Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Head On Some Robot Legs: An Interview w/ Animator Andy Martin aka Handymartian

Animator Andy Martin's work makes me happy. Like ridiculously happy to the point of delirium. I find myself watching videos like "The Planets" and "Selfie" over and over again. I show them to my friends. I show them to my cat. Often, I gather together all of my stuffed animals and action figures and we sit and watch his animations together. He is just that brilliant.

This week Andy released the brand new short film Mr. Director, a stop motion satire poking fun at documentaries that feature self-aggrandizing artists and directors. "The biggest ego in film directing tells us his story of a lifetime in the movie business with clips from some of his films, archive interviews and exclusive behind the scenes footage." This film is seven minutes of sheer magic. If nothing else, the clips from the fake movies will have you giggling with delight.

But, the magic doesn't stop with just the illustration and animation. Andy Martin is also an insanely talented musician. His animations are filled with sometimes charming, sometimes whimsical songs that he has created. Andy has even animated a hilarious stop motion band series called Tiny Tunes in which the band tackles "serious subjects like eating steaks, robot legs, seeing a doctor, haircuts and sharing." But don't let any of this fool you. Andy is a truly accomplished songwriter, instrument tinkerer, and sound manipulator. See for yourself at Andy's music page: Handymartian!

Andy Martin was kind enough to take some time out of his day and do an interview. If you'd like to explore more of his work on your own, I suggest his Website, Twitter, and Vimeo Page. Also, be sure to check out his Society 6 Shop! 

Q: Andy…I am madly infatuated with your animation “The Planets.” The ending song even makes me tear up a bit. What was your eureka moment for creating the project?
Andy: It all kind of developed organically through the year. It started off as a daily illustration project to force myself to draw in my sketchbook again but grew into a monthly animation project and at the end of the year I had the 12 minute film. I'm sorry it made you cry but it's good to get out your emotions. Bottling things up will give you an ulcer!

Q: On a totally different note, I tend to laugh every time one of your characters, be it alien or bunny, farts. Does that say more about you or about me?
Andy: It probably says a lot about both of us.

Q:  Are you self taught or do you have a formal education in illustration and animation?
Andy: I studied Moving Image Design at University which gave me a good start but then I've learned a lot in the years I've been working. So I think it's been a healthy mix of the two which is maybe how it should be. It's good to have some formal training as a starting point but then to do interesting work you need to go a bit rogue.

Q:  I totally love that you post video workshops showing how your animations are made so other people can learn your techniques. Was there ever any trepidation about sharing your secrets?
Andy: No, none at all. I hope people will take the techniques and make something new and fresh. Something that I could never have thought of.

Q:  Have you considered working with the phone companies on an app that will actually punch you in the face if you take a selfie?
Andy: I'm not sure it's worth the lawsuits.

Q:  Your Tiny Tunes track “Style” is hands down my favorite, mostly because my hair is mental. Which line of lyrics best describes your coiffure?
Andy: "This hair looks good" obviously!!

Q:  If for one reason or another you had to choose between animation and music, which would you pick?
Andy: Animusic.

Q: What artists/illustrators do you currently follow?
Amaro & Walden's Joyride
Andy: I'm constantly on the search for great animations to watch. I recently saw Adam Elliot's new short "Ernie Biscuit" which was excellent (he also made one of my favourite animated films called "Mary And Max"), the short "Amaro and Walden's Joyride" by The Line is super cool, and the guys at Animade did a stylish short recently call "Cronomtics". There's so much other great stuff out there by amazingly talented independent animators it's tough to name just a few but you can check out the things I've liked on Vimeo (where I find most of the best animation) here: Andy Martin Likes. Vimeo has a great animation section that is worth exploring: Vimeo Animation.

Q:  Do you remember the first animation you ever created? Care to share the storyline?
Andy: I do. It was for a school IT project and it was advocating regular exercise for a healthier lifestyle. Advice I have subsequently failed to follow.

Q:  Unicorns...or Narwhals? Who would win in a fight?
Andy: Why can't they both get on? I'm not sure what the beef is but I'm sure they can work it out peacefully.

submit to reddit

No comments:

Post a Comment