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The Lost Continent is a real treasure of a blog and has introduced me to lots of great British animation over the past few months, some of which I should have already known about. One such film is Long Drawn-Out Trip: Sketches from Los Angeles by Gerald Scarfe. The eighteen-minute film was shown on TV only once in its entirety and that occurred 1973 on the BBC. It has a stream-of-conscious flavor as evidenced by this tantalizing four-minute clip.
The film’s lack of distribution is largely due to the fact that Scarfe didn’t obtain clearances to the music he used, which included everything from Jimi Hendrix to Neil Diamond. (Shades of Nina Paley’s problems with Sita Sings the Blues). It’s unlikely he would have ever been able to make the film either had he pursued legitimate channels. Try asking Disney for permission to use “When You Wish upon a Star” when your film has an extended sequence of Mickey smoking a spliff.
Well the BBC in London sent me to Los Angeles, to work on what they thought was a new animation system. It was something called the de joux (ju) system which is spelled dejoux. That was a system started by a Frenchman which was supposed to make animation an easier experience. When I got there I found that it wasn’t a computerized system at all. It was just a system whereby between shall we say frame a and frame e, it kind of mixed through b, c, d, into e. It kind of dissolved from one picture to another. So if one drew a picture it would then dissolve through, or mix through, to the next picture.
Where as in animation you have to kind of do a series of drawings in between to complete the movement. But it wasn’t a very successful system in that way. But since I was in Los Angeles, I decided to make the best of it, and I did a kind of stream of consciousness drawing everything I could think of about America at that time. Like, the Statue of Liberty, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Black Power, Mickey Mouse, Coca Cola, Playboy Magazine, sort of a million images all melting one into the other. I was supposed to be there for 10 days, but I stayed for about 6 or 7 weeks. Hence the title, Long Drawn Out Trip. And it was also a kind of a trip, cause it was very much the drug era. And it was a kind of a hallucinatory trip too.
The entire film doesn’t appear to be online, but there are plenty of frame grabs available on the Lost Continent blog.
When I saw the topic, the first thing that popped into my mind was See No Evil, Speak no Evil, Hear No Evil. Rather than doing the typical illo of Monkeys sitting in a row, I decided to have them in a little jungle scene. Revamped a monkey illustration I did for a friend's baby announcement card a while ago.
I have 3 different styles which is really just one style in 3 different mediums since my characters seem to look the same. I started out my illustration career with digital and clay work and then introduce found objects. Out of the 3 I really love doing my found object pieces because it's totally away from the computer. I like my digital work for quickturn arounds or pieces with a lot of detail. Clay is the most time consuming for me because of kneading the clay, sculpting, baking, cooling and then painting. I'm very thankful for heat guns when it comes to painting :)
I will be a participant in this week's DNA Lit Fest. Please click that thing for more information. Also participating are Uri Shulevitz, Brian Selznick, Kate Klise, Patricia Polacco, and Judy Sierra, so give me a break, just go already.
If you don't want me coming and messing up your city now's the time to say something.
I won't bother trying to describe how hard it is to lose a dog like Darla. Let it suffice to say that she was one of those dogs that people loved, even people who think of themselves as not-the-dog-loving-type. The fact that she was a pit bull, that most maligned of breeds and could still enchant even the most dog phobic among our friends, speaks volumes about her charm and sweetness of character.
From the moment we spotted her twelve years ago on a cold and rainy night in Brooklyn, clicking down the middle of Court Street, she had us. Or perhaps I should say she had me. Randall and I were with four friends and had just left a movie theater where we saw Sheakespeare in Love. As we all climbed into our beat up station wagon we spotted her coming down the middle of the street, skeletal, soaked, without a collar and clearly lost; her enlarged teats told us she was also a mother separated from her pups. For some reason, I'll never know why, I immediately jumped out of the car and followed her, Randall calling after me. I trotted slowly down the street alongside her until gently cornering her in a doorway. In retrospect, cornering a starving pit bull was probably not the cleverest thing I could have done, but somehow I got her to trust me. She was shy and tentative but made no objection as I picked her up and carried her back to our wagon.
The plan, or so I convinced Randall, was to bring her home for JUST ONE NIGHT, until we could place her with a family who could actually take in a dog. We already had three cats, so it was OBVIOUS that it wouldn't be us. My friends were all sitting in the car when I closed the back hatch, and I must admit that I did picture for an instant the kind of scene you might see in a movie like Cujo- the car rocking back and forth with screams and windows splashed with blood. As it turned out,for all those years we had her in our family, she never once demonstrated anything approaching ferocity and was an eager friend to any child, man or cat that she met. She was armed to the teeth, so to speak, but just didn't know it.
Darla was a walking cartoon and my four legged muse. I have used her in many of my drawings and if I hadn't seen her with m
Everyone loves a good battle. But nobody makes a good battle as cute as Scott Campbell does! Scott has made a number of “showdown” painting collections in recent years, like 80s movies or Lost, and now he’s collected them in one fantastic Tumblr site, Great Showdowns. Click now!
Galileo, the father of astronomy said, "You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him discover it within himself." And that is really what a good teacher can do. He can open up whole new universes within you.
If you can find a teacher like that, you hang on his every word like its pure gold. I have been lucky enough to find that kind of inspiring teacher in Marshall Vandruff. Having took many of his seminars and courses, he has unlocked the secrets of creativity and illustration for me many times.
He likes to use the metaphor of passing on fire to his students. He give them fire to light their fuel and some burn slowly and softly while other are lit and explode like rocket fuel. Each student is unique and will burn differently.
I'm not sure what kind of fuel I'm burning, but he has definitely lit a fire in me. He helps me to discover new realms and to decode what was gibberish. Here are a few amazing things he recently revealed to me. He said there are 3 things that are the secrets of creativity:
1-Find how things are similar using metaphor. For example: A little boy is a monkey. Apartments are filing cabinets for people. Fireworks are dandelions.
2-Find things that are different using opposites. For example: The smoothness of a woman's skin placed next to the scaliness of an alligator. The chaos of a crowd placed next to the order of columns on a Greek building. The bright colors of a rainbow hoovering over a dark and shadowed valley.
3-The more creativity feels like recess, the more likely you will do it well. For example, if you want to create detailed paintings that are as real as your own flesh, but you cannot sit still for a minute, it will seem like torture for you to create this kind of slow and carefully rendered art. If you find a way to create to fit your jumpy, quick nature, you will love, do it all the time, and eventually become great at it.
If you'd like to know more about Marshall Vandruff and perhaps take his inspiring and informative art & illustration courses, click on this link. You won't be disappointed.
Lausbuben aus der Zwergenwelt (Little Rascals from the Dwarfs World) in Lausige Zeiten (Lousy Times) is a fractured fairy tale from the mind and pen of Olaf Albers. Created during the winter semester at Fachhochschule Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Albers says, “The protagonists are two young dwarfs named Heinrich and Hannes who have nothing but nonsense on their mind and do not care about any socially rooted restrictions. Following their hedonistic way of life they nearly terrorize the other peace and harmony seeking creatures of the woodlands.”
Translation Wolf: “Oh, how nice! A warm summers rain!”
Translation children: “You have saved us -we grant you every wish!”
Cartoonist Ira Marcks recently collaborated with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick to produce this experimental illustration/animation project.
It’s not really animation, but a single sliding illustration. The entire thing clocks in at an impressive 45 minutes. It is neither animation nor traditional comics, but somewhere in between. As it works to accompany the music, Ira has coined the term Illustrative Score.
Toronto pixel artist Superbrothers has once again teamed up with musician Jim Guthrie, this time for an epic upcoming animated iPhone game called Sword and Sworcery.
It’s still unreleased, so we will all have to wait impatiently until we can get our hands on it.
Not five minutes after posting this, I came upon a link to Less Talk, More Rock, a fantastic visual essay by Superbrothers on the language of video games. More than this, it is a look at how to improve any creative process or method of storytelling — stop talking, start rocking. (via Tony Cliff on Twitter)
I apologize for that last post, leaving you with The Hustle bounding around in your head (if you were foolish and clicked on the youtube link). What was I thinking.
Well, I'll tell you. I had this silly image in mind to draw. Yes, that's right. THIS.
I had my cupcake reference shot, then on a whim starting playing with the images in photoshop. I think it was the "twirl" distort filter that tweaked the chocolate one first, and I thought "Oh! It looks like its dancing!!" and thought that was pretty cool, so tweaked a vanilla one to go with it, and made a pair of dancing cupcakes. I immediately thought of The Hustle song and The Bump (am I dating myself, just a little?) and couldn't stop laughing. Cupcakes doing the Bump. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I'll spare you the mock-up with the party streamers and disco colored lighting effects.
Actually, it would make a really good greeting card. And when I came to my senses and realized that - and that it would not make a particularly good 'serious' colored pencil effort, I regrouped.
But because I was still in awe of the Photoshop filters, I kept playing.
"Invert" gives you the negative image of something. Ooooooooooooh, cool.
The chocolate one looks like this ~
Then I got really wacky and decided to do a mosaic, with both positive and negative images cobbled together.
I also did another very "Warhol-esque" one with lined up images that were posterized and in different colors, etc., very like his repetitive silk screened portraits.
OK, so it was all fun, and a really good, if time-consuming, exercise. What I realized what that even though I had this idea that I wanted to do a piece of art with a cupcake, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't want to just render it. Anyone can do that. What if I did it REALLY REALLY BIG. OK, but its been done, I'm sure. Then, in the end, if you reduce down the image for print, it loses all its impact anyway.
I could have rendered up the Warhol-y one, but realized it would just be about rendered Photoshop filtered photos, and where's the "art" in
Announced today in Sweden and broadcast live at the Bologna Book Fair, Kitty Crowther is the recipient of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial award. Click here to read the press release and click here to see our photos from the announcement. PaperTigers was a nominating body for this year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial award, the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature, so were definitely looking forward to the award announcement. We got to the seating area early and it turned out that we were sitting right next to Kitty! It was most exciting to see her reaction when her name was announced. Definitely one of our highlights from the fair!
(Courage the Cowardly Dog, Dirdy Birdy) is always an occasion for a post. Rinky Dink combines drawn animation with stop motion and photo cut-outs. It has the trademark Dilworthian oddness, more than a few giggles, and a cute (if common) message. The film can be viewed on his website StretchFilms.com. (Click on the little yellow creature on the upper left of the site.)
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I can't believe it's been a whole year since the last Ada Lovelace Day. Phil Hilliker reminded me this morning, so I've decided to rerun my post from last year.
As Cory Doctorow puts it, Ada Lovelace Day is "the day that bloggers all over the world post about women in science as part of a global day of awareness and appreciation for the (often underreported) role that women play in the sciences." I love women in science (or at least one particular woman in science), and I'm a huge fan of awareness, so I'm blogging about my wife, Marie.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, she's an astrophysicist. That's her, second from the left, in a photo by Gaelen Marsden. Marie is here depicted in Antarctica in 2006, where she and her team built a telescope and launched it on a balloon to the edge of space to search the infrared spectrum for signs of star formation in the early universe. She was there for two months. Why yes, as a matter of fact she is cooler than your wife. That's nice of you to mention it.
I finished another piece in my animal alphabet series. 3 done and 23 to go. I have a feeling I'll be working on this project for a looooong time. I can only work on it when I'm not busy with other projects, ya know what I mean? This one's for Jill. See this post for the others in the series.
On a personal note, for those of you who were following my daughter's 2nd attempt to make the cheer squad - bad news again, I'm afraid. Life can be so unfair sometimes.