Salty Air

Assigning Himself Creativity – Jake Spagone, Aspiring Video Game Artist

Jake Spagone
Brian Tarcy
Written by Brian Tarcy

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.

Jake Spagone

Jake Spagone: “I call them mashup animals.”

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.”

Jake Spagone Art

“They shouldn’t look quite acceptable.” – Jake Spagone

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. 

Jake Spagone Art

“The King Black Zulrah is my favorite one so far. It’s two fantasy game boss monsters combined.” – Jake Spagone, artist

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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About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
For more information, see Briantarcy.com
Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at Whatsgonnahappen.com.

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