International Motion Art Awards: Richard Borge in IMAA 3

By David Schonauer   Thursday November 20, 2014

Those who were on hand at the annual AI-AP Big Talk symposium this month to see the winners of the third annual International Motion Art Awards also heard an interesting panel discussion about transitioning to motion work from still photography and illustration. One of the panelists was Brooklyn-based motion-design artist Richard Borge, a past IMAA winner and a winner of IMAA 3 for two separate animated pieces. Today we begin spotlighting the winners of the latest competition, starting with Borge’s 40-second piece featuring a robot-like contraption and a narrative about knowledge and nourishing the artistic mind. The story is given a haunting resonance with a score from musician Maxwell Vann. Indeed, working in a roundabout fashion, it was the music that pushed Borge into the story he finally ended up with. “The creative process was strange,” he says.



Animated Short by Richard Borge
Music by Maxwell Vann

Last summer, just after the ICON8 illustration conference in Portland, OR, Brooklyn-based illustrator Richard Borge returned to his studio and realized the deadline for the International Motion Art Awards 3 contest was nearing. So he got to work on an animated short he could enter. “I use deadlines as motivation,” admits Borge, who was also a winner of the IMAA 2 contest.

Pressed for time, Borge made use of a character he had created in an ICON8 demo workshop. “I wanted to give it some type of story and have it live beyond the demo process,” he says. The character, a rolling robot contraption that looks like it was made out of cast-off parts, falls into line with the Rube Goldberg-like machines Borge often creates in his motion and illustration work. “A lot of times my best images come from seemingly dry topics, because they force me to think more abstractly and symbolically," he says. "I always do my best work with very general, rather than specific, art direction."

At first, Borge simply played around with the idea of having his character use a clanking leg mechanism to kick an apple from a tree. “Initially, it was about knowledge and feeding the other artistic minds at the ICON8 workshop,” says Borge. “I developed a very short piece, about 15-seconds long.”

But, he notes, the work then took an unexpected turn. “I thought I was finished, and I reached out to Maxwell Vann, a wonderful musician in LA that I've worked with before, to see if he had any existing clips I might be able to drop into place. He suggested a track and sent it over. It was just perfect, although too long. It had a well-defined beginning, middle and end, and I didn't want to just fade out the audio after 15 seconds, so I re-thought the narrative, basically making it darker, a bit longer, and a little more open ended, conceptually." Below is a production shot:

He created the animation in After Effects and Photoshop. “For me, working in After Effects is usually the ‘production,’ rather than the post-production,” Borge says. The trees in the piece are made from old grape stems (photographed with a Canon 60D), while the main character is a combination of photos, collage, and heavy digital manipulation.













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