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Behind The Scenes Of The Amanda Palmer/David Mack Music Video

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Hello humans in Temple of Art land! This update is brought to by Temple of Art Co-Creator Olga Nunes:

One of the things we’ve focused on in the crafting of the Temple of Art documentary is experimenting with low-budget ways to make the film more visually arresting. We’ve been playing with ways to take art from our wonderful subjects and, with a little effort, turn them into animations.

You may have seen in our last update the test animation we did with David Mack— on one of his visits to the Good Bully Collective in downtown Los Angeles, we asked David if he wouldn’t mind doing a few drawings to illustrate a story for the film.

When David saw the rough animation we cooked up from his drawings, he approached me to help him do a similar thing for another project he was working on: a music video with rockstar-extraordinaire (and Temple of Art favorite) Amanda Palmer.

He was knee-deep in the creation of what would eventually amount to over 250 stunning watercolor paintings for the project, but needed help turning those paintings into an actual video set to music. (Over 250 stunning watercolor paintings which, incidentally, are available for sale here.)

We are insanely lucky to be working with such talented artists for Temple of Art, and David Mack in particular has been a tremendous friend and partner on this film. His ability to render just about anything in a thousand different styles just boggles the mind. I was super happy to jump into the trenches to build something amazing with him– and since it’s David, it was bound to be amazing and then some.


David sent me a small pile of paintings and Amanda’s beautiful song to listen to– which you should really go check out, by the way, it’s gorgeous. (If you haven’t wandered over into Amanda Palmer’s palatial caverns of art-music wonder, I highly recommend it. You can listen to the song and check out the rest of her album she did with her dad here.)

I started playing around with sequencing the panoply of paintings to music, and playing with frame rate– how many frames (or paintings) we should show in a second, and still get the idea across. For big-budget stop-motion films, the frame rate lands between 24 and 30 frames per second.

Amanda’s song is 272 seconds long. To get enough paintings to reach 30 frames per second, David would have had to create eight thousand, one hundred and sixty paintings.

And we had two weeks.


In order to turn David’s beautiful watercolor paintings into 272 seconds worth of music video, we had to get a little creative.

First, the images were color-corrected, blurred along the edges and vignetted, so all the different pieces looked like they were in the same world.



Then, we started playing with time stretching– in order to get the titles to fit before the first bars were sung, I took David’s videos of his stunning typography and turned them into a sped-up time lapse.


Then, we only had to figure out solving the small problem of not having eight thousand paintings.



We settled on showing five paintings per second, to make sure David wouldn’t break his hands from the sheer power of art-exertion, and we started exploring.

David texted me that he was listening to the song over and over while painting, trying to capture imagery that would carry into the video. It was important to both of us that the art was a reflection of the music, and trying to time out how the art played against the music proved slightly tricky.

We tried to time how long sequences would be, and began thinking in terms of filling minutes. We actually counted paintings and said, well, this gets us to 30 seconds into the song, and then these paintings here will get us to 55 seconds into the song. Talking it out, it made sense.

But once I started laying out the images it became clear that treating the paintings as blocks of time was not a useful way to measure it out. The paintings would land awkwardly between lines of the lyrics, or at worst, seem totally unrelated to the song.

Since this was a super-quick turnaround, I suggested to David we loop sets of paintings, to allow us some play in terms of timing.

It totally worked– which meant I could time moments in David’s paintings exactly to moments in Amanda’s song. This allowed us to fill time— and more importantly, allowed us control over how the paintings synchronized to lyrical emotional beats.



(My favorite moment is when Amanda’s dad, Jack Palmer, sings “I see angels on Ariels in leather and chrome,” and from the swathes of paint, on cue, an angel materializes from the ether, swelling to match the abandon in the song.)

Looping sections also allowed a neat trick. I took this set of paintings, above, and repeated them during the moment in the song James lay dying. While the face forms and re-forms in stop motion, an echo of tears falls over and over, streaming down Red Molly’s cheek.


Looping sections seemed like it would buy us some time, but I wanted to explore other avenues of building animation with the existing paintings.

I took these four paintings of James and Red Molly on the Vincent, and attempted to loop them.


Looping just the four images started to feel repetitive. Since we were only using five paintings a second, we had to figure out another way to get them to feel alive.


I added a displacement warp effect (above) to one of the paintings, which ends up making it look animated. Not entirely convincing, but when you run the filter on all four paintings and sequence them in a row, you get the below:


I animated the motorcycle moving back and forth, and added random watercolor clouds and grass I found online as an experiment, to more convincingly make it appear that the motorcycle actually is careening through the world.

A simpler version of this animation ended up in the finished product, and we ended up using a slight wiggle effect on ALL the paintings, which helped combat the fact we were only displaying five frames per second.


In addition to doing a towering mountain of paintings, David also took some wonderful collage pieces and photographed stop motion silhouettes of James and Red Molly on the Vincent.

We also looped these photographs at five frames a second, and added an animated paper texture to imply speed, but this introduced an additional problem: cutting directly between the paintings and the photographs was a little jarring.

Instead, transitions were added and we zoomed in and out of the pieces to make it feel like the camera was following a single motorcycle racing through a paper world.



Lastly, in the pile of scans of paintings and digital photographs David sent me, he included a video of a painting he intended not to use.

The current music video begins with one long time lapse of a David painting the Vincent motorbike– so the reasoning was, it seemed too repetitive to add in a second time lapse of a painting. It would break up the momentum.

He suggested we skip it and add visuals some other way.

The unused painting illustrated the moment in the song when Red Molly finds out James has been shot, and is about to die.


Rather than leave it out, I sped up the video in time lapse in two parts– the initial shock of red as you hear that James has been shot, and then a faster second piece, so the video can end at the right moment in the lyrics. All of this played backwards, so as the song sings of James passing away, he slowly vanishes before your eyes.

David loved it.


So what does 250 paintings, 430 photographs, five videos and two weeks of animating and editing get you?

You can see the final result below (bonus points for hitting the full-screen button):

Olga Nunes
Temple of Art Co-Creator

P.S. This song and the album it’s from is available here from Amanda Palmer and her dad, Jack Palmer.

P.S.S. Original paintings from this music video are available for sale here from David Mack.

P.S.S. Want to find out more about the song & David Mack’s artwork? Check out Amanda’s Patreon post about this project.

the journey of a thousand miles

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Hello humans in Temple of Art land! This update is brought to by Temple of Art Co-Creator Olga Nunes:

Hi guys! Things have been super busy in our humble Good Bully offices, and I thought I’d share with you some news!

First off: this project has wildly surpassed our initial dreams of what the film possibly COULD be, back when we launched the Kickstarter and hadn’t even gotten funded yet.

How did the film get so wondrously grander than our initial ambitions, you ask?

It started with Barron.

Allan and I have been friends for ten years now— jesus, has it been that long? — and he would come visit me in my caboose in San Francisco about once a month, and between me writing toy piano songs and him taking photographs we’d drink tequila and generally riff on how to make our creative ideas better. Each visit we both left inspired and recharged.

On one of his jaunts to the city in August of 2013, he asked if I would mind assisting on a shoot for Barron Storey. “Of course!” I’d said.

I’d met Barron in 2010, at his birthday party at a bar during Wondercon, but we hadn’t chatted more than in passing — but I knew that I liked him.

We showed up at a design studio and met up with Barron and Ryan Graff (the man who would eventually be the graphic designer for the Temple of Art book.)

Allan took what is one of the most brilliant photographs of Barron in existence: Barron’s face awash with bliss, clutching his sketchbook with a love that appears both childlike and fierce.

And, let me rewind here for a moment, even further.

I would argue that the film as it stands today can be traced back, actually, to TWO people: Barron Storey, and David Mack.

Here’s an excerpt of an email that I wrote to Allan and David in December of 2011:

David Mack flew over to meet Allan, they did a few photoshoots, and they began to collaborate— sessions of casual creative brainstorms over coffee, or drinks, or late night soirees. How could they join forces? What magical art-havoc could they wreak on the world?

David began doodling on one of Allan’s portraits, and near-instantly, the Temple of Art book was born. It was settled. Allan would shoot David, and their collective artist friends, collaborating on portraits together.

Artists like Kent Williams and Jason Shawn Alexander, Stephanie Inagaki and Soey Milk, Christine Wu and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Artists like Barron Storey.

…So, on a cool day in August in San Francisco in 2013, I moved lights around while Allan shot photographs and we were both mesmerized by Barron telling us stories. No: by Barron *teaching* us. He talked about art techniques and the things that mesmerized him. He began to sing an old spiritual song, and I fumbled with my camera, just managing to take video.

(I also somehow managed to put a sticker over my iPhone’s microphone, sadly obscuring the sound. Bad Olga.)

Allan says it was that day when he decided he wanted to make a Temple of Art film— a film where artists could share the wisdom they’d collected over their travels through a creative life.

I completely agreed.

Allan launched the Kickstarter shortly thereafter, and I went to go crash at his place for a while, and ended up helping out a little on the Kickstarter— and then, helping out a lot. We spent ten and twelve hour days hovering over our collective machines, figuring out ways to get this film funded.

This small story, about artists talking about painting, and art, and perseverance.

We brainstormed. In the middle of the Kickstarter, on a road trip back to San Francisco, at around four in the morning, we decided to shoot a tiny short, a proof of concept of the film.

It would feature Barron.

We storyboarded it. Allan shot it. I edited. My art-comrade-in-arms Jason Seigler did the music.

And here’s where it all changed.

What if… this wasn’t a small story?

What if it was a big one?

What if we could interview artists of all kinds— not just painters, but writers and musicians and creative people of all stripes?

What if this could be a film that could be for not just other painters— not just other artists— but, as Barron so succinctly put it, all humanity?

It was a bigger story than the one the Kickstarter had set out to do.

We did it anyway.

Allan and I agreed we’d dive in and wrangle the beast of the film, as creative collaborators, as co-creators, as a team.

We interviewed Barron and David and Stephanie and Bill and Jason—

And we interviewed Kevin Smith. Chuck Palahnuik. Neil Gaiman. Amanda Palmer. Billy Bob Thornton.

We interviewed a guy *AT NASA.*

…why am I telling you this?

On August 20th, 2014, when Allan hit the GO button on this Kickstarter, we never imagined that it would become the vast and lofty documentary that we are working on today, a year and a half later.

That the intricate path of dominoes set in motion so long ago would lead us to the doorstep of this giant idea, one that was vaster than our collective imaginations at the time could contain.

But here we are. And we are so, so, so grateful to you that you’ve been willing to be patient with us on this journey as we sculpt this sprawling landscape of stories into a something that we will be proud and honored to share with you.

Something that we hope you will love as much as we do.


As it is, we’re currently working on the rough cut of the film, and we’re getting so, so tantalizingly close. We’ve shown it to a few trusted artist friends and the initial response has been really, really good. We’re bolstered by the fact that measured against the average documentary timeline– actually? We’re moving pretty fast. Especially considering that our average day-to-day operations involve a team a fraction of the size of a normal film crew.

In that vein, we’ve been experimenting with low-budget ways to make the film more visually arresting, and we asked David Mack if he wouldn’t mind illustrating a story from his childhood.

Here are the drawings of baby David and his little brother, and the house they grew up in:

And here’s an animation test using those drawings, of David Mack jumping off the roof of that house he grew up in:

(Yes, he really did do this. Spoiler alert: before David wanted to be an artist, he wanted to be a stuntman. True story.)

We’re planning on improving upon these animations with some color treatments, and have them throughout the film– little moments of imagination to illustrate some of the fantastic stories we get to share with you.


We’re also at the point in the process where we’re scheduling follow-up interviews and sending Allan off to shoot b-roll to fill gaps in the film. (Just in case you don’t know– though you probably do!– b-roll is supplemental footage in film to help better tell a story— things like film of David Mack painting or Barron Storey teaching a class.)

AND. Allan and I both managed to do a STUNNING interview last Friday with the charming-as-all-get-out Denys Cowan, who has been nominated for two Eisners for his work in comics.

We also are happy to announce that we also have a last minute addition to our roster of interviews: Gavin O’Connor, director of Warrior (and the forthcoming film The Accountant, featuring Ben Affleck.) We’re both crazy excited about this, particularly Allan, who managed to see a secret screening of The Accountant last year. Spoiler alert: it’s amazing.


Thank you again, for your messages and cheering us on as we get closer and closer to the finish line. We literally have hundreds of hours of footage at this point that we are editing down into something that I think is turning out to be pretty magical.

We couldn’t do this without you, and we can’t say thank you enough.

Olga Nunes
Temple of Art Co-Creator

Temple of Art Trailer!

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Hallo all and sundry supporters of the Temple of Art Empire! TEAM TEMPLE OF ART (Allan & Olga & Jason) have been insanely hard at work over the last few months, cutting together the first bits of footage which we previewed a week ago at San Diego Comic Con to pretty resounding enthusiasm. (Hurrah!)

Olga Nunes, David Mack, Allan Amato, Barron Storey, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Satine Phoenix
Olga Nunes, David Mack, Allan Amato, Barron Storey, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Satine Phoenix.
Photo by: Michael Dooley
Things we have done in the last few weeks:

  •  began shipping our first piles of rewards out to backers
  • had a crazy successful panel with David Mack, Barron Storey, Bill Sienkiewicz, Satine Phoenix, and your favorite Temple-of-Art-makers, Allan Amato & Olga Nunes
  •  created three original scores for two film vignettes & a trailer (thanks to Good Bully Collective resident composer, Jason Seigler)
  • edited, re-edited, re-re-edited and exported those vignettes and the trailer
  • AND premiered all that footage at Comic Con to over three hundred people

It’s been a bit bonkers with fourteen-hour days and working well past midnight for weeks at a time, but the amazing thing is? We wake up bright and early in the morning to go right back to it. It’s a strange and lucky thing when you get to work on a project that inspires and compels you to happily work on it basically non-stop.

We want to share the trailer with you, but first we want to ask you a tiny favor.

If you happen to be one of those humans that uses Facebook, would you mind liking our Temple of Art trailer and sharing it with your friends?

Here’s the link to our Facebook post about it: http://tinyurl.com/templeofart-fb

(And if you’ve noticed, that link ALSO trickily includes the trailer, if you wanted to watch it right now, and let us know what you think. 😀 )

We ALSO have two vignettes, one featuring the inimitable Kevin Smith & Jim Mahfood on REJECTION, and another featuring a much larger cast of the film on GRIT. You can check those out (and the trailer, if you’re not on Facebook) here : http://templeofart.net/film

We’re so grateful to the artists and everyone involved for being part of this giant art monster, and we hope you enjoy what we’ve all wrought together so far.

Huge love from the Temple of Art Team,
Allan, Olga, Jason


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Ok, so one is a woman and the baby in question is a film about being an artist. Our mutant bionic baby, growing at an accelerated rate, as its dutiful parents fill it with knowledge, wisdom, curiosity and humor. Oh, and artists. So, maybe the title metaphor TWINS is more apropos, as long as I’m caught in an 80’s feedback loop. The perfect Schwarzenegger offspring culled from the genetic material of our best and brightest. Which would kinda make the trailer Danny Devito, I guess… way shorter and far more insolent.

I may have gone off the reservation, somewhat… what I’m trying to say is the 80’s is a far more whimsical decade, where celluloid is concerned, and…. Nope, that’s not right, either. I think it has something to do with film babies, how this project about creation, has in fact become the embodiment of creation itself. Which despite sounding pretty meta, is the literal figurative truth. Everything discussed within, reflects without, like an art event horizon (stay with me).

Every lesson learned over 160 hours of raw footage, distills into content fodder for the final film, and an approach that informs the philosophical structure of the film itself. This is our first film, and we often have no real clue as to how to proceed; fortunately that is exactly what this story is about. How to create, obsess, start something big, rely on others, emotionally connect to your work. And fail, most of all. Because aggressive investigation, experimentation with what doesn’t work, ultimately knocks you smack into what does. As the Almighty Barron Storey says, “If you don’t fail, you’re not aiming very high.”

So with our very first trailer almost in the bag after umpteen 14 hour days, here’s to my equally deluded partners Olga and Jason, the legion of creators who’ve so graciously allowed us into their lives and process, and all of you out there who’ve helped us along. May this film be the wheelbarrow for your dreams! Only far less wobbly.


PS – We have packaged up the first 50 rewards, which are headed to USPS.  Our plan is to persist throughout the ramp up to Comic Con, and get as many out to you as possible!

Working on trailer titles and reward fulfillment
Working on trailer titles and reward fulfillment

Closer To The Mountain

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I am writing from the headquarters of Good Bully Collective. Inside these chambers is, in no particular order: six cats, one jungle gym, a ball pit (yes, really), a room filled with fur, a bedroom fort transformer couch, walls piled high with paintings, a pirate ladder, and a teepee filled with stuffed animals.

It’s stationed in the heart of the Brewery, the arts compound of Los Angeles, home to acrobats and prop-makers, photographers and painters alike.

Each morning we awaken to the sound of a robot voice over the house speaker system, beckoning us, “GOOD MORNING, GOOD BULLIES. IT IS TIME TO GO TO THE GYM.”

We trundle to the rock climbing gym (conveniently also located in the Brewery) and run hard, and sweat. Sometimes we lift heavy things. And then we mosey back to the Good Bully Bull Pen and get to work.

If we had a MTV’s Real World style confessional, you would see video of us, in succession: eating lunch some days speaking only in French, firing up Skrillex to practice our best— weirdest— twerking, taking micro-breaks to fling kettlebells in the living room, pinning ideas to our monster wall of creativity, chasing cats, drawing, playing League of Legends, playing mandolin, and in general: playing.

But mostly?

We sit at our laptops, for hours on end, endlessly conversing with this film that is Temple of Art: how do we build it? What do we want to say? How do we best say it?

We watch footage. We take notes. We edit. Repeat.

We build the movie like tiny archipelagos, each stretching out tendrils of land mass until they touch the other, tentatively, tentatively.

How do we tell this story best?






And again.

Kevin Smith came to the house, and we asked him: you’ve been down this road many a time. What advice would you offer us, as young filmmakers? What is the best way to undertake this process, from where you’re standing?

And he tells us: “It’s all here,” pointing to his gut. Just feel it. Watch it, over, and over, and over, and just keep moving until it feels right.

So we watch. And we keep moving.

The first milestone is rounding the corner.

In two weeks we will show the first publicly shared footage of what we’re been working on in our strange art cave.

On Saturday, July 11, at 10:30am, we will be doing a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, sharing the first few pages of this story we’ve been laboring over for so long.

If you’re around, come by and see us (Allan Amato & Olga Nunes) in conversation with Grant Morrison, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Barron Storey, Jason Shawn Alexander, and Satine Phoenix. We’ll be giving away some surprise gifts, and would love to see your shining faces.

With fire and fervor,
The Temple Of Art Team

You’re An Artist When You Say You Are.

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Hello there, lovely backers! We’ve been running around like mad between New York, Glasgow, and London, catching up with artists and comic book conventions and art galleries, and somehow between all the chaos, we managed to squeeze in a few extra secret art projects.

One of these secret art projects is a book trailer for our incredible executive producer, Amanda Palmer. Her book The Art of Asking came out this week, and it’s amazing.

We managed to sit down and and briefly interview Amanda for Temple of Art, in the middle of her interview about the book with Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova— both of which we then used to turn into a trailer for the Art of Asking, filmed in New York, London, Glasgow, & Iceland.

Here’s the trailer (featuring Temple of Art’s Mark Buckingham— see if you can spot him!):

Several of the artists we interviewed for Temple of Art discussed their own version of The Fraud Police— the invisible voice inside your head that tells you you’re not a real artist.

Amanda sums this up amazingly in her book, while taking a long walk through all the ingredients in her life that enabled her to chase her art.

Here’s her take on being a “real artist”:

I’ve had a problem feeling real all my life. 

I didn’t know until recently how absolutely universal that feeling is. For a long time, I thought I was alone. Psychologists have a term for it: imposter syndrome. But before I knew that phrase existed, I coined my own: The Fraud Police.

The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of “real” grown- ups who you believe— at some subconscious level— are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying:

We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY. 

I mentioned The Fraud Police during a commencement speech I recently gave at an arts college, and I asked the adults in the room, including the faculty, to raise their hands if they’d ever had this feeling. I don’t think a single hand stayed down. 

People working in the arts engage in street combat with The Fraud Police on a daily basis, because much of our work is new and not readily or conventionally categorized. When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it. 

There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.

We’ve read the book and recommend it immensely— and as an aside, Amanda’s publisher is just exiting a dispute with Amazon.com, which meant her book was difficult to purchase until this week. Amanda (and Neil Gaiman, on his blog) sent out an ask: if the book or trailer above interests you, please pick up the book this week. If you read it and like it, tell your friends! The first week of book sales matter, and we at Temple of Art definitely think this a book worth sharing.

You can buy the book at any of the links on Amanda’s site, or on Amazon.

Defeating the fraud police one piece of art at a time,
The Temple of Art Team

Up and Away

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We’re writing this update from a plane, high in the sky somewhere over America. It’s been quite a long while since we’ve said hello, and we apologize profusely. We’ve been knuckles-down in the thick of it, scheduling interviews, booking travel, filming, doing road-trips, talking for hours to artists, buying equipment, and generally filling up whiteboards with handwritten scrawl trying to map the giant leviathan that is this fantastic documentary.

We couldn’t be happier.

This last week saw endless gigabytes of digital footage, the product of exhaustive hours of some of the most inspirational conversations we’ve had the privilege of participating in. Each interview feels like sitting down for afternoon tea and getting an amazing pep talk to go outside and live. Make art. Chase the dream that stirs you. We leave the abode of each artist feeling invigorated and incandescent.

Barron Storey. Jason Shawn Alexander. Satine Phoenix. Stephanie Inagaki. David Mack. Bill Sienkiewicz. Kellesimone Waits. Junko Mizuno.

….and that was just the last ten days.

We land tonight in New York City, then hit Glasgow, and then London— slaloming through streets and cities, chasing down the ineffable spark of magic from conversation to conversation. Even though we just grazed our United Kingdom stretch goal, we decided to reach into our pockets and go. It feels impossible not to.

As we move through the process of making this film, we begin to see the importance of art in a new light. Not just the beauty in a painting, or the elegance of a pencil sketch— but the quiet wonder of someone who loves what they do, and how it changes things. As Jason Shawn Alexander pointed out yesterday, everything that is not survival, reproduction, or sustenance is art.

With that lens, the world begins to look a little different.

Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Allan Amato (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, David Mack (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, David Mack (Photo Credit: Thomas Negovan)
Allan Amato, Olga Nunes, Jason Shawn Alexander (Photo Credit: Devon Avery)
Allan Amato, Olga Nunes, Jason Shawn Alexander (Photo Credit: Devon Avery)
Stephanie Inagaki
Stephanie Inagaki
Junko Mizuno
Junko Mizuno
Barron Storey, left. Allan Amato, right.
Barron Storey, left. Allan Amato, right.

*   *   *

…While we were in Jason Shawn Alexander’s studio yesterday, we got to see up close some of his beautiful pieces for his new comic book, Empty Zone. Only a few days in and the book is very nearly funded on Kickstarter— we highly recommend you go and pick up a copy.

Also super highly recommended, our Executive Producer Amanda Palmer has a wonderful book out November 11th called The Art of Asking, inspired by her poignant TED talk. Not only are we excited for the book itself, but the cover was put together by the Temple of Art crew in one glorious evening of art revelry. The end product was photographed by Allan Amato, with lettering by Jason Shawn Alexander:

Amanda’s book is in an interesting place, because her book — for reasons— is not available for preorder on Amazon. So if you want a copy, we recommend hitting up Amanda’s preorder page and grabbing one early— we know it’s going to do amazingly.

Cheers from the road,
The Temple of Art Team

Amanda Palmer for Temple of Art

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Amanda Palmer stopped by the Temple of Art headquarters last month and what happened next was no less than a glorious cacophony of art magic.


On July 2nd, Amanda Palmer teamed up with photographer Allan Amato, alongside artists from the Temple of Art, to create a multimedia book cover for Amanda’s Art of Asking. Rather than go the traditional route of photoshop, Amanda decided that the typography needed to be created in camera. David Mack was tasked with sketching up some initial concepts for the shoot, and we invited over artists Jason Shawn Alexander, Christine Wu, Jim Mahfood, Soey Milk, Roman Dirge, Zak Smith, Satine Phoenix and Stephanie Inagaki to lend their style and skill to the realization of the idea.

What followed was a slightly chaotic scene with artists painting on Amanda, who then wildly jumped into front of Allan’s camera for a few minutes before showering and beginning all over again. There is some incredible video of the mania that will be up soon, but for now these behind the scenes photos give you and idea of the epic mayhem.



While she was over, Amanda also collaborated on some art rewards for Temple of Art! Here’s one of the collaborative pieces created throughout the evening, featuring work by Amanda, Jim Mahfood, and Jason Shawn Alexander.



We took a slew of behind-the-scenes footage that we will release soon, and will likely also end up in the Temple of Art documentary! If you fancy, you can preorder the Temple of Art documentary here, as a DVD or HD download.

Barron Storey: What To Do In The Face Of Failure

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“Nobody draws better than Barron. Not you, not your little sister, your architect dad, not your rebellious ex-boyfriend who draws with his own blood, not the most talented kid at your art school. Not your favorite artist in the whole world; I’ve seen the work with my own eyes. Nobody draws better than The Barron.” – David Choe

We had a chance this week to sit down with Barron Storey, who is not only amazingly talented in his own right but has taught the likes of Dave McKean and David Choe. We sat and talked with him about what inspires him to make art, and the results are packed into this minute and a half short film.

Temple of Art: Paper Planes
Direction & Cinematography: Allan Amato
Concept by: Olga Nunes
Editing: Olga Nunes & Elisabeth Evans
Music: Jason Seigler
Featuring: Barron Storey
Barron told us about a cassette tape he’d found of a series of “nonlectures” E.E. Cummings did at Harvard in 1952. Cummings’ words stayed with him over the years, finding their way over and over again into the pages of his journals, and the emotional fabric of his art.


After some digging around, we managed to dig up the inspiring audio from E.E. Cummings talking about art as a circus act. From the Cummings piece, Him:

So much of the wonderful footage didn’t make it into the short film, but will certainly end up in the Temple of Art documentary! You can still preorder the documentary here, as a DVD or HD download.

The Many Faces of Neil Gaiman

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Everything in Temple of Art has been a collaboration– from the art pieces themselves, to the book and gallery show, to the back and forth conversations in the forthcoming documentary film.

This series of pieces featuring author Neil Gaiman are no exception.


Temple of Art director Allan Amato photographed a striking portrait of Neil, which then was passed around and painted on by David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Mahfood, Jason Shawn Alexander and Neil’s stunningly talented wife, Amanda Palmer. The results are these five amazing takes on the original photograph, each a little magical and otherworldly in their own right.


Left: both pieces by Bill Sienkiewicz & David Mack, Right:David Mack

You can pick up these collaborative art wonders as rewards over at our Kickstarter, which is now rounding the bend in its last week! Not only that, but you can also pre-order the $25 HD download of the film, or pick up the finished Temple of Art book, the DVD, and loads more! Take a look.

While you’re waiting for the film, our trusty Temple of Art ninja Elisabeth Evans shot and edited some fantastic footage of our panel at Comic-Con last month– hear Dave McKean, Barron Storey, Kent Williams, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Grant Morrison, Stephanie Inagaki and more wax poetic about their experiences with making art:

We also have a giant teetering pile of original art and art print rewards left over at our Kickstarter, including pieces by David Mack, Barron Storey, Jim Mahfood, JAW Cooper and more!

There’s also a super-fancy reward where Allan Amato will create a Temple of Art portrait of you, which will then be painted on and otherwise artistically emblazoned upon by the the fabulous Stephanie Inagaki. Check it out.



Also, three cheers to the fancy people at Nerdist who did a wonderful write-up on Temple of Art this week– as well as to the great humans at Huffington Post who also did a fantastic piece. Thanks, guys!
Temple of Art, Allan Amato, Dave Mckean (Mirror Mask, Sandman), Barron Storey (Sandman:Endless Nights, Marat-Sade Journals), Kent Williams (Kent Williams:Ophthalm, The Fountain), Jason Shawn Alexander (Abe Sapien, Batman-End Game), David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil), Bill Sienkiewicz (Electra Assassin, The New Mutants), Grant Morrison (Batman:Arkham Asylum, The Filth, Happy), Jim Mahfood (Clerks, Tank Girl), Stephanie Inagaki, Kozyndan, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Megan Hutchinson, Denys Cowan, Mark Buckingham, JAW Cooper, Junko Mizuno, Roman Dirge, Brian Thies, Christine Wu, Hueman, Jasmine Worth, Satine Phoenix, Matthew Levin, Soey Milk, Rovina Cai