This month’s installment of The New York Times’ Modern Love column was done by none other than the amazingly talented Jimmy Simpson, who was recently featured on Motionographer for his Square Street Studies.
Be sure to check out Jimmy’s site to view his other excellent work. Jimmy has a fresh voice and is currently in the process of moving from Philly to NYC for freelance work, so get at him while he’s available. Anyone who is down with Blexbolex is solid in my book!
I was real excited Nicholas van der Kolk got in touch with me about working on the next Modern Love because I had been planning on tackling a narrative before I made the jump from Philly to Ny. It took a few weeks to lock down the right article so I started playing with different GIF and illustration ideas in the meantime (all of them ended up on either my blog or Instagram). Once Nick sent me the column I knew it was a good fit for my style. It had that perfect blend of humor and heartache that resonates with people. Also, I was blown away by how many of the ideas I was playing with could fit in the final piece. He did a great job sculpting the interview to put together a solid narrative.
As far as art direction, I was looking at a lot of Stuart Davis and Atelier Bingo for the environments. They both play with really full and abstract compositions that I thought lined up with how disorienting Alzheimer’s must be. I used Blexbolex’s book “People” for character inspiration. He creates enough variation between characters to make them distinct but somehow keeps things feeling cohesive.
I initially treated the animatic as the first design pass because I was pretty excited about the direction things were going. From there I looped back around and finalized all the design and animation in about four weeks. It was a marathon but luckily a bunch great albums came out recently. Also, I really like the idea of sneaking reoccurring elements into different projects so that kept me occupied (hence the Seinfeld shoutout and rat from my Street Studies project).
Overall I am glad I got to contribute to such an awesome ongoing project. The bar was set really high and I hope people enjoy it