As a Dutch artist, many say that he groundless is in the shade of Facet being in the groups Anarchy, Lemon., and now Spaceballs. But he doesn't see any problem in that. In FOCUS....
DANNY / SPACEBALLS
Name: Danny Geurtsen
Former groups: Anarchy, Lemon.
Function: Graphician and designer
Age in the Amiga scene: Probably half of that.
Profession/school: Studying esthetical arts. Somewhat like commercial art. Not on computers but in real life.
Place of living: Nieuwegein near Utrecht, Holland.
Best known releases: Forgotten (slideshow, 1992), Rink-a-Dink title picture with Facet (1993), Winter Queen (The Party 3), Propaganda #4 title picture
Spaceballs was founded by Dark Helmet back in the eigthies. Quite some years they only consisted of a Norwegian division. That was until December 1993. At The Party 3 some troubled Lemon. members collided with Lone Starr. Love at first sight. A Dutch and an English division teamed up. Danny joined Anarchy in 1992 and has since then been following the Dutch "group in the group", with e.g. Dope, Nao and Facet, that was a big part of Lemon. and lately joined Spaceballs. It seems that Spaceballs consist of two seperated parts: the Norwegians and the remaining ex.Lemon. members in Holland and UK. Some judge it as a new Anarchy syndrom, a too big group of high class members doing too little.
- It's true that Spaceballs is somewhat split up but not in the negative meaning of the word. We do keep as much contact as possible with each other. The real problem, I think, is that most members are a little inactive. I mean Lone-Starr, Dan, Spaceman, Hein and TMB-design are working for game-companies. Dope was very busy with organizing the SIH2-party. Facet, Nao and me are quite busy with studies. Lord Helmet just got out of the army, Scott is drunk and our leader is working very hard to get rich. I guess it's not much different from other groups... And besides I don't think that 24 member is too much.
Danny is not the person that praises his own work all the time and he therefore finds it difficult to judge which of his releases are best known by the public.
- It's a hard question because I don't know how well my graphics are spreaded! But I guess it must be the picture for Rink-a-Dink which I drew together with Facet in 2.5 days. Besides that one I think that my most recent release called In bloom (title picture for Propaganda #4 by Razor 1911) is pretty well known within the scene. Personally I think, In Bloom is also my best released picture so far. The reason for this is that I love gracefulness and elegance, this picture has that. Other might also say that Lovelocks is one of my best.
Danny's hardest job when drawing a picture goes back to 1992.
- "Kingdom of the Knights" has to be the hardest picture I've drawn. For those who don't know, check out my ancient slideshow (Yes, it's old, I can't help it!) called Forgotten. I mean just take a look at the size for a low-res colour picture. 640x350x64 if I remember correctly. Drawing the characters wasn't so hard but filling the entire background was a real challange. Does it deserve a place in Guiness-book? Nooooooooo!!!! But anyway that's the one I still have nightmares from.
The scene means a lot to Danny when it comes to being creative and having good friendships but not all his time is consumed by the Amiga.
- I'm not the kind of person that spends every day behind the screen simply because I don't always find the time or fun. There are ups and downs. Good contacts are for me a big factor for being in the scene. It is always nice to receive letters or phonecalls from people that have the same interests as yourself. It makes it all worthwhile. I only find the bigger and biggest demo parties interesting to visit. But they are a great opportunity to meet your friends and compete in competitions. My keywords for being in the scene are: fun, challenges and creativity. That's it.
Also his group is of great importance for Danny.
- I always feel close to my group. I try to get as much information on fellow-groupmembers as possible. In that way I know, what I'm dealing with and am able to fullfill the group's needs as much as possible. If there are any...
Danny needs some time of consideration before saying what was the biggest or best thing happening to him in the scene.
- Hmmm.... I have been thinking know for about three minutes and I still can't think of anything. Oh yes, now I know. When I was at The Party 3 finishing my picture for the gfx-competition I was constantly interrupted by game-producers trying to make me a bussiness deal. I got several business-cards and game-drawing offers. It really made me feel good.
************************************** * A little Danny riddle.... Why do * * Dutch people have such big heads? * **************************************
- They do seem to know what I'm doing but if they really understand?.... I don't think so. I guess they are like most parents. They like the idea that I'm able to earn lots of cash when working for a software company though. They try to support me as much as possible, which is a great help.
Favorite motives and style of graphics
- My style of drawing. Well... It depends on what you mean with style.... I'd have to break down a picture in several categories to explain my "style". First of all I don't do just some graphics. When I'm doing a picture it has got to have some sort of a story behind it. It has got to mean something. Only when I know what I want to do I can start drawing. Not before. Colour; I try to give my pictures as much colour as possible without overdoing it. Monochrome graphics are not my favorite. You can do much more with colour. Composition; One of the most important basics of doing graphics. A picture without good composition can never look as good and powerful as one that does contain a well designed composition. Smoothing; Wonderful, great to do. I try to get my work naturally smooth thus not to much, but sufficient. Highlighting/shading: This has to be for me THE most important thing when talking about art. Bad H/S'ing can absolutely kill a picture. I like to use generally bigger contrasts. It makes the art more exciting. Proportions; Oh dear, I used to have some problems with this. I think I got it under control know because bad proportions makes a picture look silly and pathetic. Adjusting proportions can be very interesting though... To make a long story short, the words that describe my style best would be, colourful, graceful and clean? At least that's what I'm aiming for! My favorite motive, what can I say... Women ofcourse.
Much has been said for and against redrawing. Till lately all Danny's pictures where copied. But now he only wants to finish a couple of already started redraws and after that try to do all his stuff himself.
- Redrawing is a good teacher but a lousy way to keep being productive. I mean you can learn very much by studying and redrawing work from artists which are superior to yourself. That's the way most (real-life) artists learned how to develop there skills. Some graphicians don't seem to have there sights set on learning though, they just want to be productive to get famous. I hope you people out there don't think of me like this because I want to learn, learn and learn!!!
Mixed feelings about redrawing but not about scanning pictures.
- This can't be said enough. I hate everything that has to do with scanning. I mean it's so unfair. Scanning is Soooo easy, what's the challenge??? There is no challenge so why bother. Scanners are only fooling themselves in the end! It can have a bad influence on the scene because this cheat-thing only occurs in the art-corner. I mean coders and musicians still have to do there stuff without some similar sort of 'help'. So why should graphicians start scanning. It just doesn't fit in the scene we all know and love.
Danny five faves:
1 - Suny/Movement: Because he draws things I like in a style I like with colours I like. His Aztec is really graceful and has very beautiful colours. The hair of Estelle is about the same as I would have drawn it if I had to draw this pic!
2 - Cougar/Sanity: Because his aim to do a perfect picture is something I admire a lot. It's something I also aim for.
3 - Fairfax/Andromeda: Because of the way he draws nature. The covered with snow spruce-fir (that's a tree) in his picture Winter-courier is just sooo beautiful! This guy knows how to draw nature. Strangely enough, clothing and several human characteristics seem to be more of a problem for him.
4 - Facet/Spaceballs: Because his logo's and design are the best! The way he draws fantasy-textures is unequalled.
5-...That has to be several other artists like Fade-One, Peachy, etc.
They all have there own exceptional qualities. Therefore it's no surprise that Danny's favorite slideshows are Seven Seas and Never Liked Uno. But he doesn't like Prism. It's not hard for him to explain why so few slideshows are released.
- Making a slideshow is probably the most time-consuming production of all. Even more work than making a decent trackmo. That's my experience though.
The Forgotten slideshow?
- It doesn't mean much to me anymore, although I sometimes still get letters from people asking me for a copy. Can you believe it, almost two years after the release! That's a great feeling. I sometimes have the idea that it wasn't spread too well because of the relatively unknown groupname it was spread under, Mirage!
Nobody has the formula for "the perfect" competition picture but at least Danny tries to.
- Ok, this is strictly the way I would see it. A picture which has a very good motive, an excellent composition, not too complicated in design and is very powerful when in comes to colours. But the most important thing for a competition picture should be that there's no name of the artist. Reason? Some people just can't vote on the picture itself but only on the name of the artist who drew it.
Ra has in this issue been voted as the best artist by his collegues. But he is not among Danny's favorites.
- The Sun-god, eh? Well to be very honest I don't see why so many people make such a big thing out of him. The only stuff I like from him are his logos. Those are really good yes, but his pictures?!?!? Man, his ArglmEinstein sucked. The colours were clashing, the hair was a dithered mess and background... well what's there to say about the background? No, absolutely not my kind of graphician.
Some would say that Danny as Dutch Spaceballs (and former Lemon.) member always will be in the shadow of Facet, especially when it comes to assignments for Spaceballs productions.
- There is a good point there. Well, first of all Facet is a very good personal friend of mine. We talk a lot about art but also on many other things. That's probably the reason why I don't really see him as a rival. I don't have my sights set on taking of his Eurochart-crown or something. People sometimes say to me "ooh your much better than Facet, doesn't it bother you that he's so much higher ranked than you?" That's not the way I feel it. Yeah maybe I will stay in his shadow, but he's a friend. You don't go aiming to kick your friend's butt.
Facet worked hard to top the charts and because Facet is topping the charts he's popular. Because he's popular everybody wants to work with him, so he gets lots of good graphics released. Also in Spaceballs, they always call him first, but I don't mind too much. It's sort of like a circle which is very hard to break. But that's the way it goes in the charts. I mean, there are so many good artists around. The style Facet handles is so much different than any other scene graphician. It might not be the most complicated or time-consuming style, but that's the best of it. He doesn't spend much time on his work, but it still looks great. Apart from some pictures which were of a lower quality. Now, how many artists can draw a cool logo within a phone-conversation of 45 minutes? He can! That's also a reason why he can release so much. He draws fast and his style can be drawn fast. The quality might drop a little, but hey, nobody's perfect. Neither are drawing styles.
Trends and development of Amiga graphics Trends, I'll sum up a few: Logo's with the letters lying all over the place, childish "How to skin a Mack"...eh "Cat" big-brush-line-drawings, Melon ?design?, zoomed-in Walt birdies crap etc. etc. Mostly the stupid stuff gets trendy. Wow, Amiga graphics certainly have developed. Still remember the good ol' J.O.E. slideshows or the ones from Mithrandir? They became legends after releasing those slides. Now you'll berely enter a chart with stuff like that. Amiga-gfx have certainly improved don't you think?.... eh... yes ok ok I know you ask the questions.... Grrr.
The originality of Amiga graphics, among that especially dragon/naked ladies pictures, has been a much discussed topic.
- Cool! Let's face it. Scene-freaks are something different than other people. That's what makes us all cool or lame! We're actually one big happy scene family. And we all want to see the same thing over and over again. I mean you berely stand a chance at a graphics competition if you don't do a naked lady or something Dungeons & Dragons-like. No of course it's not original anymore, but deep down we don't seem to get enough of these subjects. So I don't think it's fair to blame only the graphicians for that.
Despite some lack of originality, Danny still sees Amiga graphics as art.
- Yes, very much. As a matter of fact I think Amiga graphics is a very underrated and unfortunately unkown form of art. Perhaps a gallery of the best Amiga-art would do it justice. Maybe at the Party 4! WoW that ..... be ....! Fill in the missing words.
Danny has tried cooperating on a picture with Facet. But he finds it hard to choose another artist (no matter personality and nationality) with whom he was to make a competion picture together with, where their abilities should be combined in the best way.
- Waauw, now that's a question. Few, very difficult to answer. If you had asked what kind of group, then I would have said Fairlight/Virtual Dreams. I think my graphics fits their demo-style best. But another graphician... After doing the Rink-a-Dink title picture together with Facet I know how difficult it is to combine graphics styles. Because people who know both Facet and my style can exactly see which parts I did and which Facet had done. I think I would choose Suny. Reason? We both seem to have the same interests when it comes to colours, motives and elegancy. I think we could both benefit from eachother. His dithering (look at Estelle's arms) still leaves room for improvement and I guess he could have some advice on my work also.
The relationship to real art is important for Danny, also when he switches off the Amiga.
- In the beginning of September '94 I'll enter the last year of my art study which is mainly focused on art and drawings techniques. This also includes a field-trip to Paris to go and do major artwork there. I'm also working on several big-size colour-paper drawings. I'm thinking of also doing a scene version. But anyway real art takes a very big place in my life.
Commercials and surroundnings sometimes affect his Amiga work as inspiration.
- I sort of see them as two seperate things which interrelate perfectly. I get many good ideas for scene-stuff from my surroundings. For example: In my class there's this very beautiful girl. She has one of the most beautiful butts I have ever seen. One day she was wearing some really cool jeans. She had her back faced towards me and her jeans rippled in an astonishing way over her butt. The ripples sort of had a Y shape, and I got this brilliant idea for a picture. I could see the entire picture in my mind, so perhaps one day I'll actually do that picture. So if you see a picture of a woman's butt in jeans from me, you'll know where I got the idea.
*************************************** * Riddle answer: There's no other way * * their big mouths would fit in! * * HAHAhaha... not funny eh? Well damn * * it, at least I'm trying to amuse * * you!! * ***************************************
Danny has been involved in a game project but not with much succes.
- Long before I was in the scene I did some graphics for a shoot 'em up! The best at that time. But the coder was too lazzzzzzzyyyyyyy. I don't think working at a game-company would be my ideal future. It doesn't give me enough satisfaction drawing for games. Strange but true. I have my sights set on something more difficult!
So Danny won't get his future income from pixel entertainment but it will be something with drawing and creativity.
- As a matter of fact, I can't even see me doing something else than art. That's the only thing I wish to do as a career. I just want to become a great artist. And besides I've already got several opportunities to make a career out of this hobby.
When watching the amount of scene guys working for game companies, Danny thinks that the scene can be seen as a kind ef education. But you don't need an education to start drawing.
- For Amiga graphics on a lower level, I don't think so. When you redraw you need some sort of Amiga drawing-theories, but only when you do your own stuff you need to understand the true facts of drawing-theories. And now I don't mean the low-quality self-designed graphics the scene is facing today, but pure HIGH-quality stuff.
Predicting the future can be hard but how far could Danny be in five years time?
- I hope to be a grandfather by then, my daughter is 5 months pregnant, you see. Erm... I don't think so Tim. Well I hope that by then I've found the woman that wanders through my fantasy. By than I also hope to have found my ideal art job. Can you guess what that would be? If not, try contacting me in five years time.
Is the scene life something that in 10-15 years time is so acceptet, cult etc. that Danny would tell his kids about, he doesn't doubt.
- Ooooh my god, I'm really old already aren't I? Well, Ofcourse I would tell them. I mean the scene has been (and still is) a big part of my life. Kids allways want to know everything so telling them would only be natural. I would say: "Kids, your father was once a long time ago a scene-graphician." Kids go: "AAAAAAHHH!!!", the start crying and I ask: "heeeey, what's wrong?" Kids say: "Daddy, what kind of horrible monster is a scene-graphician? Snif sniff" Noooo, that will go fine. I think I'd tell them about the things the demo-scene did and what my part was. But I'm not God, can't predict the future. Perhaps it will turn out differently.
In the end a piece of abstract Danny-art made by words....
A diamond in the rough. The true beauty of this diamond could only be Seen by the (Angel)dawn of a bright and Suny day. It's many Facets could only then be observed in it's full glory. Once the ancient sungod RA has thrown his long beams of light past the (Devil)stars towards the inner beauty of the wonderful stone, the R.eal W.onders O.f RANKflection has done justice. The Brilliance within this miRACKle lies beneath caves of the last Bavarian MOUNTainlion called Cougar. "It is only FAIR" said FAX to the gatekeeper "that we get to know this wisdom we seek. (U)No, was the answer (H)of the old man who's live would soon FADE. ONE century after that memorial day, which caused a great HAVOK at that time, a new gate was MADE. The Blizzart who had destroyed the previous one had regrets of his actions and appologised. The magic (Mithran)directly returned. And they all lived happily ever after.... We are all IN BLOOM!!!
Next page for "Contrast" ¡
Devilstar / VD & PolkaB:
He is a good graphician like so many others.... I really like hearing that he would stop redrawing. Not before I see a self-produced picture from him, I will judge his skills.
Ra / Sanity:
I don't like his models, colours and his lack of style. "I don't like the taste of a lemon" he said, I'm happy for him.
Dope / Spaceballs:
Danny could be described best as always happy, friendly, enthusiastic and more of that.
He's the typical famous guy (after all, his work hasn't been used much but a lot of guys still do know him) that hasn't changed a bit. He even doesn't talk about his famousness. His ultimate group is one in which every member knows every other one, and not just by name. He loves to paint, but in his eager to draw more and more, he forgets to finish old pictures under the name of 'I don't like it anymore'. Many half-coloured faces of women without legs face the inside of a dusty old disk every day. Unfortunately it's wasted energy if you are persuading him to finish an old picture. Danny is a big fan of Lizardking.
He's very reliable when it comes to sending something over. The disk transfer doesn't stop when you lay down the hook of the phone. In 90% of the cases you can expect your package to be delivered within days.
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