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Monday, December 20, 2010

Andrew Wilson Smells Good

That's what his girlfriend Crystal/Cristal(?) had to say about him. But, who is this man. This Andrew Wilson? Well, I can tell you he's a pretty damn good artist that I met a D-Con. I can show you some of his work below.

 I can also tell you what happened when we visited the Hammer Museum. Well, for one thing the man doesn't pay for his cuts. He cuts his own hair. This led to a bit of a problem as I didn't remember what he looked like with his hair cut that short. At the reception area of the Hammer Museum he lied to the receptionist about just finishing a film he wrote and directed, when she prompted him to come to free screening night. After laughing about his lie, and that he smells good by his girlfriend, and his stance on haircuts we headed to the Hammer Cafe within the museum.

His Metroid Wheel and preliminary sketch.

He told me he was living in Northern California. San Diego now a days. He dropped the bomb that he worked for Rock Star. I was struck out by this. It's F*ing cool to work for Rock Star. He's an Environment artist, but he's held different titles at the company. He was the art director for one of the Midnight Club series games. He's been working at Rock Star for 8 years now. He's worked at other video game companies, too. Doing behind the scenes work or final touches.

I had to ask what was the coolest swag he got in all the years he worked in the game industry. He had to think for a sec and said, "A Letterman's Jacket". "A Letterman's jacket!", I wondered and said out loud, then thought in my head "Well that isn't that great. Then he explained it. The jacket had the games company logo name on it, I think it was VCI, but you'd also receive a patch for every game you worked on. It didn't work out that well and the company kind of forgot about it, but that concept sounds great. Sort of like a achievement to show off to other game makers. Showing of your rank to the game military. You worked on Frogger I worked on Galaga and Pac-Man look over here at my jacket lost both legs, damn ghosts.

We delved into his childhood. Andrew remarked of his craftiness as a child. He was awe struck by video games when they came out. He wanted to create them as soon as he saw them. So he did, out of paper. He told me how he tried to create video games out of paper. He built these complex video game system out of paper. An example is he would make a paper craft airplane attached to a handmade joystick than control the plane on asteroid background he drew. That sounds like IndieCade practically to me. He also told when he drew a huge asteroid field with friends with chalk on the ground and created some sort of game using people as the ships. That idea sounded like crazy fun. People who try like that or think differently always make something incredible.
His earliest games of interest were Section Z and 3rd World Runner. These were the games that shaped little Andrew's mind.

Next up I asked of Andrew's different styles. He simply told me he gets sick of them and likes going to different ways. I actually ordered a book from Andrew years ago of drawings he did on Chipotle's menus. When I brought this up he told me how he was still doing them for fun. What I did not know is was still drawing on the same pile of menus he initially took from Chipotles. He must have taken a lot.

Another tidbit of differing art style he does is this silhouette style. There was simply no time to color in a CD or poster for a music group so they stuck with the silhouettes of the characters and it worked. Now you have these cool inks. Love that style.

Be ready and prepared. Andrew is that type of guy. He explained, "I have everything ready at my house for when I come home. I live close to work, 6 minutes. I have my wacom on. My computer on and everything else ready and in place". He added something like, "Hit 111 or 333 on your microwave cause it takes to much time to go to another number. Don't waste time" I found that fascinating and it seems to work for Andrew.

We transitioned into the topic of Japan. Andrew brought up how the extreme bossiness and high standards that Japanese game makers forced him too have made him a better artist. He was also amazed how they got their ideas across with the language barrier. "They would draw pictures that explained what they meant, theses pictures would perfectly convey what they wanted without any words. "This helped me to explain to other artists under me to convey ideas" , Andrew.

Andrew also told of a trip to Japan to the infamous Ghibli museum where cartoon like Howl's Moving Castle were made. "So there's a tour you can go on and there's also a forest reserve surrounding the Ghibli Museum. It's inspired different movies they've made. So you go outside and can look around. I was with a friend who had gotten us lost in that forest. We had a path and got to a fork in the road. I told him it was up to him as he initially gotten us lost. So we chose his path. We ended up meeting a bunch of Japanese schoolgirls who had to rescue us because it started to rain. They took us back to their school until we finally talked to one of their teachers who knew some English" , Andrew. Hilarity, that sounded like a fun trip to me. When I wrote down the path in my notes of a fork of the road as a visual Andrew looked down and said, "Are you trying to create a time flux capacitor. He totally nerd joked me.

Then we had fun in the Devil's Hill. A exhibit about standing in a room that's tilted. I love the Devil's Hill.

 We then walked through the permanent collection. Andrew explained paintings and art style while I listened. He cared more if a portrait of a person or people showed there was something underneath there skin, like they had muscles and a skeleton or were more realistic in the classic painting section.
   When we were seating at the cafe earlier while looking at the changing paintings on the monitors by one photographer, I said something along the lines of, "Like, look at this. This isn't art, excuse me, I just don't like it, I hate it. I mean everything is art. It's just a matter of opinion if it's good or not." Later, while we walked through the newer pieces or more Modern Art. I said, "So Andrew, why do you think this belongs here? I mean this piece isn't great. I could have done this in art class. It's awful"

Andrew said something like, "That's a good question, why is it good enough to be here? But, someone took the time to make it and would you take the time to let's say draw a giant stick figure? Take the time to draw the long line to form the head and the body? Then frame the giant stick figure? Someone had to come up with it initially. Sure you could say you could do it, but did you waste your time doing it or coming up with it?" It wasn't in a condescending tone or anything he was just making a good point, about art being to the beholder and to people who tried. Then I warned him to look out for the small child behind him so he didn't trample him like the other poor kid while taking pictures in front of the "End White Supremacy" piece.We parted ways shortly after that.

Here's his blog
You can find Andrew at different cons
Here's where you can purchase some of his stuff.
                                                                   Some Street Fighter Art

Be on the look out for his next book, Shit Sandwich/Scrap Sandwich he hasn't figured out  the title he likes best just yet. It disgusting and cute at the same time.