Friday, 30 March 2012


Returned from the Monstra festival in Lisbon with fellow animation students (to a Bristol as sunny and warm as Portugal)

lots of animations were seen (not to mention tiles, funny looking people, dogs...). some were exceptionally good (above I've posted the link to one of my personal favourites: lovely storytelling and an interesting use of travel sketchbooks. you will note, on the website, that it did not even get a mention as far as awards go. such is life)

but also, a lot of stuff that tried too hard to be flashy or clever or deep. I suppose it's easy to judge from afar (and I'm not saying they were badly animated) but so many films were extremely alienating. I left many screenings with a heavy heart and furrowed brow and that was nothing to do with the emotional impact of the films. what was happened to humour and empathy?

but that's life and industry, I suppose!

and rather than be entirely disheartened by the whole thing, I'm buoyed up with hope. I hope that my peers  (in Bristol and around the world) and maybe me too can rail against this sort of thing and some day make some films with real oomph and magic! and maybe that's naive, but I think it is an achieveable hope.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

FLYBOYS and things

Matthew Robins is kind of a wonder. he sings songs and makes paper cut outs to accompany them (no, it's not exactly animation and it's certainly nothing on a par with Lotte Reiniger but it is honest and naive and all the more wonderful for it)

the above video's the nicest example I could find of the paper cut out puppets (displayed during perfomances on an overhead projector! supposedly defunct technology has so many uses) but there are so many lovely songs. I remember watching him perform last year and being bubbly with excitement, giddy and moved to tears all at once

there's a very nice interview the guardian did h e r e!!

he says a lot of things I like
and that are true to me too

"I'm not trying to please people, I'm just trying to do something I enjoy."

"I've been doing the same thing every day since I was six or seven," he says. "I've never not been sitting down drawing or cutting things out or playing the piano."
wonderful wonderful wonderful, especially since the beginning of the interview says, "In the league of popular art forms, folk music ranks fairly low, and shadow-puppetry lower still"
matthew robins is a kind of wonder and a magnificent lesson to always follow your heart


image sourced from here
Dukno Yoon creates these incredible articulated pieces of jewellry (and other things) replicating bird flight (Yoon also makes little animatronic figures

I'm pretty interested to see how observed motion can be interpreted through forms other than the animation we're used to (you know, stuff that you see on the telly)

plus the fact you have to move your finger to get that lovely wing flapping motion means you can actually feel it. fascinating!

Thursday, 15 March 2012


plowing through my notes from the past few weeks' lectures, trying to make sense of what I'm trying to learn here anyway!

so, as far as I can tell what I'm working out here is how other people (within animation and other relevant creative fields) work; how they got to how they work; how other people (in similar situations to me and many other students but at different institutions) are learning... about how other people work, potentially

some questions:

what's the animation scene like within Britain/Europe/other countries around the globe?
what's the best way to go about finding information? sneakily? journalistically? and if you're asking other people questions, is it better to be polite, ass kissing or insistently rude?
how do people work differently within other areas? I'm talking about comparing small companies, individuals, fine artists and freelancers
how the hell do learn?
what inspires me?
where on earth do I want to fit in to all this?
do I want to fit in to all this?
does anyone give a damn?!


what on earth am I going to have for tea?


the incredible storyteller and draftsman Moebius died this weekend. I have a lot of admiration for the man and a lot of thoughts on this, but I will only waffle (and his work speaks for itself: seek it out and make your own opinion)

but in the light of this I've been digging through favourite comics and pieces and interviews with the chap (sad that it often takes a death for us to reevaluate these things)

particular favourite of mine is what he says in this interview:

" [on his wife]“She says I exist because I always do something new, but many people they exist because they do something that is always the same,” Giraud said. “It is a kind of a performance to always stay; the audience sees them and admires it because they remind them of the past and they seem to always stay young, stay strong, stay active. The purpose of transformation is not for everyone.” A musical analogy was offered; Bob Dylan continues to push and experiment and revamp his music and persona instead of trying to stay forever young, while the Rolling Stones tour with all the familiar hits as a tenacious declaration that, no matter what the calendar says, time is on their side. “Yes, that it is. The Rolling Stones keep their audience and new ones come in and understand it. Their career is a piece of art. Dylan has pieces all over and it’s a diffused audience and there are chapters to him.”

The man they call Moebius trailed a finger along the brow above his healthier eye. “I have no explanation but I am interested in being alive. No, seriously, staying alive for an artist means to always be in an unknown part of himself. To be out of himself. The exhibition in Paris, the theme was transformation. Art is the big door but real life is a lot of small doors that you must pass through to create something new. You don’t always need to go far. If you are in the space station Mir and you need to fix something, you go outside, but not too far. If you travel too far you’ll die. Outer space is not human but you can visit. You need to be a little bit out there but you need to stay close to human.”

that's some wisdom for definite: everyone existing within their own different definitions. and to be interested in being alive, well, I think there's no purer interest than that.