Vancouver – Earlier this week the artists and developers of Action Pants, Inc. took over Ginger 62 on Granville street to showcase their varied artistic talents. The purpose of this showing, organized by Action Pants’ Marketing Manager Wendy Boylan, who emphasized that “the artistic talents possessed not only by our staff, but by many others who also work in the videogame industry. These artists, programmers and support staff are an integral part of the Vancouver arts and culture community, which is why Action Pants holds external studio space in the Eastside where our staff are encouraged to work on their art whenever they get a chance.”
Upon entering the showing, visitors were greeted by a pair of large Tiki masks, which I thought had been carved in wood. On closer inspection I found that the artist, Paul Tanner had carved them from styrofoam and then painted them to resemble aged wood. These large masks are easily of a high enough quality to be used in any type of display, from a museum scene to a movie scene. Paul’s other work which was on display included a sharp-shooting skeletal being and a Hulk-sized drummer, shown in the photo on the right. The sculpture to the left was created by environment artist Sean Karemaker. With such amazing attention to detail, one can look at this creature and almost expect him to continue his advance across the terrain.
All of the works on display at the showing were very diverse, from jewelry and sculpture to photography, self-published books and woodworking. Performance arts were also on display in the form of short films, dance and music mixing. On a personal level, the pieces which touched me the most as a viewer was a series of three photographs by Tomoko Kawabe, one of which is featured to the left. With a focus on the eyes, so much is said in her photographs, without any words having to be spoken.
I also spent some time talking with character artist Dylan Scott, who has had training at both Emily Carr University and Capilano College. He told me that he was fairly sure from the age of 9 as to what career path he was going to follow, and worked hard on his art to be sure he got there. Dylan offered some advice for those who aspire to become artists in the videogame world; that advice included
obtaining a Wacom tablet. He said that having a tablet to work with saved him a lot of money in the long run, mostly on the cost of supplies. He also found that by making use of his tablet and digital painting software he was more apt to experiment with different styles than he would have been if he’d had to purchase physical supplies. Dylan also advised that all young artists learn to observe the world with an artist’s eye – flow, form and lighting are very important when one is trying to convey an image and feeling to the viewer. Paying attention to the way water flows, for instance, or the way a leaf blows in the wind are all important components of putting realism into your work. He stated that studying and learning to draw anatomy is the most important part of character design, as your character must often carry parts of the storyline or convey an
emotion without saying a word.
Several of the artists from Action Pants will also be participating in the Eastside Culture Crawl, which will be taking place in Vancouver from November 21 – 23. The Culture Crawl, which began 12 years ago, is a visual arts festival featuring 300 local artists. A family-friendly event, the Eastside Culture Crawl is an opportunity to meet with artists in their studios as well as purchase their art and bring it home with you. Beata Kacy, Ben Hesketh, Paul Tanner and Yuki
Takahashi from Action Pants will be welcoming visitors to their external studio space at Octopus Studio, located at 393 Powell Street in Vancouver. The Eastside Culture Crawl also features the many diverse tastes available in local restaurants, with everything from traditional homemade soups and sandwiches to dishes from around the world will be offered by establishments along the Crawl
pathways. This is an opportunity to get out of our cars and traverse the cultural side of Vancouver life – meeting those who fill our world with beautiful and inspiring art to stimulate all of our senses.