Interview No. 67
Interview By: @The-Great-One
Today's guest is a bizarre and underrated animator. He has the skills to be just as random as eddsworld and the musical creativity to give even the great Weebl a run for his money. With animations such as Touching things is fun V2, Everybody loves the fruit, and The Nature Song, he is certainly a force to be reckoned with on Newgrounds. He is none other than @koit.
Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A: I found NG in early 2004. Back then I was mainly creating internet gifs which were fairly popular and often went viral, such as my animations known as the traffic light men, which I formed into www.trafficlightwars.co.uk
I was told by a number of people that I could animate well and that I should give flash a go. I'd also seen a few other people I know (mainly through B3TA.com) create flash animations and I thought, yeah, I'd like to do that. So I did.
I joined because I wanted somewhere to publish flash animations to and keep them live on the web and so I started submitting, and haven't look back since.
Q: Your first flash submission would be entitled Space Crew: Episode 1. What was the process you took into making this and looking back at it are you still proud of it?
A: Space Crew 1 was the first flash animation I submitted to NG, but wasn't my first ever flash. That was entitled - theatre : obvious. It was really a test animation to animate the old saying of "the pot calling the kettle black" - when I realised that I could use the software, I set about making Space Crew.
Obviously it's based on Star Trek as I love sci-fi and all incarnations of Trek. I wanted to create a set of characters based on the real characters and make a comedy show essentially. Looking back now, as a first real animation, it was rather ambitious. During the making of it, I learnt a lot. If I had to re-visit the animation I would be appalled at how I would have layered the animation and created the various movie clips etc. Nowadays I am far more organised in the creation and how I structure them.
From a process of creating it standpoint, I did then what I do now..... have the idea, create a storyboard and the complete scene by scene.
Q: Nursery Rhymes: the truth would be a very funny flash movie that depicts what really happened in those nursery rhymes. What inspired this and have you thought about making another one?
A: I've always been very immature in my humour and have those "what if" questions in my head all of the time about any random thing. I've always found nursery rhyme songs very fascinating for some strange reason and so it was a very logical thing for my brain to put the two things together. What if this happened to a nursery rhyme.
Again, looking back I don't like it now because at heart, I am also a perfectionist and so now I see flaws everywhere !!
I could easily create another one as I've actually got a few more ideas on paper for other nursery rhyme skits.
I have a massive pile of paper on my computer desk with scrawled ideas, storyboards, phrases that I could later use, waiting to be realised into something creative. If I were to address Nursery rhymes 2, it may have to join the queue of ideas !
Q: When Sexual-Lobster was here we talked about some of his twisted works. Now we come to you and with the flash Touching things is fun. Where did this idea come from and why did you feel the need to remake it with Touching things is fun V2?
A: Touching things is fun (which is easily my most well known animation/song) came about like most of my ideas for animations/songs whilst I'm in the bathroom. In this case, whilst I was in the shower.
From an early age I've been singing normal songs but with alternative lyrics that I just make up on the spot, and they usually rhyme as I have a quick wit. This skill came from my Dad who to this day does the same thing.
Anyhow, referring to a previous answer, I'm immature with my humour and so these things merged to create dirty lyrics. Add that to the fact that I can make a decent tune up in virtually seconds in my head.......
Well, the tune came to me in the shower and I pretty much made up the whole song with lyrics during the showering process and as soon as I was dry I rushed to my computer and sang the tune/lyrics in.
The animation followed because visuals to those lyrics are obvious.
It's a simple animation really and because of that simplicity and base humour, it went down very well. Although mainly in Britain.
It disappoints me to this day that it's only in Britain really that this animation/song does well. Maybe Americans don't get the humour as much. Hard to say.....
Soon anyhow this video will be released onto iTunes video store, and I hope it goes as viral in American schools as it still does to this day in England.
I made V2 because many people commented "what's with the veins"..... in the early days I was using a poor monitor which was very bright and as such hid, the veins from me. I wanted them subtle and to me, they looked like they were. It was only after I bought a new monitor that I noticed the veins were SO obvious. I had to create V2 because I was embarrassed for myself....
Q: How your garden grows appears to be a very simple concept, but one I was surprised that you did not make as disturbing as your past works. How come?
A: I like to flick between disturbing/dark/dirty to family friendly. So to counter balance FC (which later was renamed to Funt) which to be fair is my rudest animation/song to date, I had to create something nice.
And besides, if you think about it, this animation is about Nature. Not a nice thing really as each of the items introduced is capable of killing the other !
Q: Everybody loves the fruit is a very fun flash. The animation itself is a bit disturbing, but the song is so innocent that it would be one you would probably hear on a preschool show. When it comes to this song and flash where was the inspiration?
A: With Everybody loves their fruit, I can't honestly remember what the inspiration was exactly. It's doubly strange as actually I don't eat any fruit as I don't like the textures. More than likely it was just another case of me creating a random song in my head. I usually come up with the title lyrics initially and then build a song around that.
Q: The counting game is certainly a fun flash game, but I will not say here why. Where did the idea come from for this?
A: With the counting game, it really came about because of my failure as a coder. I had planned on creating a fully fledged game based on the concept. In fact, I still have the project half done on my to-do list, now re-titled Instances.
I've left it there for years and may not ever finish it.
Anyhow, this game came about because of my laziness to finish and so I abused it and created something altogether different. Typical Koit thing really, take something and flip it on it's head and make something odd/dark.
Q: Vegetables follows almost the same route as "Everybody loves the fruit" however it's not as for lack of a better word -- cannibalistic. Why this sort of change were you fearing of doing the same thing twice, but under a different skin?
A: Vegetables came about because I wanted to return to the family friendly animation style. After I first created Everybody loves their fruit I always wanted to do a food trilogy, so Vegetables followed, as did Meat. I wanted to get Mr Apple into this animation but at no point could I make it work, so decided that he was there, just behind the scenes. Sort of a Borg Queen.
Q: Shape shape shapes is quite possibly not only one of your more creative songs, but at the same time one of your most creative flash animations. A good bit is going on here I just got to know though where did the idea come from?
A: This was another family friendly animation I created to balance out the weirdness of what some people might class as my sickest animation, the Pit.
I wanted to do an animation that would appeal to my nephew and niece. The song was in my head as per usual before ideas of an animation, the animation followed.
I liked creating this one because of the background that I added to it. Basic gradient colours with a shape ball being rotated behind with a high transparancy. I like the way they change colours to suit whatever shape is in the current limelight. It's a nice idea.
"It worked well the first time, not so well the next. The fact it was incredibly random and a suprise to see where the next person would take it was interesting to say the least. Simply because you would leave a door wide open and they would just break a hole in the wall claiming its a new door. You never knew where it was going."
Would you agree with this statement? No matter your answer could you tell us why as well as what it was like to work with Edd?
A: I wasn't necessarily a fan of Eddsworld as such but I admired Edd's work a lot. I mean he has a great artistry that surpasses mine. I can't for the life of me create comic style drawings that translate well into animations. He's awesome at that and so I wanted to join forces with someone who did have talent.
Anyway, we both spent a bit of time on B3TA.com and from there it was simply a case of asking him to collaborate. He did. Obviously.
I don't really agree that the first is better than the second. It's true that the first went down better but we tried different things with each. The first one was simply a case of creating something absolutely random.
I was disappointed with the reaction to the animation purely because no matter where it was posted, I would get lambasted and accused of ruining the animation. In fact however, I helped moved it along lots and did some audio work for Edd's parts.
I wanted to do Collab 2 to show these, what I'd term as "naive internet gimps", how well I can animate if I want. Edd wanted to change the style of this collab and suggested both longer parts and a straight narrative. That's what we did.
However, because Edd and I both had ongoing projects (such as paid commissions etc, and he was battling an illness) it sat there in production hell for well over a year.
I thought the 2nd one tailed off and wasn't superb, but it had better artwork than the first.
I enjoyed collaborating, I wouldn't say working with him as such as it was really just a case of doing something, emailing and then waiting.
I am more than open to part 3 if he wants to ! - although I'd prefer a return to randomness.
Q: We now come to two flash movies that I have been wanting to talk about and they are Cat Vader and Cat Vader 2. To me they are in a way reminiscent of the Garfield comics. Are these flashes based on what your cat Vader has done and will we be seeing more?
A: Yeah, pretty much every scene is based on what Vader used to do. I used to live together with my girlfriend and our Cat, Vader. He was black and had a squished face as he was one of them special breeds.
My girlfriend and I split not long back and she took him with her and as a tribute to him I created CV2.
The scenery in each animation is exactly my house and it's garden recreated. Including the cat playcentre. Which makes it even more personal.
There maybe a CV3 at some stage in the future, depends if I can work out enough material based on a limited amount of Vader lines that I haven't already used.
Q: In my personal opinion your best flash has to be The Nature Song. It seems that garden you grew a while back bloomed quite well. Where did the inspiration for this song come from and why did you decide to do it acappella?
A: Thanks for liking that. Nature song took me ages to do on an animation level. It's a very intricate flash and is probably the animation where I have spent most time getting each piece to look correct. The overall finish is very fluid and I'm very proud of it.
In terms of the song, well I wanted to produce a song acapella. It wasn't necessarily going to be the nature song, but when I did come up with the idea of expanding on How your garden grows, ie you see the flower and weed make a return from that initial animation, I then thought, this would be awesome in harmony.
Creating music I love adding harmonies and in fact the majority of my songs will contain at least 1 harmony, if not several. The song then grew and grew (no pun intended with the them of the animation) as I added more nature levels.
Q: Your first journey into the Audio Portal would be with a song entitled Elevator !. Quite the interesting song, how did these lyrics come to you?
A: The lyrics and them to that song came because at the time I had just come out of an "interesting" relationship with this young lass. It was all going weird and not working correctly. They say that the pain of relationships drive songwriters to create songs, and in this case, they aren't wrong.
I collaborated with a fellow musician named MysterBob, someone who I worked with before. He created the lovely guitar work for the track. I don't have a guitar and that's the one thing that annoys me about my own skills. I wish I could play !!
Q: When it comes to writing music, where does it begin? Does it start with the melody or the words?
A: It can work both ways. If I come up with an idea for a song or animation, then the title or lyrics will come first...... not necessarily all of the lyrics, but enough to give me a workable structure with which to fit around a melody.
Then in my head, the rhythmn of the lyrics will lead to a melody. Then it's simply a case of sitting down and playing some stuff on my Korg and come up with the various parts.
With songs specifically written for my animations, I usually create the drum track using Acid Pro, then move that work into Cubase where I add on synth parts. That is then all condensed down and put into this really old sequencer I use on my windows 98 PC. That's when I add the vocals, do the editing and mixing. Then back over to my main PC for the final creation/mix.
Q: What advice would you like to give to the different musicians and animators here on Newgrounds?
A: I find it hard to give advice on music as that is such a personal area. The only advice I tend to give is about audio when it comes to animations and that's this....
1) get a good mic
2) get a pop filter
3) Edit the audio and clean it up, don't just add it to the animation as is.
In terms of animation, each to their own, I'm no master, I simply create what I like......so there's the advice I suppose, just make what you want to and not follow a recipe based on what you think others might like. Sod 'em !! stick to your own plan.
Originality is key I reckon.
Q: What can we expect from koit in the future?
A: Expect a lot from me.
I have 2 completed animations waiting to be released.
I have a 17 track album about to be released to most digital stores..... just gotta finish off the vocals to 5 tracks but before I do that I am going to build a vocal booth in my "studio" (which is in fact a 2nd bedroom) so that I can have super smooth vocals to go with my new awesome mic which I am yet to fully exploit.
A few animations should be appearing on TV again. So as well as seeing a multitude of repeats of rude tube and "touching things is fun", expect to see Found some poo and Blob !
I am also hoping that someone will offer me a creative job so that I can quit my boring retail job and allow me more time to be creative.
It's hard working 40-45 hrs a week and then having the energy to complete stuff that I want to do.
I also want to move into a collaborative partnership with a decent animator (someone far better than me) to work on audio tracks that I'd create. I see success coming from this path !
koit is truly an underrated artist here on Newgrounds. His works truly deserve be given a bit more light shown on them, if you haven't checked him out I most certainly suggest you do. If you are a fan of TheWeebl, eddsworld, or Sexual-Lobster then you will like this guy and what he has to offer. koit is truly a hidden gem.