“Little Girl” by Dave Strong

I made this video with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Character Animator, After Effects, and Procreate. I loved including little details only Dave or other friends would notice, as well as placing my own Easter eggs in there. The girl is based on a photo of his daughter, who sings the backing vocals on this song, which is a rocking pop punk song he wrote, performed and produced himself – playing all the instruments!

I had a lot of fun working with Dave, and highly recommend you check him out on Spotify, and download his tunes on Laptop Punk Records website!

It’s finally done! “New Direction” lyric video

My good friend, Kurt Baker, makes some of my favorite rock music. So, when I started my final semester, I asked him if I could create a music video for one of his songs. I had learned some things about kinetic text, and focused on lyrics using a really great font called “Blastatic” by Remedy667 as my inspiration for the style.

The Beatles cartoon from the 60s came to mind, and The Pink Panther title sequences, with the characters interacting with the text, so I created cartoon versions of each member of the band. It was really hard not to share the progress, but I really wanted Kurt to be surprised with the final version.

Creating the puppets in Procreate, to give them a hand drawn look, rather than a clean vector, then sending them to Photoshop for layer surgery was easier than I thought it would be, and not much is sweeter than seeing a well-synced character animation come to life! I edited the visemes – mouth shapes – as carefully as I could, and as painstaking as that can be, I’m happy with the results!

Then came After Effects. It’s like one of those really gorgeous people who acts like a douchebag, promising you trips to foreign lands, but leaves you stranded at the airport. Even now, I’m afraid to say too much, for fear it will hear me and never work again. That said, I’m really grateful to the IT staff at SMCC, my friend and advisor Kate, and a small army of healers and witches that banded together to make sure it came through for me.

After all the delays and tears shed (not too many! 😉), it’s done, and Kurt loves it, and here it is!

Check out all of Kurt’s videos while you’re there. He’s not only a great musician, but his sense of humor and humility is apparent in everything he creates. I’m really so thankful for the opportunity to do this! ❤️

Animated Idiom

The world makes us all feel a little like falling apart at the seams from time to time. It’s important to remember who is really in charge of everything in your life. Take a moment and listen to the echoes of those who came before, and remember who you are, and what you need to do.

The Golden Gap

As a “gap” project for my portfolio, I’ve decided to start on new character designs for my future holiday special, “The Golden Pinecone”.

Poppet Character sheet
Grampy Character sheet

Cut out animation

In my 2D animation class, we are exploring all kinds of techniques, and the master studies are great. Thanks to Lottie Reiniger and Terry Gilliam, last week’s unit was for cut out animation, but we cheated a little, using After Effects to edit them together. I wonder if Lottie would have even wanted technology that took that much of the process out of her hands -literally?

The theme was “Ridiculous Mishap”, so my goal was to use my short story about The Imp from Lodila Valley, but since the project called for only 20-30 seconds, I pared it down. I’ll tell the whole tale someday. For now, here is “The Imp”:

If you are not familiar with Lottie Reiniger or *gasp* Terry Gilliam, check out the clips below:

Lottie actually created the very first animated feature length film – before Disney. The most fascinating part is that she hand cut every piece and took every photo herself. Astounding genius! I think she will be the focus of my first podcast for my Podcasting class this semester, about women in animation.

Welcome, and thank you!

Having never been very consistent with online creative outlets, such as blogs and social media, I sincerely appreciate every “like” and “follow” that You gift me.

I recently committed to a digital upgrade by investing in an iPad Pro and Procreate. So far, I’m enjoying exploration in Brushes – there are far too many! I have been working on my first official creation in this format, and I’m so happy with it so far, I can’t wait to show you here.

For those of you who have just jumped on this random bandwagon, I will be posting my visual art, along with the origin or a story that goes with it. I am currently compiling material for a full length animated feature film for the Land of Lo, as well as writing a script and re-creating character design for a short holiday special, “The Golden Pinecone”, an adaptation of a children’s book I wrote many years ago. My main focus is animation, and converting my artistic style to digital in a way that I feel still represents my aesthetic – which, to this point, has been watercolor and ink, with bright colors, sharp contrast, and psychedelic slant.

I am writing the script in tandem with a script-writing class – very convenient! – and want to apply for an Adobe Creative Residency next spring, in order to fully realize a 25-30 minute animation on my own. So, please join me for the journey. I am very excited about what the next couple of years will bring for me, and would love to share the experience with You!

My face.

~P

Pallo

So, it’s time to introduce Pallo, officially. Since I’ve been making little practice animations with her, I feel like it needs to happen to start building context. Pallo is a character I created, inspired by two little girls – twins – I used to take care of in my nanny days. We were together since they were fifteen months old until they were four, and have kept in touch really well since. I was there for them learning to talk, go on the potty, hold a fork, drawing a face, on and on.

I would often record conversations, kind of like interviews, with the kids I would nanny for, to share with their parents for memories. Lots of terrible, but hilarious, knock-knock jokes, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, asking their age and favorite color, things like that. When the twins started really talking more, I worked on them saying my name. I mean, after all, I was with them almost every day! So, I would record them whenever I asked them what my name was, in order to catch the first time. I can’t express to you how cute these recordings are…so, here is “The One”.

Isis and Naila say “Peri”….but really Pallo.

The way that Naila was so sure that “Pallo” was correct – just repeating it over and over until I pointed the mic at her and got it nice and loud – makes it one of the funniest and cutest clips I’ve ever captured. I became Pallo, and then I created her as a character.

Photo of marker and crayon drawing of Pallo.

Pallo has four arms, for extra hugging, and has a crown of flowers on her head. In the Land of Lo, where she lives, all creatures are a mixture of plant and ocean life, and Pallo is no exception. Her “ponytails” are actually large petals, and when she sleeps, white puffs (think milkweed or dandelions) of seed fly out of a hole in her head, and the petals spread open and up to guide the seeds safely onto the breeze. Pallo is Claviger of the Flowers, and it is because of her that flowers grow in the Land of Lo.

First four panel comic I created for Pallo’s origin. The background is Mount Abbas and Mount Moya, with Pavo the Prophet’s tower on the island in Lake Chitali in the distance. Squirrels played a big part in my time with the twins, so I try to include one whenever I can.

She is also very maternal, and adopts a band of misfits as she journeys through Lodila Valley on her quest. Isi and Nin are directly inspired by the twin girls who named her. Their origin story belongs in its own chapter, so I’ll save it. Pallo goes through many emotions on her journey, each creating its own story.

2013 version of Pallo, Isi and Nin. A couple of the first complete depictions of them.

Pallo’s look has evolved as I convert her into an animated character. I have added a texture to her skin, and defined a purpose for her “ponytails”, as well as adding some cool markings on her back, which you cannot often see. She wears the necklace of a Claviger (key holder) around her neck. I have given her little stubby legs for walking. She’s ready to be a star, now I just have to catch up. So, please stay tuned for more short animations as I learn to navigate my way through Adobe Character Animator and Animate to create as much as possible. Please follow me on Instagram to see some of the older posts, and the most recent, as I update that much more often. Drop me a DM to let me know you followed me because of this blog. Until next time…

Estoy Llorando – I am crying

My father passed away on Tuesday. He had suffered a long time, so he is free of pain now. It is only fitting that our lesson in Animation class this week was Cycle Layers, learning how to add tears to our puppets. Here is Pallo, crying:

Fortunately, I find solace in creating. I used the sound of a Sesame Street cartoon that has stuck with me since I was around three years old. Two cartoon characters sharing tears wasn’t really something that I had seen and it definitely made an impact. It was the first thing I thought of when our lesson came up. More Land of Lo to come…