A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit down for a cup of coffee with Instagram's Wolfofthebeach to talk about short films, art schools, and his creative process. Below is just a small sample of our talk. The majority was not recorded out of good taste.
SSA: What do you do?
Wotb: I make films and sound tracks for films.
SSA: In 3 words, how would you describe the films that you make?
Wotb: Northern, clostrophobic, psychodelia
SSA: What makes them Northern?
Wotb: The films all have southern stuff, but I think that stems from being stuck up North in the Northern claustophobia.
SSA: Does that make you some kind of carpetbagger?
Wotb: Possibly, I’ve bagged some carpets in my day.
SSA: What types of films do you make?
Wotb: It depends on what I’m doing it for. If I’m making music videos for people I try to draw from whatever it is. There are common themes throughout everything, but I try to make everything for whatever the purpose. I very rarely sit down and make something for the sake of making it. It’s typically someone saying “he will you do this,” but then I try to use common elements throughout all of it because it’s animation and a lot easier to use the same things.
SSA: Who have you made films for?
Wotb: Friend’s bands like C.h.o.d.e. (compassionate humans occupy dumpster earth), Scott Churchman, comercials for Ozone Pizza in Florida, Fountain Porter in South Philly, Slapstik, and a band called Hallowbaou in Florida. I primarily work with stop motion animation only.
SSA: How did you get into stop motion?
Wotb: It something that I’d always wanted to do. Once I got an Iphone and realized that some of the first cheap camera apps allowed you to take pictures quickly, it was an easy way to do it. A retarded kid that I used to work with had given me a dry-erase board, and one day I just stared making UFO films.
SSA: Wait, you and the kid, or just you?
Wotb: Just me.
SSA: That’s an interesting way to get into it.
Wotb: Yeah, a retarded way to get into it.
SSA: Are you working on anything right now?
Wotb: I’ve started a few things, but I’ve got some technical aspects to work through. I’ve got a huge dry erase board and green chalkboard with chalk makers. I can animate on that and green screen out the green, then lay that over real footage. But not really knowing what I’m doing and learning the software as I go, makes it tough sometimes to have ideas, but not be satisfied with the results. So things sit for a while until I’m technically proficient to be able to wrap them up.
SSA: Did you go to school for any of this?
Wotb: Umm, no. I’m completely self-taught.
SSA: Would you call yourself an outside artist?
Wotb: No, I’m pretty inside.
SSA: What’s your take on the label “outsider art”?
SSA: Have you thought about it?
Wotb: I have thought about it. I think it’s kind of stupid. I think people should make things, and that’s really about it. I don’t try to make things that actually mean anything. I just make things for the sake of making them. I think if you do that, in your own way you’re an artist. Being inside and outside kind of dumb. I mean sometimes being inside is a good thing. It’s always better to be on the inside than the outside.
For more videos and stills by Wolf, visit his Instagram page at http://instagram.com/wolfofthebeach.