Don't let the archaic graphics created by Bleeding Palm deceive you. There's a well-informed wit behind the work by the group of talented minds that make up the collective. "Our stuff is pretty naive," Ronnie Rivera admits with a laugh, "but we are capable of doing the more professional and commercial stuff too."
Bleeding Palm is a quartet of talented minds bursting with a desire for colorful expression that uses traditional hand-drawn art and computer graphics for their work in everything from gifs to ambitious short films like Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse. Rivera is one of only two members who do not prefer anonymity (the other known Bleeding Palm artist is Christina Felisgrau). They are a noted piece of the young Miami film and art scene, consistently dishing out surprising, delightful nuggets of graphics and animation.
Rivera seems genuinely proud of being part of the scene. "It's coming into its own in a crazy way," he notes. "Like the Borscht Film Festival and like the Miami Filmmakers Collective. They do a really good job with trying to build a community, and the work that's been coming out has been like really great, not just OK, but work that the city can really be proud of, and that's what we want to help push on the animation side."
See also: MasterMind 2013 Finalists: Bleeding Palm
Bleeding Palm was recently named a finalist in the Knight Arts Challenge South Florida. A win could mean the creation of a sanctuary for comparably minded artists to explore animation. Rivera explains, "What we're hoping to do is have the first nonprofit animation studio in Miami that would serve as a place where we create animated work for short films, for feature films, and also create episodic content for web and for TV, and it will also serve as a space for students and aspiring artists and animators to meet and work on projects."
The group might just win a nice chunk of money to help in their dreams to move out from creating work in their bedrooms to a true studio space. Rivera notes that an educational component will be key to this haven for aspiring animators. "It would have equipment available for students, a library, and we'll bring in tools and professional animators to give workshops and help people learn how to create projects," says Rivera about Bleeding Palm's proposed animation studio.
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Earlier this year, Rivera had his kaleidoscopic short documentary covering the International Noise Conference presented at the Miami International Film Festival. As a talented filmmaker in his own right, he says he may offer some mentoring at the studio, but says the opportunity funding from the Knight Foundation will give them to import other talents to Miami. "I have a little bit of experience, but we'll add some bigger names with more experience. I'll definitely be there to help."
The Knight Foundation has invested in crazier projects, from niche interests like dugout canoes and augmented reality experiences. "Yeah, Miami is a weird place," admits Rivera. "It's a little different. It's not like other places. We have our different perspective, and what's great is the work that these people are creating is not what people picture about Miami. It's not that Miami stereotype, which growing up in Miami, you always hope that that view would be different."
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @HansMorgenstern.