Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A White Sand Christmas

It seems like the whole world is getting snowed on this Christmas season. A few days ago, Aspen welcomed winter with 13 inches of fresh snow on the slopes and more to come. This short sand animation is the first work made entirely in my new studio. With all the recent snow bogging down holiday travel plans and turning the skiers into powderhounds, it seemed appropriate to use sand to create an animated snowstorm and bring a little sunshine to the Christmas weekend. I hope wherever you are, you are spending the holidays with warmth in your heart if not in your hands!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

To Women (and Men) of Vision

Joy and Peace to all those special people in our lives! I send you this recent project as an animated Christmas greeting and as that you pass it along to the women and men who inspire you!

This was a delightful project. Women of Vision is a volunteer ministry of World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, which equips women to serve impoverished and oppressed women and children worldwide. WoV seeks to educate and inspire women to action in an effort to alleviate the injustice and inequities that exist for women and their families.

My inspiration was the Women of Vison logo.
The design seemed to dance, even before it was animated. We wanted to convey the feelings of Joy, Laughter and Unity as women around the globe join together to bring peace and relieve to the oppressed.

The music was composed specifically for the piece by Salvador Santana. You may recognize that last name, but this young musician is making his own way in the world. Listen to more of his work and find out where he and his band are playing next on his website.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Room of One's Own

A few days after moving to Basalt, CO I happened to walk past a sign in the window of a small business complex just off the town center. It said "Office space for rent - one or two rooms, call Mike..." Mike, turns out, is a cabinet designer who's lived in Basalt for 35 years and happened to be downsizing just a bit. The perks of sub-letting from a cabinet guy is the room is full of gorgeous wood - floor runners, a huge wall-mounted desk, beautiful shutters, and the thing that sold me on the place, the door. That and the 5 minute walk along the river that is now my daily commute.

Within a week, I was moving in and I have to say, I have never had so much space exclusively my own! 170 sq ft is not even that much as far as studio space goes, but just sitting in a corner of the room and looking at all the empty space even after all my equipment was set up felt like my mind was about to expand out of my head and attempt to fill at the little corners of creativity. Virginia Woolf had an insight which I am beginning to understand on a new level.

I've worked from home for years, wherever home might happen to be (Tahoe, Spain, New Zealand - there have been a lot). The comfort of staying in my pajamas until 3pm and the convenience of taking a break to hang up the laundry shouldn't be discounted, BUT getting up, getting dressed and locking the front door behind me has a whole new set of benefits.

  • Since I'm paying for the space, I'm motivated to be efficient and make good use of it. It is also an investment in myself and my work. I believe I can make work worthy of the money I spend to create it. And I believe that there are clients and investors out there that will recognize the value of that work and help me (eventually) turn a profit.

  • I'm surrounded by other people working. Well, only two other people, but having a working 'energy' present instead of fighting with the home 'energy' of cooking, cleaning, relaxing, sleeping shows up in my productivity.

  • Home is now home and ideally when I'm there, I can drop that ever-present nagging in the back of my mind that I should always being doing one more thing. It's something many of us self-employed people struggle with. I expect it will be an adjustment to not think of something I need to do after dinner and jumping up and doing it. But I am looking forward to spending more time with my wonderful husband, reading books, watching movies, sharing our home with friends, knowing that my studio awaits me in the morning.
So, expect great things from the new creative bubble!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Basalt Blizzard

A very merry Yuletide from the Roaring Fork Community! This weekend was the annual YuleFest, an art and food fair benefitting Basalt High School, here in our new home. To join in the fun, I set up an Animation Station – a booth where anyone could stop by and spend a few minutes creating stopmotion. It was a great hit. Over the course of the day, about 50 people contributed to one continuous film and we ended up with over 2 minutes of animation! It was a fantastic way to pull people out of shopping mode and allow them to contribute to a project bigger than any one person. Now that’s true Yuletide spirit!

Our wintery theme was the Basalt Blizzard. The process was simple: visitors could either create their own snowflake to add to the blizzard or use one of the ones I had made.


Most of the adults were a little intimidated by the crafts and opted to use the provided materials, but the kids loved cutting and decorating their own snowflakes!  




yulefest09Once the snowflakes were ready, we moved them over to the animation station and made them dance! I captured the frames on my computer so everyone could see their handiwork immediately. A few people were a little skeptical about their ability, but once they started moving the snowflakes around under the camera and saw how easy animation can be, I had no trouble convincing them to continue. In fact I think some of the adults were having more fun animating than the kids! Though the snowflakes were the stars of the show, I had a few other holiday props to add to the animation: m&m’s candy canes, Hershey’s kisses, ribbons and bows. yulefest10Of course, by the end of the day all the kisses and m&m’s had mysteriously disappeared! I certainly saw some creative flashes of brilliance in the process. I hope to find some venues to host some animation workshops in the near future. There certainly were some promising students in the crowd.


All the donations from the project went directly to the Basalt H.S. Leadership fund which sponsors clubs and activities at the school. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and I hope to see you again!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Yule Fest 2010 -The Animation Station

There's a blizzard brewing in Basalt!

Come to the Yule Fest on Saturday, Dec. 4 between 9am-5pm at Basalt High School and help us make an animated film. I'll be hosting the Animation Station where you can try your hand at stopmotion and be a part of a community holiday greeting. Participation is free but donations towards the leadership fund are gratefully accepted! Here's a taste of the fun we'll be having:

There will be tons of art, food, music and other fun at the YuleFest and proceeds go to support the school's clubs and activities!