The private artworks of 49 Dreamwork animators have been drawn together into a book – at a reasonable price, considering it’s glossy and with colour pictures throughout. There’s a Flip through view by Parka (an Amazon reviewer) below. His review is at the bottom of this screen over at Amazon.
You can find a longer blog post on this book, together with a video of interviews with some of its artists, at a blog post earlier today.
There are 49 artists featured in the book – as you can see, the styles vary hugely – this would be a wonderful inspiration book for art education departments and students.
The artists featured are awardwinners at the Annie Awards – annual animation awards – the 2017 list of nominees has just been announced (awards ceremony in February).
If you’re interested in breaking into the animation world (or know someone who is), well worth bookmarking the Annie awards and trying to catch the winners on DVD. Excellence inspires excellence.
Or, just to keep up to date on good films, from general interest – keep an eye on Annie Awardwinners and try to see the films which attract your attention.
Creative prompt: pause the video showthrough of the book at a random page, and use a picture on it as a jumping off point for your own creative making.
Just today, came across this lovely little video about the art which Dreamworks animation artists make in their private life – and an exhibition of it – great variations in styles and materials. The cherry on the cake, for me, is an endearing comment at the very end from Jeffrey Katzenberg that he’d love to live among the art on the 3rd floor of the Musee D’Orsay m, Paris (the Impressionists). My feeling exactly, when I first encountered it, I practically had to be prised away with crowbars. And I had to revisit the next day. Hands up anyone else who had the same reaction?
After watching this, it is clear that animation artists are indeed fine artists – and they love to paint and draw. All the time. Even while waiting in a queue for something too mundane to mention. Keenness and enthusiasm is right there. One painter even dislikes selling her art to someone unless she knows the purchaser, she feels such a personal bond with her pictures.
Huge talent quietly shown here by: Sam Michalp, Nicholas Weis, Griselda Sastrawinata, Christian Schellewald, Paul Duncan, Marcos Mateu, Nathan Fowkes.
The book itself will be featured in my next blog post.
Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) was one of Northern Ireland best-known poets, and an exciting radio playwright and producer in the early days of BBC drama. A friend posted this poem of his today on social media – and it’s too good not to share. If you have snow today outside your window – well, perhaps this will make even more sense to you, and you can enjoy the poem’s sense of colour, distinctive aloud light, smell and taste.
SNOW BY LOUIS MACNEICE
The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.
World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.
And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of one’s hands –
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.
You can hear the poem read aloud (not by its writer) here.
(both poem and reading were found at The Poetry Exchange website).
Proof positive that when you’re writing a powerful poem, its shape can be something as simple as a twist on an everyday voice/situation, or the banal pauses between events. And yes, it can include humour. And it can be great in a video.
(Video by Faber & Faber to illustrate poem “Thank you for Waiting)
Creative Takeaway Prompt
Do you have a very ordinary, boring situation/conversation/speech which you hear everyday? Take that form and write it so that you make it talk about something else, something you feel passionately about. Increase the strength of your words at the end to the extreme. (As Simon Armitage does, in this video).
Advanced – time how long you think it will take you to read your poem, allowing an extra 5-10 seconds. Have a friend video you on a mobile phone in that banal situation, then do a voiceover of yourself reading the poem. Finally, have the courage to put it on Youtube and publicise it in social media (this could be as simple as your personal Facebook page or Twitter.)
More video work – look at your written poems so far – is there one whose atmosphere could be videoed in a setting which reinforces the message?
This is a review of a book review (?!) jampacked with 1950s Paris culture and glamour, culinary groundbreaking history, Julia Child, romance and gorgeous photography.
The book is “France is a Feast”, and tells the story of Julia Child, with photos by her deeply enamoured husband, Paul Child, who was also an excellent photographer. The book text is written by Julia’s biographer and nephew, Alex Prud’homme, the photos collected by photography curator Katie Pratt, whose parents were close friends of Paul and Julia Child, so there’s a clear and close link between the writers and their subjects.
A well-written book review makes you want to rush to your local bookshop or library (depending on your budget)
If you prefer your Christmas trees left in nature, unchopped, au naturelle – then an alternative for December decoration is to buy yourself a print from Sandra Jordan Photography.
The print featured is “Winter Forest #1”. And, encouragingly, that number would lead you to assume that there are other photographs in a similar vein. And you would be right.
With a touch of the poetic and humorous, this particular series is called Cabin Fever – and Sandra describes it thus:
cabin fever noun
a term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period.
I live in a busy city, I live with a busy mind, sometimes I feel trapped within my own limited space and have an urge to run away, to escape. Photographing this series allows me to stop, breathe and take stock. I hope that my photographs allow the viewer to experience the same sense of space, serenity and peace.