Collectively, the animated versions of the drawings also exist as a longer video for the song We Americans, by the Avett Brothers. How did that collaboration take shape?
Scott Avett and I studied art together at East Carolina University, so our relationship extends back a long way. I previously created an animated music video for the band, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
, so this was the second music video I created for one of their songs.
Prior to creating the music video, I made a series of 17 videos for their live concert performances, each designed for a particular song. These were displayed on a giant LED screen behind the band on stage and functioned somewhere between a moving set and a music video. The live concert video-wall project was great because I could be super experimental, and just work on songs and imagery that I felt my practice already related to.
One of these was for We Americans
. Scott had sent me all of their new recordings a year or so before the album came out, and I immediately was interested in creating visuals for that song. So some of the ideas and imagery had already been developed prior to beginning work on the official music video. For instance, in the live concert version, I shot a huge grid of video portraits of family, friends, and my community college students. These became the impetus for the animated ink portraits, which were shot as they dissolved through ink dispersal, then reversed in video editing so that they appeared to be reforming.