Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Drawings a Day

I found this little gem a day or so ago (see video below). M. Chapon says of his work "During 3 years (2008-2011) i have been drawing 12 drawing of animation every day, it make one second of film. I had no plans what so ever before starting the first drawing. And then, each of the following days, I took the 3 last drawing from the day before and kept on animating. I use a none erasable pen, and drew on the back side of used A4 paper."
Cool! I always been interested in animation, but have never given it a go. My knowledge is theoretical having only dabbled, as every sixth grader does, drawing stick figures playing baseball or shooting at tanks over the course of a class notebook. Not too sophisticated :) I like how he has random things coming and going, reappearing and appearing, one from the other.  It is, in a way, a sort of representation of how thought works -- I think that's why I like it so much.  Take a gander, you may be pleasantly surprised :)

12 Drawings a Day - 12 Dessins par Jour from Denis Chapon on Vimeo.

Also the other day I watched The Pixar Story, a documentary about Disney/Pixar. You know, the guys who brought us Toy Story, Monster's Inc., A Bug's Life, and The Incredibles. I kept seeing the title for it on Netflix and elsewhere but for some reason I hadn't watched it yet.  I do this thing where I put off watching something even though I really want to see it -- it's super weird, I know. I think maybe I am avoiding being disappointed, maybe? That is all I can come up with anyhow! Well it turns out it was really great! The documentary gives on a good insight into the Disney world and the challenges that computer animators face, while at the same time putting faces and characters into the works that we have come to know and love through this working relationship of the Disney and Pixar studios. I think that people forget that Disney was first and foremost an illustrator and a story teller. This film delves into the modern problem of bringing cool animation and the story together, while continuing the Disney, and now Pixar, tradition, as well as what it takes to finance, via a young Steve Jobs, such a new and expensive company.
When I was a young kid, around 13 or 14, a good friend of our family gave us our first computer.  I immediately became fascinated and started doing designs for my mom's embroidery business.  These designs were nothing incredibly difficult or complicated, mostly lettering and simple logos, all by trial and error. I liked it though, and the rigorous problem solving it presented. I remember in the those first days he showed me a program that was, I realize now, a very clunky illustrator. In fact, I think it was one of these programs in which you can't really do anything, but which merely showcases an up and coming technology.  He told me that if I were interested in such things, I should let him know and he could give me more information and help about it.  My mind took flight that day, imaging the things I could draw and animate with such a thing.  Shortly thereafter this friend moved with his family and we lost touch.  The computer was something I worked on by myself, learning as I went, like many other things I loved as a child, teaching myself.  This is the way it always seemed to go, and even now it is hard to find like minded people even among my most intimate friends. It's not something I feel bad about, for the most part, but it does make me wonder sometimes what I would have been.  We all can wonder about what we would have been, if we had taken a different path, I suppose, a symptom of human regret.  Every once in a while I come across something like this documentary and it stirs up those feelings of fascination and excitement that I experienced when first I saw it as a child.  I like that. It's like Proust's madeleines, and it makes me feel.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Hello all. Hello me. Hello blog :) (Wow, this is a seriously ugly and boring background, what was I thinking?)  It has been a while. Graduating from university can throw a person into quite a tailspin. A good year and a half now has passed, and I've been busy getting older and trying to make my way. A little reading, a little painting, a little crying, a little working (read: mostly working) and not much writing. More about that later, perhaps?
Never fear, I have faithfully been reading away each night, keeping up on my blog reading queue, and have even gotten a few honest to goodness books read in the meantime. I sometimes get discouraged when reading about famous people and all the books that they read and that influenced them. Sometimes half the books that they list as being most influential I have never even heard of, and I think to myself how could I ever be at their level? But I also take courage in the fact that I have read loads of "modern" books that they will never read. We can't read all the books in the world, but we can try can't we? Well, as long as we keep reading that is what counts -- until that day in the nuclear waste land when we crush our only pair of reading glasses. Yes, I am a nerd and that episode of Twilight Zone haunts me!

Anyhow, I seriously buy too much stuff from Amazon. Well too much is a relative term here. If wanting something for more than five or more years then finally getting it is too much, then we are in the right realm of the words. At least it makes me infinitely excited about my purchase (Amazon should pay me to advertise lol)! And anyway, you can never have enough books and music I keep telling myself :)
FINALLY bought this 100 Carols for Choirs. It's by David Willcocks and John Rutter (whom I adore) and chock full of favorite Christmas music, mostly SATB with piano accompaniment. Katie's Grandmother had it when I lived in upstate New York a few years ago and I've been dying for it ever since. My sisters were a little less excited than I since they think they can't read music, but they will come around I'm sure. In fact the other day they were calling me in to sing some alto on Once in Royal David's City. The songs they know they will pick up and sing, not realizing they are doing a fair amount of note reading, but if they haven't seen it before it is too much. Little kids just learning to read do this too -- whenever I'm in the library there are always a few students who won't attempt a book because the words are too small and numerous. Sometimes I find the same book for them with bigger print and more pictures and they are convinced to read it. Oh well, they'll get there too :) Speaking of carols, I'm supposed to go do that in 15 minutes, so I ought to get bundled up. Will finish gushing at a later date.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rivers and things...

So I happen to like visuals things. Numbers and figures mapped out in shapes and figures. Here is an interesting mapping out of rivers:

"I don’t think people are used to seeing and thinking about rivers this way — realizing their interconnectedness, their importance in the establishment of settlements, or the fact that they were humanity’s original transit networks. It’s not something I’m ignorant of, but I don’t think about rivers like this regularly. I’ve lived in cities that are on rivers without ever noticing. Rivers are to me are often just those thin blue lines lost in the background of a lot of reference maps..."

Check it out, you may enjoy :D

Monday, January 24, 2011

Regnum Beati

I, residing in the chair of comfortitude and having dominion over this blessed realm, henceforth declare this day and all of the following unto eternity or until that time at which this day shall cease in its existence forthwith to be dubbed and celebrated as Malt Monday.

If there be any herein who shall deny this day in its golden malted glory, let him reflect on the words of Housman, a learned doctor of this realm who boldly said "... malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man..." If such there be who shall desecrate said golden malted glory and its appointed day, let him be anathema.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

June Hymn - The Decemberists

"And years from now when this old light Isn't ambling anymore Will I bring myself to write?..."

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