As a Portland-based industrial designer/artist for over 30 years in the Portland area, it is my passion to create stories and toys to bridge the gap between differing skill sets in language acquisition, and how illusions, real and interpreted, play out in amusement park fantasy and game play. The mission is Every Toy Deserves its Story.
Today, Nigel takes action. Rufus cheers as Nigel plunges twenty feet in a flying nosedive, like a powerless airplane, headfirst into the in-coming tide. His pouch abruptly hinges from the top of his bill, opens and deploys like a parachute full of, not air, but seawater. Nigel’s head jerks sideways. Splat! His gigantic seven-foot outstretched wings squarely hit the hard flat surface of Commencement Bay like a belly flop into a pool.
Seawater fills Nigel’s pouch until it’s the size of a huge volleyball. The inflated load of water tugging his neck. Stunned! Nigel bobs in the tide, as if he was a bob-float on a fishing line when a fish takes the bait and swims to escape. ”
I just discovered with surprise (via browser search with Google) Pablo Picasso’s statement about children’s art:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
On countless occasions, I cited it differently! I do not know how or why this happened. It probably was lazy memory on my part. Maybe, unconsciously, I was not influenced by the slight-of-hand of Picasso’s self importance? I cannot imagine how may times that I shared with others, in a modest didactic fashion, an arbitrated version:
“All of us are children, some of us are just older than others.”
Without exception, everyone always enjoyed my mistaken version. Did my version do a better job illustrating the joy of creating in the child’s psyche? Although, my remembrance seldom referenced art or being an artist, rather could it be a signposting of the importance of being and the process of learning as a child’s process? One we sustain; one that continues through all of life? Usually, we live, work, and play rarely recognizing the inner child due to a cascading array of arbitrated names and mislabeled descriptions along the way.
Time to bootstrap those perfect-pitch gifts and arranging ideas for opportunities to work in the recording industry. A new pair of skates for me, for sure, after retiring from my former career in industrial design. During those years, I invested in hobby projects including story writing and music research. Although merely an amateur in Finale NotePad and Audacity, I believe that I do have a calling for composing and performing.
Last year, I published an iBook, Nigel’s Big Dive, which contains six programmatic children’s music compositions. Now I started working out with wheels under my feet. Muscles seldom(ever) called to action are renewed with kind of a new force ~ hopefully towards an entry level position as recording technician. This would be quite exciting!
Nigel’s Big Dive was written as a backstory for the design and creation of a pizza puzzle game whittled in wood ~ a toy. The story process went from graphic novel, Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451-style to Chris Ware’s Acme series, and eventually as a screenplay narrative…talking animals were not in my wheelhouse!
Where do your notions of backstory come from? Or do you use them? If so, do you create them out of necessity, a need to be logical, purposeful, proving your awareness of the now?
Or creatively driven to work through your history: the place where motivations, inexplicable series of events, stamped out from your impressions, emotions and learned concepts arise.
Do you have a backstory to extricate?
Hoping that the story is not altogether autobiographical, Nigel’s Big Dive story is intended to be part of a backstory to a culinary toy designed in an engineering ACAD program. The music below is the overture to the story of an eastern white pelican. Set in Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay, herrings, seabirds and jellyfish join in the play in amusement park fantasy.