Interview No. 89
Interview By: @Sketchy
Today's interview is with one of Newgrounds lasting longest members. Not only has he been a regular on Newgrounds for over 12 years, but he has also been animating for just as long. Who is he, you may have already noticed from the topic title, but he is the one and only, @JeremyLokken!
Q: So Jeremy, how did you find newgrounds, and what had convinced you to join?
A: I can't remember what steps led me to finding Newgrounds.com, but I'm glad I did. I was convinced on staying having experienced Tom's Teletubby interactive flash game. Knowing that you can make something this interactive and reach just about anyone with a computer, that was very exciting.
Q: You have a large number of 94 flash submissions submitted to the flash portal, are you proud of your creations?
A: Not all of them. I've had some taken down because I realized I was 18 when I made them, and probably not wanting to explain myself later. Over time, you realize that some of them are just plain stupid, poorly done, made too quickly, or show their age well. I'm proud of the ones that still have something to say, long after their release. Just the few that have a clear message/story.
Q: Who had inspired you to become who you are?
A: Other artists on Newgrounds have inspired me, from well known animators on here to not-so well known. I'm inspired by other styles of artwork that are incorporated into a cartoon. I like Marc's bold, blunt, and edgy comedy that fits well with his style at Sick Animation. There are social rules that can block the flow of creativity sometimes. His works tell me that it's okay to creatively cross boundaries. Firth's otherworldly atmospheres create a captivating story that I really like. He can focus on something very simple and draw from it. That's inspiring. Filmmakers like Lynch and Gilliam, who tell stories in an unusual way are an inspiration. While sometimes they don't make a whole lot of sense, they can create a unique one-of-a-kind experience. Back to Newgrounds, what new animators don't know is that they could be inspiring someone who has been doing it for awhile. Who knows, maybe your cartoon could be watched by Bruce Willis in his RV, who then goes back to his production set and paraphrases your dialogue into an adlib line in his next movie. I'm pretty sure Wil Wheaton heard about one of my star trek flash games, and I know Bill Cosby's lawyer knew about another. The point is, even if you have no clue about who sees it, your work does have an impact and does inspire others.
Q: Who is your favourite NG flash artist?
A: The one who has something to say. A lot of the people on my Favorite Flash Authors list are ones who had something to say. You don't have to draw good to have something to say, but you need something interesting to keep people from closing out of your cartoon. Or keep it so short that by the time they want to exit out, it's already over.
Q: How did you come up with your online business "Rainbow Animations"?
A: It was 1999/2000 and my flash collection was starting to accumulate. I figured since a lot of my work at the time was varying, from senseless to dramatic, I covered all shades...little did I know, I picked the gayest thing I could find. One of the cartoon parody series I was working on at the time was Reading Rainbow, so that also played a factor. I find that much like a flash cartoon, a rainbow is intangible, something that is there, but cannot be touched. It's strange creating something that physically does not exist, but can be experienced.
Q: Do you consider yourself a great flash animator?
A: No. I'm lazy. I was one of the first generations on Newgrounds, so timing played a part. I love the process of it though, how it all comes together (or doesn't) for the viewer at the other end, from idea, to writing, to drawing, to voicing, to editing, to exporting. I usually don't like the painstaking animation process, but really want to tell a short story or joke, and see it through. Like waiting in line on the freeway to see an accident. You've done your time going 10mph, God be damned if you miss that stretcher. See it through.
Q: How long have you been practicing flash for?
A: Fall 1999 to present. I've slowed down my releases because I got a job, and because the quality of the work that comes out now makes me look like a cripple with a tablet. The standards are incredibly high, and it's always refreshing when Marc makes a release, he brings them all down a notch with his hilarious cartoons.
Q: You also have quite a few art pieces submitted to the art portal, the majority of zombies. Tell us why you mostly submit zombies?
A: I'm not as big of a zombie fan as the average zombie fan is. I like their expressions, they can be so silly sometimes. It's fun to draw gory things too, I don't think that's changed since 7th grade. By the way, the Newgrounds art portal has some of the best artwork I have ever seen on the Internet. Amazing artists there.
Q: Who is your favourite artist? (Not flash)
A: My favorites are usually the ones that inspire me. They offer something that I can use. When it comes to music, my favorites are ones that I can put in the background and continue drawing or whatnot. Ladytron, Dragonforce, Crystal Castles, Amy Winehouse, Rammstein, Radiohead, Gorillaz are regulars. You might say, "Hey Jeremy, you prick, don't you know KMFDM was around long before Rammstein, and half of those other bands are just remixers." You might be right in saying that, but I'm not all that angsty with music. You listen to what works with you. Ethan, over at Axecop, listens to bluegrass while he draws. It sounds hilarious, might give that a try to see what comes of it.
Q: Well JeremyLokken, what can we see from you in time to come?
A: I've been working on (blah blah blah...it's been a couple years now) a few cartoons. One is about a two-headed man that must decide between his brother or love. Another is about a puppeteer who comes home to find his wife with another man, and creates a puppetshow illustrating his experience. And another one about a news reporter who arrives on the scene of a car accident before 911 finds out (similar to my Coffee Break cartoon). One of these days...