Breathe in... Spring is here. I guess it's been here for a week already?
Time for rain and sunshine to wash up that polluted wintertide, for it sure was a tough one.
The darkness, the bitter cold and my want for hibernation really took over this year.
I am thankful for my amazing partner, supportive friends and this wonderful project which kept me entertained during what seemed to be a dark time. Does it get easier?
While my 2016 animation challenge was a riot, 2017 brings bigger things!
My first music video!!
Back in August, Lisa Conway (LCON) asked me to create something for her and I was completely honoured. Her work pleases me greatly, and inspires me to work harder.
Lisa: "I've always loved stop motion animation, and became a big fan of Chantale's work when she started posting short monthly animation videos online. They were simple and playful and totally up my alley aesthetically. I got up the bravery to ask her if she would be up for collaborating with me, and luckily she said yes! "
Of course I said yes!!
An androgynous character, doing day-to-day things in his personal space? This excited me.
I began to send Lisa sketches and almost immediately a drawing in particular stood out to both of us. I had drawn a "monster" character who's snout was definitely inspired by a tubular succulent plant and perhaps, Cyril Sneer.
Lisa: "I had a rough concept for a video for this song in my head for quite some time - scenes of a somewhat peculiar creature going about its daily routine, performing mundane activities - but wasn't sure how to approach going about it. Chantale was excited about running with this concept, and created a wonderful puppet protagonist. She emailed me some drawings, and everything sort of took off from there.
I began to deconstruct and thought: this will be my most complex puppet yet.
I knew I wanted to work with latex... a lot of latex. So after the drawings, came the armature. It was fairly easy to piece him together. His skeleton consisted of armature wire, some wooden blocks, balsa wood, epoxy, hot glue and some stretch bandage.
I then sculpted the character for scale and began making moulds. I had not made a mould since Prague and I was very nervous but happy about the process. Youtube tutorials are truly a gift.
I learned a lot about plaster and how important it is to apply a good mould release agent. I was also glad l had a big enough studio space to house all of this as I ended up making 3 separate moulds: 1 for the head, 1 for the body and 1 for the hands. At this point, we were well passed November and I thought: "Oh-oh, this project is ambitious!" Classic me.
It was easy to get excited by this creature of habit. Especially when it came to sets and props. His prized possessions, decor and uninteresting life began to become my own.
This was truly the ideal project for me to hermit into as we dove into winter.
The storyboard was broken down into scenes and timed to the music. Everything changed in the editing, but it was definitely good to have the main ideas mapped out.
As things progressed into production, my thoughts were entirely consumed by this little guy. I spent most of my winter nights in my studio with him.
We have spent a TON of time together.
The puppet and set design aspects of creation are what always delight me the most.
Collaborating with Lisa was a total dream.
She gave me artistic free range.
This has been one of the most enriching experiences.
Lisa: It's been a wonderful collaborative experience, and I hope we can work on a project in the future."
This was by far my biggest challenge. The greatest reward was seeing him come to life through this powerful song. I could easily keep listening to the sway of LCONs vocals on repeat for another 6 months!
After you take a peek, why not take a listen to this episode of FUCK YES! Ashley Comeau, Moniquea Marion and I talk about the trials and tribulations of setting goals for yourself. These ladies accomplished similar projects in 2016 and it was so, so inspiring to hear what they had to say about their process. Keep making art!
Now, I am going to spring free! This next quarter brings travel, work and play.
I can't wait to get my hands dirty.