Interview with Founder of EyelumWorks, Carlos Gonzalez

I’ve loved comics as long as I can remember — the way the heavily inked thin parchment used feel to my fingertips.  Although the page was thin the ink made it feel slightly heavier – especially boxes of nothing but black. I never quite appreciated the process of drawing and the inking of work until I saw the movie Chasing Amy – it introduced me to not only the world of comics but shed some light on what it is those who draw and ink the comics do.  When I read how Carlos Gonzalez divulged that he would create comics in his earlier days and engage in every aspect to from drawing, designing to inking.  It got me started on the entire process and how much work it takes to create a handbound book from beginning to end.  It’s very rewarding but time consuming as well.  Another aspect of Carlos interview that I enjoyed was when he discusses his video venture People Things Project, where he interviews very talented human subjects.  What I took away from his little morsels of video is the very act of humanity and how much wonder there is in this world to discover within each of us there is a story.  Please follow Carlos at @eyelumworks and keep an eye out for his most recent human showcase.

PEOPLE | THINGS: Episode 1 – Ben Tolman from Eyelum on Vimeo.

RMMW: We all have an inner critic; how do you contend with yours?

CG: I think that I have learned to not contend with the inner critic and rather I have shaped my work protocol with their words in mind at all times. I find that I very often agree with the inner critic and, although my projects may a take a bit longer to complete due to this internal back and forth, that those thoughts that give me pause I most often address and am always happy for it afterwards. Even if it means redoing a lot of completed work. This has undoubtedly led to some frictions with creative partners over the years, but I have always felt it was worth that hassle as the results are almost always superior to the original drafts. Hopefully I don\’t lose friends forever : )
RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked?  If yes, how did you overcome it?
CG: Yes. Physical activity or Tetris. I discovered fairly early in life that I do not think very well just sitting and thinking. My mind just races between a variety of projects and details and to-do lists. It\’s sometimes very hard to settle on one train of thought, especially if I am tired or at a blockage point. My first way to get me thru this happened by accident, I had an old 8-bit Nintendo version of Tetris on my Dad\’s old computer and I would just start playing. I found that after a game or two my mind wasn\’t actively involved in the game itself anymore but rather as I was playing my mind would choose one topic and be able to really dive deep into thought on it. Initially I would have thought that the game would be too much of a distraction but, and this is only my theory, I found that the game seemed to just take up enough of my brain power to keep my thoughts from always firing in all directions. It distracted the distractible part of my brain enough to let the rest of it sit calmly and work out problems. To an outside observer it would seem like I was getting nothing done but setting high scores, but after an hour or so of Tetris I would turn the game off and start writing down all of the thoughts I had worked out during the game time. Later in life I found that playing basketball and rock climbing were equally good distractions to my brain.
RMMW: Do you have an artist ritual before starting a new film project?
CG: I like to jot my overall idea of the project down in advance and plan from that. I almost always have shot, edited and defended my choices of any film project in my head before starting any actual production. I have a personal motto for my projects that is: If I get to the end of a video or song that am making and it doesn\’t make me feel close to tears, then I have forgotten something along the line that is important to the overall concept and I need to go over it again and again until that emotion is always present. Most of my projects start out as a series of lines and curves on a blank piece of paper that no one, and I mean no one, would know what the fuck it means. They look like abstract drawings from a child. But to me, even when I was writing songs in my band, I always drew out a visual representation of the entirety of the project for my own guide.
RMMW: You’ve had many jobs over the years which one is your favourite and why?
CG: I think the current job I have, a freelance video producer, is my favorite one so far. While I enjoyed all the different types of jobs I have had, the main thing I have always been after was to be my own boss. That and to never have to have a job where I am required to tuck my shirt in. My mild OCD has a particular problem with tucked in clothes. It was hard when I played basketball in high school as tucking in jerseys was definitely a requirement. Now I set my own schedule and say no to jobs I don\’t want to take part in. It\’s pretty wonderful and I have been fortunate enough to keep finding work so I am hoping I can keep this going for a bit.
RMMW: Tell us a little bit about your new series People Things Project?
CG: It grew out of doing practice documentaries on friends to teach myself the basics of videography. When I get into a artform/technique I like to create elaborate projects in that new medium to force myself to just get to the finish line and that the end result would be something I would want to share with people rather than practice pieces just for my own elucidation. Since I never went to school for any of my artistic pursuits I have had to always be learning on actual projects and not practice pieces and doing so helps me get over the learning curve quicker. The People | Things project grew from those initial profiles.
RMMW: Who is the most interesting person you’ve showcased?
CG: Tom Longobardi (@too_many_projects on Instagram – you should def profile him, although he is a bit shy). Tom has been my best friend for many years. We met when I was looking for a bass player for my band Bellflur. We were very much in the Pink Floyd/Radiohead vein and I remember being shocked when Tom first pulled up on his Harley-esue motorcycle and introduced himself to me. At first, I was like, did this guy listen to any of the music I sent him as a reference, cuz he looks like he wants to be in some completely different type of band. But as it turns out, Tom is more like myself than anyone I have every met. He is exceptionally talented at any craft he puts his mind towards (and there are many that he does). Hell, he even took on being my sound engineer for a reality show pilot I am developing even though he had never done that work before. And he killed it too! He rebuilds motorcycles. He manufactures metal signs for baseball stadiums. He built, me and my wife a beautiful steel railing for our house while he was also remodeling it for us. He is both always full of surprises and at the same time you have to learn to never be surprised by him as that is his way.
RMMW: What is the strangest thing you’ve had to film?
CG: I guess it would have to be filming a scene for a music video in which two characters were braiding a woman\’s hair and cleaning the blood from a self induced abortion (of which the two protagonist/singers were the aborted children in question grown up) would have to qualify as the strangest thing. However, despite it sounding weird in a written description it was very beautiful and made sense in the overall concept, so it wasn\’t \’hard\’ to do per se. And the video itself ended up looking amazing. Sybling – Tepid.

RMMW: What is your most favourite thing to film?
CG: That might have to be filming people moving through environments. I just like filming people walking, jogging, skateboarding, whatever it might be as they just move down a city street or a trail through the woods. I can get lost just watching footage like this. Maybe it was since I was a kid getting smooth footage of that sort of thing was so hard to do that now that I can film it alone and in hard to get to places, I just always try to work those shots into any projects that I am working on. When I was younger and my dad and I were having a conversation once, he expressed to me that he felt the most beautiful work of art created my people was nothing compared to watching a cheetah running at full speed. He was a great admirer of art and literature in general, and a scientist, but he instilled in me a love for the movement of life as an art form in itself to admire, and I do, very much.
RMMW: What do you feel is the role of the film maker in today’s society?
CG: Wow. Hmmmmm, I am not sure about this. I guess I would say I feel great about the role of film makers in today\’s society. With the advance of filming tech, I think videographers are fast becoming the number one creator of content that people pick up online. I am a big fan of reading, but I also see the writing (or videos) on the wall and see the importance of being able to tell a strong story visually. I actually spend a good deal of time watching television late at night with no sound so as not to wake up the baby or the wife. I just go thru the movie channels and turn something on, and I really appreciate stories that can be told quite clearly without any words being needed. I think today\’s film 
makers really need to be able to do that.
RMMW: What is Eyelum Works origin story?  (Great title by the way!!)
CG: Thank you! Well technically EyelumWorks is a default title because SOMEHOW Eyelum was already taken on Instagram. Eyelum itself comes from a couple places. First and most importantly it was the adopted homeworld of the protagonist of my favorite comic book of all time (which I am keeping a secret). Bonus points to those who can figure it out. ****hint – I changed the spelling slightly**** In essence though, Eyelum is for me my adopted homeworld and a retreat/alternate life to the rat race and office work life that I had been doing before hand. I never felt that I was made for a \’regular\’ job and I could never really pinpoint why I had that feeling, but once I decided to go out on my own instead I related to comic book character and the world he knew before being removed from the possibility of returning to it. The comic book creators said that Eyelum was short from Asylum. And that always stayed with me.
RMMW: What’s your favourite medium to work with?
CG: I would have to say comic books. I think being a (mostly) one-man band for so many years I had gotten used to having to do everything myself. I started out very early in life wanting to do nothing more than draw comics and I think I am really still that same person. I think the only reason I am any good at all with video production has to do with the years and years and years where I viewed everything in life one comic book panel a at a time. When I made the switch to video production finding my shots and compositing with the camera felt very easy. Almost as if I had always been doing it. But the physical aspect and isolation of drawing comics has always been a perfect paradise world to me.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?  
CG: I would like to have a power like BRan\’s from Game of Thrones – the ability to see things that have happened throughout history. Backwards. Forwards. The present all around the world. I wouldn\’t need to be able to affect anything; I would just want to see how some things actually happened. Seeing Mike Baron and Steve Rude meeting to talk about creating Nexus would be up there for sure 🙂 I Like comic books.

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