View Profile TheInterviewer
Welcome to The Interviewer. Here you can read all of the interviews made with the members of Newgrounds. All messages must be sent to an Interviewer which can be found on the Main Page.



Location not disclosed

Joined on 2/8/09

Exp Points:
40 / 50
Exp Rank:
Vote Power:
2.55 votes
Global Rank:
B/P Bonus:

TheInterviewer's News

Posted by TheInterviewer - May 9th, 2018

[ Index Page | Official Thread | Theme Song ]

Interview No. 148
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest is one of the hardest working professional artist and animator out there today. Her works range from the funny with Science Kits At Play, to the darker tone with FLOWER, and to both with her acclaimed hit Help Wanted: Must Be Human. Her skills have taken her far throughout the art world and she has graced Newgrounds with her creativity. I am most pleased to welcome Meghan Luna.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I think I first stumbled upon Newgrounds when I was a little kid. I might have been 8 or 10 years old. I found this point and click investigator-type game set in… I want to say a hospital? I can’t remember the name of the game, but I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t really great at using the internet at that age, so I didn’t think to bookmark it. Thus that game and the site were lost to me for years. It actually wasn’t until the recent years that a lot of my animator friends recommended the site to me. I eventually signed up and I’m really enjoying it. The community is great and the feedback I get on my art is mostly helpful.


Q: When did you become interested in drawing?

A: Oooh, I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a crayon, haha! That's what a lot of artists say though. I started thinking more seriously about my style when a friend of mine in 4th grade showed me how she drew her characters step by step. Then I remember my Elementary School had a Scholastics Book Faire and I discovered manga. That definitely affected my style and for a while, up until High School, I was set on becoming a comic artist. I think it was in 11th grade that I realized I wanted to be an animator instead. Gifs were becoming more popular, and a lot of illustrators I followed were posting gifs of their characters blinking or something simple like that. I realized I’d much rather breathe life into my drawings than have them static. 


Q: What affects did the works of Disney, Nickelodeon, and DreamWorks have on you and your works?

A: When I started thinking more about my style it was really close to when I discovered manga, so in terms of characters design I wasn’t that affected by them in my early stages, but I was definitely affected by some things. I've always loved the bizarre zaniness that came from Nickelodeon cartoons like Invader Zim. I loved the fantastical and heart yearning feeling you always get when you watch a Disney Movie. And I loved loved loved how grand DreamWork's Prince of Egypt was. Those feelings are things I'd like to replicate in my art. Something that's fantastic and zany, and something that, in it's own way, is grand and makes your heart want more of it.


Q: What brought you to The University of the Arts in Philadelphia? How much did your education attribute to your work?

A: When I was looking for colleges to go to, it looked like Uarts had a pretty good rep. It was closer to where I lived, one of my cousins had already gone there and said she really liked it, and I really wanted to learn animation at an art specific school. I really enjoyed my time at Uarts and would recommend it to anybody. You can certainly teach yourself animation at home, but it might take longer and certain doors might be closed to you unless you know people who are already into animation or media in general. I didn't know anyone who was doing what I wanted to do, so I definitely needed it. Also, being around so many artists is incredible. I've never improved so fast before in my art. At Uarts I was able to get connected with other animators, illustrators, musicians, singers, sound designers, and so on and so on. Animation is definitely a group thing and Uarts provided me with my first network and I still find myself working with my Uarts peeps today. If anyone reading this is looking to attend Uarts, feel free to ask me about the school. 


Q: While at school you worked on different projects there, one being Wizard of Oz Guidelines. This was done for the Annals of Internal Medicine. How did you find out about this project? How did you become the Lead Character Designer? What made you decide to use the Wizard of Oz as the theme for this?

A: This was actually from an Internship lead by Professor John Serpentelli! He's really passionate about giving students opportunities to work with real clients so that their resumes look more appealing going out of college. When our team first met our client, they explained to us the project, said they wanted it to be Wizard of Oz themed, and had a whole script ready with characters! So we all started coming up with concept art for the characters. They really liked a lot of my designs, so that's how they decided I'd be the Lead Character Designer. 


Q: Liv Rand is an underappreciated singer on the stage today. You were fortunate enough to work with her in Little Joy Cover (The Next Time Around). How did you come to meet Liv? You also stated that working with a singer and animation was a difficult task and you learned a lot from it. What difficulties did you have to overcome? What can you tell other animators and singers advice on their own projects involving the merging of the two that they can use?

A: Ooh Liv was awesome to work with! Her voice is so beautiful. I wish we had more time on this assignment so that I could have animated it. During one of our classes at Uarts, one of our assignments was to team up with somebody from the Music Department and make a music video. It wasn't extremely difficult to work with a singer, but there was a lot of things I didn't know. Like I didn't know how long it took to make a cover. I didn't think about her having to find someone to do the instrumentals. It's important to understand, even just a little bit, how other people and their professions work. We only had a month to work on this project and looking back, it would have been a lot smarter for me to have asked for a pre-existing song of hers instead of us scrambling to make a cover in the midst of us trying to keep up with our other classes.


Q: One of my absolute favorite pieces by you is your movie made for the Chemical Heritage Foundation for Science Kits Throughout the Ages entitled Science Kits At Play. How did you find out about this project? You were the Production Manager for this project. How did you become the Production Manager and what duties were you responsible for throughout the project?

A: Aaah! This was another Internship project lead by Professor John Serpentelli! After working on the Wizard of Oz one, John asked if I would lead this one. He wouldn't have asked me if I didn't prove myself on the last project. I'm very organized with my work and when I come across problems I always solve them.  It's important, even if it's a school assignment, that you always do your best in whatever you do. You never know who's watching and how it can either hurt or benefit you. For this project I was responsible for communicating with the client, creating a production schedule, assigning work to everyone on the team and making sure they kept up with it, and working on my section of the film as well.


Q: Your first movie on Newgrounds is entitled FLOWER. This movie made me feel uneasy while watching it. You state that...

"It's a visual representation of the mind shutting down after being fatally injured."

I certainly see that through your movie. It was made as your Junior film while you were at university. Where did you come up with the idea and what was the process of making it? Also who is Miss Debbie?

A: Oh man, Miss Debbie blessed me in a very big way. I’ve known her and her family my whole life. When my family was looking for a place to live they actually housed us for a while. During my Freshman and Sophomore year I was borrowing a laptop to do my work, but it was old and by the end of my Sophomore year it was pretty much dead. So I had no laptop for my Junior year, which was when the real animation work was going to start. Miss Debbie felt it in her heart to buy me a laptop and without her I just would not have been able to do my work as well as I did. The school does have computers we can use, but classes are using those during the day and our school doesn't do 24 hour access until the end of the semester. 

For how I came up with the idea for my Junior film, it actually spurred from a sound I heard in Caleb Wood's animated short, Rat Trap. You can hear the sound almost exactly on the 1 minute mark. When I heard that echoey, scratchy sound it made me visualize someone's brains blasting out the top of their head. That visual was really interesting to me and I wanted to use it. So I tried coming up with a deep story to justify it, haha. Re-watching his short makes me realize that I also took note on how he used moving stills to relay the anxious feeling the character has to the viewer. So I definitely used that too.


Q: Your Senior film while at University is about a young woman who applies for a job. It is entitled Help Wanted: Must Be Human. I love the idea behind this so much! How did you come up with it? What was the process you took into making it?

A: I'm glad you love it! Haha, ohman. It seems a lot of my ideas spur from sounds and imagery first instead of story ideas. Which sometimes is cool but sometimes it's not so helpful when you finally have to figure out a purpose for your visuals.

I got really into vaporwave music during my Senior year, so that whole aesthetic definitely inspired me. If you don't know what vaporwave is, it's basically sampled sounds from the 80s and 90s (wether it be from songs, movies, or commercials from that time), sliced up, mixed up, slowed down, and maybe with a few added beats here and there by whoever's making the mix. I'm sure there's a better explanation for what vaporwave is on the net. Aside from the music part of vaporwave, there's also an aesthetic, which includes, amongst many other things, old monster computers, 90s office spaces, long leafy plants, neon lights, glitches, and VHS tape distortions. I also have always loved bunnies, so I guess I wanted an excuse to have a bunny character in my film. Nickelodeon's Invader Zim definitely inspired me too. I love a cartoony look, and for me specifically, I love a cute cartoony look. And I loved how in that show, even though it was a zany cartoon for kids, it's bizarreness would always go towards the dark and creepy side, which I loved. The mix of something cute with something disturbing has always been fun to me.

So my film pretty much was a mold of all those things. I wanted to make something cute yet disturbing. I wanted an 90s office space with neon lights and potted plants. I wanted an excuse to make a bunny character, and since I wanted to add creepiness into the mix, why not make the bunny a villain? I wanted to include glitches and distortion, so why not a creepy virus ad that reels our poor protagonist in?

Once I figured out what visuals I wanted to have in the film, I tried connecting the empty spaces with a story. Which was pretty hard. I definitely recommend figuring out your story first before you start anything else on your project. That's something I didn't do. I had most of it figured out and I went right into boarding it. For a long time I struggled with figuring out how to justify why Tiffany was in this situation, what was Bunny Boss's deal, why were there body part in the employee lounge, how does Tiffany escape, and what does she do after she escapes? The story could have been a lot stronger. But you live and you learn. I'm definitely still learning. I think creating a solid story is where I struggle the most.

But anyways, I had weak story and I boarded. Made an animatic. Should have recorded the dialogue earlier than I did. Should have figured out exactly what the dialogue was earlier than I did. This is why it's important to have your story and script down before you do anything else. I should have gotten together with a sound designer earlier than I did (and the sound designer I paired up with was amazing! If you ever need sound design, contact Justin Titus). I eventually had to solidify my story and my boards because I was running out of time. When I finally did solidify them I made a list of how many backgrounds I needed, how I needed to arrange the layers of each background, and how they needed to be composited. I figured out which shots were easier and harder to animate and scheduled the ones that were harder to animate on my more free days and the easier shots on days that were more full. I actually made physical thumbnails representing each shot, cut them out, colored their borders with colors representing the shot's difficulty, and tapped different shots together into tassels. Each tassel represented the shots I'd work on each week. They were also organized by importance in the story. Sometimes I wouldn't complete all the shots for one week so I'd take those shot's thumbnails and tape it to another week.

I feel like it took me around 2 months to animate, color, and composite this short. I am proud of it, and I love the world and the characters I created for it, but looking back on it I know where I could have pushed myself farther. Especially in the story aspect.


Q: One of your specialties is making a storyboard. I can see that in your animation style. What is the transition of going from storyboard to animation? Is it the same as photography and filming or is it different? What storyboard advice do you have to give to artists and animators here on Newgrounds?

A: I've actually never made storyboards for live action film, but I assume it's pretty much the same. You'd just have to know their jargon. The transition between working off your boards to animating each shot is the animatic. An animatic is where you take your boards and put them into a video timeline with sound. Timing in your animatic is very important. The storyboards and the animatic are the maps for the animators. You need to make sure they're solid and detailed before you go into animation. The more clean and precise you are with the compositions, movements, and the timing, the easier it is for the animators to follow exactly what you want to convey. My boards have not always been clean and clear. I used to make boards that were only legible to me. But if you want a job in storyboarding you've got to make sure everyone can understand what they're seeing and that there's enough drawings there to convey the exact movements you want animated. 


Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of art?

A: When someone expresses themselves by creating something. Some people argue that it's only art if you make it for yourself. I've definitely made "art" for clients that I wasn't totally interested in myself. And I can definitely say if you're not interested in it, it's no fun making it. During my Senior year, like many other students, I started to worry about wether or not I could make a living off my art. I was worried that my art might not be "sellable". Which is a horrible phase to go through, and a lot of people do go through it. You just can't please everyone with your art because people's tastes are so wildly different. I found myself, thank God only for a short while, changing my Senior film to what I thought other people wanted, and it was horrible. I didn't like what I was changing my film into. And I think that's when it hit me, all of a sudden I wasn't into my art, and I realized that when you're making art you should not be thinking about the audience. If they like it then that's great! If not, who cares, you didn't make it for them. It's not theirs. I guess I would say art has a scale to it. Your art is at it's artiest when you're be being self-indulgent, and at it's lowest when you're making something you hate for someone else.


Q: What can we expect from Meghan Luna in the future?

A: I actually worked on another Tiffany short with a bunch of my friends at the Barnhouse Collective! We just posted it today, so check it out! It was really cool seeing how everyone handled animating my characters. I'm definitely going to be making more of these soon!


I came across Meghan Luna the same way as I'm sure others have. Through the front page, with her submission Help Wanted: Must Be Human. It was something different from what I have seen on Newgrounds or anywhere else really. To think she waited so long to share these works with so many here. Her skills are amazing and I'm glad that she decided to share them with Newgrounds. Hopefully she will reach out to the other creators here and they will reach out to her as well. This kind of creative drive should not go unnoticed.



Posted by TheInterviewer - April 18th, 2018

[ Index Page | Official Thread | Theme Song ]

Today we're gonna do something a little bit different. I have been doing this for nearly ten years. Yeah, that's kind of crazy. I thought about waiting until the last interview or until the tenth anniversary of Newgrounds to do this. All of that said I figure that one is never promised tomorrow, so I figured let's do this now instead of later. I don't know how much this will interest people, but I wanted to let all of you know how I do these interviews. I'll chronicle it throughout the years I've done it.

[ 2007 - The Lost Episodes ]

This is when I started to do The Interviewer. These were not good and no longer exist. They were originally posted on my Newgrounds profile. I felt that was a bit unprofessional. Back then all I did was found someone of notoriety. Ask them for an interview, write some basic questions, send them off, and then post it haphazardly on my profile. After a while I didn't like the way it looked or felt. I abandoned the project.

[ 2009 - The Interviewer ]

I was watching Inside the Actors Studio on TV one day. It was a show that interviewed famous actors, actresses, directors, and even musicians from time to time. This show pretty much became the bedrock to The Interviewer. Trust me if you like The Interviewer and you like film, television, and music, then you will love watching this show. James Lipton became an idol to me when I brought The Interviewer back.

I decided to look through the show's history. His first guest was Alec Baldwin. This was a recognizable name that a lot of people knew. I thought that my first guest should be just as well recognized. They also talked about the person's craft, where they came from, how they grew, what inspired the art they made and what they were doing in the future. I liked this idea. I made a separate profile, called it The Interviewer and decided my first guest should be @TomFulp, the creator of Newgrounds.

Looking back at that interview I am still proud of it, but in a way an artist might be proud of a crayon drawing. The first one, that started it all. If it weren't for Tom Fulp I would not have taken this as far as I have. It probably wouldn't have garnered the attention that it has.

I still just sent a request letter out and still just got a response. This was done through the PM system, so a lot of people's answers would be split into multiple PMs. I then constructed it all together. This was and still is the most mind numbing part of the whole experience. I really wish we could just schedule news posts because that would have made many of those years easier. Why? Because for a while Tom would post the new interviews on the front page. Which was cool, but that meant the demand got higher. I posted each new interview every Wednesday. Which meant I needed to construct the entire interview on Wednesday, send the link to the guest that week, send the link to Tom so he can post it, and then post the link to Twitter, Google+, and the official thread. The Twitter and Google+ are no longer updated, and with Newgrounds going mobile I don't think there will be a reason to do so. However I still send Tom a link and still post one in the official thread. Now I also have to update The Interview Codex which was gifted to me by @deathink.

That's pretty much a short history. Let's get into the nitty gritty now.



I've actually been chronicling this so I could have pictures. This is the process in which I've taken in interviewing @MeghanLuna. Also at one point in my life I bought and started reading David Allen's Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, specifically the 2002 version. A lot of that has helped this process and I believe any creative person should read this book.



This starts one of two ways. One, I check my list of suggestions to see who to interview next. This list includes people suggested by users, Tom, a past interviewee, and myself. Since I don't know how the past three operate I will tell you how I find people to interview. Usually it starts while I'm just browsing Newgrounds. The Front Page tends to supply quite a treasure trove of people. I can also find people through the forums as well. This happened when I interviewed The Elite Guard Barracks and The Graffiti Crew. Case in point one day back in September I was just browsing Newgrounds and came across something interesting. A picture of a psychotic looking bunny.


I watched the movie, voted on it, and left a review on it. Then I started to wonder where the idea for this came from? Why this art style? As I started to ask myself questions I decided to consider this person for an interview. That's when the initial phase begins.

During the initial phase I do a small scan of a person's profile. I'm looking for anything interesting about them. Their works, their styles, I need enough to formulate an interview. After all the most important thing is looking at the person and their story.


Once I see enough for a potential story I send off The Interviewer Request Letter. Yes there is a request letter that is the same for each and every person. The only time this changes is if I'm doing a group interview. In that case some of the wording will be different, but overall it's the same. Why is this the case? Because it got tiring typing out a short letter each and every time. I wanted something a bit longer and a bit more professional, so I made it better and now all I have to do essentially is just copy and paste.


The response is the next part. If they don't respond, I wait one week and send another letter. After two weeks I stop sending the letter. If they respond with a no, then I wait one month and send another letter. Getting the interview done with @Gagsy was difficult because of this and she finally caved in and said yes to the interview. If they say yes to the interview, then we move onto the next step.



This is the part that takes the longest and is honestly the fun part of doing these interviews. I look through everything. Their entire profile. Top to bottom. Every post, every review, every movie, and I play every game. I even go off Newgrounds when looking into the person. I will find everything. I've surprised some people with what I've found like when I interviewed @WoodTick and @CosmicDeath. As I go I write down anything of note.


I want to study their craft as a whole. Some topics I wonder about and then when I start to dig I find either something of interest or nothing of really much to note. Great for a portfolio, but not so much for learning. Sometimes I cut some questions and/or topics entirely. I've only had one interview that I cut completely and that was Interview with The Creators of "The Room Tribute". It was an interview with @TomFulp, @JohnnyUtah, and @Oney. I completed the whole thing, got all of their answers, and while reading it, it was just boring overall. There are cases where every topic and question I kept throughout the entire process, such as @AlmightyHans, @Troisnyx, and @Back-From-Purgatory.

When the interview is done I throwaway the research paper, so unfortuantely those are now gone. A lot of people I condense to one, maybe two pages. @AlmightyHans took up the most pages with five. I don't do front and back of the paper. Once the research is done it is time to write the questions.



As we continue with this process you should think of it as a downward spiral at this point. Finding the person is the most fun part, doing the research is the second fun part, writing the questions are the third fun part. You might assume that all I have to do is simply ask HOW YOU MAKE THIS? Granted I used to do my interviews that way. Much like the people I've interviewed though I got better at this. Yeah I still have some questions that just boil down to that blunt level, because there is nothing else I can really ask about said piece. I started to evolve and ask more about why they do what they do. Everyone has their own story.

Asking the questions is not the same as writing the questions. Mainly because this is not a face to face interview. One of my goals is to try and make it seem that way while in a prepared state with myself and the guest from different parts of the world. I have often thought about doing a live interview, but scheduling that would be hell to do. When I was still living with my parents it was impossible with all of the noise in the house as well as my nosey family members (they mean well though). Now that I have my own home, scheduling would still be difficult due to time zones as well as my own job. Maybe someday though.

Overtime, the first and last questions have always been the same. How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join? -and- What can we expect from you in the future?. If I am interviewing the person for a second visit, the first question recounts the past interview and again the last question stays the same. When I have a musician or artist on then I ask them the defintion of music or art. I want to expand this even further though, especially with games after interviewing @Nutcasenightmare.


It used to be that I would write the questions in a PM, send them off, and ask for the answers back through PM. That got messy quickly and made it harder for me to post the final product. I then started making a document with the questions and filling it in with answers. I also set up an E-Mail for Newgrounds related material. This made things a lot easier. Then one day my laptop crashed. Thus I lost a lot of information. This was around Interview No. 90. I had to change how I did things.

I already had The Interviewer account set-up to not receive PMs from anyone. Then after the friends list was implemented I changed it to allow only friends to send PMs. I then friended my personal account. This way once I sent the questions off to the guest, I would send a copy to The Interviewer account to hold onto with additional information for posting the interview. I essentially use Newgrounds as a Dropbox. When I receive the answers from the guest through E-Mail, I hold onto that to in my E-Mail before posting The Interview. Any links they link to in their answer I keep in a folder in my browser.


Therefore everything is kept secure and I don't have to worry about a computer crash or power outage. Then I wait for the response with the answers. If I don't have a response within two weeks I check up on them to see if everything is okay. If they have posted anything new in that time I may or may not add additional questions. I haven't had to thankfully. Once I get the answers if I don't feel they went into enough detail or didn't get the answer I was ultimately looking for, I reply asking for expansion or more clarification. I haven't done many follow-ups, again thankfully, because they're busy and I wouldn't want their time wasted. Once I receive the answers it is time to schedule and post the interview.



Back in the day when I was on fire with these interviews I would have multiple ones ready to post. I would post them on a weekly basis. The schedule would fluctuate between every Wednesday then every Friday, then back to every Wednesday, then every Friday again. After a while I stuck to every Wednesday and that seemed to work the best. To make sure each one gets posted at the time it needs to be I number the interviews in the order I want them posted. I have each tenth interview decided already. Once the interview is done I schedule it for posting on a day by filing it in my tickler file. Once that day comes up, I post that week's interview. This is the part that takes the longest.

Each interview has always looked nice and neat. This is when I write the introduction and the closer. Mainly because I want a fresh mind to work with when writing about this person and their works. It gives me more to talk about then. I also need to add the links to the Index Page, Official Thread, and the Theme Song for The Interviewer. I then paste in the questions and answers along with any other links that go with The Interviewer. I also embed any videos I may want in the interview. I try to not post too many videos in the interviews so it gives people less to do while reading. Mainly because I have the theme song for The Interviewer and if people don't like the song they be listening to their own song.

I then have to add the spacers in. With each update to the site Tom makes, makes this process longer and more difficult. It does look nicer so I'm happy, but each time requires another overhaul. If you look at past interviews they look ugly. With Newgrounds going mobile, they definitely need some sprucing up.

This process takes some time to do depending on the interview. If it's a long interview that is split into two parts, it takes longer. Usually it takes me around fifteen to twenty minutes to construct and post the interview. @AlmightyHans interview took me nearly one hour to get fully constructed and ready to be posted. It's not hard just time consuming to get it down and looking nicely. Once it's constructed it is time to be posted.



All Done? Yep, that means it is time to Submit the interview. This is when I push the button and hope that nothing is wrong and that it comes out nice and neat. If it doesn't come out neat or if I encounter an error I have always contacted @liljim immediately. Think of The Interviewer as a car. I know how to drive it, keep it running, people like it, but if something happens to it I need to take it to the mechanic. @liljim is the mechanic for The Interviewer. Each interview he has fixed I give him credit for at the start of the interview. Without him I wouldn't know what to do half the time. Sometimes it was a simple HTML fix, some information about Newgrounds that I needed and didn't have, or something has gone completely wrong and he's jumped in to fix. He's the one who gave The Interviewer front page posting abilities which is awesome! @liljim is the real deal.

When everything goes right or when the problems have been fixed, the interview is then posted. I send the link to the guest first, then a link to Tom, then I update the official thread, and finally update the Index Page. When I update the official thread, it involves a news update on The Interviewer, the new interview with links to the guest's works in the post, as well as related interviews. I try to do something else fun in the post, then I post the upcoming interviews and sometimes some closing notes.

Then it is done and sent off to the world of Newgrounds and beyond.



That's it. That's how the interviews are done. Each one is a labor of love from beginning to end. Some of them I remember just writing yesterday. It has been nearly ten years and I still love doing these as much as I did when I relaunched them back in 2009. If you enjoyed this little behind the scenes then I'm glad. I am pretty old school with pen and paper, hell back when I wrote my first interview with Tom, I did it all by pen and paper and then typed it. All in all I wouldn't trade these experiences and stories for anything else, and I'm happy Tom gave me and everyone interviewed a place to share our works and stories. So what can we expect from The Interviewer in the future? To keep moving forward.



Posted by TheInterviewer - October 25th, 2017

[ Index Page | Official Thread | Theme Song ]

Interview No. 147
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest is a remarkable game developer whose titles have given people great joy with Nodes, Break the TV, and Arcalona. His titles have also driven anger yet ultimate satisfaction in the end with The Unfair Platformer. His works can be found on mobile devices and throughout the Internet. I am pleased to welcome, Eggy.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Like most kids I found Newgrounds in highschool in the golden era of Flash. Where Stick Death type animations were the most popular things online, I instantly took a liking to it and would watch stick animations and play stick games on Newgrounds.


Q: When and how did you become interested in video games and games in general?

A: To be honest I can't remember a time when I wasn't into video games! I was your usual nerd that would be on the console playing sega and N64 games all day everyday from a very young age. I remember being in love with N64 growing up. Specially platform games like Mario and Banjo Kazooie.


Q: What brought you to Albany?

A: Well I grew up in Albany, it's a very small town with not much to do really, which I later moved to Perth when older.


Q: What did you study at Great Southern Tafe Albany?

A: I studied multimedia. It was a combinatiom of Flash and 3d modeling. Though I was so far ahead in Flash then the teacher I end up teaching him some things and I finished making my game Nodes in class due to finishing the work quickly.


Q: What stories could you tell us about school life at North Albany Senior High School?

A: It was your pretty standard High School I'd say. Mostly being bored and standing around extremely cold in the weather from Albanys terrible weather. I used to always finish my work quickly to get onto the computer to play flash games and java games. I used to look up Flash Tutorials when I should have been working instead which is how I slowly learned to make games by slacking off from actual schoolwork!


Q: What brought you from Albany to Perth?

A: As I got older to 22, I needed a fresh start as I was sick of the small town with not much to do and lack of jobs. So I moved to Perth for a new life. Where I found myself a job in Poker and had a lot more to do up there.


Q: All games matter when being a game maker. Whether it be board games or video games. How did you come to be a Tournament Director for the Australian Poker League and the Perth Poker League? What experience have you gained from these leagues that you could possibly attribute to your game making?

A: I have always loved the game of Poker. Specially when betting for real money. The games rules are simple, but it takes a lifetime to master due to how much information there is available in reading people and there bets. I find it very fun and interesting. It's also exciting. It's a great game for being social as well, so I can meet new people while competing my wits against theres. So eventually after playing it a lot and getting quite good I applied for the job and got it. They were fun jobs. I worked in over 30 different pubs and clubs around Perth hosting poker, and even a strip club at one point. That was a fun event to host each week. I've learned a lot about people during this experience and also how a simple game can evolve into a complex game. It's interesting that a simple card game can still be as complex as video games we have today when you delve into it. It teaches me that the Meta-Game is very important.


Q: Your first game on Newgrounds is entitled Soul Fishing. What can you tell us about the process in making it? Looking back on it, how much would you say you've grown over time?

A: Soul Fishing was finished in high school when I was slacking off from my computer work. It was my first ever game to have a proper start and end. It was a big learning experience showing me the potential on what I could achieve in Flash. I've definitely hugely grown from that game. It's crazy to think that was over 12 years ago now. I feel old!


Q: Nodes is a creative spin on connect the dots. How did you come up with this idea?

A: I came up with the idea by experimenting in coding on drawing lines using programming. After I managed to program singles lines that would auto update between two nodes I thought to myself...hmm how could I make this a game... and then it clicked. By making it a puzzle!


Q: Before we go any further with this, I would like to say that up to this point, you can't deny... this has been a good interview. Now we come to the first game I ever played by you. The Unfair Platformer. All I have to say you about this game is this... Fuck... You. I have beaten this game in the past, and now that there are medals I have to beat it again. When I interviewed mirosurabu and Xerus in the past, I got to ask mirosurabu about Tower of Heaven and Depict1, two games known for their difficulty, traps, and changing the rules. What possessed you to bring forth such evil onto the world?

A: Haha yes, very good interview sir. *Tips hat and sips wine* The Unfair Platformer is definitely my most popular game and my most hated. I must say it was one of the most funnest games I had the pleasure of making. Theres something extremely fun about turning the level design rules on there head and just saying "Nah, take this instead!" Maybe I am a bit evil for taking such delight in peoples anger?


Q: Silly Chicken is a fun and yet difficult game. I loved the humor in it. Where did the story come from for this game? What was the process in making it a reality?

A: I felt like making a small cute game based on a chicken since my logo is Eggys Games. Also the story on him being in love with someone online was based on a girl that I had a close relationship with online at the time and I could never see her because she lived in America. I decided to dedicate a game to her and she loved it!


Q: A Rube Goldberg machine if I ever saw one, Break the TV. Many humans are fascinated by Rube Goldberg machines, I imagine you are as well. What gave you the idea to put it into game form? How hard was it to get each moment right while still making it a puzzle?

A: I had actually never heard of Rube until now, I will definitely look him up! I have made a few puzzle games over the years. I spose the idea was based on having a lot of objects interact with each other. It wasn't too hard to design levels as I just make them in a linear fashion by letting each thing need the next to work but also allowing multiple answers to each puzzle.


Q: We now come to the grandeur of it all, Arcalona. You said it took over a year to make, when did you start, when did you end, what were the trials and tribulations that went into it?

A: Yes my most recent game and my biggest! I started in 2016 and only released late 2017. It was huge, with over 48 items, 36 enemies and over 10,000 lines of code. It was just massive and each thing took a long time. I got very stressed along the way and just needed to get it done from having it loom over my head. Stress really gets involved in bigger projects due to always thinking about it and remembering all the pieces to put together. Flash also isn't very equipped to handle bigger games like this, so a few bugs and glitches started happening that were very strange. Hence it's my last Flash game and moving onto other programs.


Q: One of the movies I saw here on Newgrounds at an early age was entitled The Best Flash Ever. Watching it then, I thought it was funny, today I still think it's funny. The question is though, where did you get the idea for this?

A: I remember making this in only one night! I was drunk and took the idea from movie trailers over-dramatizing their adverts so I decided to parody it and put it all together and it turned out quite funny!


Q: How and when did you pick up the guitar? How long have you been playing? Will we get any pieces from you in the Audio Portal?

A: Guitar is a side hobby of mine, though I'm not that great still. Not as good as I am at game making. I just dabble here and there and have fun playing songs that I enjoy listening too. I'm not sure if I will ever release anything on the audio portal I'm afraid. Maybe one day Ill get better!



Q: What advice do you have to give to those looking to get into games or to those looking to expand their games to mobile devices?

A: Basically choose the latest program out or one you are comfortable with making games and then just practice and practice. You need to keep at it and keep making resources for yourself. Force yourself to finish things and learn as much as possible and make as much as possible. Unity is a great new engine for getting onto mobile I would recommend that.


Q: What can we expect from Eggy in the future?

A: I am now learning Unity. I have finished with Flash and now intend to make more 3D based games or at least better 2D ones. It will take a while for me to adapt to the new program and coding language but you should expect a much bigger 3D egg based adventure in the future. My dream is now to make something like Banjo Kazooie after seeing what Unity can do. Keep an eye out for my next best thing!


Eggy is certainly a hardworking individual, anyone who doubts that is a fool. To see how he can be a game machine and for just over a year to produce an RPG simulation game on a professional level, within over one year? That is amazing. He can only grow to the heavens in terms of his skills. Soon he will be teaching others the craft, and the lucky, will be the students.


Posted by TheInterviewer - September 7th, 2016

[ Index Page | Official Thread ]

Interview No. 146
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest has been here twice before. The first time he was here, he was one of my first interviews. I invited him back a second time to cover his newer works. It has been nearly four years since his last interview. Since his time he has been hard at work composing new music taking different venues with The Popular Kids (Loop), A Newgrounds Legacy, and Teaching My Students, which has become an inspirational piece stemming from being a sixth grade teacher. I am proud to welcome back once again, Bosa.


Q: Last you were here we talked about Quest of Eve and Boutista Entertainment. Boutista Entertainment has since become Kingdom Crown Entertainment. Why the change in name and what is the progress on Quest of Eve?

A: I changed the name because I felt as though it would be easier to remember than 'Boutista.' As far as Quest of Eve goes, I've had a few plans change, but I intend on funding a new team and hopefully have something presentable in the next few years. The old project was Flash-based, so I plan on starting over and coming up with something far more in-depth and contemporary to independent PC games that we see on the market today.


Q: You, like others here, have gone to school. What brought you to Liberty University?

A: I went to Liberty to pursue a degree in education because I heard that it was a very reputable university and offered some of the best on-campus and online courses available. Also, I plan on taking some classes at Berklee College of Music later this year to improve my knowledge of marketing and publishing music and to get a better understanding of the business side of the music industry.


Q: In the thread Ways to improve the Audio Portal? you have stated two problems with the Audio Portal.

Solution to zero voting:

Review other people's music, remain active in the community, and get your music featured in games/movies. Scores will not matter at all, really. It's all about your relationships with other users -- a lesson I have had to learn the hard way after all the years I've been submitting music to this site.

How to change the audio portal:

Wait until they actually begin making major changes and then toss your idea into the hat. The audio portal was meant to be a production library for flash, so consider it as such; and realize that there are other priorities on the plate. Our time will come.

Would you say that the Audio Portal is being improved? If not then what else can be done?

A: I would say it has definitely improved from where it used to be back in the early days. I really love the options added to the licensing side of things -- being able to dictate how music is allowed to be used is very useful for producers like myself who work closely with a performance rights organization, because it helps to avoid unwanted royalty claims. I have a few other ideas to enhance the audio portal, but right now I don't see anything particularly wrong with it. If they ever seek more ideas, I am always available to offer my suggestions.


Q: The Gift of Christmas Contest was a contest that you held. For those looking to hold a certain contest, what would you recommend to them in preparation, picking a theme, and judges?

A: First of all, let me tell you that contests are difficult to manage and are extremely stressful if all eyes are on you, so make sure you have some help if you're just starting out. You can always look at my contests or others if you want to get an idea of how to prepare and structure a contest in regards to rules, themes, layout, etc. But what I've really found that makes or breaks a contest are the rewards. You don't necessarily have to offer huge rewards, but make them unique. The better the personal rewards are, the more interest you'll have for the contest. Tom Fulp suggested that I should make the rewards novel for each contest and focus less on money, so offering unique rewards combined with a unique theme will really help you achieve the popularity you're looking for in a contest. This not only goes for musical contests, but for art/game/movie contests as well.


Q: Her Wish is a beautiful piece that you were working on, but have said you didn't finish. It is a beautiful piece returning to the days of Farmland. If this isn't the finished piece, I can only imagine what is. What stopped you from finishing this piece and will we ever hear the finished product?

A: I have actually been wanting to revisit this song for a while, but I've yet to do so. The song was originally composed for a contest, and I barely met the deadline because I had to do some traveling that month. So, I was limited in what I could do, and I had to make sure I could finish everything in time. Someday I may finish it, but my current project schedule keeps building up, so we will see.


Q: We come next to your tribute song for Newgrounds entitled A Newgrounds Legacy. In your description you state that...

My tribute to Newgrounds. I created this composition to honor all that Newgrounds has provided to the community, and to tell a story of my own that depicts the legacy of a legendary website.

You say that you tell a story of your own that depicts the legacy of this website. Perhaps you could break down that story for us all.

A: What I meant by that was I composed something attributable to my style which celebrated Newgrounds. Basically, it was my tribute piece to the website. The music also tells the story of how much I've grown as a composer since my first days on Newgrounds. The piece itself is a little old and not my best work, but at the time it meant a lot.



Q: Bosa Piano Intro intrigues me, mainly because you say that you rarely post your piano performances on Newgrounds. Why is that? Do you set them at a higher quality than your other works?

A: Not really. It's just that I spend more time composing orchestral and film music rather than piano pieces. I try to keep my music fresh and not always produce the same thing over and over, so sometimes I'll come up with something unique. I believe the song was popular because a piano only piece is not what's expected from me, so it drew people's attention at least.


Q: One of my new favorites by you absolutely is Teaching My Students. I love this piece! It gives me memories of Tutorial Man. Would you teaching the sixth grade be the inspiration behind this? What do you teach for your sixth grade students?

A: Yes, my students do inspire me sometimes. I teach math usually, but recently I've been teaching younger grades.


Q: A change in mood can produce different results from a creator. To see Truman Capote go from Breakfast at Tiffany's to In Cold Blood was certainly no accident. It was a change in his mood, how a real life event affected his writing. This change would hit you as well with The Popular Kids (Loop). What was the change in your mood? Why this title with this song? What changed you in this creative process?

A: I usually compose music according to how I feel unless it's for a specific project. Emotion should fuel a composer like petrol fuels a car, and I cannot stress that enough. I recall hearing about what Jeremy Soule went through while he was composing the score for The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. After almost losing his life in a car accident, he came up with music that reflected his thoughts and emotions after his brush with death. If you listen to the music in Oblivion, there is a sense of something peaceful and almost spiritual in nature. I always strive to capture strong emotions in all of my tracks.



Q: A trip back in time with Classic Bosa Loop. Why the return to your roots?

A: Because I sometimes miss the early days of creating music and even the early days of submitting audio on Newgrounds. I had a lot of great experiences back then, but to be truthful I'm having much more success now than I ever have. It's fun to look back on the past and tap into it, but I'm keeping my focus on the present and sometimes looking ahead to the future.


Q: The Journey Home, I believe to be your new magnum opus. I'm not sure if you will be able to top it. Such beautiful orchestration, everything belonged, nothing was out of place. It gave me an eargasm. What was the inspiration behind this gorgeous music?

A: It certainly took me a while to compose and I'm not exactly sure what inspired me the most at the time, but I do know that I had thoughts of medieval and a ancient fantasy. At first I was going to go down a more celtic route, but I had a change of heart later as I began planning what I wanted to do in regards to vocals. I wanted to come up with something similar to Lisa Gerard, but I still maintained my style throughout the song.



Q: What can we expect from Bosa in the future?

A: I've got a few big projects in production right now. One project is a collaboration I've been working on with a pretty famous singer and all I'm waiting on are some instrument recordings (I'll definitely post the song on Newgrounds as soon as it's ready). I'm also composing more for television shows like Blue Bloods and commercial ads thanks to my recent connections with some high-end publishers. I will, of course, continue supporting Newgrounds and continue offering advice to musicians on the site. Expect to see more music submissions and maybe a few extra surprises. Newgrounds is like the mom and dad of my music, and I don't plan on moving out of the basement anytime soon, haha.


Bosa is quite possibly the most underrated musician here on Newgrounds. Yes he does have over 1,000 fans who follow his music, myself included. I don't usually hear his name brought up much on this site. Which is a real shame. He is one of the most skilled musicians here. Not as much a travelling bard as Back-From-Purgatory, but most certainly one who can master the genre he decides and varies between classical music, to bluegrass. When he explores a genre, he goes more in-depth than anyone else on here.


Posted by TheInterviewer - September 2nd, 2016

[ Index Page | Official Thread ]

Interview No. 145
Interview By: The-Great-One

The day this interview has been posted I personally have spent 10 years on Newgrounds. I thought it would be proper to celebrate my Newgrounds Birthday with a special interview. One of my most requested interviews. Today's guest has been known for the creation of Newgrounds classics such as Bitey of Brackenwood, the YuYu, and the Last of the Dashkin. He has also worked professionally for The Walt Disney Television Animation Studio and Bob's Burgers. He is a professional animator, and one of Newgrounds cherished creators. I am most honored to welcome, chluaid a.k.a. Adam Phillips.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Back in about 1997-98 I set up my first website as a kind of digital portfolio and personal animation journal. A couple of years later, some random guy emailed me, recommending that I submit something to Newgrounds. I checked it out and decided that it wouldn't hurt to submit my movie Nightshift, just to gauge the reaction. It was such a simple little story but within minutes I found myself hooked on reading the comments. It's something I'd never experienced before; people from every corner of the world looking at my work and telling me what they thought of it. It was strong motivation for me to make more shorts.


Q: You stated that you've been drawing since a toddler. You could hold a pencil before your legs could support you. What became the drive as you got older?

A: Some artists swear they create art to change the world, move people emotionally, get people thinking or "start a conversation" about some important issue. But I don't believe it. I do it for my ego, as I believe we all do. As an adult, it's not much different to when I was a kid; I just want to impress everyone. I want people to look at my stuff and say "holy shit that is amazing!" because that's what gets me up in the morning. It was the same at Disney. We were all aiming to do the most impressive animation so we'd get encouragement or constructive feedback from the artists we respect the most, our colleagues. This goes back to my previous answer on how praise and feedback on Newgrounds was strong motivation for me to do more stuff and improve so I could get more feedback (mostly the good type).


Q: What brought you to The Walt Disney Television Animation Studio around 1993? What did you learn there? What was their purpose overall?

A: In 1991 I was working in a steel factory up in Queensland because I was too stupid to do electrical engineering or games programming. One day while dreaming about being a ninja, my glove got caught on a spinning part of the mesh-welding machine. Thanks to the ninjutsu I learned from magazines and movies, I managed to quickly hit the stop button, but not before the machine had pulled me in and snapped my arm to bits. The result was surgery, followed by six months of paid recovery time, during which I developed my drawing skills focusing on anatomy and perspective. I was a comics enthusiast so my artistic style was pen and ink and I learned so much from comics. My heroes back then were Eastman & Laird and Simon Bisley and I started to develop characters and pages for my own comic book ideas.

Soon after returning to work at the factory, an inexperienced crane operator dropped several tons of steel rods from above me and it landed all around me like a giant metal bird's nest. It's actually a miracle I wasn't killed. In fact, it was such a close call that the steel shredded the back of my shirt when it fell. I knew I had to get out of there, so a couple of weeks later, I told everyone at the factory that I got a job in Sydney doing comics and I resigned. In reality, I just saw the factory as a deathtrap and didn't want to work there any more. There was no job waiting for me in Sydney. I just wanted everyone to think that I'd finally hit the big time. So I went to work on a farm in my home town, driving tractors and digging holes and eating dirt sandwiches for lunch.

About 18 months later my mother cut an advertisement from the newspaper and brought it over to my place. Walt Disney Studios was calling for artists to apply for a trainee position. In short, I sent Disney a bunch of my own comic pages and they put me through a couple of rounds of testing before offering me a job. When they told me that thousands of people had applied for those 8 trainee positions, I was suddenly grateful for that factory accident and my time spent sharpening my drawing skills and reading comics. Everything that had happened, the tattered glove, the comics, the falling steel, the dirt sandwiches, all had led me to begin my career in animation.

At Disney, I started in the inbetweening department and over the years moved up through animation and into FX, eventually becoming the FX supervisor. We started out as a television animation studio doing shows like Duck Tales, Gargoyles, Jungle Cubs and stuff like that, then we became a movie studio, mostly doing direct-to-DVD sequels, like Lion King 2 and 3, Jungle Book 2, Lady the Tramp 2, Peter Pan 2. Yeah pretty much anything with a 2 or 3 after it. My first movie as FX supervisor was An Extremely Goofy Movie (that's a title btw, not an opinion).


Q: What made you decide to leave The Walt Disney Television Animation Studio around 2004?

A: One day I realised that I was mostly on autopilot at Disney and I no longer felt challenged. I applied to the character animation department in an attempt to freshen things up a bit but I was denied, so I decided to quit. After all, this was around the time my online work had begun to attract a following and I was turning down several work offers every week. Using Flash, I had even completed a music video for my favourite band at the time, Ween. Anyway, Disney really was a dream job, and after all that factory and farm stuff, it was like a happy ending. Leaving was terrifying at the time but I'm glad I did it. 18 months later, Disney closed their Australian studio and I was glad to have that head-start making my name on the internet and getting my own work out there.



Q: Bitey of Brackenwood would be the beginning of a story of a little character named Bitey. Who is Bitey? Why looking back at this movie do you hate it?

A: Brackenwood was originally about a character named Bingbong. It was the adventures of an idiot in a perfect world. It was a pretty thin concept and in an attempt to fatten up the story, I decided Bingbong needed a nemesis. For that role, I created a cruel trickster in the mould of Pan, the ancient Greek god of the wild. Before Bitey came along, Brackenwood had been years in development, but from memory the "Bitey of Brackenwood" movie itself only took a few weeks. My comment about hating the movie doesn't mean I still hate it today. It happens toward the end of every project, kind of like an overdue pregnancy. You just want to get that thing out of you and when it finally happens there's an emotional high, followed by a crash. So I don't still hate it, and I wouldn't change anything (apart from some smoother animation and better lighting); it's just how these things go for many artists.


Q: Bitey's journey would take him through Prowlies at the River, littleFoot, and what you have claimed to be your best work, the YuYu. What made you want to continue Bitey's journey and why do you believe the YuYu to be your best work?

A: Bingbong was a very shallow character. The only real reason for him to exist in the world was to be laughably stupid. Bitey on the other hand was instantly more interesting. He was created to fill a specific role, which instantly gave him a depth of character that Bingbong didn't have. It also gave him motivation for any situation I could put him in. So it was easier to think of new stories for him and as I released more, the feedback and growing fan base validated it. I think The Yuyu is my favourite Bitey movie to date simply because it was an unexpected little interlude that allowed me to collaborate with one of my musical heroes, Spider Stacy. On top of this, I had tons of fun animating it and it's one of the few projects I can look back and wonder how the fuck I did it.



Q: You are one of the few animators who has done professional work. For animators looking to work in the profession, what advice do you have to give them?

A: I wouldn't say I'm one of the few animators who has done professional work, unless you mean on Newgrounds specifically. For aspiring animators who want to work professionally, I recommend compiling a 60-second show reel of all your best work and putting it where people can find it. Update it regularly with only your best work. Spend all of your spare time developing personal projects and improving your skills. Even if you do find professional work, continue to work on your personal stuff in your spare time. Even though I'm working professionally for games and animation studios, the personal work I put on my YouTube channel and my website feeds the fan base and attracts regular work offers. If I devote myself too much to professional work and stop producing my personal projects, fans will move on and my name will fade into obscurity. I recently tweeted that "As a professional artist, my biggest fear is being unable to pay the mortgage. As an independent artist, my biggest fear is being forgotten".


Q: What can you tell us about the Last of the Dashkin and its upcoming sequel?

A: While all his previous movies were simple scenarios without much depth, The Last of the Dashkin was the definitive character description of Bitey to set up the bigger story of Brackenwood. As for the sequel, I can't tell you anything about it I'm afraid. Nobody knows the story but me, so if I die early, the story does too.


Q: When AlmightyHans was here we talked about Africa Dudes. A collaboration of multiple Newgrounds artists including Oney, LazyMuffin, Stamper, and Egoraptor. How did you come across this collab and what was it like working with these other artists?

A: I didn't actually work with other artists on Africa Dudes. Stamper just emailed me and asked if I'd like to contribute. When I said yes, he sent me a bunch of specifics and I sent him my bit. The next thing I heard was that it was released.


Q: How did you become a storyboard artist for Bob's Burgers? What was the experience like working on this show?

A: The Supervising Director on Bob's Burgers is a close friend of mine, Bernard Derriman. He was a character animation supervisor at Disney when I was the FX supervisor and we had learned Flash together in our spare time, each working on our personal projects, sharing techniques and providing critique for each other. We've always kept in touch over the years and collaborated on a few things. He's still the first person I show my personal projects to because he knows so much about story telling and films. When he moved to the US and started at Bento Box Entertainment, he contacted me a few times to do some FX animation for Bob's Burgers, like fire, water and some animated props. Later when they were looking for storyboard artists Bernard threw my name on the list because he was familiar with my Brackenwood shorts. After storyboarding on Bob's for several episodes, I was promoted to Assistant Director which is my current full time job. I love the job and the ability to work remotely is icing on the cake.


Q: What advice do you have to give to other animators and artists?

A: If you have your own ideas for characters and stories, work on them as much as possible. Even if you're animating professionally, try your best to continue producing personal work and continue to grow outside the box of your professional job description. Compile a show reel specifically for prospective employers and keep it under a minute. No matter how good the soundtrack, no prospective employer will sit through a 5 minute video of mediocre animation, so keep it short and keep it updated only with your very best, most recent work. If you want to make a separate personal show reel though, you can go nuts there. Make it as long as you like, put whatever music you like, put all your shit alongside your gold, if that's what you want to do. All the same, people will find it more watchable (and shareable) if it's short and contains only your best stuff.


Q: What tools and software have you used throughout the years and what can you recommend to new animators?

A: I started experimenting with Macromedia Flash 5 and used it to make all my early movies including Brackenwood. In 2006 I visited the Toon Boom booth at Annecy (animation festival in France) and was flattered when they recognised my name on my name tag. They demonstrated the software for me (at the time it was called Digital Pro) and they encouraged me to try it out on my Brackenwood projects. Long story short, I started using it and immediately found it difficult to go back to Flash. I'm still using Toon Boom now for all my work, both professional and personal. To broaden my horizons a bit, I'd also like to try TV Paint and Cacani.


Q: What can we expect from Adam Phillips in the future?

A: For the past few years I was trying to complete a Brackenwood game, but when progress stalled, that initial momentum seemed irretrievable so I reluctantly cancelled it. Now, thanks to my supporters on Patreon, I'm able to restart work on a substantial Brackenwood project, so my current goal is to finish The Last of the Dashkin sequel and later, hopefully, make that game.


One of the earliest movies I ever saw on Newgrounds was the YuYu. It was in the portal in the high ranking area. I decided to watch it and loved everything about it. It was the most impressive animation I had ever seen on Newgrounds at that time. It was a mark that other animators looked to. To try to better themselves to. Adam Phillips is a legend on this site, and for good reason. Here's hoping that he brings more of that brilliance to us, because he has certainly shown, that he's still got a few tricks up his sleeve.


Posted by TheInterviewer - April 27th, 2016

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 144
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest is an underrated artist here on Newgrounds. Her works range from character creation one being The Stranger. However she is more of a teacher and mentor to other artists here on Newgrounds. I am most pleased to welcome, Template88.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: Newgrounds really found me more so than I found it. I remember being so young that I didn't have regular access to a computer, so it was mostly my friends that would show me the funny or gruesome stuff they found on Newgrounds as a way to pass the time when I was over at their house. This must've been when Newgrounds was actually new and exciting and home computers were not extremely common, back when AOL internet discs came in the mail and hamsterdance.com was a new thing. I remember seeing Madness, Pico, Neurotically yours and Retarded animal babies back then, though their order chronologically speaking probably doesn't make much sense as I likely saw some of these things way later. I remember being particularly attached to Neurotically Yours for some reason, but going back later and being kind of disappointed with it and having that same feeling about a lot of the older stuff I remember watching. I remember the animation and the writing for the things I liked being so much better than it actually was. There was only one video I really went back to and STILL thought it was pretty awesome, and it’s a kind of obscure video I was completely obsessed over at the time by @livingfruitvirus called  A "Ball" Movie. While not perfect, I think this one still stands the test of time for both animation and writing. I joined Newgrounds back in 2008 because I wanted a chance to talk to these people making these flash animations and try to become friends with them. Alas nobody on Newgrounds actually uses the forums as far as I can tell or just about everybody has left if they ever did! The animation forum is one of the most dead forums on the site and it’s a real bummer. Livingfruitvirus come back and let’s make a sequel! I might have to make it myself, for myself at this point, I don’t think he is ever coming back.


Q: At what age did you become interested in drawing?

A: Some time during my sophomore year in high school I believe. I certainly was not somebody who ever thought of themselves as an artist or wanted to make art growing up as a younger child, it was only way after I graduated high school that I ever took it up seriously. You can pick up drawing at any point in your life!


Q: Toast-Tony, Fifty-50, CosmicDeath, and Cairos are all artists who have been here in the past and they all have made art threads to showcase their works in progress. You also have an art thread entitled Have art, will travel.. Why did you want to make your own art thread? How important would you say it is for a new artist to make an art thread when they join Newgrounds?

A: Making your own art thread is like saying 'hello' to the art community and it’s your contribution to making the site better. The forums are underused and it’s a good way to introduce yourself and get exposure while also having a casual place to get critique and dump your sketches. If you are an artist who only posts in the portal and never leaves reviews or interacts with anybody else, you are using this site wrong. People like that often wonder why they aren't getting any exposure or utility out of the site, it’s because they're using it in a superficial way without really making any kind of impact on the community. I honestly think the portal is less important to use than the actual forums for this reason. The flip side are people who only ever make one post in the forum, find that their thread isn’t going gangbusters, get discouraged and never post again. I call those one post wonders, and there are many of them. There needs to be some understanding that forums are not "fast", it may take some time for your thread to gain any momentum and to get a reply, and also unless you are posting something somewhat exceptional or out of the ordinary or are specifically asking for input, you might not get any for quite a while! I blame this on the severely outdated forum technology on this site and the resulting low forum user base. Why isn’t there a sticky thread explaining basic rules and warning against certain common problem behaviors for each specialized forum? Its 2016….hello?! The mods also seem to have almost no ability to interact with the forum to make it better. I remember when I was told I couldn’t change my thread name to have NSFW in the title and I thought how ridiculous that was.


Q: In your art thread you made quite the statement about art, criticism, and advice for new artists. Draw everyday is a bit of advice I hear from a lot of artists through The Interviewer. However when it comes to criticism you say that to improve you have to show your works to other artists. Shouldn't art be appreciated and evaluated by everyone? How subjective is art?

A: The short answer? Yes, but non-artists don't have the tools at their disposal to form an opinion that is useful for helping the artist improve. The longer answer? The non-artist is the likely target audience for artwork, so their collective opinion does matter a lot but they don't have the technical knowledge to form their opinion/critique in such a way that they can help the artist improve their work. A non-artist can say "That looks funny." "Her head is too small." "I don't like it, somethings off." "Would've been better if it wasn't so dark." "BIGGER BOOBS!" A more experienced artist can break down the entire image from the foundation, explain everything in the language that an artist understands that could be improved AND also draw over the mistakes and SHOW the artist how they could've done it better and what to improve for next time. Critiques in general are often extremely poor, and I want to change that, I promise you will see me around critiquing the artwork in the portal and giving general critique to those who ask for it and are ready. Good critique is the kindest thing you can offer another fellow artist, because it shows you care about their work on a much deeper level than just taking a brief moment to judge if their work is good or not and clicking 1 or 5 respectively. Even an artist that isn't more experienced has the advantage in being able to speak the language of the artist when giving critique and has a more experienced set of eyes for searching out details that may be missed by people who only superficially look at a drawing. There are of course exceptions, but they are not common. The most common comment is just “LOOKS GOOD” which while kind that somebody would take the time to comment, is more or less just white noise.

I think to answer the last part of your question I need to clarify what Art, art, and illustration are. I spend my time critiquing and attempting illustration and art. Capital 'A' Art is subjective. Capital 'A' Art can be anything the creator wishes it to be as long as he wishes it to be Art. A frozen pile of dog shit encased in a milk chocolate shell on a pop-sickle stick can be Art, that sort of thing can’t really be critiqued in a useful way, though it might be fun to try. People often associate the Old Masters’ artwork with Art but it is more akin to illustration because it has a set message or story to tell and has followed the rules to tell it in the most dramatic or efficient manner, while more abstract works that lack any clear message or story but still have a great presence or aesthetic are often Art or at least art. Old masters’ work practically wrote many of the rules for illustration. Illustration is practically a science and is not subjective; illustration follows rules to be better at expressing a message that everyone can easily understand and digest using a visual medium where there are wrong and right ways to do it. An under case 'a' artist is simply a somebody who enjoys drawing stuff and doesn’t think too hard about it, drawing something just for the sake of drawing can be art at the very foundation, it can always be more than mere art if the artist ever wishes it to be though. I am an illustrator, designer and an artist, but I certainly am not an Artist. A capital 'A' Artist is concerned with expressing themselves through their Art in any way they wish through any medium they wish and may not be concerned with expressing a message at all, or expressing it in an efficient manner that is easily digestible and understood, there are rules they could follow but they are not beholden to follow them for success. Artists may not need to follow any rules but they can still adopt some to be an Artist, an Illustrator or Designer, casual artist or any other kind of skillset they could want. It can all overlap and mix and some of the greatest examples of Art and illustration in history have mixed qualities of multiple fields or disciplines and approaches. I spend a lot of my time critiquing pornography because it’s purely Illustration and can objectively be made to be better, and often the mistakes made by beginners are very easy to see and point out and understand. Plus there are many mediocre pornographers that post here on this site. The worst is when pornographers think their pornography is Art and refuse to follow the basic rules, leading to terrible pornography and a stubborn attitude about improving.


Q: Improving your illustrations (Hell) I believe is a topic that should be immortalized or at the very least be a sticky thread on the Art Forum. It takes the beauty of being an artist and hits it with reality. What made you want to come out and say this?

A: There’s a lot of assumptions and misinformation out there that targets artists and illustrators that is assumed or proliferated by non-artists and beginner artists. I seek to mitigate this through education. One of the biggest myths is “talent”, the false idea that there is some magical spark inside your mind or soul that either makes it possible for you to be an artist or not. The truth is anybody can be an artist and that it’s a learned skill just like any other. I started out drawing stick figures when I was in high school, which evolved into noodle people, which evolved into bad anime people, which evolved into what I draw today. This sort of progression is pretty normal. For some people who are very clever in understanding the rules of drawing or find it something so interesting they think about it a lot or practice it more, they might skip some of those steps, that doesn’t mean they have some superior god given magical ability, it means they figured out one facet of drawing faster because it interested them more. My figures will keep evolving and becoming better because I keep drawing and trying to improve and figure out what I am doing wrong and that’s all anybody else ever needs to do. Anybody can do this, really, anybody (even shadman did it!). Another myth is that drawings appear instantaneously out of thin air, (it takes me several days to ink and color one of my figures) and that artists are just bored out of their minds waiting around for some non-artist to talk to them all day and give them their great new idea so they can draw it and have something GOOD to finally do. I see this sort of behavior from non-artists all the time, in the prices they expect to pay for art (WELL below minimum wage), and in their pitching ideas or requesting artwork for no monetary compensation at all! (DO ALL MY WORK FOR FREE, ALL THE RECOGNITION YOULL GET IF MY PROJECT DOESN’T BOMB IS ALMOST LIKE BEING PAID ISNT IT?!) There is little else you could do to an artist or illustrator that would be as rude as suggesting their work is not worth anything at all! Of course they don’t do this on purpose or with such a malevolent intent but they do it out of ignorance, and the only cure for ignorance is education, or death, but until I learn to manifest deadly bolts of arcane energy through the internet, education will have to do. There’s more education to be had, but I’d rather not fill up your interview with it.


Q: Looking through your art, you tend to draw more characters than anything else. It seems as though you take a stance of drawing your characters in geometrical shapes first then shaping them into beings. It's like you draw as if you're molding clay. Is this your approach or am I missing the mark entirely?

A: There are many methods used to construct a figure and I am still figuring out what’s best for me. You might be confused because in ‘Improving your Illustrations (hell)’ I was trying to express how one might deconstruct a figure and understand them better by replacing the complex shapes their eyes see with imaginary simple shapes when one attempts to draw a figure. I don’t say, take a sphere and then whittle it down to a human pelvis. I use something similar to what’s called a “mannikin frame” to lay down the gesture then build upon that with (somewhat) human anatomy. A mannikin frame is basically an advanced stick figure that is similar to those posable wooden puppets you find in art shops, only it’s a virtual mannequin frame that lives in my mind’s eye that I can draw easily in any position. It’s a very important mental tool for an artist to develop to draw from imagination!


Q: The one piece by you that made me want to see everything you've doen is entitled Belial-Abaddon. You stated that...

"Abaddon whispers hopeless truths to slay and corrupt the wise -- I know them well."

I love the imagery here with the two demons combined into this skull with amazing fire eyes. There seems to be a story behind this piece though. Would you care to share it?

A: Really the only story to be had here is that @JackDCurleo agreed to do an art trade with me and so far my process with art trades is “Draw one of my original characters and I’ll draw one of yours.” He had two choices for me to pick from and they both looked similar, so I figured I would just combine them into a new being. It seemed to work out. I actually have no idea what names his OC’s had so I just made some up and gave it a little lore. If he minded he didn’t really say anything to me about it.


Q: My favorite piece by you is entitled The Stranger. I love the idea of space being inside the character's cape. It all around just looks really cool! How did you come up with this design?

A: Honestly? Modified Morgan le’Fay from DC comics + Cool space cloak effect. I didn’t reference her directly or anything but she was totally what I was thinking about when I made this, I always thought she looked so cool. The character was supposed to be some dark void divinity thing and what shows dark “voidness” better than space? but she ended up looking too weak and human so The Stranger was born.


Q: When it comes to writing, we have all of these programs and computers that make writing easier. I've always stated though when the pen and paper are replaced will be the day that I am done as a writer. We would agree on this at some point because you believe that people should instead draw by hand on paper or on a tablet than draw using a program. I can understand why you would believe this, but could you explain to our readers why this is important?

A: I actually don’t understand this question at all lol. Drawing on paper or using a tablet to learn how to draw is the same as long as you are comfortable with them as a medium. When you use a tablet though you have to draw using a program….what program you pick is likely going to change the look of your art, so picking the right program for the kind of work you want to make is important. I never learned to draw using traditional media and I think it actually hurt me by making my understanding of depth and form slower, so for a beginner I would probably suggest they learn the fundamentals using pencil and paper unless they really want a head start being familiar with digital art programs and using a tablet. People who stick with traditional media and then try using a tablet later often hate it until they get used to it, and then they love it. So plan accordingly.


Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of art?

A: I defined that stuff in relative detail in a previous question. Basically though, it’s all bullshit. Illustration and animation is where it’s at, hey-o!


Q: When it comes to your art, where do you begin? How does the creative process start and when does the creation become finished?

A: It starts when there is interest, when you think of an idea and it ends when you are satisfied with it. It may never end. Such is drawing and design.


Q: What can we expect from Template88 in the future?

A: I’m trying to make the art forum and portal slightly better places for people to be, that I am sure I can do. I would like to make Newgrounds as a whole a better place in general but I am only one person and my contribution is a small drop of hard water in a sea of piss, blood and god knows what else.

You should expect more binary character drawings from me in the art portal, perhaps a couple of one shot comics, lots of art forum/general/newspost posts (on other people’s pages) and art critiques.

A goal this year is to make an animation describing what tropes to avoid as a beginning artist and some general starting out tips. Any art advice I typically give to only beginners/beginner intermediates as I don’t consider myself that good of a teacher or artist, but I have a lot of passion about art and mostly know what a person needs to do to make better illustrations! So if you think I can offer your gallery or a single piece a critique all you need to do is ask, but be ready for some harsh realities.


Out of all the artists I have come across, I must admit, Template88 has been one of the more interesting ones. She appears to be more of a teacher than an artist. This is not a passion of hers, but a skill, one she has adapted and refined over many years. I can honestly say if you're looking for a proper critique on your art, you should go to her immediately.


Posted by TheInterviewer - April 20th, 2016

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 143
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest has been with us once before. When he was last with us he gave us works such as Dollar and Wii Are Sold Out. He has been on a bit of a hiatus, but he has continued his works and brought us American Politics and Donald 'n Gang. I am pleased to welcome back, SardonicSamurai.


Q: The last time you were with us nearly seven years ago. We spoke about a movie called Stamper N' Johnny. You seemed to have disappeared for the remainder of that time and did not return until 2010. Why the long absence?

A: It was around this point in time that I graduated from college. I had an associates in Information Tech, and needed to look in to furthering my education. Unfortunately, I soon realized I could not get the financial assistance required to continue on to a Bachelor’s degree. I tried for a year to find a job that was NOT an unpaid internship, but to no avail. To be quite honest, I was pretty depressed at the time. You’re told that if you do well in school and in college you’ll find yourself in a decent paying job. I felt that I wasted several years of my life getting a degree that I couldn’t possibly progress further with financially. Not only that, but I was supposed to fly out to Pico Day around that time and had to cancel. Apparently, a girl I had been seeing at the time had Mono... I thought I had a very long winded flu, until the day of my flight, in which I got very sick trying to rush around to catch my flight. Funny note: the time I took off of work to go to Pico Day was the very first paid vacation I ever had. I ended up spending my vacation, and the following couple of weeks later, sick as a dog. My “return” to Newgrounds was never the same. Missing Pico Day was kind of the last straw. I felt like everything was against me at that point. I wasn’t nearly as motivated as I was, less active in the forums, and fell out of other forms of social media.


Q: Your return would be brought to us through a movie called IMMA BE(E). You said it was because you hate this song. Last you were here you stated that you enjoy venting through animation. What is the name of the song that has annoyed you? Would you say that you still vent through animation?

A: The song in question is “Imma Be” by the Black Eyed Peas. At the time I made the animation, the song was all over the radio, and I didn’t understand its popularity. Half of the song is just some guy saying “Imma Be”! During one of my drives to work it came on the radio, and I just pictured a bee rapping about himself. It’s really as simple as that! A lot of the animations I come up with are spur of the moment, not very well thought out catastrophes. I generally make the animations to entertain myself and to vent, but it always makes me happy to see that others enjoy them too!


Q: Gramma's Halloween is absolutely hilarious! How did you come up with this character and will we see more of her in the future?

A: Most of anything I create spawns from a voice I come up with. I spend an unhealthy amount of time talking to myself, seeing what kind of sounds and voices I can come up with. I believe the character was inspired by the grandma in Squidbillies. I love the idea of a slutty yet sex deprived, easily aggravated old woman, ha. I can actually talk like the Squidbillies grandma (at least I believe so), but I wanted to make her sound more soft and caring. Her visual and demeanor is more shared with Granny from the Looney Tunes, however. As far as seeing more of her? I never really thought about it actually. It was another one of those “spur of the moment” things. So planning to use her again kinda goes against that pattern? I can say maybe though!


Q: American Politics talks about political ads on television and how you don't like them. I honestly thought this movie would have expanded a bit further than it did. What can you tell us about politics that you don't like? Will we see anymore political satire from you in the future?

A: There were a lot of political ads on the radio and on television that annoyed me around that time. It was between John Kasich and Ted Strickland for Governor of Ohio. (Thus the last name “Kasland”, a combination of the two). From what I remember, both of the candidates ran smear campaigns against one another. That’s generally what politics is about. They barely ever talk about what they plan to do. They’re more interested in bashing their opponents, and I find it disgusting. Not to mention you can barely ever trust what any candidate is saying. It’s just tiring. I ended up stopping the toon because I felt my point was made. No matter what you do (in politics), anything you do will be caught, repurposed, and used against you. Even doing an animation ABOUT politics was tiring, so I doubt I’ll do more political cartoons… Scratch that… Trump is running isn’t he? He’s a damn gold mine for content. I’ve actually thought about doing something on him but I’m not sure!


Q: You would participate in a collab called Happy Birthday Joy!!, a birthday tribute to CosmicDeath. Unfortunately this came out after I had interviewed CosmicDeath. How did this collab come together? How do you know CosmicDeath? What did she think about it?

A: Oh man, it’s been so long! Most of everyone I knew from the old Paltalk days, where we would chat about newgrounds or whatever else we wanted! I honestly don’t remember how it came about! As you’re aware, I have a shit memory, so my guess is it was probably another spur of the moment thing! Regardless, it was very fun to be a part of!


Q: And now we come to the part of the interview where I have to say... that I hate you. Shape Up. The writing and voice acting for this was very good, it started off funny and slowly became pretty tense and serious. The part where I hate you is that it abruptly ended. Why did it just end?

A: Another shape cartoon! I never really made a shape cartoon until this one actually (since “Stamper ‘N Johnny wasn’t really about shapes after all) They’re surprisingly fun to make since you can only use basic shapes and colors to tell a story. I felt it was funnier to end it as abruptly as I did to be honest! The toon was at its grand climax: Green was potentially dying, Pink was on the verge of a mental break down, the police had no idea what to do, and then BOOM, end. Does green die? Will the brothers recover from this traumatic incident? Find out next time! Actually I just didn’t know how to continue making the toon funny and felt the ambulance showing up would ruin everything, so I just stopped, ha.


Q: When Sarkazm was here we talked about LUCKY DAY FOREVER. A movie that you contributed your voice to. How did you come to work on this movie? Can you tell us anything about working with Sarkazm?

A: This was the first time I really voiced in any kind of cartoon! I was so excited to work with him! I was the voice of the Television/ Announcer of Why We Love the Great Lottery! Sarkasm was looking for voice actors and asked the Newgrounds community for tryouts. I jumped on the opportunity and was very lucky to be chosen for the part! I still wish I did more voice acting, but even at that time it was VERY hard to do as I still lived at home and lived in a rather noisy environment. I now live by myself in my own studio so I hope that changes!


Q: When Jonnyethco was here we talked about Prostitute Mickey and when HeRetiK was here we talked about Sickey Mouse. You join these two for The Interviewer with your latest movie Donald 'n Gang. What made you want to make a Disney parody? Will we see more Disney stuff in the future?

A: I actually met Jonnyethco at Pico Day last year! I can’t say if he remembers talking with me, as it was brief. There were a few people outside the office talking about his animation, and so a couple people started doing their impressions as well (So obviously I joined in. I can’t help myself sometimes). People said I was pretty damn good at it, so I was obviously delighted! I’ve actually been told that a few times. Donald Duck was one of the very first voices I learned to do a looong time ago. When friends started watching my cartoons on Newgrounds, they would tell me that I needed to make something with Donald doing something vulgar. The conversations I had at Pico Day, and a few others motivated me to make a Disney themed cartoon!


Q: When last we spoke you were a Forum Moderator. You are a Forum Moderator no longer. Why?

A: Nothing juicy, sadly! Just inactivity! Moderating was exhausting at times anyway. Constant messages of “Why am I banned?”, “Mister Police man come save this thread!”, or anything else really would get annoying rather quickly. Not saying being a Moderator is a bad thing, but it’s just not my thing. But I guess I do it well? I tend to be given Moderator privileges for other things, ha!


Q: What can we expect from SardonicSamurai in the future?

A: I can’t say for sure. I’ve learned that life is unpredictable. No matter what I say or do, I’ll never know what the hell is going to happen. It can be a fun, albeit rough, ride. I PLAN to make more animations. I WANT to do more voice work. I’ve  made friends with people that are rooting for me. I have started backgrounds on another animation, so hopefully I’ll have another toon out in the next few months! I’ll also be at Pico Day again this year (So I’ll be even MORE motivated!) Sorry if this isn’t a very clear answer, but it’s an honest one!


I was attracted to SardonicSamurai's animation when I saw him vent through his craft. However he has shown that he is still a wonderfully funny storyteller. Hopefully he has returned to Newgrounds to stay here for much longer and help us expand even further.


Posted by TheInterviewer - April 13th, 2016

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 142
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest I have been listening to for quite sometime now and am just now getting around to interviewing. He is a musician from the Audio Portal who has bounced from genre to genre and mostly works with Vocaloid. His works have ranged Pleasure, to Steam's Wonderful Contraptions, and to Perfumer's Perfect Fumes. I am pleased to welcome steampianist.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I find out about Newgrounds in 2008. I saw my brother playing a game called Pico School in Newgrounds and it was about shooting other students in a school and it looked so silly and funny and I found out there were animations too so I would just casually watch some flash animation using my brother’s account hehe. The first animation I saw was “There She Is”. I decided to make an account and join Newgrounds in 2012 because I was so sick of making videos just to upload my music in Youtube and Soundcloud is boring, so I decided I’d try Newgrounds plus you can play loops so to me that was really neat.


Q: One thing that is important to these interviews are people. People influence our creations in life. You have quite a few that I want to know about. Who is Arjen Lucassen and what about his music inspires you?

A: Arjen Lucassen is a multi-instrumentalist and mastermind behind Ayreon. When I first heard Ayreon it totally blew my mind because it was something totally different for me and I really love his instrumentation one example of his songs would be “Carried by the Wind” where it feature this really catchy theme and another would be “The First Man On Earth” which I may have quoted a melody in a certain vocaloid song of mine. But what really amazes me about Arjen Lucassen is that it’s all him, I mean the ideas, the composition, and arrangement, all him; he’s a genius and I guess that is how Arjen inspires me to compose. Another band would be Abney Park and Beats Antique where their aesthetic made me want to pursue steampunk but I wanted it to present it with sound rather than fashion and to name a few others, Edvard Grieg, Erik Sate, Rammstein, Iron Maiden’s Stever Harris, Korn, and Raymond Scott are my biggest inspiration in music as well.


Q: I know you've said that when you met morbid-morsel that it is a long and weird story. Would you please share with us who morbid-morsel is and how you two came to meet?

A: Well one thing to know about TravelBySheep or morbid-morsel is that she does not like sharing too much of her personal life ONLINE or in real life, so all I can say is we met when I moved into her town and strangely enough became friends, I say strangely because I don’t think she liked me very much at first hehe. As for the music thing well, one day, she told me about vocaloid and that she found this one vocaloid, Oliver, really cute and I proposed if she wanted I can make music for Oliver. She agreed and that’s how we started.


Q: You are called steampianist so naturally you create beautiful music with the piano, which we'll be getting to soon. At one point though you seem to have lost a bit of love for the piano. One person came along though that made you love the piano again and she was Amanda Palmer. What about the piano did you lose love for and what was it about Amanda Palmer's music that made you love the piano again?

A: Ah yeah… I did. I think this was somewhere in 1st year high school and I was a part of the “Abbey Band Club”. I just felt like the piano/keyboard was so old fashioned. I mean, I played a lot of classical and old standard jazz music but I felt like I wasn’t relevant in the band club. I mean sure there are electro bands at the time but I didn’t have a synthesizer and in the band club no one liked electro music anyway. They mostly played punk, OPM (Original Pinoy Music) and sappy ballads and some metalcore, which I’m not fond of. But in the end I just took my guitar and formed a punk band. It was fun. then one day my cousin told me about the cabaret punk duo “Dresden Dolls”, he thought I’d be interested in it cos I was in a punk band and played piano, so he told me it just consisted of Drums (Brian Viglione) and Piano (Amanda Palmer). So he lent me his bootleg copy of the Dresden Doll’s “Yes, Vigrinia” (I’m so sorry Amanda), and when the first track played, Sex Changes, That piano riff was just heavenly and the drums came in and it was all just epicness for me so naturally I wanted to play her songs and I was back on the piano with a renewed passion and became a fan of  Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer but if you’re going to ask if I was inspired to form a drum and piano duo in the band club? Well no I wasn’t. I still played guitar in my band because no one knew who the Dresden Dolls were, singer can’t sing it, and I’m sure they don’t like it that much. It didn’t matter really I played piano again.


Q: What is Vocaloid?

A: It’s a vocal synthesizer where a 40 year old Japanese man records syllables and stuff and then the sound engineers tweaks it to sound like a 15 year old Japanese girl and my source of youtube revenues. I’m kidding. But it is a vocal synthesizer developed by Yamaha where voice actors/singers record their voice and is SYNTHESIZED into a vocaloid voice bank.


Q: Your first song on Newgrounds is entitled He Marches (to golgatha). You describe it as the feeling and experience of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, twistedly exaggerated. I can most certainly see this image, but is this the image you had while making this song? Also looking back on it today are you still proud of it? Are there any changes you would have made to it?

A: Well, actually, this was supposed to be for a visual novel that did not pull through. Initially I was imagining a world similar to Silent Hill because that was what the artists wanted. So I try to portray that image with sound and that time I didn’t have those Kontakt Libraries and shit. I had to use FL STUDIO’S stock samples and VST’s and listening to it again I think I did a good job with those stock samples haha. So I guess yes, I am proud of this old track. I’d probably replace some samples here with better sounding samples from Kontakt but I can’t because I lost the .flp file of this song along with other older songs.


Q: When I found out about you I was listening to your most recent stuff. While preparing for this interview I came across one of my top three favorite songs by and that is Pleasure. I must admit when I saw the genre tag as Jazz I was expecting just some smooth jazz with a little bit of industrial flair that you tend to have. I was surprised with something more Copacabana with just a hint of a mad scientist laboratory in a volcano. What was the process you took into bringing this to life? What made you want to tackle the Jazz genre?

A: Copacabana you say? Ah, well, I can’t really recall what was going through my head while composing but whenever I make jazz music I guess, it’s usually improvised and this was composed for a character theme and the artist wanted it… Slutty? And sexy? IDK. I think I did a very bad job at this hahaha, I’m actually not sure what would make for a sexy sound, so I thought SAX? Maybe. And some smooth jazz and I thought why not add some moaning samples for that “sluttiness”. Listening to this again I think this has to be my most random track. What made me want to tackle jazz you ask? Well I used to play in a showband/variety band where we play a lot of jazz standard, “Nearness of You”, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Spain”, “All Blues”, “Milestones” and a bunch of Bossa Nova music. I guess I picked up some jazz chords and decided I should try and compose some simple ones.


Q: Evokation I see brings a parallel of two worlds together. The ritual dances of the tribes and the club scenes of today. Where the youth are both dancing to music. It seems like tribal themes work very well for contemporary dance music of today. Where did you get the inspiration to take tribal ritual music and convert it to techno?

A: These are some old tracks… Well I was inspired by the occult idea where certain high frequency sounds can make you see certain astral beings. I guess you can say this is an attempt of that. Did you see any astral beings? Frustration also made me compose this track because at the time I wasn’t really good at making techno/trance music. I didn’t know how to achieve certain sounds or transitions so Instead of using the usual synth and samples that makes techno/trance I decided ill just use some choirs and some tribal drums and use some basic synths and that’s pretty much it.


Q: If anyone asked me the best way to describe what your music is like, I would instantly send them a link to Steam's Wonderful Contraptions. From what I've heard it seems to sum up a lot of what your music represents. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes dark, sometimes weird, but all around in some way fun. There are so many components going on in this song that I had to listen to it multiple times to catch everything and I still don't think I have caught everything in it yet. What is everything that makes up this song?

A: I really like making music with erratic mood changes but recently I’ve gone simpler, I guess. I’m not sure what you mean by everything but if you’re asking about the instrumentals, well I was very specific in the arrangement. I wanted to include things that won’t usually fit with the other instruments and I wanted to avoid traditional percussion, with a few exemptions, and of course keeping the whole piece meshed well with each other. As for the Image I’m trying to portray, I wanted to give the listeners an impression that the music is being played by a huge contraption/machine. So I made sure every instrument or sample here is in constant motion. One instrument plays a melody, the other instruments plays another. Percussion and noise samples constantly playing in the background to really give the constant motion. As for the emotional aspect of this song, I admit it does not have any or at least I did not stay in one mood so it can give the impression that it does not convey any emotion. It was supposed to appeal to your imagination.


Q: Real Life Absurdities simply makes me laugh every time I hear it because the visual images are different for each listen. What were the inspirations behind this psychotic piece? I imagine the process in making this fast pace song would be difficult.

A: I love the music/score in cartoons great examples would be the old Fleischer cartoons, The Animaniacs Theme, The Tiny Toons intro and the compositions of Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling. These are all my inspiration for this piece and, no, it wasn’t hard. In fact it felt natural when composing this. Every Idea just clicked.


Q: My second favorite song by you is one that just puts a smile on my face and at one point a couple of months ago I needed a smile while pushing through this interview and that is The Umbrella Salesman. The lyrics, vocals, and music were all just absolutely wonderful to the ears. This would be a good time now to ask who is Oliver? morbid-morsel wrote the lyrics, did you have any input on her lyrics and did she have any input on your melody? Do you know the inspiration behind this song and its meaning?

A: Oliver is an choir type English voicebank for the vocaloid engine created by PowerFX. And, no, morb did not have any input, not because she can’t but because she would rather not because I think she trusts that I will compose something decent and I did not have any input in her lyrics because I trust her as well. I’m not sure what the inspiration behind the story is, but morb told me she just wanted a story with pretty umbrellas and that  she just wanted to draw umbrellas and also she was inspired by the father in the movie Charlie and The Chocolate factory. She told me he looked sad and depressed and so I guess that’s what prompted her to write the umbrella salesman.


Q: You got to team up with ZipZipper when making three songs. They are Are You Afraid?, Rainfall, and The Mouse Went Up The Clock. How did you two meet up and what parts did you play in making these songs with him?

A: I found out about ZipZipper when I was participating in NGADM (Newgrounds Audio Death Match) Iwas pitted against him. So naturally I checked out who I’m up against and I just instantly loved his work so after NGADM I thought maybe I can collaborate with ZipZipper in next year’s NGADM which we did and made this 3 songs. For “Are you Afraid?” I did the main motif and we sort of split the song in sections where we exemplify ourselves and the ending is a combination of both our ideas and of course ZipZipper wrote and sang the lyrics. “Rainfall”, I think this time ZipZipper did the theme and I just added the bassline and a couple of embellishments and for the last track “The Mouse Went Up The Clock”, well, the first half was by ZipZipper and the other half by me and ZipZipper ended it with an atonal texture.


Q: Secrets of Wysteria is a very creepy song, listening to the lyrics it is no secret that there is a story here. You've stated that you and morbid-morsel have a fascination with serial killers and sociopaths. This is a theme I believe we have in common. What made you two want to write a song about one of them, one being Albert Fish?

A: Well it was mostly me who wanted to write a song about Albert Fish. I think morb was just going along with me and in my opinion I think Albert Fish is the Epitome of what a serial killer is. He was so horrendous to the point he just didn’t seem human at all I guess I just wanted to show my listener what a serial killer truly is and that is someone who has lost his/her humanity and became this horrible creature and so I thought this would make a great scary Halloween song and the best part is that he was real.


Q: My favorite song of all time by you absolutely without question is Perfumer's Perfect Fumes. It is amazing that this program can handle the Heavy Metal genre so well. If I'm not mistaken I sense a backing orchestration behind the heavy metal instrumentation in this song and it compliments extremely well. Tell me, every step that came into making this beautiful song. I want to know everything! In other words, what was the process you took into bringing this song together?

A: This was actually a collaboration with another Vocaloid Producer named Momocashew. Momocashew is one of the few who uses/tunes Oliver very well and her musical works with the voicebank is amazing so naturally when I first used Oliver I’d always end up listening to her works get some ideas and guess on how she was able to make Oliver sound that way. I recommend listening to her Pumpkin series if you’re curious about Oliver. Anyway she wrote the lyrics and tuned Oliver in this song. The song is based on “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” thus the title. I’m not sure what made her want to write a song about Perfume, I guess she just likes the book. I composed the instrumental and got my band mate mark to play the guitar and Abe who played bass for me. This was actually my first metal track so for me mixing it was a bit of a challenge for me because the guitar was much much heavier and I found that the distortion guitar seem to drown out the bass and vocals doesn’t seem to sit well on the track but eventually with a couple of youtube videos and asking people here in Newgrounds helped me a lot in making finishing this track. For me this was a taxing song to make because before I got a guitarist I have asked a lot of guitarists to play for me but all seem to be either turned off by the idea of a vocaloid singing or the song was too hard. Fortunately my bandmate agreed and can play the song but he lived so far away from where I am living so recording took a week to finish because I remember he had gigs somewhere at around 6PM and I get there at around there 3PM in the afternoon and didn’t have a car so I had to commute with my recording equipment hahaha. It was the same thing for the bassist but the bassist only took 2 days to finish. Despite all this tiresome effort, I’m very proud of this track and I hope to make more metal music in the future.


Q: What is in your opinion, the definition of music?

A: I’ll keep my answer simple. Music can be defined in anyway. But for me personally it is the best form of self-expression and because I think I can connect with people better both on an emotional and intellectual level.


Q: You've been through a lot of different programs throughout your musical creation. For anyone looking to make music, what programs would you recommend they use? What equipment? Any advice you have for them?

A: Well it doesn’t really matter what program/DAW or equipment you use. What matter is how well you use them I personally prefer FL Studio simply because I find it easy to use and I think it’s a great DAW. Now I really can’t give any advice when it comes to recording because I still consider myself an amateur when it comes to recording and I’m not much of an audiophile either. I just have simple set up of a laptop a mixer and earphones. I can however give 4 rules I follow when it comes to mixing and mastering

1. When mixing, make sure your mixer level is at least half in level to avoid any clipping in mastering.

2. Always use a 20hz high cut off in all of the instruments in the mix to avoid any muddiness in the track.

3. Pan. Never put all your instrument in just the center your track can sound whole if you fill the audio spectrum.

4. Never overuse any effect, chorus, reverb, delay and flanger etc. unless you have a creative purpose for it.


Q: When it comes to writing your music without really much to inspire you, where does it start? Where does the first note come down and where does the song end?

A: Well usually when I’m not inspired or just not up to composing a piece of music I usually just don’t. But I am in a business where I compose for other people so when I’m uninspired and I’m required to compose I just sort of pull out this typical set of chord like a template and just improvise on it and just keep adding into it until I can’t think of anything to add or take away.


Q: What can we expect from steampianist in the future?

A: Well me and TravelBySheep are slowly working on a new vocaloid album and I notice I’m getting a lot of fans who play Geometry Dash maybe I can make something for them specifically for the level creators and upload it here in Newgrounds.


I've been listening to steampianist since about late 2013 early 2014. He is an absolutely amazing musician who I have put off on interviewing for too long. When I went through his full scope of music I was damned impressed. His skills are certainly wonderful and he is expanding further and further into his form. He reminds me of when Back-From-Purgatory was here, a traveling bard.


Posted by TheInterviewer - April 6th, 2016

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 141
Interview By:

Today's guest only has two movies here on Newgrounds, but his works have most certainly been recognized here, but outside of Newgrounds as well. Many of you here mainly know him for There's a Man in the Woods. Today I am privileged to welcome Jacob Streilein.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: I knew about Newgrounds growing up. Seems like its always been pretty big as long as I’ve been on the internet. I actually didn’t join, though, until Tom Fulp emailed me about allowing a wider range of animated films into the site, which was right after I’d made Swelter.


Q: At what age did you become interested in drawing?

A: I’m not quite sure. I remember being excited about it in Kindergarten when we got to write and illustrate our own books, which our teacher helped actually bind for us. Seeing my drawings in a finished, well presented context definitely made me want to do more. The next big moment was probably in second grade when I did a drawing of a frog for a teacher and lots of my classmates complimented me on it. I think that was the first time I remember thinking I had done a “good” drawing, which was fun.


Q: When and how did you become interested in animation?

A: One of the upperclassmen was interested in animation when I got to high school, and I think I started looking into it just because I heard my teacher talking about it. My art teacher actually created a short film screening so that my classmate had a reason to learn storyboarding in preparation for college applications, and one of my good friends and I made this really dumb cartoon and submitted it. After that screening I started to find pencil tests and short films online and slowly built a real interest in it. I think the scales tipped towards wanting to actually study it my junior year of high school.


Q: Who would you say are your influences?

A: Oh man, so many. CalArts was the biggest introduction of foreign and exciting work that I’ve probably ever had, so my most direct influences are my classmates. Jason Reicher, Taylor Price, Dylan Forman, Ryan Matias, Vitaliy Strokous, Nelson Boles. I feel like this list could go on forever-- Ian Worrel, Romney Caswell, Phil Vose, Eddie West, Elle Michalka, Eliza Ivanova, Evan Spiridellis, Chris O’Hara, Tyler Chen.

And then kind of wider scope— I’ve kind of consumed a lot of work from Masaaki Yuasa, Euan Uglow, Egon Shiele, Paul Rand, Nas, Eminem, Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, Gary Larson, Bill Patterson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Guy Ritchie, Edgar Wright, Paul Felix.

This is a hard question haha, sorry.


Q: When and how did you become employed to Jib Jab?

A: I sort of started the Summer of 2012 in the internship program, and have worked for them on and off ever since, either through that same program, freelance work,  or my current full-time position that I started in August of 2014. I met those guys when they came to Calart’s Portfolio day and I had an interview with them based on my work.


Q: Your first submission to Newgrounds is a little movie called Swelter. A story of a father and son looking for water in a post-apocalyptic world. What was the inspiration behind Swelter and do you feel you might expand on it in the future?

A: I think it was actually just an evolution of an idea about the summer in my hometown being obscenely hot, especially after a fairly temperate Californian school year. I originally had this idea that it was so hot outside that fire itself melted. It kind of took a different direction as I boarded through it. I don’t have any plans to expand on it in the future, no.


Q: Punctuwool I find to be a telling of appreciating the little things in a hilarious way. I loved the creativity behind this. Representing the clouds as curious sheep and a little man in a helicopter to guide them. How did you come up with such an idea?

A: I was trying to think of ideas when I was writing Swelter and I did this tiny drawing on a Post-It of a sheep cloud with lightning for legs just bouncing around. At the time I didn’t know how I wanted to expand it, but it came up again when I needed an idea for my third-year film at school.
The appreciation of little things was just in response to working too hard/ too much and not really having time to have fun, so naturally I worked too hard and had no fun while I made it. Just kidding it wasn’t quite that bad.


Q: My absolute favorite by you has to be Theres a Man in the Woods. You stated it was based off of a rumor that went around your own elementary school. Are there any parts of this movie that are true? What made you want to present it as a poem? What made you want to bring this story to animation?

A: The only part of the movie that is true is the section about his description. Batman ears, yellow eyes, a shotgun, and a lady’s leg. Those are the details I remember from 4th grade. We did have a honeysuckle bush, but nobody was hoarding the flowers and no parents or teachers actually ever got involved. I did have a friend who tried to convince us that a screwdriver in a Ziploc bag full of cherry Kool-Aid was actually the killer’s murder weapon in a bag of blood. He planted it on the playground and also found it— he was part of the inspiration of Sid. But that visual description of the killer just seemed fun to draw, so naturally I wanted to try and work it into an animated film.

I had been studying a lot of rap music, specifically Kendrick Lamar, Outkast, and Eminem, and reading a lot about rap flow the summer before that year. I hadn’t written anything for an actor before and was not super confident in my writing skills so I figured It might at least be interesting if I tried to write in rhyme, even if the writing wasn’t great.


Q: What advice would you have to give for artists looking to become animators?

A: Draw, watch films, make comics. Just keep drawing, mostly. I always feel like I can draw until I realize that I can’t again. Its a rough cycle. Keep drawing.


Q: What can we expect from Jacob Streilein in the future?

A: Oooh I don’t know. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff at Jib Jab that people will see soon. I’d like to make more shorts—I really like the format and I don’t know if I have the attention span for a long form project. Otherwise, I post most of my drawings on my blog here: jacobstreilein.tumblr.com.


Jacob is a brilliant animator and writer who has a lot to offer in terms of his animation. However I feel that he has a sense of there isn't enough time to truly make everything he wants to share with all of us. He is indeed absolutely brilliant though and I hope we see more of his works. Hopefully he'll enter next year's Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation on here.


Posted by TheInterviewer - March 30th, 2016

[ Index Page | Theme Song | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 140
Interview By: The-Great-One

Today's guest is the winner of The 2015 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. He has graced us with works such as Ten Facts, Surviving the Future, The Ice Cream Man, and Little Snails. I am pleased to welcome, TheSilleGuy.


Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?

A: As a child I would frequently watch flash animations on the internet because I already had a big interest in cartoons. Some of the first flash animations I remember watching was "There she is!", "I love death" and several episodes of Eddsworld. These flash animations were however embedded on several Swedish sites, and so I did not really visit Newgrounds that much. It wasn't until I seriously started getting into animation that I created an account in 2012.


Q: At what age did you become interested in drawing?

A: I have been interested in drawing for as long as I remember. I can recall sitting inside, alone in kindergarten drawing animals while the other kids where outside playing football. If you want an exact age then I was maybe 1 or 2 years old.


Q: Informative Man is about a man who goes around answering people's questions in a strange, but hilarious fashion. Whose idea was this and will we see more Informative Man in the future?

A: The original consept for Informative man was that he was supposed to be on some kind of infomercial on TV, but this evolved into a deranged kids show where he answers questions. I honestly think he is a very interesting character, and for a while I really wanted to make a sequel to the video. I really don't know when I'll have the time to make one though.


Q: DuckTales - Treasure Hunt is a parody of DuckTales. I love how the voices don't even come close to matching the original characters and the ending is priceless. When did you become introduced to DuckTales and what made you want to make a parody of it?

A: Oh man! Ducktales was one of my favorite shows as a kid! It was on every Saturday morning on TV and loved watching it. I wanted to make a parody because I thought it would be fun to do a weird little skit version of it. I thought it would be funny if the voices where super exaggerated or just not accurate at all to the original cartoon and I guess it payed off.


Q: One of the last times I asked this question was when I interviewed Sexual-Lobster. Your movie The Ice Cream Man... what the fuck did I just watch? Where did you get the idea for this and the song?

A: It's kind of a funny story. I wanted to do a cartoon and I was frustrated by the fact that I had no ideas. Then all of the sudden I remember randomly rapping to myself and I had a very weird ice cream man rap song out of nowhere. Then I just kind of wrote the rest of the sketch around the rap.


Q: You would contribute your voice to many entries for the Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation. However you would compete during the 2015 Newgrounds Annual Tournament of Animation and go on to win it. Why did you want to contribute to other animator's entries and compete yourself? How did it feel when you were announced as the winner of NATA 2015?

A: A friend of mine competed in NATA the year before and that inspired me to want to participate as well. I couldn't in 2014 because I was at that point already working on another animation, so I participated in 2015 instead. Since some fellow animator friends also participated I decided to help them out with voice acting. One of them, MCakeri, I've been friends with for a long time and we skyped together while working on our respective animations.

As for how I felt when I won: It's kind of indescribable. I had been working on Little snails, non stop for two weeks straight and I was stressed out of my mind. I was sure I was going to lose because I thought Dylans video was far superior to my own. You could guess how I felt when I won.


Q: Your first entry in NATA 2015 was entitled Telling the Truth. How did you come up with this idea for the Open Round Theme and how were you feeling about moving up the bracket?

A: At the beginning of NATA I wanted to do some more "meaningful" videos with kind of message to them, and I thought about how with the theme "10 amazing facts" reminded me of the internet and how there are so many inaccurate facts on it. I thought it would be interesting to have someone constantly telling lies and then have someone else not question them and this eventually would lead to the liar dying. It was not that popular though and I almost got left out of the competition. Because of that I felt like I was going to lose the next round.


Q: Surviving the Future would be your entry in the Novice Round. Could you tell our readers the theme for this round and how you came up with the idea for it?

A: The theme for the second round was "How I survived ______". Because of how my last video didn't turn out that well I wanted to do something completely different. Instead of doing something with a message of some sort I just wanted to do more of a cute adventure video. There's not much of a story to how I came up with the idea, I kind of just wanted to do a video about the future since the beginning of the round.


Q: My favorite animation by you is your entry in the Pro Round entitled Up in the Sky. The story for this was just absolutely beautiful. It actually made me a little teary eyed. What was the theme for this round and how did you come up with this beautiful story?

A: Haha, that's very nice of you to say! The third rounds theme was "A tragic misunderstanding" and very soon after I read the title I brainstormed an idea. I had recently read the Wikipedia article for the S. A. Andreés Arctic balloon expedition of 1897. Back in the late 1800s Norway and Denmark had explored most of the arctic. Sweden was left behind, and so a man named S. A. Andrée wanted to be the first person to reach the north pole by balloon. Andreé however ignored many of the problems with going to the north pole in a balloon, and so the mission failed and he and his two crew members died.

I thought the story was very interesting but I wanted to simplify it so it could fit into a NATA video. Originally it was going to be a man and his two crew members like what had happened, then it was a story about a man and his wife and eventually it was about two siblings. I really like how the story turned out and I really want to do more dramatic stuff like it in the future.


Q: Your entry for the final round is entitled Little Snails. I thought this was an endearing and funny movie. What was the theme for the final round? Also how did you come up with the creativity for backpacks being the snail shells?

A: "Against impossible odds" was the fourth and final theme for NATA. My video little snails went through A LOT of changes during the two days I wrote it. At first it was about humans and not snails at all, and it was going to end with the villain throwing the little girl of a cliff with her rising behind him as a giant glowing magic entity and destroying him. The "little-girl beats-the-bad-guy-to-protect-her-sister" theme was prevalent throughout the idea process but it was for a while only about humans.

It wasn't until later I sort of just spontaneously thought it could be about under water snails that it changed, and this was again changed to land snails in the final version. As for the shells as backpacks, it was just something i just thought about, it's not really any story to it, I just thought it was a cute design choice.


Q: You have one song on Newgrounds entitled Knights. It feels like being inside a techno castle with robotic knights. How come you haven't made any more music? Will we see more music from you?

A: I have actually been doing quite a bit of music since I made "Knights", though I don't think any of it is good enough to upload yet. I don't feel like I know enough about music or music theory yet. (I mostly ask people to make music for me.) That being said,  I do have many ideas for songs and if I get more experience with it I will definitely upload some stuff. Otherwise it will mostly be crappy joke songs.


Q: What advice do you have to give to aspiring animators?

A: Try going outside your comfort zone! One thing I did for NATA was that I tried to do things I've never done before, and it payed off. If you don't take risks you won't evolve or get better.


Q: What can we expect from TheSilleGuy in the future?

A: I actually started work on an animation a couple days ago. It's pretty short so it will most likely be done in a month or two. I'm also developing a webcomic with two of my friends. Don't know when it will be up but hopefully soon. Finally I'm also working on a pretty big project, a short film. It will be my first animation with a budget and it will be pretty long. I have just started writing the script so it's gonna take a while to finish it.


TheSilleGuy seems to me to be another TomaMoto or RicePirate. Always willing to expand past his comfort zone. Always willing to give a helping hand, lend his voice to something, whatever he can do to help someone else's creation grow. I mostly focused on TheSilleGuy's works in this interview, but most of the other movies on his page is simply him helping others. Make no mistake though, when TheSilleGuy stands alone he is truly an animation force to be reckoned.