Fruit // Dax Norman + Rafter

Here at the Arcade, we are huge fans of animated music videos, so when we came across this mind-blowing video for Rafter’s “Fruit”, we had to discover the artist behind it all. Dax Norman humbly identifies himself as “an artist, husband and father living in Austin, Texas,” and might just be the coolest dad. Ever. “[I am] driven by the need to create art, I paint and animate every day. I think I am very old school in that sense,” he admits.

The worlds created by Dax’s still and moving images are certainly psychedelic, and are nothing short of magical. As both a painter and animator, he says that the two mediums “used to compete, but now they feed off of each other to grow stronger. When I began learning animation, I considered myself a painter who did animation on the side. My paintings and animations are growing together, in a sense. Sometimes I base a painting off of something I had done in a prior animation, and vice versa.” Dax confesses that he sometimes “finds the real world to be a bit daunting, so I like creating my own worlds where everything makes sense to me, even if no one else can decipher it.”

With Dax’s previous video for Rafter in mind (the equally trippy “Juicy”), he hoped the two clips would be cohesive, even as they each stand on their own. The completely hand-drawn video for “Fruit” contains “many visual transitions, but it is not as transition-heavy,” says Dax. “There is a mustached cowboy wizard that creates two headless dancing lovers out of the palm of his hand, so I wanted to incorporate lots of dancing in the video,” and, as we can also attest, “many other magical things occur as well.”

Look out for Dax’s animated short Peerless, which will be scored by Rafter, as well as his first feature film, Symphony in Sweeatch.

—Annick Mayer