Interview with Rick Canfield

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now? Where can we find you on social media?

I grew up across Texas; between Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Antonio (where I was born), and the U.S./Mexican border town of Del Rio. I often visited family in South Bend, Indiana and frequented New York City where I finished my grad studies. I’m a fusion of roots from across Southern and Northern borders.

Instagram: @thenativecreation
Twitter: @ANativeCreate

What kind of creative work do you do?

The best way to describe my creative work is “media management” which includes managing the development of films, games, and online media publishing (including the business side); The last few years I’ve been writing a couple of screenplays that I’m looking to produce (tv/film). I also dabble in 3D graphics, modeling, VFX, and animation for interactive projects. Yet the bulk of my work has been in videography, photography, and post-production. My art studio background is illustration and mixed media. I like to blur the lines between mediums.

Had you ever been to a Worldcon before?

This was my first, I was only vaguely familiar with the Hugo awards beforehand. The closest thing I’d experienced was the Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio when I used to photograph for the San Antonio Express-News, that’s how I met John Picacio.

Adrian Molina, Rick Canfield, Ana Ramirez, Gonzalo Alvarez, and Grace Chadwick (Photo by Julia Rios)

What did you expect being part of the Initiative would be like? How did your experience compare with that expectation?

I had no idea what the experience would be like, but meeting up with John beforehand helped provide a good sense of possibilities. His goal of increasing inclusivity in the industry was along the lines to what I worked on for my Master’s capstone project (a science-fantasy game design representing Mesoamerican mythology). At first, I was enthralled at the science fiction and fantasy aspects, but as things progressed, it was ever inspiring to see all the various infusions of Mexican lore and mythos represented by all the Mexicanx talent. It felt like meeting a new family.

Tell us about a highlight of your Worldcon experience.

Any experience with George R.R. Martin was a major highlight since I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, it was a privilege sharing banter and experiencing the Losers Party. It was a dream that I didn’t want to wake from.

George R. R. Martin leading the crowd in a cheer at the Hugo Losers Party (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

George R. R. Martin leading the crowd in a cheer at the Hugo Losers Party (Photo by Alberto Chimal)

That’s an easy call, so I’ll share one more; being on a panel with internet gurus Cory Doctorow and Brad Templeton called The Dark Side of the Digital Frontier. The panel came about last minute, the room was packed out the door, and it was my first time moderating. They went deep down the rabbit hole on digital rights and the issues we’re facing as a society due to the addictions of emerging technology.

Marcela Davison Avilés, Adrian Molina, Ana Ramirez, and Julia Rios at the Making of Coco panel (Julia Rios; photo by Kateryna Barnes)

Uno mas; Having the pleasure of seeing the Coco panel with Adrian Molina, Ana Ramirez, and Marcela Davison Aviles while getting a chance to meet them afterward was also a spectacular moment. Just like watching the movie, it was emotional to hear them explain the process because I could relate to the sense of not fully connecting with one’s own culture and rediscovering the vibrant beauty of Mexican heritage, now more than ever. The greatest shared moments were definitely the unexpected ones.

Recommend any or all of the following: a song, a written work, a piece of visual art, and a movie. Tell us why you love them!

I recently finished binge-watching Westworld, it’s an awesome science fiction HBO series in the same vein as Michael Chricton’s other brilliant masterpieces, such as Jurassic Park or The Andromeda Strain. From a screenwriting perspective, the writing is brilliant due to how Jonathan Nolan (MementoThe Prestige) and co-writer Lisa Joy (also his wife) manage to add layers of cerebral twists that add to its complexity. It really makes you think, plus it has a great cast. A fascinating bit of synchronicity; Jonathan Nolan helped my friend produce some documentaries years ago, and that led to the creation of the Caravan of Light camp at Burning Man.

Since returning from Burning Man, I’ve been enjoying my friend’s latin infused electronica set “Lemurian Live @ Caravan Of Light”, reliving the fusion of organic and electric vibes of the Playa, as we drummed along and danced till the sun came up. I’m adding a few of the images I took in between the sandstorms.

A few hours after George R.R. Martin’s Losers Party, I was on a flight to Nevada to help build and film in the desert for a week. It turned into two and a half weeks and then some. The music was a backdrop to the visual art that exists across the desert, scattered like ancient artifacts waiting to be discovered by its willful wanderers. Fascinatingly, the theme this year was “iRobot”, looking at the connections between artificial intelligence and humanity. Similar to the panel discussion that I held at Worldcon, science fiction is becoming more like science fact.

What was the funniest thing that happened during your trip?

Almost got left behind in Redwood City right after John and George’s conversation at the Fox Theater. We thought the coast was clear, but I hadn’t noticed a little paparazzi style mob formed around the van and cut me off to try and reach GRRM, so the driver had to book it. They had to pick me up off the street like a snatch and grab. I thought it was pretty funny.

Where should new people start familiarizing themselves with your work?

I’ll be adding more work to my main website: www.thenativecreation.com

Videography on Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/nativecreation

Photography highlights on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thenativecreation

Pablo Defendini