Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids fame crowdfunding next album.

Hi folks!

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When I do a lot of my artwork, I either listen to music, or I watch TV series in the background. When I listen to music, the vast majority of the time, I listen to work sung and written by Matt Pryor. So I listen to The Get Up Kids or The New Amsterdams or The Terrible Twos or his acoustic album Confidence Man. I listen to it over and over again. On my Last.FM, the works of Matt Pryor together are the top music I listen to. The top track, that I have listened to 309 times since 2007 is The New Amsterdam’s ‘Strangled by the Thought.’

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Aside from purchasing CDs and merchandise, it’s rare to really get a chance to give back to a man who has inadvertently and indirectly helped me to create some of my favourite pieces of artwork. Pieces like this, would not exist in the way that they exist, without Matt Pryor:

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Wandsuna – Foxes Don’t Cry

Wandsuna - Foxes Don't Cry - illustrated by Ravenari

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Wandsuna – The Universal Language

Wandsuna - The Universal Language illustrated by Ravenari

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So, this morning I woke up and discovered that Matt Pryor is CROWDFUNDING HIS NEXT ALBUM. Yes, indeedy. The link takes you to the Kickstarter page, where he is looking for $10,000 in backing by Wednesday, June 1st. In exchange for backing, there are some seriously awesome ‘rewards’ you can opt in for.

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I don’t have many heroes in this world, but Matt Pryor is one of them. I don’t know him personally, obviously. But I know and love his music. And I think if you gave him a try, you would as well. And on an aside, I’ll keep producing awesome artwork if he keeps producing awesome music! (Okay, crude, but I had to give it a try!)

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This combines a lot of lovely things though. Wonderful music, with collaboration, and the excitement that is crowdfunding. I’ve had to crowdfund some of my own work over the years, and know personally how exciting it is to do artwork requested by others, or financially supported by a group who want to bring a creative project to bear. Crowdfunding for someone you respect is always fun and happy-making. I highly recommend it. And if you haven’t heard of Crowdfunding in general, here’s a good primer!.

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Signing off, your artist (who is doing too much artwork. There will be an artwork post soon! I’ve finished six pieces in about a week! Dholes and Gila Monsters and Llamas oh my!)

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Cabbage Butterfly Balloon

I did a series of two illustrations, a while ago, and I never did anymore. I can’t say why. It tapped into something inside of me that went against everything else I was doing. Bold colour, striking line, saturation, saturation. And then I drew this.

01. cabbage butterfly balloon by Ravenari

And yet I look at it and know I have to go back to that space one day. That space of fragmented line and downgraded colour. I need to know what it means for my soul to do this; and why this feels so much more like it will shatter me, than using brilliant pigments and bold line.

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I am sometimes told by other artists that they feel intimidated by using bold colour. I don’t know why, but I have never felt this way. Perhaps it is that I hero-worshipped Franz Marc and his own striking colour symbolism as a young teenager. Or perhaps it’s just that I didn’t care when I was doing artwork, because I don’t recall ever concerning myself about colour, overmuch. And maybe that’s because I was raised first and foremost in the medium of pastels which – unlike their *name* – are known for producing the most spectacular brilliance of pigmentation of any traditional medium outside of just purchasing pure high quality pigment and doing it yourself.

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I cut my eyeteeth on colour and saturation, rather than the specifity of line, which was hard for me to get at the age of 14 with only soft pastels to play with. I discovered the love I have for the line, particularly the black line, not that much later. I would have only been about 16. While I was working lineless for TEE Art (TER Art now, I believe), I was beginning to appreciate the boundaries of limning subjects with line at home in my private works. I myself am so fragmented, so much about boundary and borders and fixed spaces and brokenness, that I became addicted to the line.

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One day, I guess, I’ll drift back to the low saturation illustrations that I can sometimes do, like cabbage butterfly balloon; but when? I don’t know. Originally, it was a whimsy, a flight of fancy. I didn’t know what I was doing, I only knew I wanted there to be a butterfly balloon and a snail shell in there somewhere.

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The new The Get Up Kids album; ‘There Are Rules’ is awesome. It’s taken about four listens for me to realise this, but now I’m there and I have some new ‘art’ music. Keith Case still swamps me every time I hear it. I don’t know what it is about that song, but it rolls over me like a flood, and leaves me over-drenched and barren all at once. I could dedicate swathes of art to that single song; and no one would know.

The music that got me arting and writing in 2010

According to Last.FM (at which I am Ravenari) my top ten bands of 2010 were:

1. Brand New
2. The New Amsterdams
3. Sigur Ros
4. Nada Surf
5. Peter Gabriel
6. The Get Up Kids (Matt Pryor, represent!)
7. Joe Hisaishi
8. Voxtrot (this is impressive, considering it’s like…one album and two EPs going up against the phenomenal amount of output from the above).
9. The National
10. *cough*Jimmy Eat World*cough*

And my top 10 songs of 2010 were:

1. Voxtrot – Every Day (Okay, there’s a reason for this aside from the fact that it’s an awesome song; it was essentially the anthem for Every Day Awake, the novel I conceptualised and finished the first draft of in 2010. I listened to it a lot, to get in the mood to write that book. I swear, if it ever gets published, I’ll be thanking Voxtrot in the liner notes).

2. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights
3. The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
4. Frou Frou – Let Go
5. Matt & Kim – Daylight
6. Voxtrot – Ghost
7. Anberlin – Enjoy the Silence
8. Secret Machines – Marconi’s Radio
9. Nada Surf – Enjoy the Silence
10. Sigur Ros – Samskeyti (I loved this song even more after I watched Mysterious Skin; and as I was writing a book where all three of the main characters had varying forms of sexual assault in their childhoods, it was an appropriate song. Much like ‘Every Day’ by Voxtrot, this song was played a lot to get me in the mood to write certain scenes from the novel).

This year, I’m hoping that The New Amsterdams can top out Brand New, and I can get Jimmy Eat World out of the listing. Honestly, it’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that bands like The National, or Harlem Shakes, or Bat For Lashes deserve it more (imho and ymmv and all those other acronyms that mean it might be different for you).

I art more to TV than I do to music, and I write more to music than I do to TV. But I did art to some of this. I find Nada Surf really excellent arting music, along with The National (oh god, High Violet was such a great album) and Sigur Ros.