Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Sober Man", Mark Romanek, and Some Possibly Promising Prospects!

Now try saying that title five times fast ;)

Anyway, this last week or so since the end of what I like to affectionately refer to as "the semester from Hell" has been more or less a positive one.  Outside of the last couple of days (where my family has apparently mistaken yours truely as their very own private, unpaid , one woman IT service center), this last week at home has been relatively calm and drama-free (which is just fine for me, thanks;).

That's not to say that I haven't been busy , though.

I've been looking into jobs and internships  -- mainly just putting out some feelers for the future for now. I've also been busying myself with  not only an major upgrade for this blog (i.e., the new header) but also a new edition to my "sad rainbow" illustration series (still in process) as well as a new promotional background for my Twitter page (see  my "Sober Man" illustration above). In other words -- I'm currently doing what I can to raise my professional profile, get some new eyeballs onto my work  and shamelessly plug, plug, PLUG "Out the Other Side".

What better way to spend a hot n' sweaty summer during a recession, eh?  ;)

I'm happy to report that while my current campaigning to find some work has yet to net me a regular illustration/design gig (not that I was really expecting that this early in the game during  recession anyhow) it has already netted some possibilities.

So far I'm looking at a little bit of long distance contract illustration work and a possible internship (creating and maintaining a website for a local tattoo shop).   Hopefully these opportunities will either pan out , or else there will be some more doors opening up for me in the future.  Wish me luck!:)

Meanwhile, I've been taking this downtime to revisit the work of some of my favorite creative minds.

I've been a fan of Mark Romanek's  work every since I first caught the  haunting video he directed for KD Lang's "Constant Craving" as a little kid.  However , it wasn't until I saw the graphic clip for Nine Inch Nail's closer at the age of 13 before I became completely seduced by the man's work .  I was pretty much a changed kid from then on out. :)

 Romanek has obviously moved on to doing even more high profile music videos for the likes of Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Madonna and many others.  He has also expanded his creative scope to directing  commercials ( ESPN, Cadillac, and Apple are just a few of his clients), as well as motion pictures ("One Hour Photo").

However, I randomly decided to spend a rainy day looking up some of the lesser known music videos from early on in Romanek's prolific career.  All I can say is that the man certainly had a unique vision for how  he wanted to bring together film and music.  A Mark Romanek video can always be counted on to be a little off kilter and extremely entertaining. Romanek is one  music video director who pushed (and continues to push) the music video medium and was one of the directors in the 199o's  who helped futher elevate music video into a valid work of art all unto itself. As a matter of fact -- two of Mark's videos ("Bedtime Story" by Madonna and "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails) have become permanent pieces at the MOMA gallery in New York City!

Here are some of my personal favorite (and in some cases - lesser known) Mark Romanek clips:

First of all -- here is a clip by Pop's Cool Love entitled "Buzz". Created in 1986,  this was apparently Mark's very first music video (and no -- I really don't know what's up with the VJ at the beginning with the funny shorts on. It was the '80's, folks ;)

Next up is the gorgeously filmed Keith Richards clip, "Wicked as it Seems" (1992).

Here, (looking absolutely yummy, I might add ;), is Mr. David Bowie in the super soulful "Black Tie, White Noise" (1993).

Yet another utterly fabulous early '90's  (1993) David Bowie clip curtesy of Mr. Romanek:  "Jump They Say" (this one has long been one of my all time favorite David Bowie videos , as well:)

This next one is a relatively new discovery for me (which is odd, because I am huge fan of not only Romanek but also Lenny Kravitz. I'm really not sure how I missed this one for so long.) At any rate, here is the fantastically funky  (and slightly freaky) "Is There Any Love in Your Heart?" (1993)

In Iggy Pop's "Beside You" (1994) , Romanek helps bring out a tortured sensitivity in everybody's favorite real wild child that I thought was incredibly beautiful and heart breaking. I absolutely can't believe that this was never included on  the Mark Romanek "Directors Series" DVD. This is definitely a must see!

Finally -- I remember stopping dead in my tracks when I first saw this video for Macy Gray's 1999 single "Do Something" .  I was just completely amazed!  I still believe that it's not only one of Mark Romanek's greatest (and possibly underrated) creations but also one of the coolest music videos EVER (it definitely makes my top 5, anyway ;).  Hey -- any video that features something that looks like a gigantic gummy bear can't be all bad ;)

(For more information on Mark Romanek and his work, go HERE  and grab yourself a copy of this nifty DVD. ;)

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