Animation

New video

Here is the latest video I made with Fluent Studios. While I love book work to be sure, it can be nice to include some quicker projects like this one. The client, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, wanted an "edgy" look to appeal to the Upper West Side parents they are trying to attract. I created the style and all the images, Fluent brought it to life.

Doing animation projects with Fluent is very different than creating book illustrations. Animation frames go by so quickly that each image becomes far less precious than a picture book image, which a child might pore over again and again. The tools for me are different as well: for work with Fluent I use Adobe Illustrator to make my images simple to animate on tight budgets with quick turn around times. Where illustrating a book takes months and months, animating a 1-2 minute video takes days. And, since this video is an advertisement, the client has lots of input in shaping both the style and content of the images. And yet, this doesn't take away the possibility for creative expression. With all the tight specifications we were given for this project, it would still look completely different if another illustrator had been asked to do the job. Which is pretty cool. 

False starts and bouncing back

 Rejected style sample for animation.

Rejected style sample for animation.

At the beginning of any assignment, I flail around. Lots of false starts. Lots of looking for inspiration. Lots of scribbly sketching as I search for that image that is going to hook me and give me my starting point. In animation projects, when I finally create the style sample that is going to inform all the images to come, I feel giddy, itching to get to work, relieved that the search is over and content that what I have is a winner. And then, sometimes, the client rejects it. But, but, but, my heart screams, I am so excited to make that thing that way! How can I possibly shift directions? And, what do you mean you want her to wear skinny jeans and a leather jacket??? 

 

But then, after a little break, I reread the client’s comments and really try to hear what they are saying about what it is they want. When I start sketching this time, it is from a more humble place. Not from an “I am going to make the best thing ever” place, but from an “I am really going to give the client what they want even if what they want sucks” place. Paradoxically, when I do that, when I take my ego and expectations out of the project, I find that what I end up making is stronger, more authentic work. Though I still wouldn't mind making a film in the other style someday. 

 Approved animation frame.

Approved animation frame.