Nice Write Up

Graphic designer wins in Southside category at film competition

By Kiko Martinez

Robert B. Gonzales doesn’t think of himself as a filmmaker.

As a self-taught graphic designer living on the South Side, he’s used to creating inventive logos and marketing materials for organizations such as the Museo Alameda and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is a graphic designer at the Witte Museum.

“I’m just a print guy, not a motion guy,” Gonzales said. “But I always have five or six ideas in my back pocket.”

One of those ideas was to take his skills as a graphic designer and create an animated short film for submission into the San Antonio Neighborhood Film Project 3.0 sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs and the San Antonio Film Commission.

Gonzales’ film, “Ernie Takes the Long Way Through the South Side,” was recently awarded first place in the Southside category.

The animated short follows Ernie, his wife Patsy, and their twin granddaughters as they drive to Ernie’s cranky mother’s house in their Astro van. They pass the time by embracing the rich history of the Mission San José, King William District and Blue Star Art Gallery.

Other finalists in the Southside category were Frank Bernal (“Heart of Southtown”), Richard Jemal (“Espiritus de San Antonio”), Sam Lerma (“Flutter”), and Will Shipley (“Mentiroso”).

Gonzales graduated from Alamo Height High School in 1990 and earned two bachelor’s degrees (in philosophy and art history) from the University of Texas-Austin.

He said making his first animated film has taught him how animation can be used.

“I took this project on like a graphic designer and from there I was able to pull out all the ideas, jokes, and characters,” Gonzales says.

Gonzales said a competition like the Neighborhood Film Project is a great way to let everyone know how much pride citizens have in San Antonio.

“If you love your neighborhood, go out and show people,” Gonzales said.

Kiko Martinez is a San Antonio-based freelance writer.

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CAM Into Spring

This past weekend my animated short Ernie Takes the Long Way through the Southside won the Southside category for the  San Antonio Neighborhood Film Contest.  Thanks to Sarah Fisch whose work was invaluable to get to this point, to Michael Pena, whose acting was the heart of this movie, along with the character’s funniest lines and to Erica Gonzalez, the voice of Patsy, whose support and feedback I am thankful for.

It was a crowdpleaser. I saw this one the next day. I swear I don’t even know this nice lady.

I also found out last week that two of my designs for the Witte were chosen as Silver Medal Award winners in the Texas Association of Museum’s Wilder Awards.

One for my redesign of the Educators’ Guide. The previous design was a bit of a muddled mess on small glossy paper. I made it cleaner and easier for an educator to use, with a full sized matte paper they can write on and keep in a folder. Teachers love folders.

Another was for the marketing campaign for the Amazon exhibition. I remember many nights staying up until 3AM working on a look for this show. Hopefully we’ll submit Darwin for next year. (I hear the company that tours it feels that it’s better than their own material.)

Luminaria was scheduled for the beginning of March, but hasbeen postponed until May 5th due to bad weather on the original date. Just more time for me to fine(r) tune all the material I’ve got for it.

I also participated in Say Si’s Small Scale Work for a Large Cause. A fine organization. For the piece I played around with transfer paper to simulate an old fruit packing crate label. I was very pleased with the result.

And, of course I started playing around with transferring images on other surfaces.

I was asked to participate in a show organized by Phil Luna called Signs at Boneshakers, also last month. Which was great, since I’m always looking for an excuse to produce silkscreens.

Red meat. Red Walls. It’s like the Little Red Barn. Thanks to the crew at KM that showed up.

Cinefestival was a great experience. I plan to submit again next year.

The house continues to be a work in progress.

I painted some marine life in the bathroom. It will totally be redone, so it’s by no means permanent, so I thought I might have some fun with it in the meantime.

Some real texture on those old walls…

My sister spotted this set at a thriftstore for $70. It works well in the back room.

Baby got his first pet, too.

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I’m a Video Artist Now…

I’ll just stick with “Visual Artist.” That seems to have worked up until now…

I have been selected to be part of 2012 Luminaria. I’ll be doing an animation that I think of as a motion collage. It will be bold and graphic and absurd. I should be done with it in the next couple of weeks.

I found out last week that I Heart San Antonio got accepted into the short film competition of Cinefestival 2012, but what I’m really excited about is the film I’m doing for 2011-2012 Neighborhood Film Project. I take my characters around the Southside. I’m really proud of it and I’ll be posting soon.

I made a very short video for an artpace blog about love.

And on the subject of love, I’m as grateful as can be to my new wife. She’s really the best.

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The Last Half of 2011

It’s been a very busy year, especially towards the end.

This fall I was asked to participate in Guadalupe Cultural Art Center‘s By Permit Only Show.  I played with the form of the Mexican oilcloth and subverted to create this bright wallpaper. The traditional flowers and birds combine with worms, maggots, mosquitos, grasshoppers, larvae and flies. I was also asked to speak at an artists panel. Much thanks to Patty Ortiz.

I worked again with Blue Star Art Center to create graphics for for their annual Arts and Eats fundraiser. It’s always great to work with them. I’m pleased they asked me back.

I was asked by curator and artist Angel Quesada to participate in their Drawn Out Death exhibition in  Talento Bilingue de Houston. I entered this fun, quick piece called “The Voluptuous Horror of Mictecacihautl”

I also participated and designed the program for Super Combo Platter, an exhibition of San Antonio artists that was held at Texas A&M University at Commerce. Thanks to curator and artist Nate Cassie.

I studied a lot of bad menu design to eventually do my own bad menu design for this show.

I sent an application to do some public art for the Mission San Jose river extension. Nothing will probably come of it, but I did propose this metate recliner to lounge by the river…

I took a short vacation with my fiance to West Texas. A welcome get-away.

While I was there, I saw that Texas Monthly featured I Heart SA in their December issue. I always got the feeling that if it was up to Texas Monthly and not some panel of judges, that the short would have fared a little better. Not complaining though. They just seem to like it extra special.

Before I forget, a couple of loose ends about this project. I made some business cards to hand out for the film, also with fake production company info on the back…

Also, I saw that it was also resonating online with some people, which was very gratifying. (From Here, To Sunnydale… And Back Again.)

I’ve been getting to know my niece better the past few months…

Designing at the Witte Museum still continues on…

Along with a LOT of home improvements at the house we bought this summer, but that’s for another post.

The LAST design project of this year? Probably the invite for our Christmas Party/Housewarming/Celebration of Having-Gotten-Married-a-Few-Hours-Earlier. A very small thing. (Real Catholic Ceremony with Big Reception planned for the First Half of 2012.)

I’m absolutely thrilled and incredibly lucky to be with this amazing, smart, sarcastic, strong, grounded woman. Every project I’ve done for the past year has had her input. When I complained about the museum’s insistence on using a blue-footed bird for their Darwin show, she threw her hands up and said “Just put the damn bird on his head.” And now her idea is a huge banner on the side of the museum. When I needed help wheatpasting an underpass, this schoolteacher was my partner in crime to help me carry buckets and document everything. With every project she’s there for feedback and suggestions. And that’s just her influence on the art/design stuff I post in this blog.  She’s the best and  I can’t wait to take the rest of this ride with her.

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Austin Film Festival

A very interesting experience. The crowd was mostly-earnest writers and the focus of every panel dealt with writing somehow. I saw successful, thoughtful writers speak in a number of different panels. Saw Elvis Mitchell interview Mr. Pixar. Mike Judge introduce the new Beavis and Butthead. He’s something of a hero of mine. The guy with a day job that does something completely self-directed and creative in his after work time which winds up being his satisfying and lucrative career.

My short film, I Heart SA, was second runner up in a field of over 100 entrants. It was my first short film ever, done for a budget of exactly $0, beating some other fine films by pretty smart people. So, I’m feeling pretty good. The other contestants were very gracious, but thanks to the voices, Mike Pena, Rebecca Johnson, Erica Gonzalez and most of all Sarah Fisch who was at once both more aggressive and amicable than me when it came to the Editing and Marketing of this short at the fest. She deserves her executive status when it comes to the company.

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Art Review for Voices of Art

About two shows this past summer.

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Two More Short Promo Videos

Not about promotion anymore, just about having fun.

Me complaining, as per usual:

Sarah Fisch scripted this one:

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