What happens when an animator crosses over to painting? They are likely to blend the worlds of animation and traditional painting to create a unique, captivating piece of art. Simply put, it’s the art of Norlie Meimban.
Norlito Meimban or Norlie to family and friends, born in 1966, is a Filipino modern & contemporary painter. He is also a full time visual artist, exhibit curator and organizer, and a muralist. He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts with a major in painting and has since been featured in countless group shows, solo exhibits, garnering a number of recognition from competitions and international art fairs.
I have yet to see his galleries in the Philippines, as I’ve only been to his exhibits in Vienna – during the 2022 Long Nights of Interculturality, 2018’s Lakbay Sining, and recently, at the UN Lobby exhibit with the theme “Art for Peace“.
The transition from animation to painting can result in a unique and captivating artistic expression, as clearly seen in Norlie’s artworks. As an animator who turned to painting, his background has influenced his work in various ways.
Here are some of the (potential) characteristics and themes you might find in paintings by an animator who has crossed over to painting. Notice Norlie’s painting capture all the characteristics mentioned, further reiterating his belief that “art is a living, breathing, moving entity.”
Fluid Motion and Dynamic Composition: Animators are skilled in creating fluid, dynamic movements. In their paintings, you may see a strong sense of motion, even in still subjects. Their compositions might be carefully crafted to draw the viewer’s eye through the painting, much like the way animations guide viewers’ attention.
Storytelling and Narrative: Animators are storytellers at heart. In their paintings, you may find a strong narrative element. They might depict scenes that suggest a larger story or capture a moment frozen in time, inviting viewers to imagine what happened before or after.
Character Portraits: Animators often have a deep understanding of character design. Their paintings may feature expressive character portraits, conveying emotions and personalities through detailed facial expressions and body language.
Vibrant Colors: Animators often work with vivid colors to make their animations visually appealing. This tendency can carry over into their paintings, resulting in vibrant and eye-catching color palettes.
Surrealism and Fantasy: Animators often explore imaginative and surreal worlds in their animations. This inclination can lead to paintings that feature dreamlike or fantastical landscapes and scenarios, pushing the boundaries of reality.
Texture and Detail: Animators may pay meticulous attention to detail and texture in their paintings, just as they do in animation. This can result in highly textured and intricate artworks that invite viewers to explore every inch of the canvas.
Experimental Techniques: Animators are often open to experimenting with different techniques and mediums. You may find paintings that incorporate unconventional materials, such as mixed media or digital elements, in innovative ways.
Cinematic Quality: Animators often have a keen sense of composition and framing, which can translate into paintings with a cinematic quality. These paintings may feel like still frames from a larger, visually engaging narrative.
Emotional Depth: Animators are skilled at conveying emotions through their animations. In their paintings, you may find a profound sense of emotion, whether it’s joy, sadness, excitement, or contemplation.
Social Commentary: Some animators use their artwork to contemplate/comment on social or cultural issues. When they crossover to painting, they may continue to explore these themes through thought-provoking and visually compelling imagery.
Ultimately, when an animator transitions to painting, they bring a unique set of skills and perspectives that can result in a diverse range of artworks. Their ability to convey motion, emotion, and storytelling through a static medium like painting can lead to fascinating and captivating pieces of art.
While the title of this post says ‘static media’ – Norlie’s paintings are definitely alive, showing how skilled an artist he is in conveying movement even when using flat canvasses for his masterpieces.
Catch Norlie and see some of his works at this year’s Long Nights of Interculturality on September 20 at the Yunus Emre Institute Gallery, Währinger Strasse 6-8/14-15, 1090 Vienna.
He also has a number of works displayed and for sale at the CITYgalleryVIENNA by publicartists at Mahlerstraße 11, 1010 Vienna. Take a look at Norlie’s works here.
***Art pieces featured on this page are for sale. If interested, please contact Norlie via https://www.instagram.com/artofnorliemeimban or leave a comment below.