my 2016 electric objects interview, revisited
wanna feel like shit? 2016 was 7 years ago lol!
that summer i had done a couple of collections for the late digital art display startup, electric objects. they shut down and sold their apps to giphy in 2017, who then got bought by facebook but then i guess the government decided THAT was the line mark zuckerberg crossed as far as being anticompetitive. they were forced to sell for an embarrasing loss to shutterstock who i assume is the reason every electric objects url is now broken? as it stands, i have a large digital frame that's basically useless unless i hack it (which i probably will), and a bunch of broken links i just had to remove from my "portfolio".
every day is a winding road.
i figured that i'd revisit my interview with eo since it now only exists as a semi-working page on the wayback machine (the best machine imho). what i'll do here is copy and paste all of the interview and add some commentary, ok? this should be fun.
“pixelbabes/emotions follows a neon character’s journey through a range of emotions who at times has to fake happiness, an exercise many of us know too well.” — Alex, Electric Objects
alex and literally every other person i interacted with at electric objects were very cool and kind and i hope they are all thriving rn! i loved this interpretation of my collection, alex absolutely nailed it.
Can we see a picture of your workspace and/or desktop?
This is a corner of my humble home office. I’m a web developer so I have 3 screens.
since then i've upgraded to web developer community management and also upgraded to only 2 screens - it's just that one of the screens is the width of 2 screens. i'll do a blog soon about my home office setup nowadays since it's like a million times nicer than it was when this interview was done.
Where are you typing this from?
From my bed.
i recently moved from this apartment and had a hell of a time taking down that hot pink artist tape! it left a shadow of the art behind in the form of beige and flaky residue. fortunately my landlord was legally required to paint the place so i didn't get dinged on my security deposit. but lesson learned, i shan't be using artist tape on the walls to make art!
What do you watch/listen to while working?
Only the good stuff.
i use tidal now.
What have you been working on lately?
Drawing with robots, playing with watercolors. Just figuring out different ways to bring pixel art from the screen to IRL.
i just hit about 40 hours into this three.js course that includes working in blender. i've been primarily making (!) and using watercolor over the past couple of years, and last month i picked up an airbrush which has been a lot of fun. i'll share more about that soon. i still have the watercolorbot safely tucked away for when i have an idea of how to use it again. basically, i'm in an exploratory period at the moment where i'm experimenting a lot and just playing with my supplies until i figure out what the next leg of my art journey is.
What work of yours are you most proud of?
My first pixel nude ever. It ended up in this Dutch newspaper alongside a sexy pinup Ned Flanders I drew. I like that underneath the butt is a pull-quote that says “Herbie Hancock was fantastisch.”
i'm still proud of this because it's just so fucking stupid (in a lovely way).
What tools do you use in your work?
My digital stuff is drawn with a web app I built called make8bitart.com. I also use Photoshop for animating my work. IRL I use ink, gel pens, watercolor. I own a lot of rulers and have a lot of patience.
i canceled my creative cloud subscription several months ago and have been using aseprite for pixel art instead. i gave up the pens for watercolors. i still use make8bitart.com for scribbling and sketching stuff before i get serious about them in aseprite.
Can you tell us about your process?
On paper I draw grids and then just color in the squares. On the computer, I built a lot of the tools I use, so as I draw pixel art I end up breaking away to work on software bug fixes. A lot of my art, especially the nudes, come from poses I found while going to lifedrawing classes.
this is still the same when i am doing this kind of art, except i primarily use watercolor. i haven't done a pixel nude in quite some time, nor have i been to a figure drawing class! i've been meaning to see where i can go these days, but in the meantime there is plenty of figure poses online - like justsketchme, quickposes, and sketchdaily.
Any last advice for the folks just starting out?
Always be making stuff and always be a good person.
i'd update this more specifically to "always be making stuff and minimizing harm".
Top Five Most Influential Visuals
these are still true and very iconic to me. i still cannot find who made the skateboarding lizard - please let me know if you have any info on it! the light installation is dan flavin, the trash icon is by susan kare, the word art is by animatedtext, and the dodecahedron drawing is by mc escher.
Favorite file formats?
.gif, .js, also .docx for its birth being a seminal moment in post-grunge file format creation
still true! some would say they are surprised i didn't say "spreadsheets" but those are at a higher level than any mere files could be.
What are the best places to see your work?
Jennmoney.biz, twitter.com/jennschiffer, instagram.com/jenn
shortly after this i deleted my facebook and instagram. earlier this year i deleted my twitter. jennmoney.biz redirects to jennschiffer.com and i'm still trying to figure out the best way and place to share my art.
What sites do you visit for inspiration?
Instagram & tumblr
now i find inspiration from pinterest, tiktok and youtube
Whose work do you follow?
Dan flavin, susan kare, jeanette hayes, miranda “lazy bones” lorikeet, henri matisse, all my friends
lol at me "following" matisse's art. still waiting for him to follow me back on pinterest. joking aside...i gotta say it's much more difficult to follow artists without an instagram or twitter account and i'm very much hoping that the art community is able to embrace decentralized social media someday so their content is not locked behind login screens. i wonder if artists know that it's very hard to see their posts on instagram and twitter if you don't have accounts!
What are your favorite galleries, museums, exhibits, etc.?
MoMA, Whitney, the Met, David Zwirner gallery, anything with neon lights
i haven't been to a museum or gallery in about 5 million years. actually, that's not true - i find myself dropping in on the sprinkling of galleries in the tribeca/canal st area as i'm often around there. i've been avoiding larger museums because people there are always coughing without covering their mouth??
Thanks for the interview, Jenn
thank you actually. sorry that electric objects didn't work out and was ahead of its time - the nft community would have fucking came out of their eyes about it if it had held out another 5 years lmao!