As I’ve created my own stop motion animation as part of own final major project, I’ve been looking over different styles of animation to provide me with some inspiration and shape my own ideas. I am really inspired by interesting animation and love how it can be used to visually communicate themes and narratives. I especially love stop motion animation and have been really inspired by films such as ‘Coraline’, ‘Nightmare before Christmas’, ‘Chicken Run’ and ‘Corpse Bride’. I find Tim Burton’s work is really imaginative and visually exciting to me, ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a film that really inspired me as a child and has become a tradition for me to re-watch on christmas eve!
The process of creating ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ is quite amazing. With a frame rate of 24 frames to a second and over 110,000 frames all together, each minute of the film took over a week to create and the process lasted over 3 years! fascinated by the holiday celebrations, Tim Burton based the story of ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ on a poem he wrote in the 1980’s. It was not until 1990 that the development and production of the film would take place and it was finally released in 1993.
It was late one fall in Halloweenland,
and the air had quite a chill.
Against the moon a skeleton sat,
alone upon a hill.
He was tall and thin with a bat bow tie;
Jack Skellington was his name.
He was tired and bored in Halloweenland…
‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ is one of the defining films in the history of stop motion and has been a huge inspiration for me growing up and even more so as an adult.
I have continued my research for my own short animation by looking at music videos such as the french band Zoufris Maracas- Un Gamin. Zoufris Maracas have some incredibly creative and imaginative music videos using a wide range of different mediums from stop motion to collage and photomontage. Ive explored work by some of my favourite artists like the incredibly talented Katie Scott’s work for ‘Botanicum’ and ‘Animalium’, and of corse simply searching ‘Stop motion and animation’ into youtube has some fantastic results and plenty of inspiration!
Eleanor Shakespeare is an illustrator and designer based in South London and creates beautiful pieces using photomontage image making. She had had work published for the Guardian, Variety, The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, Politico, Waitrose Magazine, Easyjet Traveller, Therapy Today, Times Higher Education, BBC History amongst others. Eleanor Shakespeare has also had her illustrations published in books such as ‘Cut, Paste, Create’ and ‘Stormy Seas’. Her style of illustration is magical and really speaks to me as an illustrator and designer.
‘Stormy Seas’ is a book detailing the stories of young refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum. and is beautifully illustrated throughout by Eleanor Shakespeare.
Eleanor Shakespeare uses a combination of illustration, photomontage with contemporary and vintage images to create through provoking and inspiring images. and her work has been a huge inspiration for my animation for my FMP brand ‘Bizarre Bazaar’. I would like to create a stop motion animation using a series of vintage and ‘found’ images as well as my own illustrations to tell the story of Cabinets of Curiosities and of my own creation ‘Bizarre Bazaar’. Looking at the use and composition of Eleanor’s images have really helped me to shape my own ideas and think outside of the box!
Earlier this month I visited the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square to see the Picasso Portraits exhibition. The exhibition featured over 80 pieces of Picasso’s work spanning his creative career; the wide range of work was loaned by various institutions, galleries and private collections, it’s also the first time many of these pieces have been shown in London. Picasso is one of the artists I studied back in school doing my art GCSE so I was very excited to visit. The first thing that struck me about the exhibit was the range of different styles in Picasso’s work, from humorous caricatures to the wilder and much more expressive painting from memory later in his career. Picasso used a range of materials and mediums experimenting with different styles of painting and drawing throughout his life and this is evident in the pieces shown in this collection.
Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 but spent most of his adult life working as an artist in France. “Throughout the long course of his career, he created more than 20,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and other items such as costumes and theater sets. He is universally renowned as one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the twentieth century.” Picasso is remembered for his constantly evolving and innovative works and along side Georges Braque is responsible for creating the Cubist movement in art. Cubism is where a subject of an image is broken up into pieces and then rearranged in an abstract form. What really strikes me about these pieces is that there is less of a focus on conventional form and structure but the emotion and personality of the subject is still very evident through the use of bold marks, colours and even the textures of paint and brush strokes on the canvas.
It was brilliant to see some of the pieces that inspired me as a teenager in the flesh. But the thing I enjoyed most about this collection was seeing some of Picasso’s illustrations. Picasso created around 35,000 illustrations in his life! As an illustrator I am constantly looking to push my own creative practice forward and to allow my style to evolve with my passion and interests. It’s inspiring to see how much energy and emotion can be conveyed in very few marks and lines through Picasso’s illustrative style, it was also great to see how Picasso’s illustrations developed through his career.
I spent hours wondering around the exhibit and drew sections of painting on site, I then spent the afternoon sitting in the crypt cafe of St Martin in the Fields Church (If you haven’t been, you should totally go!) and used watercolour, ink and pencils to colour my sketches. So overall, Picasso is great and we should all have different artistic periods in our lives.
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” – Pablo Picasso
Wondered down to Carnaby Street on Thursday and managed to see Jenni Sparks work for GQ Style Night. The word ‘Carnaby’ was spelled out in giant concrete letters with Jenni Sparks illustrations covering them. The public was then invited to colour it in, like a giant 3D colouring book! So much fun!
I have written a little about Jenni Sparks work in my research post –Final Brief – Ideas, I love her detailed maps with a mixture of text and illustration. Check out more of Jenni Sparks work on her website here!
Our final brief for the year in Local Universe we will be to create a piece of visual communication that can exist outside of the studio and in the real world. This piece of work will communicate something about my local universe to someone who might not know it. There are a few outcomes we can explore within this brief:
The final piece of work can be:
A piece of moving image (minimum three minutes)
Something interactive (website, wireframe for an app)
An event/series of events (workshop, performance, exhibition)
A set of prints (context MUST be considered)
The final outcome that most appeals to me is a set of prints. Ive always liked relief printing and I’ve been interested in exploring wood block printing for a while, so this feels like a good time to get learning.
I’ve done a few quick searches to get inspired as i want my prints to be informative and also fun!
I especially LOVE these hand drawn maps by Jenni Sparks (below) I would love to make a printed map of my Local Universe using elements of the area and its history. Check out Jenni Sparks website here!
I love Annotations reveal characteristics of an area that won’t appear on traditional maps. Dalston comes with a bicycle, plastic-framed glasses and a moustache, Rough Trade has music symbols and the tube lines are one of the only sections of colour throughout the piece.
Im excited to start working on my own map and prints!
Recently we did a short editorial project. This brief required us to create an editorial illustration to accompany a piece of writing. As part of the brief we were asked to select a piece of writing to focus on.
I chose the Strange tale of the Aldgate Station Ghost!
An electrician once fell onto the lines at Aldgate station in London. Instead of dying from the incredible shock he’d been hit with, he was fine. His co-workers saw why…
There are endless stories of ghosts haunting the London Underground but one of the most ‘electrifying’ tales of supernatural activity has to be the strange case of Aldgate and the suspicious spectral old lady who made a shocking appearance in the twentieth century.
Built on the site of a plague pit that was the final resting place for an estimated thousand victims of the Bubonic Plague in 1665, Aldgate Station was opened in 1876. Almost as soon as the trains began rolling in and out, the stories of spooky shenanigans began. A popular early tale relates to Tube staff being able to hear ghostly footsteps in the tunnels only for the noise to abruptly and mysteriously stop. Then an electrician was working at Aldgate one night when he slipped between the tracks, hit the live rail and received a 20,000-volt shock. It could – perhaps should – have killed him, but despite being knocked unconscious by his fall, he survived with minor injuries and made a full recovery.
Nothing particularly paranormal perhaps until the accident investigators interviewed the man’s colleagues and each of them swore that just before his plunge they had seen the half-transparent ghost of an old woman kneeling down beside the electrician and stroking his hair. Whether she was the man’s guardian angel, somehow saving him from a fatal electrocution, or an Angel of Death, malevolently trying to push him through the gap in the tracks, is a matter of opinion.
I found this great little gif! Sadly couldn’t find who made it 😦 I love stuff like this though and I love the contrast between the colourful pops and black and white.
As I explored this piece of text I was really fascinated by the plague pit found underneath the station. I thought this could be a fun idea to mess around with and decided to mix ink drawing and collage. Ive created my skeleton pieces by cutting tube maps, tying in the theme of London Underground being haunted. I kept the ink drawing of the station pretty simple just using black ink and fine liner for the final details. I chose to leave the recognisable underground sign in colour to match the colourful underground skeletons.