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Up Close and Personal with Marcus Conge

Some folks enjoy meeting the people behind the scenes of Ambrosia, some are curious about what goes into a new program, and some are just plain nosy. So each issue of The Ambrosia Times we will interview a member of the Ambrosia family.

Ambrosia Times - Please state your name and occupation for the record.

Marcus Conge - Digital Manipulator ie: Computer Artist, Designer, and Animator.

AT - Could you give us a little background about yourself and how you got where you are today?

MC - Lego . . . Well, what I mean is . . . that's what started this whole ball of wax. Legos(TM) (the building blocks) was a childhood fascination of mine up until I was 15 or so (I still build things with them), the idea of creating was far more interesting to me than watching TV. From there on out, I started drawing and painting from preschool through college. While in college (1984), I discovered the Macintosh Plus and the rest is history.

AT - I understand that you weren't originally a digital manipulator. What did you do before this?

MC - Eight years of college. I spent four years as student of commercial photography and 2 years in the field working with professionals. It turned out not to be my gig. So I went back to college and studied Industrial Design for four years at R.I.T, where I was introduced to model making and eventually CAD software. Which then led to my current interest in computer model making and design.

AT - Are there other artists in your family?

MC - Yes, my Father (Robert Conge). He is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer.

AT - Do you see yourself following in his footsteps?

MC - In the technical sense, no. My father wishes to have nothing to do with computers. His creative process involves direct contact with his media of choice, the all mighty pencil. My father's view on the computer issue is that computers don't convey the expression he is capable of with a pencil. Texture . . . you can not just see but feel texture on a piece of paper, I'm talking about very subtle texture, feel that on a computer. I can respect that! In spirit, yes. I hope to achieve his status and go beyond.

AT - How do you like working as a freelance artist for Ambrosia?

MC - I couldn't ask for a better client. Andrew is a strong communicator when it comes to the creative process, Andrew thoroughly critiques my work throughout any given job. You (Cajun) tell some pretty good jokes whenever I stop by, too bad you can't play Marathon that well. Gayle is always cool to me because she writes the checks! But Hector, I can't believe the profanity that bird picked up, and I guess I'll never figure out how Hector took a dump in the left earphone of my Walkman. In general, I receive great treatment and get taken along for rides in the Hummer when I'm a good dog.

AT - What did you like most about working on Barrack?

MC - For the most part, working with Greg and Andrew. Greg and Andrew were very responsive, if they liked something, art wise, they told me why. If either of them didn't like something about the art, they told me why. Telling WHY something doesn't work is far better than telling me that it sucks without a reason.

AT - What other endeavors do you pursue in the art field?

MC - Computer graphics, sketching, photography (digital of course), writing, music composition (guitar) and drawing simple pictures in the snow without any hands.

AT - Could you explain "25 toes?" Is it a birth defect?

MC - My cat (Nike), has 25 toes, Nike has an arsenal for feet if anything! No, I'm not going to give him his own web page. However, I will e-mail pictures of his feet to interested parties with an acute cat foot fetish.

AT - What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?

MC - Marathon (network play), rollerblading, guitar, reading (novels), writing, collecting comics, travel and anything I haven't tried before. Also, I travel to small hotels and steal the creamers from the lobby for use in a project that I'm keeping secret from the world.

AT - Is it true that you still use crayons in the creative process?

MC - Yes on occasion, if it applies to the job I'm doing! I'll then scan in the finished sketch and work on it in PhotoShop from that point. Funny, a box of Crayola(TM) crayons is almost a dead ringer for the Macintosh 265 color system palette (except for the silver and gold crayon colors).

AT - You've been commissioned to work on Bubble Trouble. What kind of plans do you have for the game?

MC - I try to not stick myself with a particular style. Cartoon is the best way to describe the approach being taken for this way cool game. Beside the style, lots of animation? Wait and you shall see . . .

AT - Since most artists are starving artists, do you have a regular "day job?"

MC - Yes, I work for a computer reseller as a demogod. I work with High-end Macintoshes and Silicon Graphics computers. I am a demogod for animation, video editing and desktop publishing software solutions.

Demogod \'dem-(,)o-'god\: 1: an individual that is well versed in displaying the capabilities of a complex software program. This individual provides installation, training and technical support to the newbie or how-to manual missing disadvantaged.

NOTE: The only artists that are starving are: the painters (they only become rich when they have passed on) and the artists that sit in a coffee houses 24 hours a day long 7 days a week whining about other artists work and the problems of the world (in other words: that kind of artist that talks about doing something and does nothing about it).

AT - Is it true you still watch Sesame Street?

MC - Really though . . . think about this. Sesame Street has taught those who have watched it growing up, that in order to learn something, there should be entertainment value behind it. Look at the new Sesame Street, MTV. Yes, I watch MTV on occasion, and I watched Sesame Street as a child.

AT - Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

MC - If you have friends that use PCs, convert them. Show them the beauty of working on the Mac platform and how elegant and easy on the brain the interface is. Show them that true plug-and-play still does not exist with Windows95 or NT. Tell them about the Common Hardware Reference Platform (CHRP) and that the conversion process will be a painless one. Pentiums are still CISC, a dead technology. Tell them until there are no more PCs left. Tell them they can't play Ambrosia games on a PC.

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