Interview: Nathan Jurevicius
Nathan Jurevicius illustriert wunderbar verschrobene Phantasiewelten und dazu passende Vinyl Toys und Comics. Seine wohl bekannteste Figur Scarygirl ist seit dieser Woche Star eines fabulösen Browsergames, über das ich vorletzte Woche berichtete.
Hier ein Interview über seine Arbeit und Einflüsse und natürlich das Scarygirl-Game.
Diskursdisko: Hi Nathan. To start things off, what’s your background? When did you start doing artwork and designing toys?
Nathan Jurevicius: I’ve been creating art most of my life and was lucky enough to be doing some paid projects while at university. When I graduated from in 1995 I became a full time freelance illustrator and have diversified over the many years into fine art, multimedia and toys.
I’ve always been interested in the the flaws of humans and how no one is fully good or bad.
Diskursdisko: How do you mainly produce your art? Do you have a system or method that you adhere to?
Nathan Jurevicius: It always begins with a detailed sketch and series of well-planned roughs. If that’s under control the rest of the project should flow smoothly.
Diskursdisko: What inspires you?
Nathan Jurevicius: My kids, traveling, architecture, people on the street, museums….
Diskursdisko: Your artwork and toys are at the same time dark and yet very much fun and often amusing – how did you arrive at this style?
Nathan Jurevicius: I’ve always been interested in the the flaws of humans and how no one is fully good or bad. Most of the creatures I design have both a light and dark quality to them.
Diskursdisko: What comes first – the illustrations or the toys?
Nathan Jurevicius: Generally the illustration.
Diskursdisko: Probably your best known character is Scarygirl. Can you tell us a bit about her? How did you come up with the idea?
Nathan Jurevicius: She initially was loosely inspired by an editorial illustration I did for a magazine. I liked the character in the background and developed her into a small online game concept. This was put on hold due but almost at the same time as doing this a company from Hong Kong asked if I’d like to design toys with them. Scarygirl then morphed into what you see today.
Diskursdisko: Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming Scarygirl game? How did you go about the design process? How involved where you in the actual game design as opposed to the design of the look of the game?
Nathan Jurevicius: My role in the beginning was to set up the basic premise of how the story would flow based on past comic panels and scenarios around the Scarygirl universe.
I then very roughly sketched a series of thumbnail game ideas that were taken by the programmers/developers and expanded upon. These guys laid out detailed dummy levels for me to apply my artwork to. I was also involved in helping test the game and provide feedback/suggestions.
Diskursdisko: Finally, which platforms is the game being released for?
Nathan Jurevicius: It’s a free online flash game (you play in your browser) – 14 levels of gameplay. It’s not really aimed at the hardcore gamer but to fans and general audiences who want to discover more of the Scarygirl world and her origins. We hope to take this game beyond the browser and redevelop something for a console/handheld one day.
Diskursdisko: When working for clients like magazines or companies, how do you keep up the balance between clients’ wishes and concepts and your own need to produce art? Do you feel there actually is any difference between “commercial” artwork and other art?
Nathan Jurevicius: If the client is creative and open then there’s not a lot of difference between commercial and fine art.
I love looking at art/design blogs and seeing people show their step by step creation of a project. I’d like to get the time eventually to do that.
Diskursdisko: You’ve obviously got the website at nathanj.com.au, which is currently being overhauled, any other presences on the web you’d like to publicize? Social networking?
Nathan Jurevicius: The big one would be scarygirl.com (this is the link where you’ll be able to access the game).
Diskursdisko: As you use the internet to showcase your art, are there any other websites you feel have influenced you, opened your mind or shown you new ways of creating art?
Nathan Jurevicius: I love looking at art/design blogs and seeing people show their step by step creation of a project. I’d like to get the time eventually to do that.
Diskursdisko: Of all the work you’ve created, or at least the ones showcased on your website, can you name a couple that you have a special love for or connection to?
Nathan Jurevicius: The Scarygirl graphic novel I just finished I think is the most significant work I’ve created. It’s a labor of love and features part one and 2 of the Scarygirl story (over 100 pages). Aside from this maybe the Peleda owl windup series (based on my Lithuanian heritage).
…we are in the process of creating a feature film based on Scarygirl.
Diskursdisko: Do you have any specific plans for the future direction of your artwork?
Nathan Jurevicius: Aside from releasing the graphic novel at the end of the year we are in the process of creating a feature film based on Scarygirl. Something I’m really excited about and hopefully can push my creative thinking.
Diskursdisko: Nathan, many thanks for the interview.
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