From film to graphics: Isaac Olsen returns to his roots

Today, from 5 to 9 pm, Isaac Olsen will be showing new work at 1120 Creative House (1120 Pacific Ave, 2nd Floor) as part of the Third Thursday Art Walk. Olsen, of Schnelluloid Films and the popular “Strictly Sacred: The Story of Girl Trouble,” says the show marks an attempt to return to his roots of visual art and animation, which have always informed his best film work.

An animation still from Isaac Olsen that will be shown at 1120 Creative House on July 16, 2015, from 5-8 pm.
Animation still by Isaac Olsen. Olsen will be showing graphics and animation July 16 from 5-9 pm at 1120 Creative House (1120 Pacific Ave, 2nd Floor).

Olsen, dabbled in the visual arts long before becoming a filmmaker and says his early work was influenced primarily by beatnik principles, as applied to the animated films of the late 1950s.

He also says his graphic art career left off around 1996, which he attributes to the impressionableness of a young child “seduced by the broad brush strokes of visual effects-laden action films, such as the Star Wars trilogy,” which then “robbed him of 10 years of creative output and stunted his inherently avant-garde leanings.”

With these graphics and animations, Olsen is attempting to pick up his graphic arts career again.

The graphics and animations in this show are components of animated test sequences Olsen is working on. Using these techniques and principles, he hopes to mount an animated feature film (currently untitled) that will be a journey through the American jazz experience circa 1964 and will feature semi-fictionalized episodes in the journeys of towering musical figures, such as Charlie Mingus, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Thelonius Monk, and Ornette Coleman.

Graphic by Isaac Olsen
Graphic by Isaac Olsen

More ways to follow Olsen’s work

Find out more about Isaac Olsen work on the Schnelluloid Film website, where you can purchase films and products. Olsen also works out of a space at 717 Tacoma Avenue S, as a participant in Spaceworks’ Creative Enterprise program. In that space, he collaborates and creates with fellow artists and hosts showcases of local artist’s work.