Friday, 24 January 2020

Back to Basics

Having just finished rotoscoping some fish, I was in one of those slumps or limbo type periods, where you've been working on a project for some time without considering where or what direction or project to take on next. This is because you've been putting so much time and energy into one project, thinking about another is not really on one's radar. Or at least not in my case. Once completing said project, I often feel empty, blank and directionless. Not a nice feeling, especially when you've just completed something quite substantial and have the drive to continue creating, but not necessarily the urge to do so.

Sometimes I find it hard to pick myself up after these moments and find the inspiration and motivation to move onto the next project difficult. This emptiness can last for sometime. Welcome to the world of being an artist! I think it also comes from the fact that I don't want to create a piece of work which is pointless (can argue that all art/ everything is anyway, but will leave that for another day) or doesn't reflect the type of work I want to create.

When this happens, depression starts to creep in and then the motivation to create work diminishes. Then the less work you create, the worse you feel and so on and so on. These days I'm better at managing these sorts of emotions, though I'm aware that I shouldn't use my creative output to define my worth or perceived happiness within myself.

Despite having a couple of afternoon's where I really slacked and decided to watch a few films instead, I decided to move aside from my computer and get out the good ol' sketchbook. To be fair, I'm quite surrounded by the things, but I only really use the 'big one' in between projects when most of the creative work and the bulk of thinking bits take place. This is opposed to when I have filmed all the footage to rotoscope and can just begin animating. I use an A6 one day to day for idea jotting, scribbling, meeting notes and also my daily and weekly plans.

Getting out the big sketchbook though was a good move, as was sitting elsewhere in my room rather than in front of my computer, even if it was switched off!

After some mind mapping, script writing and further ideas generation and development, I decided to paint some abstract animation frames to just (in the most hippie phrase ever) free up my mind (dude) and see where my ideas might take me. In my experience, it doesn't always matter if you know where you're going before you begin a project- sometimes beginning a creative endeavour will lead to inspiration and a clear pathway in the act of doing so. Sometimes it doesn't and that is also okay. It's good to make mistakes and experiment often in your work, or else it poses risk of turning stale.

Here's the 'before' if you will:

And the 'after':

Out of 140 frames and two hours of scanning in, it lasts for 9 seconds. Lovely stuff! I applied a wave warp filter to it in Premiere Pro in post production to give it another dimension and appear less 'flat' looking. It also was a bit too (unintentionally, mind) reminiscent of Ed Sheeran's album art work. Despite being a fan of his music (don't @ me) this was whole heartedly not the case and any likeness is genuinely pure coincidence.

Without especially knowing where the project is going (if at all), it definitely served it's purpose in terms of ideas generation and getting the creative flow, urm flowing again.

It is good to experiment. I might do this for a while.

...Talking of which, here is something the same, but different:

This time, I painted some squares different colours in an abstract way and combined it with some rotoscope animation to see what the techniques will look like when combined. I just did a pretty simple/ meaningless animation of me picking up a top, to test the technique. I feel it works quite well, though hard to say when it doesn't have much meaning attached. It would definitely be a technique I'd like to progress with and explore even further...

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