood by and wondered at such bravery [as adj. ( wondering) a wondering look on her face.• be surprised if I feel compassion for her, it is not to be wondered at.

One: The Golden Record

On the Voyager space crafts there is a record that contains the sounds of Earth life. It is intended to inform any future aliens of Human existence and the planet Earth. The idea that we sent out a record in with the slim hopes that some space alien somewhere will here this is one of the most wonderful wonders I can think of.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Visual Metaphors

Target: European Nations
Source: A bull
Ground: The shape similarities.
Tension: One is an animal and the other is a geographical form.
Target:  The Statue of Liberty
Source: A fuel gauge
Ground: The crowns spikes and the tick marks of a fuel meter
Tension: One stands for liberty and the other is nearing empty.
Target: A vulture
Source: A suitcase with stickers
Ground: The black color and orange color of the other suitcases
Tension: A vulture isn't something you pack clothes in, silly.

Target: Pac-Man!
Source: Hieroglyphics
Ground: The lines in the and shape of Pac-Man
Tension: The two images don't match exactly, the Pac-Man graphics are bolder.
Target: A swim floaty
Source: A fat persons belly
Ground: The shape of both
Tension: One's a fat ass and the other probably has a gym membership.
Target: A building
Source: Spider webs
Ground: The spider webs create the building
Tension: One is light and built by an animal the other is large, probably stone, and built by man.
Target: The island
Source: A Whale
Ground: The trees of the island inform the rest of the whale image.
Tension: One is a large aquatic mammal and one is a stationary geographic form.
Fusion + Replacement?
Target: Human arm + hand
Source: A Tree
Ground: The branches create the hand
Tension: Nature and Humans?
Target: A rope ladder
Source: A storm
Ground: The wavy movement of a rope ladder and the unpredictability of lightening
Tension: You climb ladders and stay out of high places during a lightening storm so you don't die.
Target: A shark
Source: A fire caused by oil drilling
Ground: The shape of the flames and the dorsal fin of a shark.
Tension: One is an animal and the other is cause by mis-management of oil production.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Subject Six: Riots in Greece and Mob Mentality

Okay so Greece recently has been in an economic shit hole for a while now and the people were sick of it. They took to the streets to protest and some violent fucks threw some shit and riots broke out. Being in Greece this past summer I got to see the results of the riots first hand and it was really bizarre. I personally got caught up with one of these riots, only running with them for my own safety, but running with a mob just the same. During the riot and the running I noticed how much the mob was one organic figure and how we moved, jumped, and connected to one another. I always find it interesting when groups of people with a common idea become one large mass.

Greek Riots
Mob Mentality Stories
Flash Mobs

 These last two are pictures my brother took while we were there.

Subject Five: Body Modification

Short and sweet explantation: Modifying the body in any physical way to achieve ones interpretation of beauty or ideal appearance. It shouldn't really be an issue because get the fuck over yourself and accept other people have a different aesthetic than yourself. Personally I think it is silly when people can't get jobs because of a nose ring or a tattoo. Modification is everything from cutting your hair to wearing clothes and I see it as unfair to hold one hire than another because of the majorities opinion. Honestly it isn't something I think about any more and without the extra holes in my body it would be bizarre to me to see my reflection it's kind of this idea that I think everyone should accept. I am really glad to see that tattoos are being accept more as an art form than as a form of punk rock or rebellion.

Body Modification Ezine
Tattoo Snob
Inked Culture

Subject Four: Space Travel

Recently NASA has shut down the space program which is pretty shitty because space is pretty awesome. Basically because of budget cuts and stuff they had to cut back on space travel. I think it kinda sucks cause space is awesome. It has probably crushed the dreams of several hundred 10 year old boys.

Loss of local jobs.
Also this:

Major Tom

Subject Three: Animal Testing and the Montauk Monster

In 2010 an animal washed up on the shores of Montauk beach in New York. This animal was hairless and unidentifiable as any animal currently know. Some suspect that it is an escaped animal from Plum Island, a federal run facility that studies animal disease in an effort to prevent it. Others suspect that it is simply a rotting animal that spent too much time in the salty sea. The obvious controversy in this being the exploitation of animals for the benefit of disease prevention and its ethics.

Mostly I would like to know what the fuck is going on over on Plum Island and why these animals keep popping up everywhere.

Plum Island Offical Site
Montauk Monster Official Site

Subject Two: Bike Lanes on Madison

The bicyclists would like bike lanes to be installed on Madison because bike lanes would improve their safety while biking and allow greater ease around midtown. Madison was chosen as a bike lane because of it's central location and traffic.  However some home and business owners think this will negatively affect there business or home. Drivers do not want to share the road with bicyclist and object the bike lanes. The drivers believe decreased speeds on Madison will ruin there beloved driving experience.

I am in favor of bike lanes because I enjoy the safety a bike lane projects. It is a comforting thought thinking that I can sue the fuck out of any one that may hit me while biking. There is also proof positive that drivers pay more attention to bicyclist when lanes are present. Personally a bike lane on Madison would make my commute twenty times easier, I both live and work off Madison and it is a common road in my travels.


Subject One: Urban Blight

Urban decay or blight is defined as the social and physical decay of a functioning area of an urban enviroment caused by economic and social disturbances. The result of this process is large areas of abandonments, whether they be buildings, plots of land, public parks, etc., in a populated functioning area that negatively effect economic standings, crime rates, and unemployment rates along with many other unwanted functions of a society.

This doesn't have much debate it seems that successful endeavors to buy up the land and create useful new spaces out of them has worked positively for communities, this can also create gentrification which I don't care much about  and is another story, but moral of the story the issue of urban blight is a solvable one. However if you are an artist these spaces becoming something of a source of inspiration and an awesome addition to a city. I think without these spaces of emptiness the city itself looses its historic importance. Mostly though it gives people the chance to study the buildings, historically and architecturally, to gain the opportunity to enter the buildings. Basically I want these empty buildings to stick around so I have someplace to explore and be inspired by.

Artists using empty spaces.
Public repurposing of blighted areas.
Artists and explorers interactions with these spaces.