Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Euro Influence on The Creation of Lively, and The Rave Princess

So, remember how I told you I was very "into my heritage"? Yeah, well you see, as it turns out, most Americans have, oh... you know.... European Heritage... Funny thing about that... yeah, well you see, I'm ethnically MOSTLY European... actually SEVERAL...

On my father's side, via his father, they were totally German, and my name "Zimbleman" comes from the original name of "Zimbelmann" which means the "Zill player" (Zimbeln is usually German for "Zills") or the "dulcimer player". ;)

So, of course, I had an interest in that... if I had an interest in my British side, I could just call me grandmother and ask her, or easily look it up... I mean, after all, it was in English, and sure sometimes I was interested in Celtic or Druid things as well... But, Germany seemed so different and far away in the 90s...

But, in 1994 we got our first computer. A Macintosh Power PC 6200 connecting to the internet via E-World! Oh WOW!

I used it to look up unicorns, and music, like bands from Europe such as ERASURE, and techno stuff. I loved Techno music, but in 1994 there were no MP3s. Just AIF & WAV. 1 time I got a theme song to X-FILES! Yeah!

But, sometime around 1995 or 1996 E-World shut down, and we got a deal to go on America Online alias AOL. So, we did!

That's when I met this really nice guy named Wolfgang. He was 85% deaf, and had hearing aids. BUT, he gave me lots of attention, and sent me presents from Germany ALL THE TIME. Fine chocolates like Milka, Ritter Sport, and the ultimate: LINDT. Back then there were NONE of those in the USA.

I liked SOME Hip-hop, house, but more and more I was CRAZY about techno music! I also liked Synth Pop. Eurodance HI-NRG Bands like: Real McCoy, 2 Unlimited, Corona, Abigale, Reel 2 Real, and some Freestyle like Lil' Susy, or Denine & Collage!

So, Wolfgang often made me mixed-tapes (or CDs), and thats when I went crazy for a genre known as HAPPY HARDCORE!

I loved music by Scooter, Dune, and Das Modul... but, my ULTIMATE FAVORITE was Blümchen! (Blümchen means mini-flower)

Before I knew it, I became a super fan of Blümchen! I knew everything about her that I could find! I even could read in German! My high school didn't have any German classes, so I had to learn it all on my own! It was actually SOOOOO easy!

In 1996, Blümchen was known as die Rave Prinzessin on the German AOL.

But, she eventually changed her style to Pop/Techno by 1998, because the whole Pop music movement went crazy by the late 90s. 

But, I was ALL Hardcore Techno! And, I liked Eurodance too!

Blümchen's real name was Jasmin Wagner. Not only was she a singer, but she was a Television show moderator for talkshows, contest, shows, and even a VJ. She also was an activist like I was, she did acting, modeling, and even designed clothing when modeling it got boring for her. She did seem to get bored too often tho'... and then she started to want to write the songs she did, which were rather good. She also did 2 albums in English under the name Blossom, and even toured in Asia.

I like Jasmin's whole outlook on things, even tho' she was younger than I was. I liked to know what the whole fashion trends were going on in Europe, because 1/2 the time I liked whatever she was wearing ALOT. Big platform shoes, tight vinyl pants, form fitting clothes, etc... I just didn't care for the miniskirts she often wore...

But, when Jasmin was on screen she has a kind of energy, or look to her, that was very inspiring to me, not just as a young person, but as an artist.

So, there is SO much of Jasmin as Blümchen in Lively!

I got a scholarship, and then many many more after that, to go to animation classes on the weekends at the U-ARTS in Philadelphia. My teacher was Lowl Boston, and he kept giving me bigger & bigger scholarships, so I kept going! I just LOVED animation!

So, after having done the basic "bouncing ball" and "morphing" lessons, what do you do after that???

Well, you do walking and run cycles...

So, I based my run cycle on an interview Glen Keane gave of Pocahontas (on his wall was sketches of 3 full run cycles front, profile, and behind) that was a tiny little shot on video, that I would pause and try to sketch thumbnails of, over & over, until the VCR would shut off, then I had to rewind, try to find that spot on the video again, pause it and RUSH to try sketching it again!

But, once I'd already DONE the run cycle, in 3 variations of it, profile, head on, and behind cycle, then the profile pan, the moving background, inked & painted cells.... I wanted to do something MORE!

So, I used a Quicktime video of a Blümchen's "Herz an Herz" and made quick thumbnail sketches of each video frame.

But, I was also inspired by when Blümchen threw her shoe in her "kleiner Satelit" video.

Then, putting them all together, in a rather surreal music video 90s style, I put all of my animation together like an animation reel, with music from the album version of "Boomerang" by Blümchen.

That is where Lively REALLY took shape & form!

At the U-ARTS in Philadelphia!

Mind, you I was STILL in high school! Imagine how much I got bullied just for that too!

Anyways, you can see my references compared to my animations.

This head turn was based on Blümchen's head turn in "Herz an Herz".

It was around the time when I made this head turn animation that I really started to realize I had something here! There was really a unique character coming along here!
And, this dance was based on the dance Blümchen did in the same "Herz an Herz" video.

I usually had Lively, by this time depicted in a shiny vinyl or leather catsuit, when before I had her dress more like Herdrol.So it was influences from Comic Books and Euro Rave!

But, at AIPH, some guys used to tease me, and called her "Naked Lady". That really annoyed me. }:-(

But, here, you can compare the animations to the Blümchen videos: 

You can also check out the videos for her songs: "Bicycle Race", "Boomerang", "Blau Augen", and "Heut' ist mein Tag".

It's all that sort of same vibe I like to utilize for Lively...

But, it was around that time in 1997-1998 that I named her... while I was working at AMC Marlton 8.

In case you missed it... 1 of the translation to English of the meaning of the name "Pocahontas" means "Lively & Frolicsome"... and since this character is very playful, fun, and happy... and I consider her very beautiful, and LOVELY... as I was trying to find a suitable name for her, Lively just stuck.

And, even tho' I have loads more to say about Lively, and her origins & beginnings, that's pretty much how she started out...

Oh, but, I didn't tell you about the dragons yet... 

AND, from Lively sprang another character which has to do with dragons as well!

But, that's yet another blog post for another time....

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