Five Questions For Stu Campbell

Name: Stu Campbell

Title/Occupation: “…interactive installations… “

Organization/Company: Nawlz


1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up where you are now?

I grew up on the Northwest coast of Tasmania–the island off the bottom of Australia.  It’s a beautiful place but very isolated, which is probably why I left at 17.  I’ve moved around a lot since then, travelled to about 20 different countries.  I was last living in Montreal, now I’m living in Melbourne and plan to move to Berlin later in the year.  I’ve been freelancing for the last 7 years, mainly short term projects to allow me to keep moving.

2. Which performance, song, play, movie, painting or other work of art had the biggest influence on you in the designing of Nawlz and why?

I worked on an interactive scroll for Australia’s National Museum.  The project’s called The Harvest of Endurance Scroll, you can launch it from this page. That project helped me to realize how I wanted people to experience the Nawlz. It was also a big technical influence, we recycled a lot of the code to create the Nawlz console.

As far as story and art is concerned. Neuromancer and Akira always spring to mind first.

3. What skill, talent or attribute do you most wish you had and why?

I like playing the piano.  I don’t like the slow process of creating things visually.   On a piano I can utilize all my fingers and thumbs to hit keys and my feet to hit pedals and I get a response instantly.  I wish I could play a lot better though.

4. What do you do to make a living? Describe a normal day.

I just returned from 14 months of traveling around the world.  I’ve spent the last 3 months working with Swarm, an interactive agency from Toronto, to design a new Nawlz site-which is now launched.  We’re also working on some new Nawlz merchandise including some digital downloads and a Nawlz soundtrack. My last job was working for the Australian military designing pilot training programs.  Before that I was creating interactive installations for Australia’s National museum.  I like doing contracts that expose me to worlds I would otherwise not know anything about. The science and engineering areas interest me the most.   I’m talking to a 3D company in Sydney at the moment that do a lot of biology visualization.  They might have some work to design a brain computer interface for one of their neuroscience clients. I’m crossing my fingers. I’d love that job!

5. Have you ever had to make a choice between work and art? What did you choose, why, and what was the outcome?

Because I haven’t bothered to push my art commercially, I’ve always needed to work to get by.  I ‘m a bit reluctant to work for commercial clients who want to attach my style of art to their product.  I’ve done that kind of thing in the passed and never really enjoyed it. I enjoy working in the non-commercial sectors where you have to respond to a very specific brief, which often requires a lot of research.  The research dictates the aesthetic response and forces me to explore new approaches to art and design. As far as Nawlz is concerned, Swarm will be taking care of the commercial side of things. I haven’t had to make any serious choices yet.

Check out Nawlz, a combination of text, illustration, music, animation, and interactivity here.

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