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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.

rendered 3d image staging an electric objects digital frame with one of my pixel art pieces called 'pixel perfect tears' which is a crying pixel art face in neon colors

“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?

my old home office that had a tiny desk and 3 screens

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?

a photo of a hot pink line art on my bedroom wall and my hand giving the peace sign. i am in my bed but i lifted my webcam so you only see my hand and art.

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?

spotify search results for 'hoobastank'

Only the good stuff.

i use tidal now.

What have you been working on lately?

photo of a watercolorbot and the drawing is of two grids on top of each other, one blue and the other red two pixel lip drawings hanging on my wall, one is watercolor and the other is the same drawing but with ink

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?

photo of a newspaper, kunst & media, in dutch that has my pixel art on it - a blue nude and a pinup version of ned flanders

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?

an ink pixel art drawing i made of a nude woman with green hair. you see my pens and ruler and other tools screenshot of my pixel art editor, make8bitart

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?

an in progress drawing of a pixel art nude, a woman with blue hair with her butt showing

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?

photo of my arm and i've got a show wristband that says 'eat. drink. be honest.'

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

pixel art of a lizard on a skateboard and it says "SICK" in the corner photo of dan flavin's light installation "Untitled (in Honor of Harold Joachim)" in pink, yellow, blue and green fluorescent light susan kare's pixel icon of a trash can animated gif of the words 'welcome to my blog, motherfuckers' rotating mc escher's drawing 'order and chaos' which has a stellated dodecahedron surrounded by various objects

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!

xoxo jenn

this was published September 2, 2023 under art pixel-art interviews history