Last week Jared Atkins joined buzz and set the game afire with his imagination. As bizarre as Buzz characters have been to date Jared’s affect on the site has been likened to us finding another planet in the solar system that is brighter, more menacing and at the same time very enticing as a place to party.
We asked Jared to give us a bit of a tour around this world.
What artists and illustrators in the world would you most like to collaborate with on illustration buzz?
It’d be fun to collaborate with someone with a fantastical, absurdist style like Todd Schorr, Charlie Immer or Dave Cooper. Martin Ontiveros’s fanged, bestial characters would suit this kind of thing well. A Quentin Blake, Paul Pope, Matt Leines combo would be cool.
If you could bring the abomination below that you created with Mike Watt and the mysterious Studrewadoodle to life what would they be like?
I emailed an Astrobiologist who provided this slightly technical description:
“The attached specimen is a silicon based organism typically found in the chaotic, frozen wastelands of Ganymede. It detects prey via wandering gelatinous eyes and paralyses them with venomous slime secreted from fleshy protrusions. The victims are methodically dismembered by a slabulous rasped tongue and fed into its anterior orifice. The divided meat is then digested externally with acidic tendrils. It has no known predators but is susceptible to fluctuations in the ionosphere which can trigger anxiety and prolonged bouts of existential crisis”
Can you share with us any personal projects you are working on now?
At the moment I’m working on a game for mobile devices. It’s about a bunch of sour minded, grumpy balls of flab ( aka walrus ) struggling with an infestation of annoying sealice. Luckily a small pink squid loves squishing these irritations. It’s an adventure / platformer with multiple environments to bounce and float and spin through. I’ve finished a lot of the code and animation so now it’s mainly about tweaking the gameplay. Hopefully I’ll have a demo trailer for it soon, and launch after that. It’s kinda hard to stop myself from adding new ideas though.
What skills are you learning now to help you in the creative freelance industry?
At the moment I’ve been picking up skills associated with creating mobile games. So coding, animation and making sound effects and little theme tunes.
While we were in Ecuador a mate told me about a mobile coding platform called Corona, so I’ve been playing with that for the last 6 months or so in between travel and client work. It has an in-built physics engine so it’s easy to get things happening onscreen quickly, characters jumping about etc. I like the challenge of working with code, it’s kinda refreshing to switch between art and math based problems.
The animation is using Spritesheets. I like animating in a more traditional way, rather than using mostly tweening and puppetry in Flash. Lots of frame by frame, squashy-stretchy body movements and facial expressions.
What “dream brief” would make the most of your personal and professional experiences to date?
The jobs I love the most are the ones where I get to create lots of silly, bizarre characters and then build up a world and story around them. Last year I worked on a few kids game websites for various clients. For one of them I got to collaborate with an old friend in the industry and it was great conceptualizing all the games and environments together. Maybe my dream brief would be creating a new kids brand with new characters, comics, cartoons, mobile gaming, interactive website, toys etc with a great team, endless budget and relaxed open brief.
Where can we see more of you?
Physically, you could see me in Sucre, Bolivia. We’re renting a little flat here while I work on my game and do some client work. School kids might see some of my drawings and animations in the curriculum. I’ve getting more work from the Dept of Ed Queensland lately, which I love. I animate the occasional ad for tv and I have a folio website that needs updating ( like most freelancers ). Hopefully soon you’ll see my game in the iTunes store and think ‘Wow, that looks fun!”.