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Flash Goddess
June, 2004
Karen Ingram
Karen Ingram
Absolut Vanillia campaign
Still from week 4 of Absolut Vanillia campaign on Flavorpill.com, April 2003

Fleur de Lis
Selection from "Fleur de Lis", shown in "This is a Magazine"

Scylla and Charybdis
"Scylla and Charybdis", shown in "Neomu5"

Still from "OPOS"

Still from "Candybar"





























Karen Ingram

KAREN 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 and K10K, 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.
It was great hearing you speak at the FlashintheCan Festival this year! What did you think of the event?
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!
How 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.
How 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
What 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.
What 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.”

In 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.
What 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.
Who has been your artistic inspiration in your professional work?
My mother and my Aunt Ginny. She’s an artist and she makes the most beautiful woodcuts.
You did a piece called “Candy Bar” for Gluebalize Magazine. What was the idea behind it?
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 a twix”.
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”.
What hardware and software do you use?
I use Macintosh computers-I have a G4 powerbook.
Do you have any advice or tips you could give to those starting to learn Flash?
Make it work for you.
What 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 of patience.
What’s 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 this summer.
I have lots of things I’d like to do, but I don’t want to jinx myself by giving it away!
Do 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.
Happy 30th Birthday Karen! Any big goals for this year?
Yes! LOTS!
You’ll just have to wait and see!

Thanks, Ann-Marie!

And thank you Karen! We wish you all the best and hope to see you at the next FlashintheCan Festival!