Sharpie Artist. Designer. Master of the Tweet. Media Enthusiast. Bald Brilliance.
Today’s featured artist is Michael Krivicka and I think you will come to find these adjectives suit him rather well. Krivicka, aka Who is the Bald Guy, is not limited to creating only with his Sharpie though… This artist takes on all sorts of artistic endeavors - From animation to PSAs, smart phone apps to Twitter campaigns, he even proposed to his now fiancée on WEtv! Read on to find out exactly who this bald guy really is…
Tell me about yourself! My name is Michael Krivicka and I am a video producer living & working in New York City. I was born in Slovakia in 1976 and went to high school in Germany from 1986. I moved to the US in 1996 for college and graduated summa cum laude from NJCU with a BA in Media Arts in 2000. While working in NYC as a video editor I started creating short films and submitting them to festivals. I am constantly working on something. Even when I can’t sleep at night I start creating things – drawings, writings, scripting out video projects. I can not “not do” anything. I have to create. All the time.
How would you describe your personal style? My personal style is raw and gritty. A bit dark sometimes. I never create something just because it looks cool. There is always a message or expression. It has to have a certain feel of realism. Like New York City – it feels real. Every building is real – has a history, has a life. If you compare it with LA for example, then LA seems fake – it seems made up and made pretty and comfortable for other people’s happiness. I recently made this anti-smoking PSA which is targeted at urban teens: Smoking Skills It’s raw and gritty.
What is your creation & design process like? I create on impulse. I get an idea and want to drop everything I’m doing at that moment and jump right into creating that idea. Some things, like my Sharpie animations for example, take a while to create. Days or even weeks. While other people would shoot themselves in the head, I find a certain peace in the very long and detailed oriented creation process. I always have a very clear end result in mind, but I find myself altering things as I create them.
Where do Sharpie markers come into your work? They are an essential part of my every day life. It can be anything from taking a simple note on a piece of paper to creating an elaborate animation project. (BTW I used hundreds of Sharpie markers for the two animations I created for Sharpie. Yes – hundreds.)
When did you come up with the idea for this Sharpie commercial? What is the concept behind it? Not too long ago I had a blog. On that blog I started writing about ideas for ads and entire ad campaigns. One of the brands I blogged about was Sharpie. Instead of writing about the ad campaign idea I decided to create two of the ads that I pictured being part of the campaign concept, which was a series of art works created with Sharpies (drawings, animations, sculptures, etc…) The tagline was “Create Life”. So I created these two very different animation pieces. That was that. The broad idea was to create user generated content and turn it into ads. That would give artists and every day Joes like me a chance to submit Sharpie creations, have them be voted on, and get a chance to be selected as part of a series (which was the ad campaign). So the commercials would be actual art works by real people. It would add the “real human touch” to things. I thought it was a pretty good idea. Here are both clips:
The second one is rotoscope animation. I recorded myself on video first and then animated the individual frame. Here are some pics:
I first saw your video a while back, just stumbled upon it and thought it was cool. Then one day, I find you striking up a convo on Twitter about your “Sharpie Commercial: Butterfly at Night”. (Cool, I’ve connected with the artist!) That’s not it though, after digging around I find that you’ve got a little something going on in the Twitter-verse… Tell me about what you are trying to achieve on Twitter.
Glad you took notice :) I was hoping someone from Sharpie would. I do various things –mainly viral & social media stuff. I like to create “what if” scenarios, like I did with one of my virals called “Nude It”. “Nude It” is a revolutionary iPhone app that lets the user see others naked. The video now has over 1.8 million views on YouTube alone (more on other video hosting sites) and is still sparking conversations. I basically like creating “what if” scenarios and give people stuff to talk about.
I use Twitter for various social media experiments. My latest was to reach Jimmy Fallon (and other celebrities). The concept was to use social media and news media to reach a celebrity and have that celebrity view a website & video I created
The video was a creative and elaborate plea to get that celebrity to follow me. The experiment worked, and I now have Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Williams, and David Pogue following me. I basically wanted to prove that it is possible to reach ANYONE on Twitter with just a simple but creative idea. And I did. All it takes is an idea. That’s all. It’s that simple.
If you could get one person to follow you on Twitter who would it be? A celebrity who is alive and who is actively using twitter? That would be Ashton Kutcher. I got some ideas he would want to hear.
You’re really good at animation, yet I don’t see a lot of your work out there. Why is that? I simply can’t stick to just one thing. I have to do a wide spectrum of things. I like the moving image a lot. So it’s either my HD cam or my 16mm Bolex sometimes. I absolutely love animating, but sometimes the time is just not there. I am now planning my wedding.
I proposed to my fiancée on my own web show, which I have pitched to Wetv. It’s called Put A Ring On It. I’ll bet you five bucks you’ll cry at the end. So, basically, that is another reason why there is so little of my animation work out there: I do a ton of other stuff. And somewhere in between I try to get some sleep
If you grew your hair back, would that completely destroy the direction of “Who is the Bald Guy”? Would you change it to “Who is the Hairy Dude”? That’s actually really funny. Yes, it would affect the “bald guy” image quite a bit. Not sure if “hairy dude” would be the right term for it then. Seriously: that was funny. Made me laugh.
Out of complete random curiosity… Would you ever consider wearing a bald cap and customizing it with Sharpie markers? I’ve done some crazy things in my life, but I’ve never worn a bald cap that was customized with Sharpie markers. I’d be open to a crazy bet that would involve that
Favorite Sharpie? Hmm, I don’t think I have one. Sorry. Just being honest. It all depends on the need. If I need a thick Sharpie, then that’s what I’ll use. If I need a fine Sharpie, then I’ll go with that.
Motto to live by:
Create. Leave your mark. You can sleep when you’re dead.
When I get old, I want to be able to look back at my life and see the things I have done. I don’t want to look back and see myself watching Jersey Shore.
Are you currently working on anything that you can tell us about? Exactly a week ago I launched a new viral called “3D Hologram app for Iphone 5”. It just got its first 100,000 views on YouTube. I am now creating a video invite for my groomsmen. It involves a lot of stop-motion animation. Will post soon