Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Stephen Siemens, and I draw & animate. I graduated from UCR in 2011 with a Business Administration degree and a minor in Computer Science. Now I work as a videographer/editor/animator, which is also how I spend most of my free time. I also meditate and drink green tea.
What are you passionate about?
Creating visual media that takes people on an emotional journey. I believe that surreality can communicate emotion just as, if not more effectively than reality. So lately, I’ve been exploring the use of whacked-out effects to convey my personal interests… like meditation and chakras, eastern ideas of health and spirituality… It’s forced me to learn a lot about these concepts, which has only increased my passion for them.
I also draw a lot, mostly with markers. I like to draw socially. When my musician-buddy, Wesley Houdyshell of Gatsby’s Fiddle puts on shows, I set up an easel and draw on the stage. The creative process is something to be shared, and that’s one of the ways I share my creative process.
What is your contribution to the Art World?
I want to actively participate in and contribute to the growth of an artistic community. I want to help the people that I love achieve success. I strive to work with friends and creatively combine our skills to increase exposure for all of us. An artistic community can accomplish so much than a lone person. Furthermore, film & video can communicate the collective work and potential of a community. I want to help in that process.
Why do you do what you do?!
It’s really just how I’ve come to spend my time. It’s become a habit. My job keeps me pretty creative, but when I’m done with that for the day, I continue on my personal projects. It’s an addiction, really, but it’s the best addiction I could hope to have.
How long have you been in the arts?
I’ve always drawn… I drew so many dinosaurs as a kid. I took one animation class in middle school and another art class in high school, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I started investing serious time into art. I fell in love with the process of creating. Holding a finished piece in my hand, that I realized wouldn’t exist unless I had taken the time to create it.
Then I spent one of my college summers working on a film called “Marty’s Magnificent Day-Glo Dream-a-Thon”. I fell in love with film production. Film brings so many people together and forces them to collaborate. I met some of the most important people in my life working on that movie. Subsequent video/film projects have introduced me to more and more people. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
What are you proud of yourself for?
I’m most proud of what I’ve accomplished with my friends. Looking through our catalogue of creations is wonderful… and makes me really nostalgic.
I’m also proud of my work ethic. Recently, whenever i start a project (a drawing, for instance) I decide that I’m not going to turn the page of the art book until that piece is done (or until I’ve experimented enough to learn a lesson). That’s my biggest recommendation to creatives. Don’t be that person with a bunch of crumbled-up papers in your trash bucket. Make your mistakes work.
What are your goals for yourself?
I want to make enough money to buy organic food. That’s really important to me. Aside from that, I just want to keep growing as an artist. The creative process never gets boring. I definitely need that in my life, for the rest of it.
What motivates you?
I’m a pretty self-motivated guy. When I get an idea, I’m generally going to finish it out. But there are those times… Luckily I can count on my family and friends. My friends motivate me more than anything else. Often times, my friends are also my collaborators. Since I surround myself with people that I would never want to let down, in a sense, I’ve created a system that’ll never let me be lazy. Rocking!
What is the coolest project you’ve been involved with to date?
Working on “Marty’s Magnificent Day-Glo Dream-a-Thon” was a tremendous experience. Our initial premiere showed to 400 people. That was one of the best nights of my life. With that said, it always seems like my current project is the coolest thing I’ve ever worked on. It’s gonna stay that way!
I do most of my film work with my friends, Wesley and Daniel Maggio at http://martyfishman.com/
To learn more about Stephen and follow his artistic journey, visit http://rapidwingo.com.