Blog Hop!

Greetings, and welcome to my blog!

The whole reason I have a blog is due to Mary Williams, and if you do not know Mary Williams, you need to click on her hyperlinked name right now and treat yourself to some profound and groovy contemplation of the highest order. Long story short, she posted an enticing entry about a “Blog Hop” on Facebook, and I figured it would be poor form to participate without a blog. So, here we are.

The quick version, which I’ll flesh out later in an “About Me” page: I am an amateur animator. I am an incorrigible storyteller. Someday, I want to have my own animation studio, where I can creatively collaborate with other storytelling artists. Today, it’s time to Blog Hop.

Blog Hop Rules:

Answer the four questions below, link back to the person who invited you, and link to the person or people you invite to continue this hop.

Link back: Mary Williams, and one hop over: Julie Erwin, who linked to Mary.

Link forward: Hop on! Be the first!

The Questions:

1. What am I working on?
Currently, I have one project in production, “Lake Shore Drive”, and two more in pre-production.

“Lake Shore Drive” uses the same-titled song by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah as its soundtrack. My fiancee introduced me to the song about eight years ago, and I was so charmed by it; it features perhaps the happiest little piano part I’ve ever heard. I also enjoyed my first trip to Chicago around the same time, and I’ve wanted to capture the magic I felt of visiting a new city like that. My animation features the children’s characters I’ve created running around the Windy City and taking in the sights. I started it about 10 months ago, and I’m about halfway done with it.

The other two projects are still in pre-production, so I’ll decline to discuss them in detail until I’ve got them planned out. The first one focuses on meditation, the second one deals with the perils and treasures of shadow work.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Ha! This is a trick question. For short form animations, every work I’ve seen is so unique and different that it’s hard to pin down any kind of genre, in my opinion. So I’ll cheat and list what I hope shines through in my work: Strong storytelling, well developed and empathetic characters, and convincing artwork. (Distinct from “good” artwork. I know where my strengths are.)

3. Why do I write what I write? (Or, why do I create what I create?)
Because I have things to say! And doing so in artistic story form is sort of like breathing for me. I wish I had a better answer for this question without getting all sappy and esoteric about it. But the way I see it, the images and story lines that come to any of us are a gift and a responsibility. Even if it’s a story that’s been told before, there’s only one way this particular manifestation of the story is getting out into the world. I believe this about everything from Shakespeare to South Park, and it’s the creed that drives my work as well.

4. How does my writing process work?
Well, hm. I get an idea, or I hear a song or text, and images and characters start stitching themselves together in my head. Sometimes fully formed scenes drop into my my mind. Sometimes it’s just a single idea or scant image, and I have to wait patiently (or otherwise) for the rest of the story to download. I go out and take lots of pictures and/or video of similar settings I’d want to use for my story. Then I start doing a lot of really bad drawing. Then I do more bad drawing. Then something comes out of my pen that doesn’t suck so much. I also do a “Scorsese Storyboard”, a storyboard that is intentionally crappy, just to get camera cuts and timing flow onto the paper. (More later on why it’s called a Scorsese Storyboard.) When I need a break from the visual, I switch to audio and start putting together my sound, whether it be music or sound effects or voiceover. I continue on like this for a long time, until one day I turn around and see a half-formed project behind me. Self-motivation is not my strong suit, so seeing what I’ve done helps me to continue. And so it goes until I’ve finished it. Then it’s time for the next one.

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