Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Paper Raincoat "Curiosity is the key"

Brooklyn songwriters Amber Rubarth and Alex Wong are behind the band The Paper Raincoat. Even though they are a young band, their debut EP was released in July 2008, Alex and  Amber  already have many supportive fans. Their music was even placed on the film "The Last Song", based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. With tradeyourtalent Amber and Alex speak about curiosity and discovery.

On your website you write that your are an imaginative collaboration. What do you mean by that? 

ALEX: The idea of exploration and imagination is central to the concept of this band.  The whole idea for the project was born out of a creative improv exercise we decided to try one day.  We started describing a world filled with certain characters and the beginnings of a storyline, and let those elements guide a lot of the song ideas.

Has it been a difficult path? 

ALEX: We started the project at the beginning of 2008 and played our first band show June 2008.  Honestly I think we've been really lucky with people wanting to help us and opportunities coming our way.  All independent music is "difficult" at any level but I've definitely had it rougher in other projects, than we have with this project - so thanks everyone!!!  

What was the best thing a fan ever said about your music? 

ALEX: There was a couple in Colorado that told me they got engaged to our song "sympathetic vibrations" in their kitchen - which i thought was pretty awesome... but i think the time i remember the most was a lady in Kansas who said "your music makes me want to like myself more."

What does creativity and inspiration mean to you? What inspires your music? 

ALEX: i'm sure Amber has her own take on this, but for me, it means asking questions. Curiosity is the key to creativity for me.  It's much less about needing to supply an answer than just asking good questions.  As far as song ideas, i think they always come from things i'm wondering, things i don't know.

AMBER: I feel like in this project especially, the inspiration has come a little differently - it's not as much self-reflection or coming up with an idea and playing it out, but more exploration into stream-of-consciousness activities of writing our story-line and then feeding that into the music.  It's a lot of fun and feels like a discovery more so than a creation in many ways.

You are still a young band, but you've got many fans already. Are you sometimes overwhelmed by that? 

AMBER: We've been really fortunate to be able to tour with artists we really love who've introduced us to their fans. We opened early on for Vienna Teng quite a bit and that's been amazing, she has really helped us be able to do a lot of the live shows in front of fantastic audiences.  

What have you planned for your spring tour? 

AMBER: Not exactly sure yet, we're mostly writing right now and working a bit on individual solo projects as well.... we want to have some new recordings to share before hitting the road again, so finishing that up first.  We do have a NYC show Feb. 25th @ Highline Ballroom, and a show in Ann Arbor on April 22nd @ The Ark.

                                                            For more on Amber and Alex


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Behind the scenes...

I’ve decided it’s time for me to make a small appearance on my blog and write a bit about my own inspiration and why I started this blog in the first place.

Strangely enough, I’m not an illustrator or painter myself (my friends always had a hard time guessing what my “drawings” were supposed to be in art class), but this is probably why I’ve always admired people that were able to create something with just a pencil and paper.  And this is why I  want to know more about how creative people work.

Once I started searching for artists on the web, I was so amazed (and still am) how many talented artists have beautiful blogs or websites filled with their inspiring work. I wish I could pick each and every one of them, wanting to know more about their life, work, inspiration and why they love art.  Some are really hard to get a hold of (I’ve spent lots of time just searching for contact details) but it’s always worth it in the end, I’ve had so many great responses!  

Many people think art is just about museums and galleries, but now I discovered it's much more. Art can be a career, a dream and it's most certainly a vision - and it has become global. What I enjoy most is discovering unique works in places I wouldn't expect to find something - surfers sharing their experiences through surf art just to name one example.

Sometimes (if I had more time and a VERY generous sponsor) I would love to have a meeting of artists that are active in the blog world, I think it would be an interesting experience. Even better would be to have a small competition or event once in a while, maybe something along the lines of  Illustration Friday, but at the moment I can’t really decide yet. I would love to know if other artists had the urge to interact more with other bloggers on an artistic level, so please leave your own ideas below!

The last reason is a bit of a secret, but maybe one day I’ll write about it…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Alina Chau "Daring creativity and passion"

Alina Chau is a 3D story artist at LucasFilm. Alina's blog "Ice-Cream Monster Toon Cafe"  is a really nice place to visit, here you can see how she works on her sketches and develops her ideas. Alina's art is also shown in galleries, exhibitions and children picture books in California. 

Did you always know you were going to be an artist?

No.  I wanted to be a rocket scientist as a little kid, but I always loved art.  I didn't figure out my life time career until I went to college.  

If you could choose an old master to work with, who would it be?

I have a long list of old masters, who I admire and often seek inspiration ... that would be a difficult choice.  But, if I have to pick one, I would say Pablo Picasso for his daring creativity and passion in art.

What is the hardest part of art?

Developing new ideas that are unique and challenging myself each time I create a new piece.

Do you have special ways or a routine to get inspired?

I tend to get inspiration from everyday life and personal experience.  But with that being said, like many artists, I get inspired by other artists' wonderful work, music, books, photos ... pretty much anything that intrigues me and invokes my emotion.

                                                             Alina Chau,


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