Here is a large smiling sun (titled "a brighter future) I painted for this Saturday's benefit show at the Thunder-Sky gallery in Northside. This is the second edition of "Shelter in Place", a human rights benefit show curated by my friend Holly Prochaska. The first one was an awesome experience and very successful, and this one should be as well. Any piece of art or artist-made goods (photographs, handbound mini-books, prints, etc.) purchased will have 100% of the proceeds donated to a charitable organizations such as the ACLU or Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. The opening is this Saturday, 6-10 PM at Thunder-Sky, Inc. Also, the upstairs show "Time Warp", a unique show in conjunction with both Thunder-Sky and the Pique gallery in Covington opens the same night.
Now available in the shop: the "Colourblind" tote bag. 100% natural & machine washable. The perfect tote for groceries, records, or just about anything that fits in a 15.75" x 15x25" opening!
Here is the full schedule of Floating Shape Workshops events this summer! For further/detailed info on the individual workshops, click the FSW tab above. As always, each event is a little different (as such, costs also vary ... some free, some require registration).
This month (July), we are excited to be hosting a week-long summer camp at Robot Inside (coming up in just a few weeks, and space is almost full!). Each attendee will be making their own animated film over the course of the week. We will also be returning to the Good People Festival over in Covington, Kentucky for the second straight year. This year, we have a fun & collaborative, live animation project planned for anyone who comes by.
In August, FSW will host a flipbook workshop with the Mini Microcinema as part of the annual Over-the-Rhine "Second Sunday on Main" celebration. Our last workshop of the summer will be at Wooden Hill, located in Westwood.
Now available in the shop: a collection of twenty (20) whimsical postcards. They are standard-sized, matte postcards (the content of each card being quite hazardous in nature). Nestled together in a see through, vellum envelope that features an original "ink on envelope" ink drawing. Perfect for old-fashioned mail correspondence or general safekeeping!
Available for purchase here.
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.
J. Otto Seibold is trying to pitch an animated television show, based on the concept of a rock band called "Bubblesoap".
I am a big fan of the work of J. Otto Seibold. Back when I was working on my children's book "Tunnel-Ball", I had a very nice (online) conversation with Jotto about the art of picturebook making and the dramatic changes in the landscape of publishing today compared to the previous decades. I gave his most recent book, "Lost Sloth", to my nieces a few Christmases ago, which has became an instant classic to them (if you are reading this and are familiar with Seibold's books, don't worry, "Olive" was already a Christmas staple for them). Also, Black Francis read Lost Sloth. Does it get any better than that?
Here is the link to a Gofundme page to help support the endeavor to bring Bubblesoap to fruition. I would love nothing more than to see these characters animated, so I hope, at the very least, this will open the door to that in one capacity or another.
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!
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.
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.
Tomorrow on October 28th (International Animation Day!), some animated films made by children at Floating Shape Workshop events will debut at Kid Vid Fest, an inaugural youth animation festival in the Los Angeles area. This is really exciting for everyone involved, and I wish I could be there to see it! There are several other great children's animation workshops and programs taking part, such as Inner City Arts, Spotlight On Hope Film Camp, and multiple ASIFA branches. See all of the event details including the venue and time at the KVF site linked above.
One of the films to be screened is called "Kindness Is ...", which was collaboratively made by eight children using a variety of animation techniques (claymation, cutouts, and hand-drawn). Using the festival's overriding theme of "kindness", each participant animated a short sequence of their vision of an act of kindness (caring for a pet, holding the door for strangers, sharing food, and many more). I loved the end result. The title frame and other production shots are pictured below, and I plan on uploading the full film to the FSW YouTube page shortly.
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!