Sketch and Letter Everywhere
Proverbs: Studio 360
For 2015 I will be followed by Studio 360, an arts and culture program from WNYC hosted by Kurt Andersen. My big project of working on calligraphy and hand lettering of the full book of Proverbs will be tracked during the year.
If you want to get good at something, work on it as often as you can.
In 2004 I made a trip back to Thailand to visit my cousin Ron. Instead of bringing a camera with me, I brought a few small sketchbooks. I had been inspired by the Hong Kong colonial period paintings when the artist recorded the visual events before photography.
I sketched every day of the people I saw and as a long of my activities. There were in ball point pen, a pictorial journal with drawings and text intermingled.
Later when I visited my mother in Iowa, I showed her my sketchbooks from the trip. Her comments were, "Your drawing skills have really gotten worse."
Harsh but true.
I have been drawing since I was very young. I spent my second grade in Copenhagen drawing, as the teacher refused to teach "this American boy" any Danish. She gave me sketchbooks and I drew most of the day.
I continued to draw through my university years. When I started to use the computer for visual effects in TV commercials and feature films, I used a pencil or pen less and less. For twenty years the computer replaced the pencil and my I lost my hand and eye coordination.
I was frustrated at the loss of my drawing skills. On advice from a friend, I brought a sketch book with me everywhere. Restaurants, coffee shops, the bus and the subway. Living in Beijing helped as there were people everywhere.
Fortunately for me, Beijing people liked to have their picture drawn. They are very curious with a crowd collected and people queuing to be next. I learned to draw fast. Over two years I averaged between 20-40 drawings a day.
Calligraphy and Hand Lettering
Returning to North America for work in 2011, people in Iowa, Albuquerque NM and Vancouver BC were not quite as eager to be drawn in public. At the same time I wanted to do more calligraphy and hand lettering, which was a big part of my early design career. I suppose if people see me doing fine writing, they don't suspect I'm chronicling something bad about them.
I found myself enjoying the work so much that I decided to return to the hand lettering and illustration which was a big part of my early design career. In 2013 I opened my art studio near downtown Bellingham Washington and am busy plugging away at lettering and drawing every day. If I'm not at my studio, I usually at a coffee shop drawing, lettering or reading. And drinking lots of coffee.
Visitor are welcome at my studio. I have a small art gallery and demonstration area. Please stop in for a cup of coffee and some chat.
Garman Herigstad grew up in Roland, Iowa and received his Advertising Design and Drawing and Painting education at Iowa State University.
With a concentration in calligraphy and hand lettering, in 1986 he started in the computer graphics industry at Post Production Services working on the legendary Bosch FHS4000. In the early 3D animation era, most of the work was broadcast graphics and flying logos. Very suitable for a lettering artist.
In 1988 he relocated to Taipei, Taiwan as trainer at Fary AV (Video Post) and as the first teacher at a new startup CGCG.
In late 1988 he moved to Hong Kong where he formed Computer Motion Control, the production arm of Yiu-Wing Technologies Ltd. under Joe Seow and Stella Seow. In 1990 the crew of CMC reformed under Spin Limited, which became Garman's Hong Kong based CGI business.
For nine years Garman worked in Asia, having bases in Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Bangkok and Singapore. Most notable were his property development commercials for the Muang Thong Thani Industrial Estate and The Land and House Company in Bangkok. Garman worked a year each at Iloura Post Production (Thailand) and Kantana Company Limited before returning to his own business, Spin Limited, which relocated to Singapore in 1995. On the heels of the 1997 Asian Economic Recession, Garman returned to his hometown in Iowa where he worked on the "A Bug's Life Active Play" at EAI, Ames IA.
In 1999 Garman worked on his first Hollywood feature "O Brother Where Art Thou" at Digital Domain, then "X-Men", "The Time Machine", "The Day After Tomorrow" and "Stealth". At Sony Pictures Imageworks Garman worked on "Cast Away" and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Later Garman would work for Imageworks again at their Albuquerque studio on "The Green Lantern" and at Digital Domain's Vancouver studio on "The Watch" and "Ender's Game." (See full list of feature films.)
Garman has returned often to China to teach and work as CG Supervisor at Technicolor Beijing, BaseFX, Beijing and Versatile, Hangzhou.
Between features Garman taught visual effects at the Savannah College of Design in Savannah Georgia from January 2002 thru March 2003. He has also taught at the University of Texas at Dallas, The Gnomon School in Hollywood, and operated his online school VizyAcky from 2006 to 2014. In 2010 Garman taught at the graduate school of Peking Universtiy and at the Mars Era school. Many of his students now work in the feature film effects and game industries all over the world.
In 2013 Garman relocated to Bellingham, WA and returned to doing more design, illustration and lettering, a return to the work he did in his early career.