FALMOUTH – For Jake Spagone, graphic designer and more at Howlingbird Studio, asking friends, family and co-workers to assign him to mash two animals into one body was a way to get out of a creative slump.
When he found himself in such a slump, after discovering the art of chimera, “I had the idea that if I asked someone else for animals to mix together, that I would think of it as assignment and be more likely to bring it to completion because it is for someone,” said Spagone, of Falmouth.
“To people unfamiliar, I call them mashup animals,” he said. “But what they are usually referred to as chimera, a Greek word that means the body of a lion with the head of a goat coming out its back, and its tale is a serpent. It became a term for mixing any sort of animals together.”
Spagone, 25, has a bachelor’s degree from Becker College in interactive media design and video game design but has not yet landed an industry job. Still, he creates. That’s what artists do.
And while he does not yet have an job in the video game industry, he said he is looking at other tangents such as animation. But mostly he is trying to create.
When we met him at Howlingbird Studio, owned by his mother, Sandy Lewis, he approached us and said, “Hey, want to see something.” We had the exact reaction he was looking for when he showed us a cute labrador retriever -like drawing. But the dog’s paws were, upon second glance, human hands and feet.
“My favorite reaction is the supportive ones who also say ‘Those are really unsettling,” said Spagone when asked about his mashup of animals.
“They shouldn’t look quite acceptable. They’re totally different things mashed together. If it looks good and unsettling, then I think I’ve done it right,” he said.
“I just find it really fun and interesting to take two dissimilar things and combine their bodies into something at least somewhat believable. “It’s a fun exercise in creativity and anatomy.”
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