Why are you reading this? Isn't the Art enough for you? Must you attach a person to it? ::sigh:: If you MUST know more, then you've come to the right page. Oh and if you're wondering what the hell this website is all about, I suggest clicking HERE first.
Hi there. The following Biography was totally not written by me, which makes it slightly uncomfortable to read. It's pretty much what my manager came up with after my prolonged Bio of "I hate Bios, look at the website". I have to admit it's pretty spot on...and thus I share. Really, I don't know why I feel I need to apologize for talking about myself after you clicked a link asking me to talk about myself but...well...that's just the way I am. Go figure. Enjoy:
"Jared von Hindman, Berlin-based painter, cartoonist and humorist, is, among other things, the writer and illustrator of the Dragon Magazine column, “D&D Outsider,” a satirical and practical approach to everything wrong with the fantasy genre. This is a natural progression from his infamous 2006 article "Stupid Monsters of D&D." Jared is a regular cartoonist for Dungeons and Dragons, and his designs have been produced on merchandise ranging from T-shirts to the competition-winning sneakers, “Goblin Stompers.” He was also commissioned with producing promotional art for several series of D&D Miniatures and for R. A. Salvatore’s Ghost King. Jared was honored to be the primary artist for MonCon 2010, the first Monsterpocalypse convention, and he was a contributing artist for the card game Dungeon Crawler. Further work in the gaming community has included promotional art for the German role playing game Ratten as well as the online game Kingdom of Loathing.
Jared’s works are collected in his internet portfolio and entertainment website, Head Injury Theater (www.headinjurytheater.com). Since its inception in 2005, Head Injury Theater has received well over 10 million unique visitors, at which point he stopped counting. The art he produces ranges from funny and cute to dark and disturbing, but always with a unique sense of style. His work has been featured for promotional use by the Bangkok Opera, Berlin International Opera, the Living Opera of Texas, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology among others. His illustrations have been used in several textbooks and CD covers. His cartoons have appeared in such varied venues as The Florida Times Union, Fox News, and The Webcomic Hurricane Relief Telethon Book. With a bit of luck, they will continue to appear in stranger and more unexpected places."
What Some Folks are Saying:
"You scare boring away like a flamethrower does Vanilla Ice Cream."
"What do you know, another USA and God hating liberal ... your nothing new .. your way back on a long list of haters.. I'm still waiting to see some art here.. other than little drawings made by a malcontent, just cause you got hit in the head doesn't make you an artist now that is funny"
–"J", a Politician from California who thought his email was anonymous in 2006. Name removed because now he's REALLY mad at me.
"That guy's creativity scares the f$#k out of me."
–Jick, Creator of Kingdom of Loathing
Scroll down further for more of my favorite lines, but now it's time for the Art FaQ.
Jared Answers Questions That You Didn't Need Answered (a.k.a F.A.Q. Narcissism)....
...now updated to 2010!
1. Why the hell do you have a FaQ?
Ummm....because people ask me questions? Repeatedly? Is that a good enough reason? It's a much better one than why I wrote the original FaQ...that was because I thought every website needed one to be cool. Oh, 2005, I was so naive then. Shall we move on?
2. So what's the Story of Head Injury Theater?
When I hang out or chat with other folks, invariably the question turns to "How did you get started?" or "Where did you learn to paint?"...both interesting questions that don't have simple answers. Since we're celebrating our 7th year of Head Injury Theater and Art is really my only job these days, I figured I'd spell it all out. With visuals.
Years ago, I drew. I painted. I was the nerdy kid in Junior High who's homework looked like the pencil scratching of a madman. My parents ended up sending me off to study with a woman Jean Pellegrino, an artist who taught painting out of her home. I studied with her for about 5-6 years (all through Junior & High School) and...well, I wouldn't say my stuff was particularly inspired. There were just so many rules to classical art that it was hard to try something new in that environment.
...but it did teach me fundamentals...like "Don't use black for shadow" and the general importance of line movement & negative space, that kind of thing. It was all sort of a random hobby that I gave up the moment I graduated.
Now, at the same time as this, I was doodling my own little comic called "Minimum Wage". It got used in school newsletters and other amateur-like things. I was 12 when I started drawing them, which kind of gives a dark look into the kind of brain I had at the time.
...And then in 1996 I just stopped drawing comics. Why? The Florida Times-Union had a contest where amateur cartoonists would get their comic published and then get to meet Ed Gamble, a professional political cartoonist. The problem? 15-year-old Jared was not ready to hear Ed tell him that being a successful cartoonist has nothing to do with talent...Ed himself wove a tale of nepotism and blind dumb luck concerning how he pulled it off. I didn't like people stomping on my dreams...but suddenly I just stopped. I'd give anything to go back in time and stop myself from listening to Gamble...because me listening to him is what put me off doing amusing art for about 8 years.
So we fast-forward a few years. I get married at the tender age of 19 to an Older woman, move to Upstate New York, go to Film school, move to Berlin, and totally fail to do anything with my films. At this point in time, Head Injury Theater existed as a terrible Movie Review website on Angelfire. If you're only into the site because of my writing, know that I started it because the site X-Entertainment.com stopped reviewing movies and, well, I thought someone should keep the torch burning. But back to Art-Origins: My opera-singing Older Woman (now known as The Wife) was taking me to see Don Giovanni, and I was having problems understanding the plot. Since I'm a visual learner, I took about 60 seconds to doodle this in Pencil. Yes, I know, it's God Awful.
God Awful or not, my wife scanned that picture and posted it on her Opera Singer Forum. Within 48 hours, Opera companies from all over the world were asking to put it on T-shirts, flyers, and posters. I don't get it either, but it made an impression that a) Opera people really don't get enough goofy art and b) I might be onto something. So Head Injury Theater got its own real domain and I went about trying to do this for fun & profit. A few months after that, someone from the Kingdom of Loathing forums asked me to paint a demon with a chainsaw and.....
...we have the first thing I'd painted since 11th grade. Never under-estimate the value of forum praise, because after that it snowballed to me painting all the time and getting weirder and weirder with my Art experiments. But that demon up there (who you might recognize as the Mascot of the Strange Art section) is what really started it all and how non-stick figures started to show up on the site.
Since then, there's been a lot of things, but really I don't want to bore you with triumphs and horrendous failures. Oh, one more thing:
Lately all my "How did you get started" questions have been about my work for Wizards of the Coast/Dungeons & Dragons. Folks are often shocked to know I was making a living before D&D with my Art, but I won't lie...it's been awesome. So how did I get started? Really, it's by sheer luck and by being a little crazy. D&D was releasing a new line of plastic miniatures called "Dangerous Delves" and, as an Art Crash, I decided to paint all the figures in one weekend (or try to, I think I went a day or so over).
I posted that on my DDM forum which by coincidence some Wizards of the Coast employees were looking at and were super amused. Dragon Magazine asked to link to it and inquired about future projects. It's a bit more complicated than that but really, I'm only doing it because they stumbled onto a funny project I did. Right time, right place kind of thing, I suppose.
Man, that ended up being longer than I was intending. Sorry about that.
3. I'm an Artist/Cartoonist/CrazyBipolarArtist-type, do you have any advice for me?
Just Paint. Forget what other people say. Do it for yourself. Oh, and don't look at your own web statistics. We digital entities often pay too much attention that kind of thing and really, you're better off not worrying about it. If you paint it, they will come.
4. Are you really in Berlin?
No. I just say that to make myself sound more interesting. YES, I'm really living in Berlin...I don't speak German. That's pretty funny considering I've been here for 7 years now, but Berlin is much more multi-cultural that you'd think. Everyone speaks English here so I can easily play the lazy American. I'm not proud, but I am happy.
5. How can I buy a painting from you?
Send an email to Jared @ Headinjurytheater.com and remember to link to the painting you want. It's a dark truth that I name my paintings as I upload them and sometimes...I'm forgetful. As for price...it really varies. At the moment (June 2010) things are selling (with a few notable exceptions) for between $50-$100. That's negotiable because I paint far too much and I'm running out of room.
6. Can I commission you to paint something for me?
Yes. This too can be negotiated but the important policy right now is that I get a $20 down payment from you. If you don't like what I create, you don't have to pay the rest to own it. I started doing this during year 3 when a lot of folks would commission me but then never finish the deal as it were. Sometimes they were kids who's parents didn't know that I'd been commissioned, but...blah blah blah. Drama. I hate talking about money but if you want me to paint something for you, let me know. It's people like you that let me do this for a living, really.
7. Is there anything you won't draw?
I don't draw genitalia. I'm a prude. Throw in the fact that a LOT of my stuff is being put up in little kid's bedrooms and, well, you understand why I have to draw the line somewhere.
8. What's your Day Job?
Believe it or not, painting and other creative outlets has been paying my rent off & on since 2007. There's no great business plan here but I feel lucky to be able to support myself by fans and companies who dig my stuff. As for Day Jobs, I've had a few, but none since 2008. They include being the Community Manager for a Consumer Report website (Dooyoo.UK) where my writing style created a casual language for defusing user rage....a job I only got because I was the Moderator for the Kingdom of Loathing Forum. No, really...it's true. My "Hey, I managed a forum with 80,000 members" CV shout-up got me a gig managing a community for cash (and German Health Insurance which is AWESOME). Beyond that I've taught Business English to Germans. I'm the worst English teacher ever...watching the movie "Office Space" was part of my curriculum semester after semester. So, no, I don't have a Day Job now, but I have had a few over the past few years.
9. Are you a Film critic/in film school or something?
The answer probably lies in "or something." I graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a degree in Cinema...which pretty much means I went to school for Film Theory with a focus on Experimental film. So yes, if I were to pay some union dues, I could indeed be classified as a "legitimate" film critic, because I have one of the educational requirements...only there's one catch. A "legitimate" film critic also needs to work for a "legitimate" publication/organization. And there's the rub. So yes, I'm a film critic but only a little bit more so than any other Joe who makes a website about movies...because I have a diploma saying I know what I'm talking about. :shrug: Whether I actually do is a whole other matter.
10. Do you have permission to use all those images you took from the movies you reviewed?
11. Are you Gothic or Emo?
I'm too blond to be Gothic and I don't believe in Emo kids. They're a myth, like Furries and Cosplay.
12. Why the hell did you name your website Head Injury Theater?
Head Injury Theater is a phrase I came up with as a kid that refers to something that happens in cartoons all the time. More often than not, when a character gets hit in the head in a cartoon he starts hallucinating or passes out and has some sort of weird dream/fantasy. Head Injury Theater is another word for "violently induced fever dream"....more or less.
13. Do you have any great wisdom to share with us?
"The Enlightening Hand is so because it is on Fire." All things worthwhile shorten your life and are finite, while an uninspired man's days will lengthen in the darkness. My wisdom is spooky, yes? That quote was from something I wrote a long time ago, and is currently painted on my wall as a reminder. If I ever start writing fortune cookies (which is more likely than you think), that'll be the first one I write.
14. What about the News, Jared? Have you ever been on the News?
:sigh: Yes. I've made the news a couple of times...though it's never been positive. I has been positively retarded in both cases, but that's a rant for another day.
I've been in the new twice: Once for getting a man arrested in Singapore and again for supplying sensationalist propaganda against his will to a very funny ABC news report that decided to use his Emo Emu picture to illustrate the horrid price of the Emo lifestyle.
What OTHER people are saying:
"Jared Von Hindman is an extraordinary American visual artist, a painter, a cartoonist, and a wickedly funny observer of popular culture."
– Sir Rodney, Sir Rodney's Porno Blog
"You, sir, need to stop doing things that make you my hero, because you're already my hero and it's getting damned redundant."
"This is not interesting or good."
–Nostrildamus, "Sensible Erection"
"These comics are some of the f$#%ing funniest f$#%ing things I've ever f$#%ing seen. f$#%ity f$#% f$#%. assclown. I just wanted to say that for some reason. darn friggin' poop."
–Reverend Jack Alan Barlow
"You're as talented as all get-out"
–Brad Guigar, Greystone Inn & Evil Inc.
"Can I be on your "About" page if I tell you to go f#$k yourself?"
- Jeff, Head Injury Theater Contest Winner
"Jared Hindman is the father of my baby. Instead of alimony, I want art and more site updates."
–Amanda from South Carolina
I was Reviewed.....in 2005. Yeah. It's old.
My Website has only been reviewed once, as far as I know. Of course, reviewing websites was a bigger trend a few years back (or seemed to be) so it's not a big deal. If you're curious about the state of my Art years ago, check this out. It's pretty interesting.
"Though it seems to be used on a very smallish chunk of the site, the guy seems to loath Photoshop or at least refuses to let it change anything about the art. There are great things and not so great things about this. Most strikingly both is that there’s so little hiding behind technology. For better or worse, paint sticks and Jared seems willing to share tons of paint he’s stuck to stuff. Lots are experiments, failed and successful. It’s a bold artist that lets you wander around in his sketch-book and at times, that’s what this feels like. " If you'd like to read the whole review and see the neat editorial cartoon about Head Injury Theater, do so by clicking HERE.
...and there you go. I need to re-organize this Bio, but really, it's here to fill in a few of the nagging questions. I think.