INGRAM, illustrator, designer and animator
has been featured in a number of publications
such as Computer Arts Online, This Is A Magazine,
Neomu, and Half Empty's first printed edition.
An active member of the design community, Karen
is newseditor for designiskinky
a contributor to Reservocation.com,
judged the 2002 & 2003 SXSW INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL's
and organized and hosted the first New York BD4D
event in May of 2002.
was great hearing you speak at the FlashintheCan
Festival this year! What did you think of the
|I had a blast! I respect so many
of the people that gave presentations there and
I think that Shawn Pucknell and crew did a wonderful
job of selecting a broad range of talents and
strengths from different people and groups. They
had technical people, creative people, community
people…I know that everyone I went with
(my sister Ginni, her co-worker, Matt and my boyfriend,
Matt) came away really inspired and energized.
I, on the other hand, got sick!
did you get started in illustration and design
in the first place?
|I have always drawn and illustrated.
When I was little I wanted to be a childeren’s
book illustrator or a fashion designer.
I went to school at UNC Greensboro for painting.
In my jr year a woman from Cone Mills (a textile
co. in Greensboro), Lori Eichel, came to the art
department and asked for students to do part time
work in their CAD department on weeknights. My
professors Mark Gottsegan and Bob Gerhart recommended
me, so I went in and took a color vision test
and showed them my drawing portfolio. Two months
later, after I had almost forgotten about Cone,
Lori asked me to come in and I got the job. From
there I became familiar with designing on the
computer and working with the web, using various
CAD programs on Unix platforms and Macintosh computers.
did you learn your Flash skills (was it in school
or were you self taught)?
|Self taught, with the grace of Mister
Lee Misenheimer (www.destroyrockcity.com),
who answered all of my stupid questions
was it about Flash that appealed to you? What
was it that first caught your attention in a serious
way to bring you to Flash?
|Seeing my drawings "do things:"
animation and interactivity.
uses of Flash are inspiring to you?
The program itself is inspiring
to me, in that I enjoy "Seeing my drawings"
do things: animation and interactivity.”
the book, 4x4 Photoshop and Flash: Time and Stasis
published by FRIENDS OF ED you were asked to work
together on the theme of Time and Stasis. Each
artist was commissioned to create a new Flash
movie, to explain the how and the why, and finally
to swap files and remix each other’s works.
Could you briefly explain your creative process?
|When I draw images for animations,
I draw one main image and use tracing paper for
additional accents and movements. How I approach
it varies, though. For example, I drew a bird
and a fish for that project. The bird was divided
into 3 parts, 2 of which were animated. When the
bird beat its wings back and forth, that was just
a few images of wings that animated frame by frame
in a loop. The head animated separately and those
two animated elements were attached to a still
image of the bird's body. The fish was completely
different. Each frame was a different fish drawing.
I didn't divide the fish into sections as I did
for the bird.
To simplify the process, I start with pencils
and markers, do some tweaking in Photoshop and
animate the images in flash.
commercial projects have you worked on recently?
|I’ve been doing work for jewelry
designer Rachel Lavin (www.pioplayground.com).
Some of my favorite recent work is the stuff I
worked with the guys at Monkeyclan . A game for
MTV’s Wildboys, called “Animal’s
Revenge” (It’s fun to get paid for
drawing poop!) and a site for the band South (www.south.uk.net).
I have also been freelancing at Spike TV.
has been your artistic inspiration in your professional
|My mother and my Aunt Ginny. She’s
an artist and she makes the most beautiful woodcuts.
did a piece called “Candy Bar” for
Gluebalize Magazine. What was the idea behind
|They asked me to make a piece about
the “Digital Divide”.
I had a really hard time thinking of a way to
illustrate this topic in a way that I felt was
honest, so I went off on a tangent. I started
thinking about commercialism and globalization…specifically
a twix candybar commercial where 2 women are on
a stage as beauty pageant contestants, and they
are given the question “What would you give
to the world if you were Miss America”.
The blonde said “I’d give them a puppy
so they would feel the love that I feel on this
stage right now.”
The brunette said, “I’d give them
Of course, the brunette won. But in the grand
scheme of things, when you are starving, a candybar,
a puppy or the internet are not going to save
you. That’s why I made “Candybar”.
hardware and software do you use?
|I use Macintosh computers-I have
a G4 powerbook.
you have any advice or tips you could give to
those starting to learn Flash?
|Make it work for you.
has your experience been with the Flash community?
|They are very helpful! I have full
appreciation of actionscript code gurus. As an
animator, it’s a good feeling to be able
to work with a person that has great actionscripting
knowledge. I think there’s a level of mutual
appreciation. Both skills take different levels
next for Karen?
|More animation, different tools.
I am going to be in the "New Masters of Photoshop,
Volume 2" book
published by Friends of Ed. It should be out later
I have lots of things I’d like to do, but
I don’t want to jinx myself by giving it
you have any final thoughts and what would you
like people to take away from this interview?
|Don’t let corporate work drive
your creations. Find your own voice and interests.
You don’t have to sell something in your
work to justify the creation of it.
30th Birthday Karen! Any big goals for this year?
You’ll just have to wait and see!
And thank you Karen!
We wish you all the best and hope to see you
at the next FlashintheCan Festival!