- May 21st, 2013
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This spring I was delighted to travel east to speak and visit at RISD and lead one of my stop-motion workshops at the Society of Illustrators.
Molly Walsh is the student who spearheaded my visit to RISD, she is a student with excellent drive that will lead her to amazing places.
RISD holds a dear spot in my heart, as I spent a semester there in 1995 as part of the Mobility Program where students in a network of private art schools can attend another school for a semester to take classes that their home school doesn’t offer. If you are a student you should inquire about it, it is/was a vastly untapped resource.
Anyways, I went to RISD to study scientific illustration, I spent practically all semester in the nature lab and spent my nights in the basement of some building at Brown Unv. drawing cadavers that the med students studied during the day.
I also was fortunate to take a watercolor class with the amazing Thomas Sqouros who sadly passed away in 2012.
After a semester I discovered that scientific illustration wasn’t exactly the right fit for me and I credit Jean Blackburn for sitting down with me and telling me that I had a drive that needed to explore other realms of illustration and image making.
I explored the Nature Lab all over again
and enjoyed a coffee at Carr House with SooJin Buzelli and Sota.
I then took the train to NYC and visited with the fine folks at Schwartz & Wade to talk about PR for the upcoming book The Beginner’s Guide to Running Away From Home.
I was able to pick up a copy of the April 22, 2013 issue of The New Yorker at a stand on Broadway to see my series of spots in it. Just a little thing, but was a pretty cool experience for this farm boy.
That evening I had a chance to sit down and chat with Sam Weber as part of his audio side project Your Dreams My Nightmares. I enjoy listening to his interviews (although I wasn’t able to listen past 10 minutes of my own). If you are not familiar with the podcasts, you should check them out. My interview is here.
this was my view overlooking Roosevelt Island
It was a packed house with 22 participants. Everyone was randomly paired with a partner, each pair was assigned a puppet and a prop or two. I gave a 30 minute demo and then set them loose. I am always amazed at how everyone just jumps in and goes at it.
Its a very small stage and folks have to practically work on top of one another and it soon becomes a large collaboration with several puppets and animators working simultaneously and taking every imaginable risk with the animation.
I absolutely love this shot with all the hands on stage.
We did have a rogue pair that took to setting up their own scene complete with handmade iphone tripods. It almost appears to be a stereo-optic animation in the making.
All in all, they ended up with roughly 20 seconds of motion. Not too shabby for 4 hours:
and here is the result of the iphone breakout session. Credit to Wonil Suh:
Thanks to Molly and her cohorts at RISD and a very special thanks to Anelle, Johnny, Kate and Katie for allowing me to take over the Society of Illustrators for an afternoon.