Merry Christmas everyone! This week's Capitana's log is a very special Artist Dossier as we'll be talking to GR co-founder, Technical Director and correspondent in Novi Sad, Serbia Harvey Bunda who'll be talking about his background back here in the Philippines, his art-teaching gig in Serbia, his escapades with Imagine Incredible Comics, and his latest artistic pursuits.
Okay - so, first up: how's Serbia this time of year?
It's really cold here now; kinda hard to ride the bike in the morning. The wind is super freezing and it's also getting dark earlier.
I actually need to buy a mask for biking because of it.
This is your second winter, right?
Yep, it's our second winter here
Wow. How's it been different, working as an artist in Cavite and now working in Novi Sad. Beyond the surroundings and the weather, I mean.
Well, working here is quite different. Over here, I only need to work eight hours a day and maybe some overtime if needed - and that's usually just an hour long as opposed to whole-day work days. Plus, people are a kinda more supportive with your ideas here and more open to collaborations. It's especially different when you're teaching art here; all of the students participate and tend to ask a lot of relevant questions. Sometimes, you even have to defend what you're teaching to prove that it's from an accurate source or that it's correct in manner. Even younger art students are like that here.
As opposed to the students you usually instruct back home?
VERY much so. Back home, students tend to make a joke out of the lessons. Don't get me wrong, we have good students back in the Philippines but the majority... I suppose you might call them "pa-cute?"
Was it the same way, back when you were studying art?
Well, I didn't really go to art school but yeah, only a couple of people took lessons seriously in our computer science course.
Oh right, you took Computer Science. But you've been into art well before college, yeah?
Yeap - I actually wanted to take an art course but my parents didnt like the idea.
So how did you find your way back into the arts as a career?
Well, I studied on my free time while slowly gathering clients online. It was a slow process. Little by little, small goals after small goals.
Did you have any artists that inspired and influenced you through that time?
It would probably be Linda Berkvist, J. Scott Campbell and Brian Froud.
And what kind of projects were you taking in at the start?
At first it was just small illustration projects and indie comics for personal clients. I was doing this freelance while I was employed as a designer and web developer for the Filipino gaming company Anino.
Why did you choose to do freelancing full-time?
I wanted to have time to study while working on other personal projects so I left the company and went freelance full-time.
You mention studying; what would you say are the greatest learning tools you came across while you were a freelancer?
I could probably say that good time management is the best tool one can have for learning + working. I practice the Pomodoro technique, which is a method of dividing your time so you can tackle different things more efficiently.
I see. What did a typical day of learning and working like that look like, schedule-wise?
Back then, my scheduling was like: morning to noon research and practice, then afternoon till midnight, work time. But all of those are segregated into deliberate timings. This was the time when I learned digital painting.
It's been a long road since then. Now, you're heading a team in Serbia, yeah?
A team of comic artists and authors, yes.
It must be a pretty major jump from freelancing in Cavite. How did this gig come around?
It started when I met one of their outsource managers while freelancing for this company called Eipix. I built a good working relationship with them and they asked me to move to Serbia. Eipix is the umbrella company of Imagine Incredible
Has the change in environment changed your creative process as well?
I like to think I have a better balance for work and personal life now that I'm just working eight hours instead of indefinitely like before.
Ah. I do remember you have other creative outlets now other than your job with Imagine Incredible. Can you tell us about it?
Now im also learning more about music theory and learning to play the cello with my American teacher.
The cello. Sounds like a major challenge.
It is! Most people might think playing the cello is like learning any other instrument where you can learn just pick it up for a couple of months but, in reality, playing the cello would likely take a decade or more. It's a pretty hard thing to do as an adult and I was really just thinking of taking it up as a hobby but when my teacher and I realized I could be a prodigy at it (I started writing music for it six weeks in,) it's become more than a hobby but a personal obsession. I also developed a thing where I see music as shapes that I can make connections with that helps me visualize the music better - like an acquired synesthesia.
Who's you're main motivation nowadays, especially with regards to your music?
One of my biggest inspirations now is my teacher's friend who teaches at Juilliard in America. He said my playing was phenomenal for a starting cellist, especially for a person who didnt study any music theory in the past. It kinda turned my life into something really different.
Wow. Where do you see taking your creative career in the future? Will you be pursuing both the visual and musical arts separately or do you imagine bringing them together at one point?
I'll be pursuing them both separately.
Ah. So what kind of projects can we expect from you in this coming year?
More comics from Imagine Incredible and more art academy teaching here in Serbia and certainly more musical compositions.
Any traits or practices that you see among young Serbian artists that you think would help young artists if they adopted it back here?
Yeah: be more serious with what you're studying. Then you top it off with LOADS OF HARD WORK.
As Gunship Revolution's technical director, you were also one of the key developers of our training programs. Any tips on artists who want to join Gunship Revolution?
Yeap: joining Gunship is not a walk in the park and neither is it a "THING" that you get in to be popular or whatever. You need LOADS OF HARD WORK for it - like what we did (the three of us did when starting GR.)
Oh God, yes. We pretty much set up shop in your garage right after New Years 2012.
Okay, so, last bit of stuff: tell us about any projects you'd like people to check out?
And your music?
And check out my music at the Impossible Cellist.
And our final question: if you can have any person - real or fictional - who would be your spirit animal and why?
Hmmm thats a hard one... Bombetzs the Good Boy.
Bombetzs gives me preworkout and post preworkout after workout.
Ah. Well, it looks like two Balkan winters and Gunship Revolution's raging minotaur is mad as ever.