MOLI hails the winners of our “Starving Artist” contest
By Wendy Case/MOLI
When I first heard of the record label Fueled By Ramen, it inspired a knowing chuckle. Most normal people have their brush with Ramen noodles in college. Cheap, easy to prepare, and surprisingly tasty, they are the “transition food” for people (i.e. students) who are broke as hell or haven’t learned how to cook for themselves yet.
But, for us creative types who seek to earn a living from our art or music, Ramen becomes a way of life. You learn a hundred ways to dress that unassuming little brick of starch up until it vaguely resembles a meal. Do it long enough, and you generally lose the desire for anything else. Why waste money on food when you could be spending it on beer and turpentine?
Two people who won’t have to make those difficult decisions anymore (at least for a month or so) are MOLI members R.S. Cole and Hanni B., winners of MOLI’s Starving Artist contest.
Reigning supreme over a field of nearly 80 contenders, Cole (a stop-motion animator from Floral Park, New York) and Hanni B. (real name Hanni Brzobohaty – a multi-media portrait artist who bumps between Boca Raton and Lake Worth, Florida) were both thrilled to have MOLI picking up the tab for a month. When asked why they qualified as “starving artists,” both had pretty legit responses.
“Well, the fact that I’m 5’9″ and weigh 110 pounds certainly puts me in that category,” Hanni, 26, laughs. A native of the Czech Republic, she once took a job riding a mechanical bull at a bar to pay the rent. “It was definitely crazy – and painful,” she says, “but very fun!” For Cole, 42, who is married with an 11-year-old son, the extra MOLI bucks will enable him to “get some new equipment that I desperately need” and “keep the lights on, and the roof over my head.”
Both artists have very strong feelings about what it means to stay committed to your creative vision. Cole, who was inspired to join the ranks of film animators and set designers after seeing Star Wars as a kid, worked professionally in the field for years before paring his commitments down to specialty work and fatherhood. He is currently putting the finishing touches on the short film In the Fall of Gravity, a stop-motion fantasy gem.
“People ask me about how tedious and time consuming stop-motion animation can be, wondering how I can have so much patience,” he says. “The reality is that it’s the most calming and interesting thing I do in this world! I need patience for the times that I am not animating.” Cole knew from his humble beginnings with a Super 8 camera what his destiny would become. “My path in life was chosen,” he says, “and I never looked back.”
Hanni B.’s enchanting, provocative portraits (which she creates under the moniker of Sublime 360) run the gamut from body painting to computer-aided manipulation. Her subjects, usually voluptuous female nudes, come to her randomly.
“I find models everywhere,” she says, “on the streets, in the mall, cocktail parties, bars, different events, or modeling websites – I pretty much talk to anyone that catches my eye.” And how does she talk them out of their clothes? “I use my Czech nationality as an excuse to speak about nudity freely,” says Hanni. “Most people in Europe aren’t ashamed to get naked and run around. It’s really no big deal over there, and most people here already know that — therefore they never get offended. I also believe that being a young woman helps a lot. If I were scary and looked like someone who just walked out of a state prison, they’d probably run away (laughs).”
She says that one of her goals for the future is to work with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. “That would be one sexy, steamy, beautiful piece of art!” she enthuses, “Sublime 360at its finest!” But she’s careful to point out that her ultimate goal, as an artist, is to reveal the “deeper character” of her subjects.
“I feel inspired by all the beauty around me, and by the human form. People are so much more than what they look like and what they wear.” Take a peek at Hanni B’s fascinating work on her MOLI profile.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the contest, as well as to our judges – and, naturally, a big CONGRATS! to R.S. Cole and Hanni B.
If you’re still a starving artist, here’s your Ramen tip of the day:
Break an egg into the Ramen while it’s still boiling, cook down the noodles until there’s just a half a cup of broth left, and then hit it with a healthy dollop of oyster sauce. Magnifique!
Wendy Case is the MOLI View‘s contributing editor for Arts & Entertainment.