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Interview with ArtistGamerGal

Posted by TheInterviewer - December 17th, 2011


Interview No. 82

Interview By: @The-Great-One

Today's guest is one who has slowly started her trek up the Newgrounds ladder. With shorts such as Life with Navi, Saving Private Pikmin, and Zelda- Link and the Pig. These are only a few samples of her works, she is @ArtistGamerGal.

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

A: Back in Jr. high a friend of mine showed me the "Badger Badger Mushroom" video on Newgrounds. We all thought it was hilarious and I ended up browsing the website when I got home that night. I found some videos I thought were funny as well as some that just looked stunning to me and it really got me hooked. It really interested me that most of these videos were made by one person and it really made me want to try animation. At first, I didn't create a Newgrounds account since I didn't really have anything to upload, but after I got more interested in animation, I opened up an account to start uploading my first terrible animations. Ah the good old days.

Q: Your first flash is entitled Colonial Pennsylvania!. You have stated that it was for a school project, what was the project and what grade did you get on it? Also what tempted you to share it with us here on Newgrounds?

A: Colonial Pennsylvania wasn't actually my first video on Newgrounds. My first video was actually called "Sparticus" and it was a personal joke between a friend and I at the time about his... manhood. We had a running joke that he had this enormous dick and I ended up making a ridiculous animation of him whacking me and my friends and with it. I was obviously a very mature 15 year old. Later, I ended up deleting it because my mom said she wanted to start showing her friends my animations on Newgrounds... so that pretty much killed it.

Colonial Pennsylvania was actually made in one night for a school project, and strangely, I got an A. It's a terrible animation, but I think my teacher enjoyed it more than a boring power point and asked if she could hang on to it. I ended up uploading it because people at school thought it was pretty funny, so I thought maybe people on Newgrounds would like it. At that time, a lot of the animations being uploaded to Newgrounds weren't as nice as the average entry today, so despite the fact that I made the animation look bad as part of the joke, I think people believed that it was actually my attempt at making something good.

Q: Asaroki 01 - The Outsider would be the beginning of this interesting and dark series. Where did the inspiration of this series come from and what all can you tell me about the series as a whole?

A: To be completely honest I'm pretty embarrassed by that series these days. I've taken it down from my personal website and my Youtube account. Newgrounds is actually the only place online you can still see it that I'm aware of. It was really just the result of my obsession with anime in Jr. High and ended up being a long project for a graduation requirement in high school. By the end of it, I was actually laughing at it. I don't really find the writing to be very clever and I find the story clich├ęd, so whenever I look at it again I end up rolling my eyes. The worst part of it to me was animation. I didn't really know how to do frame by frame animation at that time, and ended up tweening all my characters like paper dolls. However, being an hour in total, it was still a lot of work for me back then. It was fun using the voices of all my friends at the time and was actually a pretty big hit at my high school since it premiered to an audience of over 200 people in our school's theater. But I guess it's typical of creative people to always hate their past works.

Q: Your first step into the world of video game parodies would be Life with Navi. It is short, sweet, and to the point. Looking back at it do you think you could have done more with this concept?

A: Life with Navi was actually produced in the middle of when I was making Link and the Pig. I had posted a preview of Link and the Pig on my Youtube account, and it ended up attracting some other animators into asking me to be a part of a collaboration video they were making on Youtube. I really wanted to collaborate with other people at the time so I agreed to it. The actually wrote the skit, but I threw in some extra comedic bits to make it slightly longer. It's very short because it is meant to be viewed with several other animations, but I ended up uploading it to Newgrounds as a standalone anyway, since many of the other animators weren't working in Flash and it would've been difficult to combine them. I actually didn't really expect it to get so much attention for being so short. But it ended up opening a lot of doors for me since it seemed like after that, a lot of people wanted to work with me. But Link and the Pig ended up being more sensational since it stayed on the top 100 of all time for quite some time after its release. It was very exciting.

Q: NiN10Doh: To The64thPower was a chance for you to work with many other artists here on Newgrounds. The collab was headed by Kirbopher, tell me what was it like working with him and these other artists?

A: I have always been a huge fan of the NiN10Doh videos that Kirbopher and the other animators had put together in the past, so when he asked me to create an animation for it I was very excited. The surprising part about it was that beyond just asking me to do the animation, giving me the audio track for it, and checking on me every now and then, I did my part pretty independently. I thought there would be more back and forth and working with other animators, but it was more like, "here's your part, here's how you do it, now animate." It was still really fun though, and so exciting to see it released. It was really cool to be mentioned alongside of some of those amazing animators. The only complaint I could really make is that for the amount of hours put in vs. the amount of pay... it must've been pennies an hour. But I wasn't really interested in it for that reason anyway.

Q: Who is ArtistGamerGuy?

A: Haha, interesting question. ArtistGamerGuy is actually Griffin Harris, a long time best friend of mine. He chose the username as a joke since I had made fun of him, calling him "ArtistGamerGuy" when he had helped me with some animations in the past. He and I have been friends a long long time, but only in the past year has he started to show an interest in contributing to my animations. He does a lot of the "grunt work" for me like coloring my frames and some other technical work. But don't worry, he gets a share of the profits. It's been an easy gig for him since we are both students and working on animations is a fun part time job for us.

Q: Saving Private Pikmin is an interesting flash. The beginning of it seems to have stemmed from The Pikmin Collab. What ever happened to this collab and what is the story behind this flash?

A: Yes, originally the cartoon was meant to be released as part of the Pikmin Collab. Eastbeast, a friend of mine who is heading the project, invited me to be a part of it. Around the time he had invited me to become involved, I was looking to come up with ideas for my next cartoon, so I figured I would run with the Pikmin idea and get involved. I receive sponsorship from a company on Youtube for my video game parody videos, so I knew I wanted to make something that I could also contribute to my sponsors. So I ended up making a longer video so it could also work as a standalone. I finished the video in a few months, but it seemed like the collab was starting to lose some momentum. I went ahead and released my video to my sponsors on Youtube, and waited to release it on Newgrounds. After a while, I went ahead and decided to release it on Newgrounds alone, because at that point I wanted to make it a part of my AGG Toons series instead of putting it in a collab.

Q: Looking through your art you have a lot of interesting pieces, a favorite of mine being City of Olympus Mons. Where did you learn to draw? Were you self-taught, natural, or have any sort of training?

A: I've been drawing much longer than I've been animating. Since before I could write, I was drawing comic books and would have my older sister write in the words for me. I would say most of my life I was self-taught, but it wasn't until I started getting some formal training late in high school that I really felt like I was able to draw better. I started out more traditionally, drawing with charcoal on an easel from life. When I was sixteen I took my first life drawing class (this is the class where you draw from a live nude model). I was able to do this because my high school ran a program where the students could take classes at the local college for credit. I really wanted to take art classes because my high school didn't have a whole lot to offer in that arena. After high school, I ended up getting in to a digital art school where I went from traditional to digital painting. It was quite a switch, and since I'm still in school I'm always learning, but I would say that my formal training has helped me learn much faster than when I was teaching myself for all those years.

Q: When it comes to writing comedy, many writers can assign comedic inspirations to their works. Do you have anyone or anything whether it be real or fictional that inspires your comedic writings?

A: I really don't consider myself too much of a writer these days. Asaroki was most likely my most major attempt at serious writing and as I mentioned before, I'm not too proud of it. But as far as the comedic inspiration for the video game parodies: it really just comes from playing the video games and making fun of them with my friends. Sometimes fans will actually send me ideas, and I end up making them into cartoons too. I consider the writing part such a minimal part of the process since I find that a massive amount of the humor is more about how it's delivered in the cartoon through funny drawings and animation.

Q: What advice can you give to those wishing to get into art or animation to possibly help them out?

A: First of all: DRAW DRAW DRAW! I believe there is no such thing as talent and that learning art and drawing just comes from lots of practice and hard work. In fact, I find when people say that you're talented, that they're saying that you were just lucky, and born with this skill. This is an insult! The fact of the matter is that people with artistic skill work hard to get it.

The second thing I would stress is in regards to animation. Animation itself is an art. Too many people focus on learning the software when the software really has nothing to do with animation. It is simply a tool to help you produce it. People have been making animations for over a hundred years, and for the majority of that time, it was without software. Realize that even if you know software inside out, it won't make you a good animator. Study animation! There are some wonderful books on the subject. And don't be afraid to ask for help. One of my biggest aids was actually an animator from this website, rtil. He and I met in person for lunch one day (we attended the same college) and he was a huge inspiration to me. So stay inspired!

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

A: As I mentioned earlier, my sponsors on Youtube like me to produce video game parodies, so at the moment, I have several episodes of AGG Toons and Zelda Uncut lined up for release on Youtube and on Newgrounds. It's just a matter of finishing them. These episodes also have a lot of well-known voice actors in them from the Newgrounds and Youtube communities such as Dex from Sanity Not Included and Kirbopher too. I also do some original animations for my school work and my portfolio, which I'm hoping to release. My next release should be one of these original videos, so you will actually see something not video game related from me. FINALLY! I really would prefer to make my own cartoons, but the bottom line is, we all need money right? Especially with expensive art school haha. Thanks for the interview! I really hope that you guys like my upcoming cartoons.

After speaking with ArtistGamerGal it is nice to see not only an animator dedicated to her animation, but one who is willing to accept ideas from others and collaborate with others as well. Other animators should learn from her example and find what others have to offer towards their works. I hope to see more of ArtistGamerGal's stuff in the years to come.



Thanks for the interview! :)

Great interview!

Oh yeah... I remember you! I loved your animations :D

Thanks for the shout out! :) haha

very mature for a 15 year old...
i think more than half of the site can vouch for ya on that one.

Definitely a fantastic interview. Ive seen a number of her flashes already. To the point where i recognize her username. Definitely good to know that it isn't a major sausage fest of decent authors here. *gives thumbs up*

Love your Work ArtistGamerGal!

"First of all: DRAW DRAW DRAW! I believe there is no such thing as talent and that learning art and drawing just comes from lots of practice and hard work. In fact, I find when people say that you're talented, that they're saying that you were just lucky, and born with this skill. This is an insult! The fact of the matter is that people with artistic skill work hard to get it."

I love the way you described this, and after seeing this I agree with you fully. I always find it somewhat alarming when people say "Your drawing skills must run in the family!" or "I'm jealous you were born knowing how to draw!". It really is a honed skill, like any other. I drew until my wrists hurt when I was in my single digit years, so no, these skills didn't just magically appear with no effort on my part!

Great interview!