30.06.14 by Jeff

“Drawing On The Past”: Interview with Director Andrew Thomas Huang

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My friends at Herschel Supply and I have launched an art project called “Drawing On The Past”, and we want you to draw a person, place, or thing, that’s had a positive impact on your life. It’s open to anyone to join, and I’d be thrilled if you took part! As a little extra incentive we’ll be giving away Herschel products to some random lucky people just for submitting to the project! Get the full instructions HERE.

This drawing above is a submission to our project by one of my favourite directors, Andrew Thomas Huang (I’ve featured his work many times).

He wrote: “This is one of the first creatures I invented when I was about 8 years old. It doesn’t have a name, but runs in the desert with the body of a kiwi, a honking nose and ram horns. This was special because it was one of the first characters that felt very real to me, and gave me confidence to keep drawing. This is my first re-imagining of the creature in 21 years.”

 

Interview with Andrew Thomas Huang

 

Jeff Hamada: Let’s start off with maybe the most important question of all, we get to eat one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner in L.A., where do we go?

Andrew Thomas Huang: Breakfast: Bea Bea’s in Burbank – hands down best french toast on Earth. No joke. Lunch: Larchmont Wine & Cheese sandwich shop. Dinner: Korean BBQ place in Koreatown called Soot Bull Jeep.

 

 

JH: I was trying to explain to someone the unique look that has sorta become your signature. You’re able to use computer generated images but have them still feel very tactile, very real. Is it fair to call this your style? Do you feel like you’re speaking with your own voice now?

ATH: I’m very cautious not to pin myself to a particular style, as that can stagnate a director’s career very quickly. Though I suppose I have married myself to certain ideas and philosophies about how I want things to move in my films, and I am more interested in advancing various thematic threads in my work but with different techniques, including more straight live action as well. Short answer is yes, I am speaking with my own voice now but that voice is constantly changing as I change.

JH: Did J.J. Abrams want you to come work for him right out of school?

ATH: He encouraged me to direct and welcomed me to become part of the Bad Robot family, which involved pitching to him and/or working as a PA at the company. This was back in 2007.

JH:  I read that it was your short film Doll Face that got him (and many people on the Internet) excited about your work. Will we see any long form work any time soon or are you still mostly interested in shorts?

ATH: Long form work yes, but not any time soon. I am booked some big jobs for the next year which are very exciting but still in short form world. I am currently outlining a feature which is more of a long term project.

JH: I’m guessing a lot of these big jobs will be secret at this point, but is there anything you’ve already been working on that we should look out for in the future?

ATH: For 2 years now I’ve been meaning to make a sort of sequel to my short film Solipsist, but something much darker and metallic. I’m done with colorful psychedelic rocks and sandy stuff. That project will realistically take another two years, but I have some other exciting stuff brewing that unfortunately I have to keep quiet about, but I’ll just say keep an eye out for March 2015.

 

 

JH: Solipsist was actually the first thing I’d seen of yours and it blew my mind. I’d love to see a sequel. Who are some other filmmakers that people should be watching that are perhaps flying a little under the radar?

ATH: (Some not necessarily under the radar, but I am just a huge fan of these artists) Kahlil Joseph, Michael Langan, Mikey Please, Aoife McArdle, Julie Faure-Brac, Geoffrey Lillemon, Lucy McRae, Jon Rafman.

JH: Never seen Julie Faure-Brac’s work before! Very cool. I usually end interviews by asking what’s one thing you’d like to accomplish this year? And also, what’s something you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?

ATH: I hope to actually begin shooting (or be ready to shoot) my next short film by end of the year. Lifetime – I want to direct the next Dark Crystal.

 

Andrew Thomas Huang’s Website

Andrew Thomas Huang on Twitter

 

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

We are releasing our very limited edition Herschel Supply and Booooooom bag to the public on July 7th at 9am. It will be for sale online HERE.

25.06.14 by Jeff

Colin Furze: “Inside The Mind Of An Inventor”

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Colin Furze is a plumber by day and an inventor the rest of the time. His name has become synonymous with phrases like “wall of death” and “jet bike”, and he currently holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Fastest Pram, Longest Motorbike and biggest Bonfire. Watch a profile on this wonderfully crazy inventor below.

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22.06.14 by Jeff

“Drawing On The Past”: Interview with Tran Nguyen

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Last week was the official launch of our latest project, “Drawing On The Past”. I’ve produced a special bag with my friends at Herschel Supply and we’re releasing it as part of an art project open to anyone. I would love it if you joined in on the fun; full instructions HERE.

I asked a few people to help me get things started. This gorgeous drawing above is a submission to our project by one of my favourite artists, Tran Nguyen. Enjoy a short interview with her below!

 
 

Interview with Tran Nguyen

 
 

Jeff Hamada: Maybe you could start off by describing where you are as you answer these questions! I’m sitting in my apartment here in Vancouver, listening to Brad Mehldau’s piano cover of Radiohead’s “Exit Music” and the sun is just starting to go down.

Tran Nguyen: I’m relaxing in my studio here in Atlanta, enjoying a nice cup of Yogi green tea and listening to those insanely addictive songs from Disney’s Frozen.

JH: If you wrote your own Disney movie what would the plot be?

TN: The story would revolve around two tiny nymphs, a brother and a sister, who inhabits a floating island the size of human hand.  The island is actually a flowering plant in a pot, cared for by a little boy.  The boy planted the magical seed and watered the sprouting island for many weeks, but one day, as the house cat scuttled by the window, he accidentally knocks over the plant pot tossing the brother from the island, out the window and into the backyard.  The plot will focus on the sister’s journey to find her lost little brother in an unknown world of singing songbirds, sinister garden snakes, and unexpected, unyielding courage.

JH: That sounds amazing! Maybe someone from Disney will read this and hire you. I read that you were born in Vietnam, but raised in Georgia, could you get good Vietnamese food there? When I went to Vietnam recently I was surprised by how much variety there is food-wise; so much more than just pho.

TN: Honestly, if I’m in the mood for Vietnamese food, I make a trip to my parent’s kitchen.  They make the most scrumptious and tantalizing dishes I’ve ever consumed.  Elsewhere, I’d recommend the small restaurants located on Buford Highway, Atlanta.  I think dishes other than pho are a bit too exotic for American tongues and can be an acquired taste. If you’re an adventurous eater, I’d recommend ca kho to. I love, love seafood.

JH: Was art school a good experience for you? I know for some people it isn’t.

TN: Personally, I grew exponentially when I attended SCAD. My family and I didn’t have much growing up so I felt immensely fortunate to attend a private art college. I do have a few friends that felt a bit of resentment when they graduated, but I believe your education is what you make of it.

JH: I read in a couple other interviews that your parents lived their whole lives with very little, I’d imagine that would be a good reminder that making art for a living is a luxury. Do you ever feel extra pressure to make something of yourself as an artist because of your upbringing?

TN: Absolutely. I’ve seen the hardship my family’s endured so I could never take my privileges for granted.  Because of my upbringing, it’s motivated me to find a way to help people with imagery, live to my potential, and persevere over all obstacles that may come.  I would never want to disappoint my family. They’ve sacrificed too much to bring me to the States, and cared enough to send me to an extremely expensive college, for it to be thrown away.

JH: What are some of the things influencing your work these days?

TN: These days, I’ve been heavily inspired by haute couture. I’m extremely fascinated with manipulating and constructing fabric to create abstract form, which is a subject matter I’ve been visiting recently; particularly pleated textures. As always, my concepts are focused on therapeutic imagery.

JH: I don’t find a lot of work by Vietnamese artists (at least not as much as I’d like), do you know a secret website where can I find more work by artists from Southeast Asia? If there isn’t one, there should be.

TN: Unfortunately, there aren’t many Vietnamese artists. I only know a handful and I think it’s because art isn’t respected as much as it is in the U.S., plus the market barely exists in countries like Vietnam. I hear it’s gotten better these past few years so I’m hoping for a plethora of artists from Southeast Asia in the near future.

JH: I like to end interviews by hearing about an artist’s personal goals. Could you share something you’d like to accomplish this year, and then something you’d like to accomplish in your life time?

TN: By the end of this year, I’d like to take my dad back to his hometown in Vietnam.  He’s worked his whole life and has missed out on a lot.  After working 70+ hours a week for 24 years, he deserves a long vacation. On my deathbed, what will matter most is whether I can confidently say that I’ve lived a honest life I can be proud of — something I’ve been working towards since high school.

JH: Your drawing is incredible, thanks for being a part of the project.

TN: Thanks so much, Jeff.

 

Tran Nguyen’s Website

Tran Nguyen on Instagram

 

If you would like to participate in the “Drawing On The Past” project it’s open to anyone and we’d love to have you. Full project instructions HERE.

We are releasing our very limited edition Herschel Supply and Booooooom bag to the public on July 7th at 9am. It will be for sale online HERE.

 

09.06.14 by Jeff

Video Profile: Designer James Victore

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The latest episode of the interview series “Like Knows Like” features Brooklyn-based designer and teacher, James Victore. I previously posted about Victore’s insightful Youtube series “Burning Questions” here.

Watch the video below.

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05.06.14 by Jeff

Artist Profile: Two One

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A video portrait of Berlin-based Japanese artist Two One, by filmmaker Michael Danischewski. Watch below!

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22.05.14 by Jeff

Sponsored by Teva: Yumna Al-Arashi


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Excited to see one of my internet buddies, photographer Yumna Al-Arashi, featured by Teva for their video series featuring all sorts of creatives. I included her in my Best of Instagram series awhile back, her feed is one of my favourites. You should follow her here: @yumnaaa.

I’ve included a bunch of my favourite images from her Instagram below, as well as the video!

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15.04.14 by Jeff

Same But Different “Theo’s Story”

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I don’t know if I’m just extra emotional tonight or what, but I cried two times watching this video by director David Barnes. This kid’s honesty and the beautiful filming and editing, ahh it’s too much for me right now. A+

Theo is 10 years old, and almost blind. In this video he explains “what it’s like to be me” as part of an Emmy Award winning collection of short documentary portraits, featuring kids with a variety of medical conditions.

Watch “Theo’s Story” below!

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27.03.14 by Jeff

Artist Profile: Audrey Louise Reynolds

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Audrey Louise Reynolds studied painting, photography, and film, while working as a cook, and her interests in all those areas sort of meshed together as she started to hand dye fabrics. New York Times called her “the fashion world’s artisanal fabric dyer” and The Selby recently followed her around as she created some of her work. Watch the video below.

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