Different worlds collide in an abstract melting pot in Tim Romanowsky’s Nodon

The Leipzig-based animator, painter and illustrator beautifully intertwines three worlds together in this six-and-a-half minute animated short.

7 June 2021


Last year, we were lucky enough to delve into the practice of Tim Romanowsky, one that traverses paintings, animations, zines and drawings through a beautifully emotive and calm practice using abstract textured shapes. Tim also gave us a peek into his new animated short, Nodon, which is now finished and sees Tim eloquently intertwine multiple worlds together.

This was his first intention when working on Nodon, creating a simple story which explores these worlds and how they affect one another. In a sense, Nodon can be seen as a predecessor to Tim’s former film Bowob which similarly investigates the topic of “stepping and exploring other worlds”. In Nodon however, Tim indicates the collapse and fusion of different thoughts or worlds, and the emotional effect of this, as expressed through line and colour, playfully darting from one composition to another.

Since April 2020 (when we first featured Tim) it goes without saying that a lot has changed in the world. For Tim specifically, he has “sneaked into the world of digital drawing,” he tells us. “It’s a great experience to translate my paintings with digital tools in a screen-based artwork,” he adds. The new workflow has, in turn, allowed his creative process to gain momentum. New inspirations have come to light and in a fascinating flitting between the digital and analogue, Tim also travels back and forth between two worlds.

Devising a strong colour palette to indicate separate chapters in the short, the distinctive palettes are the main carrier of Nodon’s cryptic story. Many different worlds are expressed through the chapters, interacting with one another until they merge to form something entirely new at the end. “I try to avoid too much storytelling and keep the interpretation as open and abstract as possible,” he says. “It’s a balance between abstract pictures and a simple narration. The film is not about the characters but more about the worlds they represent.”


Tim Romanowsky: Nodon (Copyright © Tim Romanowsky, 2021)

The creative process started out with a comic. Through this, he generated an amalgamation of shapes and ideas that then formed a rough storyboard. Asking himself how he would introduce characters or “figures” into the animation, he went back and forth between the abstract and figurative, eventually landing on a style which seamlessly melts together to suit the tranquil, smoothness of Tim’s work. Collaborating with the sound composer Julian Scherle in a “milestone” connection, the two worked together to create a soothing environment that fits Tim’s visuals and the pace of the animated short.

Finding the right balance is key to Tim’s practice. Whether it’s the balance between analogue and digital, or animation and illustration, it’s clear that we’re seeing a shift in the multi-disciplinarian’s work – a “symbiosis” of sorts. When it comes to the latter, for now, it feels good for Tim to be switching between moving and still images. He’s started to see more and more similarities between the two, cross-referencing the mediums through drawing and painting to “create something new out of this cosmos.” Animation, is an extension of this (an extension that albeit takes a lot more time). Working physically, with painterly brushes, feels good to Tim as the results are immediate, and in a co-dependent relationship between the physical and digital, he works intuitively to achieve the best results possible. “Both need a lot of patience and for me, it is never worth rushing a process,” he says.

Currently, Tim is enjoying working on more paintings, and an animated music short which he's doubly excited about. “I was always looking for a good opportunity to bring my animations into another context and I’m curious to see how it’s going to work.”

GalleryTim Romanowsky: Nodon (Copyright © Tim Romanowsky, 2021)

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Tim Romanowsky: Nodon (Copyright © Tim Romanowsky, 2021)

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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