Category Archives: animation

It’s Official: the Slug has been stolen

Yes, it’s true, I’m sad to say. The Slug was stolen from WonderRoot Gallery on Friday, December 4. According to the staff, they were getting ready to hang for the ASIFA Animation Benefit Show…he was there at 10am, and at 4pm they noticed he was gone. I’m pretty sad, as I wanted him to meet everyone and perhaps do a little PR for me – he was supposed to hang for the duration of the show, the month of December.
I came Friday for the opening night and noticed my Nut piece was hanging, but the Slug wasn’t. I inquired, they said they’d look into it. Several days later, no leads. No slime trails. He’s a slug, right, can’t get that far, which is why he must’ve been slug-napped. Ok, had to throw that in to cheer myself up.
I know it’s not a Boccioni sculpture, or even art in some people’s eyes, but you just shouldn’t steal. On the plus side, it’s motivated me to make more…if people will steal it, maybe some moral people will pay a little money.
So sadly, there will be no slime for Christmas. If you have any leads, please let me know. I had a business card taped to the back, and my name signed as well.

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, atlanta

Nuts! Now in foam

ASIFA Atlanta recently had a call for cartoon/animation inspired art for a benefit show, so I entered the slug and this piece below. It’s from an illustration/branding project I had long ago at Portfolio Center, and I thought instead of just having a vector art printed or even a painting, why not use Fun Foam.

So, I had the bizarre idea to cut this thing out of foam to give it a bit of dimension and compliment its quirkiness. However, there’s much more strategy when working in layers of foam than you’d think (complicated by the limited size of foam sheets). Not to mention, clean cuts are not an easy thing, especially when layering four nut shapes on top of one another.

Anyway, I had a bunch of new sketches from this series I wanted to try out, but alas ran out of time. Enjoy, even if it looks a little flat from this view.

Nuts! Foam, 34″x 18″

Layers of foam

Squirrel detail, 5 layers of foam in some spots

The 3d feel is hard to photograph, can kinda see on an angle.

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, atlanta, Portfolio Center, Squirrels

Brush in hand

I’ve been wanting to paint lately, but I feel a twang of guilt each time I get close to the canvas.

The fact that I have downtime is new to me. I’m not used to having this time for creative exploration, and since I don’t know how long it will last, I want to use it wisely. Or it may go on forever.

So, should I be spending this time learning new skills or refining current ones? By these, I mean sitting in front of a screen. This fall, I got a really nasty note from a big client regarding my programming skills for a Flash project. I never promised to have any, but alas I was called “uncommitted” among other things. I was urged to learn Action Script until my mind exploded. That, with my creativity, would get me writing tickets anywhere (stated as a compliment). I never set out to be a coding master, but no one wants just a creative – at least when it comes to bottom level Interactive (i.e., recent grads trying to get the most basic of jobs).

When I was in the Interactive program at PC, we were constantly told to focus on the concept, design, functionality, usability, etc…find the limitations and benefits of technology, but someone else will handle what goes on behind the curtain. Well, right now people want both, and it’s a big game of catch up.  So, when it comes to sitting in front of a canvas or a screen, I hear that angry voice yelling “YOU ARE UNCOMMITTED!” and it’s back to sleepy AS3 tutorials….with my creative energy scratching at the back of my brain, ever so distracting.

For me, a painting is a big commitment. I can spend weeks, months on one. I’ve already spent hours sketching and digitally composing. I want to take a projector and sketch my work on the canvas, for the sake of time, but I feel guilty doing that as well. Am I not missing out on beautiful mistakes that could take me in a new direction? Both art and design are about exploration, and my end is not concrete (the beauty of personal work). Yet technology fuels faster production. which can lead to more time spent on other things – like mastering dreaded AS3.

The ideal is a balance between the two, where upon I just might find myself stressed about both and tinkering with After Effects projects instead.

 

Last painting, completed fall ’06 before I started Portfolio Center. Oil on Canvas, 30×40 (no black bars)

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, atlanta, design, flash, interactive, Portfolio Center, portfoliocenter

Morning

The sun will be coming up soon.  Seems like that was happening just a few hours ago when I left for work.  But I’ve long since returned, and have been spending my hours making a chicken fall from the sky.  Seriously.  Maybe someday I’ll show you.

edit-v_insanity

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, design, Portfolio Center

Familiar motto

I managed to go 3 weeks without a trip to Starbucks. Alas, week 3 of my 6th quarter has gotten me reacquainted with the friendly baristas at my local ‘bucks…
Anyway, thought this ad epitomized PC philosophy at its best.

Leave a comment

Filed under animation

I hate the wall.

Here’s a little clip of “the wall” I made last quarter…

I hate hanging the wall. Of all the things at Portfolio Center, this is the most dreadful, horrible activity. I’d rather complete another cut paper poster in 21 shades of gray while having teeth pulled. I’m not sure why I hate it so much, but I dread that first weekend of each quarter. Is it the chaos? Uncertainty of escape? Team activities gone bad? Disorganized mess everywhere?

To those outside of PC, “hanging the wall” refers to putting up all the selected student work from the previous quarter. It’s a big exhibition of what the PC elite think are the best pieces and it changes every quarter. Students are broken down into teams for certain areas and put up everything and build boxes, shelves and everything else required. The madness beings with a tear down crew at 7, and continues into infinity. Once your group finished, you are encouraged to help out others…though it is very tempting to sneak away and enjoy the afternoon. Otherwise, you might not see daylight for a long time. Sadly, there isn’t yet a digital wall (website gallery), so animation/web projects never see an outside audience (like mine). Boo, hiss.

It’s also a good time to get a true critique on your work. Your work may be chosen, and people around you might not see your name tag on it (which has likely fallen off anyway by now), and thus give their true verbal feelings on it. It’s a skin toughener, well, for me anyway. My five quarters seems to produce “mediocre” results, but better to hear it now from students then next year from potential employers.

I have so much I need to learn and accomplish this year to get anywhere, it’s exhausting.

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, atlanta, design, pig, Portfolio Center

Nutty exercise with After Effects

Motion II class, week 1 – given the chance to do a refresher clip and run with it.  Anyway, I played with 3D, lighting, and the puppet tool for the first time…and of course, squirrels too…

1 Comment

Filed under animation, design, Portfolio Center

January brings a 5th quarter

leftovers.jpg

The new quarter started and the holidays seemed long forgotten, but leftover kharcho and hachipurri are nice to have around when the cold emptiness of this time of year can settle in. Well, not cold, it’s been around 70 here lately (though we had a few days in the 30s last week).

It’s always a bit hard to start back in after several weeks off – it takes a while after critique week to adjust to sleeping normally and not having constant pressure applied – I seriously felt like I was suffering Moscow jet lag the first week, falling asleep at 11pm and waking at 4am. Now I’m getting used to a schedule of night classes, which is very weird as I am alone most of the daytime hours. I do have a class and a seminar 2 mornings a week, but 4 nights I’m in class (taking extra this quarter). So, motivating myself in the quietness, especially in the morning, is quite difficult. I’m not very inspiried in the morning…I become active at night, and feel most productive then, but now that time is spent in partially class, and when I come home, some of that spent with Pig before he goes to barn.

My instructors do seem surprisingly enthusiastic this quarter, perhaps a more advanced level is more exciting to them. Last quarter I was worried that the Media Architecture was loosing steam, but I sense a lot more spirit this quarter and that this really might just go somewhere. I am dreading the more technical aspects of Actionscript 3.0, but alas I wanted to learn that for Flash II. Motion II should also be enjoyable if our school gets up to date on its software. I must say that After Effects is the most enjoyable program I’ve learned while at PC, and I’m am very excited about the combination of this program’s capabilities and my imagination. I also have Design Experience, which is more theory than technical – something I haven’t had yet for my MA experience, and felt was lacking last quarter…I’m looking forward to see where this is going, and meanwhile I’ll be posting some of my assignments here for class.

I also have a logos class taught by Stefan Kjartansson of Armchair Media. When I got my schedule I wasn’t excited about another logos class, but Stefan’s reputation quickly spread that this wasn’t a class to be dropped. I was so relieved that the first class wasn’t draw-100-logos-and-then-I’ll-tell-you-what-sucks-and-have-you-draw-another-100. If we end up doing that later I won’t mind, but I just needed a break from that formula from day one. It’s such a breath of fresh air to get a little insight on what makes a logo work, playing first with shapes, and taking a different approach to logo related exercises – all from a different, professional perspective. And I was glad to see that Stefan seemed like a fun quirky guy, as I feared that an ego might accompany his prestigious reputation. Anyway, I’ll be posting some of those assignments here too.

I am nervous about PC staple, Message and Content, as I feel the foundation I set for my projects in these early weeks will really set the tone for the rest of the quarter. Mapping a journey and/or narrative – it sounds wonderfully interesting, but I feel a little lost as to where to start! I love maps, collect them often, and am obsessed with journeys…So, I suppose I feel some pressure to get this right…

So while the pressure of a heavy workload hasn’t built yet, I feel much in choosing the right start for my projects. It’s ideas and steps that will determine if these projects are worthy of being reworked, improved and put into my portfolio. After this, only two more quarters of real classes…I really need to start putting out some decent work…

1 Comment

Filed under animation, design, flash, Portfolio Center, travel

Mighty Belka

picture-3.png

While I’m at it, just thought I’d say Mighty Belka is up and running. This was my online portfolio created for my Flash class this past quarter. The critique panel didn’t like it as a design piece…oh well, I see their point. I was trying to learn all that I could about Flash in 2 1/2 months, so this is what I came up with some negligence to proper design form.

This was my first time dealing with animation, timelines, actionscript and a webpage – a lot to cover, and still so much more I need to learn. The panel suggested I turn it into a game and create a portfolio site more inline with my design style (whatever that is)…well, I have some ideas for a new layout, but we’ll see when I get there. And the design samples in my design portfolio are just placeholder anyway, from 2nd quarter that I’ll be replacing soon with more recent and hopefully better stuff.

Anyway, enjoy before I take it down…

Leave a comment

Filed under animation, design, portfoliocenter, Squirrels