Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The start of the festival season...

Hello hello hello!

Wowie what a couple of weeks it's been! Finished off on a major project Galaxy Chocolate Ad, and then I went to an animation festival called Animex.

I definitely have the festival bug this year, and I'm going to attempt to pop along to as many as I can afford!

Animex is a mighty festival in Middlesbrough, England, that has been running for 13 years altogether. Run by some spectacular lecturers from my old University. Over the years I've had the pleasure to meet an amazing array of incredible people, Eric Goldberg, Mark Walsh, Stuart Sumida, Ed Hooks, to name but a few.

...and this year was no exception.

There were lots of animation talks including Ed Hooks, Alastair McIlwain (Staandlooper), David Au (Rough Draft), Will Becher (Aardman), Murray Barber (The Mill), Ferran Domerech (MPC), Andrew Whiterhurst (Double Negative), Stuart Sumida, Hans Rijpkema (R&H) and Rob Dressel (Disney).

If you ever get chance to go to a festival near by or this one, in fact, don't pass up the opportunity.  It's such a great buzz, to meet all these very talented enthusatic people. It's a perfect place to make friends and meet old ones.

...because I'm a little afriad to babble on too much about how wonderful this event is, here are my favourite quotes from the event:

"We don't have problems, we have opportunities"
                                                    - Andrew Whitehurst

"The avoidence of failure is not the same 
thing as pursuing success"
                                  - Ed Hooks

"You've got to be prepared for your work to 
be thrown away. 
The joy is in doing it. If it gets out, it gets out!"
                                    - David Au

"If you don't recognise even a tiny bit of the caricature, 
it's not funny anymore....real life informs caricature"
                                              - Stuart Sumida

"Getting into the right frame of mind is all apart of the 
process of starting somethin new"
                                                  - Alastair McIlwain

I particularly liked Alastair's talk, it was filled with insight on how to open up your mind to creativity and how to achieve this. The link between a closed mind and goign through the process to achieve an open one:

Closed, soultion specific --> space --> time --> more time --> confidence --> Open, abstract view

But this can also be reached by....

Closed, soultion specific --> humour --> Open, abstract view

...the power of humour. Just like how John Cleese explains in the video a posted a while back called "On Creativity".

I can't wait to go to another one and meet even more people and get inspired! Hopefully I'll see you meet you there too :). If you'd like anymor infomation on Animex and thigns i saw/heard, just drop me an email. 

Otherwise visit

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Time out

Always take a time out.

Yesterday I did some café sketching, which I hadn't had time to do in a whole long time. I had forgotten how much fun it is! I really recommend you try this out, or on the tube, or at the zoo, at the supermarket, or the park, anywhere really. In fact Emma Coats posted an answer about this to someone yesterday on here blog, here.

It's a great place to observe people, how they act on their own, how they react to company, how they react when they realise you are drawing them! It's really interesting and can spark off some great ideas for your animations or artwork. Also, (if you can) it's a great time to switch off, and take some time out to collect your thoughts. Just take your sketchbook wherever you go, if you find an opportune moment, then your prepared to whip it right out!

Especially whilst there is a lot of rollercoastry type motion in the air within the industry, a little time out for yourself just to take a deep breath might be just what you need.

Now, I know this might not be everyone's 'cup of tea' (eh eh, get it? *I'll be quiet*) for a time out, so make sure you take one, whatever that might be, playing some sport, reading a book - also these and many more are other ways of observing, and building up that mental library of ideas.

Sooooo get out there and sketch (or whatever you fancy!)

P.s the thing I heard most last week from industry professionals was to 'draw draw draw' - I'll be expanding on this in my next post :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day!

Remember to get inspired! Remind yourself what got you into your discipline in the first place, what made you fall in love with it? It is Valentines Day afterall. Make sure you remind yourself on a regular basis, so you can feel that all inspiring oozzing feeling that drives you forward...

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


I'm sure everyone has felt deflated, unmotivated, in a creative rut or whatever you decide to name it (and if you haven't, well....then....neeeeerrr), so I decided to make this post on some of the top tips I have found whilst I have be scouring the internet for solutions....

(In no particular order)

Top Tip #1 - Just start scribbling. 

"Just start scribbling. The first draft is never your last draft. Nothing you write is by accident." Taken from this article.

If i've ever tried to help someone with how to start learning to draw, I usually tell them a couple of things to get going: 1. Start with the cheapest rubbishy paper and lots of it, 2. don't through any of the rubbish away. 

When I used to run life drawing classes for a social club at University, I started off with a warm up session to start with (like most of the life drawing classes I had ever attended). So people could scribble on the page, get warmed up, have a play, using the medium of their choice. 

I tried to encrouage the people that felt less confident to just make some random scribbles and scew up the first page a bit, so then the paper is ruined and anything after they produced on that page would only be better. It was basically an exercise to help them forget about a big gaping white blank canvas in front of them. They always looked like a rabbit caught in headlights when they first started. But the most rewarding thing was I saw this technique help them gain much more confdence in their ability and not worry about what they put down on the page. I read somewhere once, "well, are you really going to frame it and hang it in your hall?" - and this really made me stop caring about making mistakes in my drawings, if anything, mistakes are what you want, as you can only learn from them! I think this is important to apply to everything, just do it, you learn from doing. 

Top Tip #2 - Find Your Slogan 

I like this first tip from this website. I've para-phrased it below:  

Your slogan doesn't have to be a long meaningful deep poem or anything like that. Aristotle has a brilliant way of looking at things:

"We are what we repeatedly do"

He also links to someones struggle with motivation, be sure to give it a quick read and have a look at the comments too.

"If you say to yourself “I am what I repeatedly do” and then you ask yourself “What do I repeatedly to every single day? What does my average day look like?”, it really makes you face reality."
I don't believe it's critical or something you should stress about if you don't have your own, but I personally love the idea of it developing eventually, even if it's a feeling, rather then words. But I definitely think Aristotle is right, if you practise everyday, youll become what they want to be. You're own "slogan" might come to you as you progress in you career, hobby or whatever it may be. For me, in most recent months (hence the blog) is "Remeber to get inspired".

Top Tip #3 - last but not least "Start small. Really small" 
taken from this website

Sometimes the night before you've had that feeling, "tomorrow is going to be sooo productive, i'm going to get up adn do this and this and this" adn then you wake up, and you don't feel like it much. Or you feel like you've come to a dead end in something.

Come at it again from a different angle and start really small. I notoiced recently (if i've found myself in a procastinating whole) I can rick my mind back into my work. I'll start with somethign really tiny I can complete. Then before I know it i'm in full swing and a few hours have disappeared.

"If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Baby steps."

Anyway, I hope these little tips help you with some motivational bugs I've come across along the way, there's sooo many tips on the internet it's untrue, so it's impossible to note them all.

....and here's some inspirational videos for your viewing pleasure ;)