Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stuck in my head.

I can't tell you how many times I've watched these videos. They play constantly in my head and invade my thoughts. At least they're all rather lovely.

The Reason I Collect

This makes me wish for warmer weather and flea market advetures.

Rock. Paper. Scissors.

I hope that after I graduate, and pay back enough loans to move into a fairly decent home, that I have a spare room, with bookshelves filled with magazines and yellowed novels and stocked with rubber cement. Besides animation, I love creating collages. I actually see the two as very similar. For my stop motion and pixilation animations, I scour flea markets and thrift shops and eBay and basements for the best treasures. I find that older objects speak to me more so, possibly because if they're older, they must have more character. I use these objects to tell a story, often related to my daydreams. Collage is the same for me. I love looking through my stacks of magazines and finding pieces that fit together and tell a story. I usually don't know what that story is until I finish the puzzle. I love including text, especially when I start with text and look for images that fit what I have imagined. And sometimes, I create cut-out animation, because I decided that a static collage wasn't enough for my story.

I'm forever looking at collage artists for some more inspiration. One of my favorites, whom I discovered a couple summers ago, is Aprile Elcich, who also runs Not Paper, a blog in which she features the work of other collage artists. I love that I can recognize many of the images Aprile uses from magazines that I also have sitting on my shelves. Some of the images have even made their way into my sketchbooks or cut out animations, so it's rather interesting to see the same image used in different ways. My favorite collection (for right now) of Aprile's is Oh Sweet Woods, in which she uses the last line or so of a page, and goes from there. That little snippet only leaves you wanting more.

(You can find more of Aprile's work on her Flickr and on sale in her Etsy shop.)

Last year, I was required in my drawing class to complete x-number of figure drawings, personal drawings, and collages in my sketchbook per week. Being required to collage allowed me more time to work in this medium; otherwise, my attention would be focused on finishing my real assignments. My little Moleskine sketchbook expanded by over an inch, and in just over 3 weeks, I had filled the entire thing up. It was almost entirely collages, and the rubber cement could be smelled even when it was being lugged around inside my purse. I wish that I had more time to collage this year. My sketchbook has been filling up with storyboard sketches and scribbles about ideas instead of layers of paper and little stories. I hope that after midterms, I have a more consistent schedule and can find time to collage on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lost Things

I found this earlier today, and didn't get around to posting it. But I guess I better, as it keeps invading my thoughts. I wanted one of the endings to my animation to be shot looking at the ground, a la Her Morning Elegance and the Amazon Kindle commercial. I had been thinking about possibilities and looking through all my flea market treasures and many idea books and sketchbooks. However, a lot of my previous ideas, even from sketchbooks I kept in the summer...were already done in this beautiful video Lost Things directed by Angela Kohler (who also did the Kindle commercial). It's a little heartbreaking when some of my most inspiring ideas, involving skeleton keys and tea cups and other items I've collected, have been done. But at the same time, it creates a new challenge for me to do it better, or in a new way. So, my version may or may not involve an old horse shoe that's been collecting dust and luck, some fairy lights that always cheer me up, and a needle and thread. We'll see how it goes.

And of course I couldn't leave without sharing with you some screencaps. It was difficult for me to not take screenshots of the whole video, so make sure you watch it!

Ps. I may grumble about the snow an awful lot, but this Cleveland blizzard looks much prettier when viewed through the window of a lovely little cafe that bakes the tastiest raspberry linzers I have ever experienced.

Fun Facts :)

I've been pretty busy, as usual, and I can't wait until next week (midterms) is over! Then I'll be going home to Detroit for spring break, and having lots of fun with Mia. But more about our plans later. For now, I thought I'd share a few things you may not have known about me, inspired by Elsie's blog post.

I don't believe in inanimate objects. By that, I mean that I don't think objects should be inanimate. I believe that they could very easily tell a story and should tell that story. Which is why I love creating stop motion animations. 
I have mad hula hoop skills. At least I like to think so.
I build really awesome forts. And sometimes break bookshelves in the process. Totally worth it.
My first childhood ambition (when I was about 3 years old) was to grow up to have red hair and a tail and sit on rocks singing all day and get married on a boat. My mom informed me that being the little mermaid wasn't really an option, so I decided to be an artist. Now I study Ariel in a whole new way. The special effects animators from that movie are my heroes. And I have Little Mermaid sheets on my bed hidden by my comforter.
I could live off of breakfast, brunch, & brinner. Toast is one of my favorite snacks. French toast is even better. Plus, I have the ability to scramble eggs for 40 people. I just tell people it's because I come from a large family. It's a lot easier than explaining how I really learned.
For our one month anniversary, my boyfriend went to Toys R Us and bought me a pink Tamogatchi. That was 4 and a half years ago. It's still attached to my keys.
I don't believe in growing up. Not completely. Not in the way that most of our society does. I plan on building forts as long as I can still get up from crawling on the ground, and watching Disney movies until the day I die, and dressing up like a princess whenever I have nothing else to wear.
I bought my first antique when I was 5 years old. My next door neighbor had passed away and his daughters were selling some of his belongings, including a Fisher Price circus set. I paid $7. Today, a complete set runs for about $400 on eBay. I think it would be lovely for an animation.
One of my favorite tv shows is iCarly. Don't judge. It's amazing.
I don't own Microsoft Word. I own a 1949 Smith Corona Silent I got for $15 at a garage sale. It will be in my upcoming animation.

Back to work, of course! Goals for today: finish the animation portion of my website (that's huge!) and officially storyboard/plan out alternate endings to my animation. Oh, and interview a few more lucky folks for my documentary.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tick. Tock.

There are only two times when I like clocks. One, when watching Pinnochio. That clock scene is probably one of my top 10 Disney animated scenes. (And that owl clock is just too adorable!)

And two, pretty pictures of pretty cuckoo clocks. They're fun to look at. And fun when you see the bird pop out the first time. I've even considered collecting them. But if I did that, I'd never be able to turn them on! This is a little ridiculous, but I HATE the sound of clocks ticking. I always have to know what time it is, but I don't like to hear every second pass. It massively stresses me out and makes me feel like I'm running out of time. (For what? I don't know.) 

I had a clock last semester that kept ticking, and it made it nearly impossible for me to fall asleep. So...I took it apart, added some felt inside the plastic cover to insulate the sound, and slept much better. Unfortunately, one of the pieces fell a bit out of place and ended up slowing the clock down. So I was back to square one, not knowing what time it was.

I wish that was the case today. So far, I wasn't ready for the first bus I was going to catch, I just missed the second one (after walking a mile to the bus stop). And the third one never came. By that point (all before lunch time!) I was pretty frustrated. So I worked on making my website while watching some CSI. I figure, I'll stay up late and make up for wasting time earlier.

Maybe tomorrow I'll make it to Target to get groceries. For now, I'm heading over to Case's library for a dvd on Svankmajer.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Curiouser & Curiouser

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I never actually saw Disney's Alice in Wonderland with the lovely Katherine Beaumont until this past summer. I made it through being a flower in our third grade rendition, and watching my eighth grade class put on a musical version. It was one of the {very} few Disney movies we didn't own on vhs. But I guess I spent too much time daydreaming to actually go and rent it. When I finally watched it, I fell in love. The animation (go figure) is amazing. And the story, though I had heard it a hundred times before, completely fascinated me. I felt as if I had lived so much of my life daydreaming about some place a little more like Wonderland and a little less like Detroit, that I didn't even realize how often my head gets stuck in the clouds. But now that I'm going to art school and making things like animations, it really helps. It's rather nifty to get ideas almost instantly, just by hanging upside down for a minute or two or lying in the grass just for a short moment.  My mind wanders, and I get ideas.

Yesterday, I was frustrated because the animation that I had spent so much time, storyboarding possibilities and such, had stumped me. I was stuck. I had a million fragments of ideas and I couldn't decide just which direction to go in. And this time, with midterms next week, I didn't really have time to lie upside down or do cartwheels for half an hour. So my teacher suggested I look at a series of photographs by Anna Gaskell, based on the story of Alice. He had a sneaky feeling that her ideas might help me out. So for today, I'm revisiting Wonderland (and looking for Anna Gaskell's book in the library, of course).

One of my favorite magazine spreads ever!

And of course I'm super excited for this! I can't tell you how many times I've already watched the trailer. I've had a countdown in my phone since May! Only 8 more days! It's the perfect kick off to my spring break...Mia and I are going to go see it together!

Next to do: hunt down a copy of Casablanca, another suggestion to inspire my animation project.