Meet the Writer!

Our third Q&A features our writer, Holly Hoenshell-Nelson. If you missed the first two Q&A, find out more about our composer here and our artist here!


What are your aspirations?

Aspirations…Mine are probably nothing that unusual for a “writery” type. I aspire to some day have a career centered around my writing, in whatever form that might take. Whereas the ultimate aspiration before in my life was to become a novelist, since I started collaborating with some very gifted individuals on a variety of projects, I’ve realized how invigorating it is to dabble in different mediums and genres. While I still aspire to become a published novelist, I would love to continue to collaborate with my friends on various artistic endeavors (operas, graphic novels, children’s books, and whatever else!). Another aspiration? Establishing and maintaining a web presence. I’ve started constructing my own website to feature a blog and showcase some work, and hopefully it will help me track my progress on some big stories I have in the works.

What inspires you?

My mind gets such a charge out of so many things. As with my friends, fairytales have always intrigued me, both the traditional and the reinvented/reinterpreted. You have things like the Grimm brothers’ fairytales…and then you have things like Tangled. I grew up on Disney and don’t mind at all the nostalgic sway it holds over me. I also remember distinctly the first time I read what really happened in the traditional telling of Sleeping Beauty (and don’t read that version to your kids, folks). When it comes down to it, I’m fascinated by the ways stories evolve, and I’d love to try my hand at re-imagining a few traditional fairytales myself. You know, just for funsies.

Lothlorien Concept Art - Paul Lasaine

Lothlorien Concept Art by Paul Lasaine for The Lord of the Rings

For anybody who has read the biggest novel I have in the works, it’s no mystery that Tolkien is a huge inspiration. Not so much in craft, but in world-building. I admit I haven’t touched The Silmarillion yet, but I have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and watched the films as well. Talk about being transported to another world!

Mythology too is something that tickles my brain, along with scientific articles relating to psychology, sociology, memory and brain functions, primitive instincts, early man and evolution, and archeological findings. Closely linked to that is world history—always an enormous source of inspiration for my writing. (Please don’t ask me to narrow it down to one era/region.) I also probably have an unhealthy fascination with mummification…which may eventually emerge in a future Triptych…

I hope you guys like bog mummies.

Meet the Artist!

Our second Q&A features our artist, Candice Broersma. You can also get to know our composer here and our writer here.


What are your aspirations?

There’s an endless jumble of ideas floating around in my brain. Sharing as many of those ideas (the good ones, at least) as possible is a start.

Career-wise, I want to illustrate and the more fantastical, the better. We’re talking anthropomorphic insect people, flying eel-beasts, and re-imagined myths. I thoroughly enjoy inventing worlds and the process behind bringing them to life. This type of content leads me to the realm of fiction literature with its many opportunities for world-building.

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The most dapper of anthropomorphic insects, my character Monocle Mantis.

Book covers and narrative spot illustration are specific areas of interest for me. I also love to apply whimsical illustration to other areas of commercial art, including advertisement and visual development for entertainment.

Another aspiration for me is connecting with my audience and other creative minds. I want my work to make them feel the same feels I have when I find a piece of music, a painting, or a book that blows my mind. Not being able to see (most of the time) how people respond to my work makes it even more special when I successfully complete a client commission and get to witness their delight. Illustration is a form of communication to me, so I am on a constant quest to improve how I “speak” to people.

What inspires you?

People, carnivorous plants, the latest deep-sea discovery, hazelnut spread, the Word, Victorian fashion, Hayao Miyazaki, automatons, clouds, Cirque du Soleil, John Williams’ theme for Hook, hobbits, Gustavo Dudamel’s hair…

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Gustavo’s hair. Every follicle on fleek.

Meet the Composer!

As we kick off the Triptych project, we want to share a little more about ourselves. Today’s post features our composer, Natalie Moller. Check back for more interviews with our artist and writer!


 

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My cats like to “help” when composing.

What are your aspirations?

Two music degrees later and I’m still working this out! Through six years of studying contemporary classical music–a genre I’m not sure many people outside of the immediate music world understand or are even really aware of–it was easy to lose track of my original vision. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; I think everyone entering music school at the collegiate level has no idea what they’re getting into, but if you persevere through the frequent occasional craziness, you get into some really awesome things. My original aspiration was to score video games. Do I still want to score video games? Most certainly. It’s near or at the top of my list.1 But I also love writing contemporary classical music. I want to continue writing for the concert hall. I want to write opera.2 Not stuffy old opera with degrading romantic storylines (sorry old opera), not over-the-top Wagneresque opera (sorry Wagner opera, but your vibrato is not for me), but contemporary opera. I want to write incidental music for theatre productions, and music for dancers–or music for a production uniting theatre, dance, performance, visual design… You get the picture. I love the art of collaboration.

Aside from all that, I’ve harbored a love for art and an even deeper love for writing ever since I was little. If you asked me back then what I would be when I grew up, author would have been my first answer. It’s not a dream I intend to abandon; it has just been nudged aside a little on my journey as a composer. One day I’ll pick up that pen again, and perhaps someday after that, for fun, I will dust off the old paintbrush as well.

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I sense a pattern…

What inspires you?

At the heart of almost all things I love lies the element of storytelling. Written word, visual art, music–all these forms invite the audience on a journey, be it an abstract emotional passage or a more literal sojourn. That’s the primary reason I put pen to paper. Collaborating with other artists and friends (like for this project!) is also a tremendous source of inspiration. It’s amazing to watch an idea grow organically through the contributions of multiple perspectives. Nature is also a recurring theme and muse in my musical work.