Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nate Courteau-Sculpture-Special Makeup Effects



Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I work mainly in the entertainment fields as a special makeup effects and props artist. I also have experience in the toy prototype and museum sculpture fields.

I am currently developing a line of toys called “Bobble Dead” for retail. I have prototypes and legal protection at this point, and I’m currently hobbling through the process of manufacture and distribution. This project is out of the ordinary for me, as I’m usually interpreting other’s ideas or wishes, and using their money!

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
That would be my sophomore high school ceramics teacher, Mr. Kurtz. He said; “A nostril is not a No.2 pencil hole.”

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
The person who built my garage meant to work on cars year round, so it’s a 6 car garage with insulated walls, 9.5 foot celings, good lighting and propane ready. I installed an insulated wall to partition the car port from my studio.

My background is in comics and horror films. While I was an angry young man, the Incredible Hulk became a cathartic figure for me, enabling me to vent through drawing his anger and carnage. He also got me very interested in anatomy, and from there it was the great masters.

Which Minnesota artists do you enjoy?
Stephan Gammel is an amazing illustrator. His style is so peripheral. Like the way you remember things… not quite detailed, but fading.
J.M. Culver

If I were to follow you around on an “art day” in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I’m so clueless as to what’s going on around here, partly due to the fact that there’s so much actually happening! Beyond the “official” world of art per se, there’s so much aesthetics to be found in local architecture and landscaping. Hobby gardens seem to have exploded around here lately, and I love to walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods and see the secret gardens and art that people create.

My wife and I stopped by the UofM St. Paul campus this year, and stumbled upon an awesome secret garden there. My wife and I have been building our own gardens and landscaping features on our land. I’ve eliminated all of our lawn and now we have vegetables, flowers, sculpture, slate patios and an English hosta garden with winding brick paths. So, yeah, I’d bring you here.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
I have a lot of amazing artists friends that I rely on for inspiration and information. Most of them are my “friends” on Facebook, and it really has taken over as my online hookup.

Do you have any exhibits or any interesting things going on in your life or coming up in the near future?
I’ve just come off a very busy and exciting year. Things have slowed down a lot, and I’m trying to learn how to be a more effective salesperson... blech.

If you were to receive a $2,000 art grant to do anything you want, what would you do?
Finance the completion of my Bobble Dead!

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