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Harmonix Artist Aaron Demuth Speaks!

Aaron Demuth grew up drawing skulls while riding a skateboard in Syracuse, NY. Aaron’s parents are both full-time artists and they exposed Aaron to a ton of music, artwork, and artists at a young age, giving him the pedigree and skillset needed for pursing his own career in art. He headed off to Providence to attend the Rhode Island School of Design after high school where he met Harmonix Art Director Ryan Lesser who was one of his animation professors. After graduating, Aaron did the dreaded “move back home with your parents” routine but had his eyes set on the Harmonix office in Cambridge. Aaron reached out to Ryan and scored an internship doing lip sync on Karaoke Revolution. For over five years, Aaron has been a full-time Harmonix artist working on lighting for Rock Band, Rock Band 2, and Rock Band 3.

We sat down with Aaron to look at some of his lighting work for the Rock Band games, see the album artwork he makes for his band Libyans, and see some of his unique paintings and drawings.

Rock Band

Lighting venues for Rock Band is a straightforward assignment with a huge array of possibilities at your fingertips. Here are three examples of huge to small venues and some of the range of color washes that Aaron and the lighting team have developed.

Rock Band 3 screenshot


Rock Band 3 screenshot


Rock Band 3 screenshot


Libyans

In addition to lighting and drawing Aaron can be seen with an array of awesome film & Polaroid cameras with him in tow. Most of the photos used in the album art for Libyans are shot by Aaron on an analog camera. The shot of a young falcon chilling on the side of the road after it was hit by an SUV was photographed by Aaron using a Polaroid Big Shot camera. The young bird survived, damaged the SUV in the process and became the cover of A Common Place.

A Common Place 12 inch


"Paralyzed/Keep Waiting" 7 inch


Libyans lyrics - hand-written spiral on gesso'd cardboard


Lyrics with band photo overlaid


Drawings

Aaron’s drawings continue to evolve from black and white comics to the current more colorful dada-esque collages that loosely incorporate animation and film techniques. Some of the characters are painted on transparencies below and are positioned over Polaroid pictures, old wall paper, paintings and more.






Aaron makes a conscious effort to work in each medium (lighting for Rock Band Games, album art, and personal body of work) without overlapping techniques or content. There are connections between each that may not be immediately obvious. Aaron admits that working on lighting for Rock Band has helped his understanding of color and light. His black and white drawings have evolved into more painterly illustrations. The overlays and transparency of working in lighting seems to influence the album art he creates for Libyans too. Lighting for Rock Band, drawings and album art are each set apart with distinct approaches that continue evolving together.

To see more of Aaron’s work, check out his blog at assortedcats.blogspot.com, and to hear Libyans music, visit the Libyans MySpace page.