Once, when I was working as a lowly cafe attendant in a very rural town, I was directed by my boss to remove a cockroach from the wall with a single tissue, without leaving a mark on the wall itself.
No smashing it with my shoe. No using a glass to capture the beast alive honourably (though the question of cockroach honour remains in doubt). Using a single tissue, with my bare hand, I felt every last one of its legs scurrying as I grabbed its thorax.
In no world did I ever think I would come around to a hairy bug creature.
a frighteningly accurate rendition of my emotional turmoil surrounding this revelation
UX Lead Designer at BetEasy and Digital Media Design graduate from Billy Blue College of Design, Tristan Klein, is the co-creator of an animated series called ‘Rock Bottom’ that placed second at Tropfest.
A series that has achieved the inexplicable. How? By animating a cockroach that I am equal parts repelled by and obsessed with.
“I made this with an old high school friend and we ended up coming up with an idea of this underground, grungy world of bugs and slugs,” he said. “After coming up with a bunch of rough concepts, then we ended up finalising the look of the show we wanted.”
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Touching on style and the creation process, Klein said, “I wanted everything to be quite rough. I don’t have the steadiest hands when I draw so I like it to be a bit rough around the edges.”
And for some reason, this swearing, grubby character has shaken a long-held belief that cockroaches should never, ever, be in my line of sight.
At face value, I want this cockroach to lead a long and enriched life. I want its skeevy little bug friends to invite it to their skeevy little bug parties. I want it to find love.
But in the world of Rock Bottom, I would take that tissue and I would squish it again. And I firmly blame Klein’s animating prowess for this inner conflict.
hammer levels of squish
His advice on how to make it in the world of animation? Persistence.
“I think you need to believe in what you do enough,” he said.
“Coz there’s gonna be tons of people out there who say, ‘nup, it’s a bad idea’ or, ‘nup we’re not gonna do it’. But if you keep pursuing and keep practicing, and getting better and better, you’ll definitely get there.”
Check out the video below for more.