Brandon Kienzle is a writer who was a filmmaker and is now also one of our favorite artists. We love his work and wanted to talk to him about where his inspiration comes from. We’re so glad we did!!
Love+Water- When did you start writing?
Brandon Kienzle- I started writing when I was a kid. I was writing little stories, and was usually always a way to extend the Star Wars story- like about me and Hans Solo. I actually went to film school because my main focus was to become a writer/director. When I moved to LA with the intention of making films, I realized I was not a collaborative artist. So I switched my focus and moved to New York to write a novel so that I could control the project by myself.
L+W- What is your novel about?
BK- It’s about a young woman who walks away from a life as a super hero after she has a nervous breakdown and breaks out a Polar bear from the Central Park Zoo. It’s kind of split between the two of them, about these two characters learning to survive in the wild, so to speak, after being caged up for a long time.
L+W- How did you come up with these two characters?
BK- The ex-super hero is an offshoot for an idea I had for a film a few years ago. She was the sidekick to the main character. The project dropped by the wayside but she always stuck with me. Playing the role of the sidekick was something she never asked for; it was thrust upon her and one day she decided she wanted a life for herself. So with that idea, I’m interested to see if she’s able to create the life she wants for herself. My favorite part of the city is this place near the Central Park Zoo. If you stand at the right angle and look into the zoo you can see the Polar bears, and you can see them pacing back and forth, and there is something about that that always seemed sad to me. So I’ve always thought of breaking the bear out.
L+W- Your art is SO intriguing- what is your inspiration?
BK- I started doing design and image-related work a few years ago, and it was a result of beginning to write a book. It takes so much time, and I don’t always enjoy the process. I needed something creative that was immediate that I could do while I was writing. That lead into my picking up image and design work, starting with Photoshop and some photography. I did some street photography and started to play around with the images. They became slightly surreal and that lead me into doing visual things with old Victorian medical images, manipulating them and seeing what I can come up with. It has a kind of fantastical bend, and somewhat faded antique look to it.
L+W- What do you think about the concept for Love+Water designs?
BK- I think something interesting can occur when you have a paradigm to work within that you wouldn’t necessarily choose on your own. Those restrictions often create interesting creative choices. I also love the idea of doing that for something that is going to benefit charities. That doesn’t happen very often with art, so to merge the two- I’m looking forward to it.
L+W- What’s the most moving moment you’ve had with your writing?
BK- They’re easily noticed, because I have more frustrating moments with my writing than moving ones. Recently I was developing an idea for what was ultimately going to happen to my characters, and it brought me to tears. I’ve been so involved with them for so long now that I developed an attachment to them that I didn’t realize was so strong. That was really moving, and inspiring. I’ve created a kind of cinematic experience on paper with them, and that is really neat to see.