Friday, 10 May 2013

The Great Stage Coach Assignment (and cumulative thoughts on this year)

          Our amazing Layout professor/mentor/guru/motivator/dad Piotr Bielicki created this pre production assignment to teach us in 4 months how to prepare a solid pitch package for a film.
          We learned how to use value, how to draw interiors (of vehicles) and exteriors, town streets, outback, extreme long shot landscapes, receding detail, and discovered and used riffs (like drawing collections of rocks how to draw where the ground and rockface meet, vegetation, cracks in dry earth and tracks on trails).
          We learned how to draw stagecoaches setting us up to be able to handle any four wheeled vehicles, and how to draw arguably the most difficult mammal the horse (six of them, in-action leading the stagecoach connected by stirrups and cross bars, through the arizona dessert separated into layers).
          We studied famous classical, contemporary and golden age artists; painters, illustrators and production designers. We were exposed to a wide collection of western movies and after mid-term a variety of genres (big production musicals, science fiction, war: airforce, epics, anime, amongst numerous others).
          During Piotr's lectures, I was thoroughly inspired, exhaling the stress from the other narrow streams I bobbed along in the rest of the program, while he flew us over the world through time and space and around Saturn's rings.
          I've had that feeling of euphoria and inspiration numerous times before, but, preceding last summer's journey on the bike and leaving my need for medication with my ADHD, I've lacked the inner calm to focus those emotions into something productive, consistently and without a whiplash of anxiety.
Piotr helped me find my passion for art but he lead us with an air of sophistication, intellect, style, diligence, duty, and in a casual way.
          I jumped on the structure and proportion wagon, with perspective on the horizon. I still found it difficult to marry structure with gesture, Michael Hampton with Matthew Mattisse, Picasso with McCarthy, passion with product. I didn't start to clean up until second semester when Peter Emslie wrote something in the comments section to the effort of "Marking your work is frustrating, I know that you can draw, you have a flare for gesture but you have no structure to speak of". His final assignment I spent a good 4 days straight, doing the clean-up strategy that Piotr Belicki showed us, page after page, photocopy after photocopy until the gesture, the clarity and structure stuck through. I didn't compile it well with the background so the final product wasn't the prettiest but those 5 pages of cleaned up keys were the 5 drawings I was most proud of the entire year, proving to myself that I could clean up my crappy scribbles

          I got a mustachio-glasses-schnoz-disguise as a prize for the most improved this year, it sits above my desk to remind me.
           I didn't sleep much this year. Actually I made a list of ailments that me I've picked up over the year, grinding teeth, close to falling in the carpal tunnel, an aggravated a messed-up shoulder, a neglected messed-up toe, a hack and sniff for the last month, and a ripped, out-of-date, incorrectly sized and dwindling wardrobe. That's a price I was willing to pay for a collection of work that can really help strengthen my confidence and keep me going to make more more more.
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          I'm applying for a Summer Company and forming my portfolio, at least a freelancing one a precursor to the animation portfolio for next spring. I'm taking waaayyyy too many summer workshops, and sleeping and cooking healthy amounts again, fairly regularly  I'm even looking after my list of ailments and chipping away at the things that are holding me down from running races this September.

          If you're a hopeful animation student or going into second year, I hope you make the commitment like I did to your practise. This was one of the most satisfying years I've had, building myself up on my own after my three year slump after grade 12.  I have a lot of catching up to do with my peers before I'll be confident to apply along side them for positions within the industry, I'm so thankful for my bro and brodettes, and the professors that have stuck out their neck, a hand and their wisdom for me so that we can have as amazing careers in this interesting and changing age of the animation industry. In the 21st century!
YYEeaeeeee Hhhawwww time to paint!

aka the most interesting man in the world

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