Here is a collaborative new short film called "Earth!", which was made last month at a Floating Shape Workshop event. On the eve of Earth Day 2018, we set up shop at my good pal Tara's Robot Inside (in their beautiful new storefront location). This was a free public/community event, so any child who came by had the opportunity to contribute to the film.
All that was prepared beforehand was the traditional animation in the beginning, before the cutouts were added. We used a very quick & simple set up as we only had two hours of time. It was a different format for a workshop than I have done before, but I really think it turned out well. The majority of the materials used in the film were of recycled and/or scrap paper.
Here is the completed film from the children's animation workshop that I hosted last Saturday. It was one of a series of workshops that took place as part of the Inbetween Animation Festival (put on by the Cincinnati Film Society).
The workshop was a lot of fun and a lot was accomplished in just two hour's time. Registration for the event sold out, so almost twenty children (ages 7-15) got to participate, many of which were experimenting with animation for the first time. The new portable, lightweight lightboxes for traditional hand drawn animation (for future Floating Shape Workshop events) also made their debut, and were a big hit. On this same Vimeo channel, you can also see the flipbooks that we made & filmed during the workshop.
Also, as I was cleaning up the room from my workshop, my friend Tracy Miller-Robbins began setting up for her workshop which proceeded mine. It was called "Animated Drawings" (ages 16+), and she was hosted it with her husband Rob. They also do children's workshops together as well (Cartwheel Animation Studio). Check out the awesome results from their workshop, too ...
As part of the inaugural Inbetween Animation Festival taking place in Cincinnati on April 14-15, I am excited to be hosting a youth animation workshop. Due to the nature of this workshop, it will be for ages 7-15, and space is limited (registration is required).
This is a special workshop for the festival that I am holding individually (independent of FSW), and will take place from 10am-12pm on April 14th ($20 registration required). My friend and fellow animator/educator Tracy Miller-Robbins is also holding a workshop called "Animated Drawings" (ages 16+). See an overview of all of the workshops (for all ages) happening here. The screening of the films at the festival will be taking place the following day on the 15th at the Esquire Theater.
Registration for the workshop is available here via the Cincinnati Film Society.
UPDATE: All spots are full for the workshop! Thanks and I'll see you on the 14th!
On Saturday, I hosted a wonderful, all-ages Floating Shape Workshop at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
All-ages events are always some of my favorite, because while FSW is primarily a children's workshop, seeing families attend and animate together can be a very beautiful sight and experience. Sometimes, the biggest smiles can come from parents/adults when they end up surprising themselves by making an incredibly fluid flipbook and then film it to see it play back on the screen. One family of four at this event each created their own flipbook & short cutout/claymation experiment. Excellent!
Also, before the event got underway, the workshop attendees got a brief guided tour of some animation-centric photography exhibits in the museum. The museum currently displays Eadweard Muybridge's sprawling 1877 "Panorama of San Francisco", and of course we then got to look at the classic "animation locomation" examples via the zoetrope.
It was a truly fantastic and unique workshop. Thank you to the Art Museum and their Rosenthal Education Center space for having me, I hope to do it again in the future.
... and here were the flipbooks that were made at the workshop (the first hour was flipbooks, the second was experimenting with 2D and stop motion methods). I love the spontaneity in the results when you give both children and adults blank flipbooks and see what they come up with. From bouncing balls to an anti-pollution message to a shark eating a boat to an anthropomorphic slice of pie.
A drawing a made for a young Floating Shape Workshop animator. They are currently working on a claymation film called "Vampire Cow".
This Saturday (November 25), I will be hosting a free autumn Floating Shape Workshop at Robot Inside. From 10-11:30 AM, come by to make your own flipbook or zoetrope, plus experiment with all kinds of mediums at various animation stations (drawn, claymation, cutouts). As an added bonus, November 25 is also "Small Business Saturday", and my pal Tara's RI shop is a great place to support that, with just about everything imaginable available from all sorts of local artists/crafters/makers.
What I love about these free, community events is that they are open to everyone of all ages. While FSW is primarily a children's workshop, it is always great to see entire families come and make animation together, with no upfront costs or preregistration. You can just walk in and contribute to a live animation project. Hope to see you there!
Here is a recent interview I did with WVXU, our local NPR-affiliate station. I got to talk all about Floating Shape Workshop on the Sunday evening "Around Cincinnati" program and had a blast. Thanks, WVXU!
I had a blast at my booth at the beautiful Westwood Art Show over the weekend. Thank you to the organizers for having me, everyone who stopped by and all of the wonderful new people I met. It was also a great way to spread the word about FSW, and I gave out around a hundred flipbooks. I also wanted to mention that there is a new local shop called Wooden Hill (located on the end of the strip where Treasure Alley used to be, they moved next door) that just opened their doors the day of the show on Saturday. It is a great store featuring all sorts of works form local artists, and you can pick up a copy of Tunnel-Ball and a few prints there from yours truly.
I have some buttons leftover from the show that I will include with all online orders while they last.
Awe-inspiring animation (drawn directly on 35 mm film) from Richard Reeves. In animation workshops, this is always my go-to first example for drawn-on-film animation, and it is (naturally) always quite a hit.
I will have a booth at the 9th annual Westwood Art Show coming up in a few weeks. This is a spectacular event in a beautiful area that I have attended for years, and I am thrilled to be participating for the first time. I will have some 13x19" copies of this poster that I created for the show, in addition to books, prints, cards, buttons and some original artwork. Additionally, I will be promoting the Floating Shape Workshop and giving out free flipbooks while supplies last! Hope to see you there.
The last Floating Shape Workshop event of the summer has come to a close, and it's hard to believe that our inaugural round of summer workshops are over. Given the late start, I originally thought we might host about just a couple of workshops this summer, and we ended up doing seven. Workshops were almost all hosted in unique & welcoming, community-oriented venues. I had such an absolute blast at all of them.
It is difficult to squeeze into the paragraph of a blog post, but I am so thankful, humbled, and optimistic about the future of Floating Shape. Organizing a sustainable, welcoming animation workshop for children in the Cincinnati area has been an idea of mine for years, and it took teaching it as a class (and a lot of inspiration from Yvonne Andersen's book about her seminal children's workshop in the 1960s) to really move forward with it. From there, it was just creating the name and logo, and getting some unique venues to host us. Being able to provide children with the supplies and education to explore and engage in animation as an artform and communication tool (both independently and collaboratively) has been endlessly rewarding. In my experience, quite a few children have had an interest in creating animation, but might have not had the resources to expand on (either from a financial or education perspective). That would, of course, also describe myself growing up.
Thanks so much to all of the venues and festivals who hosted workshops, and to everyone who helped out and participated. A very special thanks to the Public Library of Cincinnati, who hosted multiple workshops at a few different branches. They also posted a couple of excellent photo galleries here. Bias aside, we are fortunate to have a world class library system which I utilize constantly.
The FSW is already booking workshops for the fall/winter. While the calendar will not be as plentiful as summer (as I will return to teaching full time), the plan is to continue to hold workshops throughout the year, primarily on weekend dates. In the immediate future, FSW will have a booth at the Westwood Art Show next month, and in the coming months, we will have re-rescheduled workshops at Robot Inside and the Play Library. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please contact me via the link at the top of this page, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a couple of my favorite pics from the summer's workshops ...
I recently launched a YT channel to archive short animations and films made at Floating Shape Workshops events. This will be a work in progress managing different videos and getting them uploaded as time goes on. So far, you can see things like the one posted below, as well the collaborative, some filmed flipbooks, and the live animation created at this past weekend's workshop at Thunder-Sky, Inc.
Below is a short cutout animated promo for tomorrow's workshop at the Price Hill Library. After the Mini Microcinema screens animated films in Spanish (Películas para Niños en Español) from the New York International Children's Film Festival, FSW will be having a flipbook workshop from 1-2 PM!
And here is a collaborative animated story from a few days ago made by seven children (ages 5-8) at the downtown branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati.