Tomorrow night is the opening reception/unveiling for "Swap Meet", a unique and unconventional gallery show at The Carnegie (located in Covington, KY ... reception 5-8 PM). Back in May, artists dropped off a previously unfinished works (of all mediums), and then each artist selected someone else's unfinished piece at random. Tomorrow night's "unveiling" will feature the finished works now being displayed.
I had the good fortune of being able to make a flipbook out of a small mini-book created and bound by my friend Holly Prochaska (Boiling Point Books). Initially I had planned to just make it a drawn flipbook, but even using a thick brush, the drawings were hard to read over the psychedelic paper. I decided instead to use cutouts for the primary objects (clouds, fingers, lightning bolt) while using ink things like the grass and flower stem. Of course, I can't wait to see what a fellow artist did with the piece I originally dropped off as well, and unfinished watercolor painting of some sort of robot-like thing.
Due to the limitations of the short number of pages & thickness of the paper stock, it has to be flipped pretty carefully when holding it (hence the little cheat sheet on the first page), so I wanted to film it as well.
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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 ...
Found this old, unfinished painting in the studio recently. It was for the Bowie tribute at the Thunder-Sky gallery two years ago. I ended up going with other ideas (such a fantastic show!), but this was an idea to design a theatrical poster for "Life on Mars" (the show referenced in the song). Sidenote: how has it already been two years since the death of Bowie?
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.
Tomorrow night at Thunder-Sky is the opening of two special gallery shows: in the upper level is "You're Invited", featuring new works from Sharon Ann Dear and Bill Ross. In the Under-Sky space below will be "Word for Word", a benefit fundraiser show, with the proceeds of all art benefiting the fantastic local nonprofit organization Wordplay Cincy. The opening reception will be tomorrow night, March 16 from 6-10 PM.
I submitted the following painting for the show, which will be for sale (all proceeds to Wordplay). Special thanks to Jim Damico for organizing & curating this show.
Next month on Saturday, March 17, I will be hosting an animation workshop at the Cincinnati Art Museum. As the CAM is a true Cincinnati landmark and one the oldest art museums in the country (dating back to 1881 with stunning architecture), naturally, I am very excited about this one.
This will be an all-ages workshop that will be great for both children & families alike. Registration is required, and the cost is $6 for museum members, $12 for general admission. We will experiment with a variety of animation mediums, traditional & stop motion (drawn/clay/cutout) and make a live, collaborative film to be digitally archived/published.
Register here if you are interested (registration is required). This will be a great workshop, I hope to see you there!
2017 was the first full year for Floating Shape Workshop, the mobile children's animation workshop that I launched back in the summer.
In total, FSW hosted eight workshops this year, at creative venue spaces ranging from art galleries to libraries to festivals. Keeping the community-oriented spirit in mind, children of all ages & backgrounds got to experiment with different animation methods and many got to make their own films (collaboratively & independently).
I am very excited to soon announce some of the workshops that are already scheduled for 2018. I am also very appreciative to all of the individuals and local organizations who helped us along the way in 2017, In addition to the workshops themselves, some truly spectacular surprises and opportunities along sprung up along the way, such as getting to spread FSW across the airwaves on WVXU (Cinci's NPR affiliate-station). Some workshop films also made their film festival debut all the way over in California (more on that below).
I want to again thank the following local organizations and creative venues who either helped us or opened their doors to host a workshop: the aforementioned WVXU, the Public Library of Cincinnati, Robot Inside, Kid Vid Fest, Thunder-Sky, The Good People Festival.
Below is "Kindness Is ...", a special collaborative film made by eight young animators at a FSW workshop. This film was screened at the California youth animation film festival "Kid Vid Fest". Using the festival's theme of "kindness", each animator (using a medium of their choosing ... drawn, cutout, clay, or sand) animated a scene of their idea of an act of kindness. If you haven't already, please check out FSW's YouTube channel, where I do my best to archive all of the ongoing films and projects being made at the workshops. Also be sure to check out the full gallery by clicking on the Floating Shape Workshop tab at the top of the site.
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!
Way back in February (how is it November?), I was invited to come draw on the walls at the new location of the Play Library on Elm St. The PL is a wonderful toy & game loan library, and also hosts the amazing Cincinnati Vintage Toy Museum. At the original location last summer, I hosted a "Kreate-a-Kaiju" workshop, which was a blast. I recently stopped by for the first time in a while, and realized that I had never posted pictures of any of the giant wall drawings. They were a lot of fun to do, even the diving board scene, which was done on a ladder from an awkward angle.
Some of my books & prints are available in the gift shop.
... and then, a great shot from the clay kaiju workshop from last year, and a drawing I did to help promote the original opening.
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.
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.