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.
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?
Responding to today’s creative prompt: dark. A homemade video in response to an everyday activity and the electrifying experience of reading W H Auden’s “Refugee Blues” poem and finding it shockingly up-to-date 70 years later.
I’m kindof cheating here as I didn’t make it fresh today, it is one I made earlier. But I’ve got a virus today (sound of violin playing). If I had a dog it would’ve eaten my homework.
A much better reading and visuals of W H Auden’s work was recently featured on the BBC – they put his words to modern news footage. (I made my vid first, I wasn’t copying).
Some excellent advice for new poets here, from Claire Askew, in the Scottish Poetry book trust post here.
1. Write lots of poems – Claire chose 41 poems to put in a book from an original pile of 150 poems. That improves the quality of the chosen ones. Also, when submitting to a journal, and waiting to hear back, you can’t send those same poems somewhere else so…. you need a lot of poems ready to send.
2. Best piece of writing advice she was given – “You can only have a first book, once”. There are literary prizes for a first poetry collection – so you want to wait until you’ve got a really strong first book put together. Don’t rush into publishing too early! Some famous writers have spent their lives trying to buy up all copies of their first book, to destroy because the style is so unlike their true voice (Norman MacCaig did this).
3. Get into the poetry community. Claire got early opportunities because she met people in a writing group or someone heard her performing her poetry. Join a good workshop group, go to open mic nights and perform, and hear about other opportunities through getting to know other writers.
Here’s one of Claire’s poems, set to video (the first 41 seconds are scenesetting, unsettling experiemental noises – you can skip ahead to the poem if you prefer).
This simple exercise again begins with pasted paper base layer – in this case, patterned scrapbook paper – then builds layers of paint over it. Einat Kessler is the tutor. Like Bob Blast, it is very simple and all the materials are cheaply and easily purchasable in a craft or art store.
This collage piece works together picture and text.
It makes decisions on the process very simple – once you’ve picked the patterned paper to use as the base, you simply mix or use paints in similar colours/tones used in the base paper. Hey presto, all the colours will go together. Whether you use words or not is up to you, of course.
The demo takes 15 minutes to view, you can work alongside, so it’s a slightly longer exercise than the last one.
A salute to the day – a fly past by birds, which goes by the lovely title of “Murmuration” – a naturally occurring phenomenon. Filmed by artist Fiona Watson.
Fiona Watson has made a series of tiny films – lasting simply between one minute and two minutes in length. These are very do-able for anyone who a camera which records video, and some basic editing equipment.
Here is one video recorded out of the train window on a journey, edited and set to music. It seems to tell a small story, with a haunting piece of music and an everyday intercity journey (Edinburgh to Glasgow).