Thursday, April 23, 2009

Onwards




At the beginning of last year I was thinking about what kind of project I would like to work on. I had become interested in the idea of characters that were less referential and more iconic and abstract. I particularly wanted to do something with a potato-headed stick-man that I had been drawing at that time.

I liked the idea of a moving image project that involved my obsession with running. Rather than make a narrative-based film, I wanted the content to be non-linear, reflecting the way I make drawings that have a logic all of their own.

I was talking to a friend at Nike, Kerry Shaw, about this idea and, given the subject matter, she suggested that Nike might be interested in supporting the film. I had been an admirer of Shynola's collaboration with David Shrigley in their promo for the track Good Song. I liked the way it maintained Shrigley's drawn aesthetic in its transformation into moving image, so I contacted them to see if they would be interested in working with me on the idea. Richard 'Kenny' Kenworthy agreed, and worked heroically on the film.

The film was inspired by certain personal experiences in running – a favourite run over Blanchland moor in Northumberland, being attacked by a crow in Singapore – and also by the transcendent, almost psychedelic experience of the simple act of running.

Rather than a marketing project inititated by Nike, the film was something proposed and produced by myself, and as such I hope represents a much more equal collaboration with a brand.

You can visit a site for the film here.

42 comments:

benjamin said...

love the film!

bill, bare said...

excellent work! you sure like to run :)

Jared Deal said...

wow, beautiful work, love the film!

Linh Pham said...

I love the music & the way how each pictures transition to a new picture!

Beautifully done!

Luc Cromheecke said...

beautiful!

jakob said...

awesome!!!

Kev - S.L.A.B. ENT. said...

crazy man... the whole night scene is prolly the coolest animation i have ever seen!

youngflizz said...

Dope. Well executed, you capture the essence of why I started jogging - aside from the fear that I'd start smoking again.

Thank-you for getting me hyped to get out of bed and run tomorrow morning.

elvisnoestavivo said...

Really nice, congratullations!!!

Derek Macario said...

awesome video
by the way
it was featured on booooooom!
http://www.booooooom.com/2009/04/23/onwards-by-james-jarvis/

Tøger Torkel said...

WOW! This one really makes me feel like running! Seriously, really beautiful work mate!

Tøger.

Driv said...

Great one!
Always love your works!

Brian said...

awesome sauce, man! is there anything that those Shynola guys touch that doesn't turn to gold?

Catherine J. Cruz said...

this piece is amazing. i love the style it was done in, especially the fluid movements of the animation. awesome!

will we be seeing this as a nike commercial soon?

catherine :)

FAR said...

classic

Ana said...

Wonderful first animation! "Onwards" could be presented at the 17th International Animation Festival, Anima Mundi, taking place in Rio de Janeiro from July 10th to July 19th, 2009. And I'd love to see you as a guest at the Festival!... So please, Mr. Jarvis, tell Nike to bring you to Brazil!!! \o/

Guy said...

waaw, that's one hell of a animation!
congrats!

Pablo Di Corrado said...

Great work!!!
I really like it! And i say as designer and runner!

*maruko!* said...

Awesome piece! Keep up the great work!

olga said...

It causes a big smile. wonderful

foe said...

love the film! who was running the london marathon on sunday dressed as your yellow potato headed character?

Karl said...

incredible. The running and movement animation is top notch. I really like the non linear idea. When illustrations music and animation come together as well as this, you don't need a traditional storyline.

Ben said...

So now I have to ask if that was you dressed as the hero running the London Marathon yesterday? Cos whoever it was, they really stood out - the costume was amazing - but I couldn't place it at the time. And then today I see this (which is, of course, just wonderful).

Coincidence? :)

James Jarvis said...

Thanks so much for all the positive comments. That wasn't me running in the suit at the London Marathon. I did design it, and was planning on running in it until injuries got the better of me. A noble volunteer stepped in and said he would have a go at the last minute, so he has to take the credit for running a brilliant 3:33 in absolutely insane conditions.

DAVSEN said...

yes, keep on running!

jose mertz said...

this film is classic james. your one of my favorite artists bro. would love to work with you man.

peace+ jose mertz

Trish said...

Your film is super, I could tell right away you were a "real" runner by the character's mannerisms.
trish

Simon peplow said...

Rad-I-cal Mr Jarvis, you don't rest on your laurels, always one step ahead of the game, pioneering the rightness for the retinas.

Anonymous said...

Just curious what you used to create the Onward video.

Laura H said...

This is my favorite little film EVER! I'm coming back from an injury that took way too long to figure out and I love watching the guy run. It inspires me and I get a vicarious high from it. Thanks so much!!

Sivan Illustration said...

I love this film! I'm fascinated to know if the main character was done in 3D or 2D animation?

Hame'arbev said...

Great film mate!!!
I wrote about you in my bllog, but in Hebrew language :)
Take a look, www.hamearbev.blogspot.com
Have a nice day!
Omer polak
omerpolak@hotmail.com

Joshua said...

A beautiful animation, James. Thank you for making it : )

Kristian said...

What a wonderful peice of filmaking. My favouriyte part is the rain cloud, followed by thenight sky. And all round great peice of inspiring work

Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff

Anonymous said...

I like this site. Really nice place for all

Anonymous said...

Useful publication and excellent presentation!

Anonymous said...

more than inspiring... :-)

Cattertonvudn said...

incredible. The running and movement animation is top notch. I really like the non linear idea. When illustrations music and animation come together as well as this, you don't need a traditional storyline.

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