Truth in Advertising Department: 20 yr old photo
My name is Joseph Eagle and eagleZen is the cybernetic side of my life as an artist.
I've been drawing since the first days, from the days before memory, driven to translate inner vision to outer page. And my inner vision was something always slightly to the edges of the norm, not in a particularly rebellious or dangerous way but still on the outside, observing the patterns and workings of the spectacle that was late 20th century life. And for 40 years now, I have also been lending my artistic eye in the service of others who find my vision to be just the ingredient to bring THEIR ideas to life, just as I bring my OWN to life.
I was born on July 29th 1952, when UFO's buzzed Washington DC, at the dawn of the Atomic Age, the dawn of the Space Age, the dawn of the Television Age, the dawn of the Computer Age, the dawn of the Beatnik and Hippie Age, and the dawn of the Rock and Roll Age. Given these auspicious beginnings, how could I have become anyone else but who I am. I was indoctrinated into this electric culture by Captain Kangaroo and Tom Terrific, a wonderful minimalist cartoon starring a boy who could manipulate reality with his Magic Thinking Cap, which looked suspiciously like the funnel worn by the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz (another almost mystical cultural force, presented yearly like a religious ritual to us as children on our TVs, teaching us to suspect all pompous wizardly authority and trust in our own vision...Dorothy had the power to leave OZ all along, she only had to realize it). By the time I got to school, I was already part of something larger, a subculture of new age artist/visionaries, still pre-concious, born in the new electric world, which could span the globe in its inner-connectedness through the instantaneous fields of media.
Dr. Seuss was my mentor as I mastered literacy, and I graduated directly to MAD Magazine and Jules Verne in the 4th grade, when I started to get serious about reading Science Fiction. My love of this form has infused my vision and my art and, due to SF's visionary nature, led directly to my later immersion into spiritual literature, with a subsequent understandable realignment of my aesthetic paradigm. In the 9th grade the world surprised me by bestowing my 1st Art Award. In High School, I found my artistic voice and my muse (the Gandharva or Faerie Musicae).
I celebrated adolescence in the late sixties, with the Beatles maturing in musicianship as I matured emotionally, physically, and spritually. I saw my heroes die by assassins bullets and by foolish excess. I paid Maharishi for a mantra and read the Gita. I watched my generation try to end a war and bring on a new renaissance around the world (Remember when saying the word "Peace" would invite suspicion and derision? "Strange Days have found us...") When the pendulum swung back to the right I sat back and watched in bemused horror at the shiny plastic facade that the country assumed.
At college, as a starry-eyed art and theater major, I was lucky enough to find myself working for an "alternative" press paper with a sense of humor. The Daily Blotter was a biweekly tabloid paper aimed at the hypocrisy of the parade around us (and not just the government parade either). It was a free and open forum for artists, writers, opinionated types in general. I got my first taste of public exposure due to our better than middlin' circulation, and a certain amount of local notoriety. A reporter from the local "establishment" press even did a half page feature article about me. I got to do my 1st commercial animation that was broadcast statewide for a season. I felt on top of the world. Figuring fame (and wealth) was just around the corner, I quit school, got married to a young sculptress, and moved to a new town, away from my power base.
So you live and learn. Food Stamps are wonderful textbooks for reality. Got a job at a local print shop based on my editorial cartoons and ended up on a beat, old printing press, watching brochures zip by in their infinite sameness. After a time, perhaps when the obvious criminal waste of talent was realized, I was moved upstairs to get into the graphic end of things. Learned typesetting, still in its infancy, and darkroom skills. And got more exposure (albeit commercial) for my artwork.
New job and a new wife in the 80's. At work, a step up in media and responsibility: working with computers to create presentation graphics and instructional materials for national corporate clients, Art Director status and a realworld salary at last. Got to write and direct a few videos. And win a few minor awards. My clients were increasingly technical and medical. Occasionally they let me be me and go off the wall. I always appreciated it, remembering the salad days of total artistic freedom at the Blotter.
With my new wife's angelic help, I helped form and sang lead for a cerebral rock band, Flying Cat. At our peak we opened for the archtypal psychedelic band, GONG. I used a new program just out, PageMaker, to produce our eclectic newsletter and our graphics on my company's screamin' new 286 PC (maybe that was ME screamin'....)
I bought my first home computer in 1985: a portable Commodore SX-64 with a briefcase shape, detachable keyboard, and built in 4" color monitor. Funky blocky graphics and a primitive synthesizer. I was in heaven. I wrote my first (and so far only) basic program: POETRON, a random poetry generator. In 1989, I moved up to an Amiga 2000. It cost me a bundle at the time but it gave me the ability to do full color 3D graphics back when MAC's were still B&W newbies. I was hooked. I wanted more.
1990 brought another new job, as Art Director at a Computer Animation studio. I became an animation engine, working on a high-end editing/compositing/paintbox workstation. I considered this my dream job at the time, and it got me exposure I never dreamed of, creating broadcast commercials for the Phillies during their Pennant Year and 4 years following. Suddenly I was on TV every night during the summer season. With free Phillies tickets, I was a family hero.
This was the culmination of my artisitic career so far. It used every skill I had aquired in my previous art career, and put me on the cutting edge of graphics technology. The work grew even more technical and medical than before, and again, occasionally allowed me free personal expression. We produced a huge quantity of award winning animations for a really prestigious client base. In recognition of Apple's ascendancy to platform of choice for discriminating artists, at home I turned my Amiga over to my daughters (chips off the art block) and went all-MAC, immersing myself in Photoshop and Bryce and, yes, Quark. And of course I found the web, with all its various wonders.
Flying Cat gave up its ninth rockin' life but fortunately from its ashes grew HEMOGLOBIN, an improvisational techno-trance-gypsy trio with guitars & electronics. We're building up a digital inventory of audio psychedelia. You can get more info about the band in the Music Room.
Then, unfortunately, a few years back, the animation studio went to that post-production house in the sky. In its wake, I decided to start EAGLESTUDIOS.COM in order to continue my career fascination with the art/science interface. Then I learned that the EAGLESTUDIOS name was being used by a whole crew of different companies (some more wholesome than others) so I decided to use my online moniker as my professional name too. Hence, eagleZen.com was born. As I pass my half century mark going into the new millenium, I feel again blessed to be at the birth of yet another era, The Net Age, and I'm determined to be part of the revolution. I'm convinced the ultimate media synthesis will occur here on the Net and I want eagleZen to be a part of that huge all-embracing wave, heralding it and contributing to it.
So what does this have to do with Business? Its all about the spirit of my Art and where I see it taking me (and my clients). This is the most exciting time in history to be alive, the dawn of everything magic. There is a cosmos full of yet-to-be-born art and music and ideas. I want to swim in it. Like a pearl diver, I want to dive deep with the dolphins and bring up smooth perfect pearls of art for my clients, something they can wear with pride.
Here, let me get a shiny one for you.
Craving more explicit details?
~ Long-winded Bio ~