thank you

Just a little post to say thanks to everyone who came along to the screenings at ACMI and Fed Hall.

In the dark of the cinema, student film-makers were clutching the arms of their chairs in terror... well, at least i was! Until the silence was broken by those first few laughs, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Have a great New Year!


moo cards!

I got my moo cards in the post!
They're mini sized business cards, that can you can order in packs of 100, with up to 100 different images on the back. Almost like a mini folio on the back of your cards. sweet!
The print quality is great, and, well... they're so damn cute!


VCA animation screening

The VCA animation department is having it's own separate screening at 7pm, Tue 18th December at the VCA's Federation Hall in Grant St, Southbank. This will be free, and will be followed by drinks and nibbles. yay!
come along and see the fruits of our labour.


beginning and endings

The animation is finished! The academic year is all but over, and the VCA film school premiere screenings are ahead.

Melbournites, my animation will screen at ACMI on the following dates:
Fri 7 at 9.00 pm
Thur 13 at 7.00 pm
Sat 15 at 9.45 pm

It screens in Program A, which also includes a doco I had the pleasure of contributing to - Made In Australia, by Amie Batalibasi.
The doco takes a personal look at the lives of Vietnamese outworkers in Melbourne. These are migrants who work from home, sewing clothes for major Australian retailers.
The industry is characterised by sweat shop conditions - extremely low pay, long working hours, heavy workloads, unreasonable deadlines and strenuous working conditions. And yes, this happens here in our country!

I did some rotoscoping for the film:And the most important news... Australia has finally voted out the conservative liberal government after 11 years. (who knows why "liberal" appears in their name). This day was a long time coming.
If only this guy could have announced the results:


cups and cuddles

I went to the opening of the cups and cuddles exhibition last night, and can't recommend it enough. So any melbourne people reading, go check it out!
Lovely work by local ladies. I especially loved the delicate work of Catherine Campbell. Sigh sigh sigh. Beautiful stuff.



no posts in a month?! i've been neglecting this poor blog (not to mention my social life.. sorry friends!) as the end of the year approaches, and the deadline for the final animation looms.

A number of us have been practically living in the animation studio, staying there to work until the security guards come to kick us out at 10:30 every night. But the end is near!

Everyone is in the process of doing their final online edits and sound mixes. I'm still recording some foley with Matt, and synching up audio to my animation.
Yesterday, we spent an hour making sizzling noises by dropping burning matches into a glass of water. We had a dry old box of matches to work with, so it was quite an effort to actually light the little buggers, and only a few of them worked! Enough to get a few good takes at least.

The good news is - I've finished the visual side of things! Or at least - It's beyond my control now, as I've already transferred the visuals to betacam. So no more endless tinkering. (damn).
Here are some stills from the film. Oh, and i've settled on the title 'Lucille'. Titles are the hardest!


character development II

When I was still deciding which medium to go with for my animation, I started sketching my characters straight into Flash. I wanted to see whether I could still get an expressive line, drawing straight into the computer with a wacom pen.
These are a few of the developmental sketches.

hmm... i may have been listening to a bit of Johnny Cash at the time..



from the sketchbook

character design variations...


busy busy busy

Yep! It's been busy times down at the uni animation studio.
Everyone has been getting down to business working on their final short films.
Some people are doing stop-motion animation, so hammers, drills and glue are flying about in the workshop. The rest of us are doing 2d animation, so we're either hunched over the light box or the computer screen, and scribbling away.

I recorded a couple of fantastic actors from the VCA drama school the other week. I just sit at my desk and giggle under the headphones every time I listen back to the recordings. They are too funny, and it will be hard to edit down the audio. so much gold.

An actor's performance can really give you a new perspective on a character. The improv just goes places you never would have thought of yourself. It's great involving more people in a film when animation can be such a self-contained process.

Here's a little still that's actually coloured.
So far I've been animating the linework, and leaving the colouring til last.



Well - I've decided to draw my animation frame-by-frame, but straight into flash. A sort of compromise between the two approaches I was considering before. I'm hoping this will help me loosen up my drawings a little.
Here's a few little examples of what I've been working on..

A rough model sheet for my girl character

This is Mark the poor embittered guitar shop guy, and his many wondrous hairstyles.
Bottom left wins. I drew a lot of quiffs that week...

And here he is in his element - apathetic behind the counter!


Illo Friday: Missing

This is the first time in forever that i haven't done the illo at the last minute on a friday. ha! Procrastination is not always the enemy of creativity! Now.. ermm.. i should get back to designing backgrounds for the animation.


Illo Friday: Poem

This week's topic made me think of spoken word.
Allen Ginsberg has to be my favourite poet, and there are plenty of recordings of his crazy spoken performances floating around.
But here's a link to the poem in this guy's mouth, A Supermarket in California


character development

More character designs for the animation. I've been changing styles every two days.
It's like being unable to choose between the many options on a menu... they all seem so tasty!


In development..

Here's a sneak peek into my next animation project. This will be the main character.
I'm still at development stage, and I keep changing my mind about what style of animation to go for - hand-drawn or flash. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Hand drawing means you have to draw all the in-betweens yourself. That means almost every frame, and with 25 frames per second, that's a lot of repetitive drawing!

Flash cuts out some of the in-between drawings. However, it can look quite flat and.. well.. 'flashy' at times. So even if I used it, I'd be tempted to animate frame by frame, mirroring the hand-drawn process.

decisions decisions!


Hedgehog in the Fog

A beautiful 1975 animation by Yuri Norstein.
I recently saw it for the first time and it just blew me away.

Hedgehog and his friend bear cub have a nightly ritual where they drink tea, count the stars and have conversations. On his way to bear cub's house, hedgehog sees a white horse, and wonders whether she will choke if she lies down in the fog. He decides to investigate and delves into the fog, becoming hopelessly lost.

can it get much better than this?
yes! watch it!



Here are a couple of stills from my animation Crooked. It is finally finished - yay!
It was a great learning experience drawing the whole thing by hand. Something I'd never done before. (ahh, how quickly one forgets the pain)
I got a great soundtrack by the excellent Matt Lewin, a mixture of accordion and tremolo guitar.
I won't be posting it on the interweb, so no previews, sorry!


Illo Friday: rejected

I love the theme on Illo Friday this week.
I was going to illustrate this, but thought it would look sillier as a photo.
nasty, nasty lemons!


Illo Friday: Suit

Is this cheating? I'm going to use some images I baked previously for this week's Illustration Friday.
Here's a character design I sketched for an animation exercise earlier this year. An ageing newsreader.

And here's how he looked in the finished product! As you can see, he's very excited to broadcast to the masses.

He was made of a wood and wire armature, covered in plasticine, with a removable jaw.
It was really fun to make.I haven't 'sculpted' anything in years. It feels great making something with my hands, even if it is a grumpy newsreader with a receding hairline.


The mayhem comes to an end

Well, the animation is almost done! Just a few more tweaks, and it should be finished.

It might seem like I've done nothing, as I've hardly posted about it. But i've spent most of my time these last 5 weeks at the studio, drawing drawing and drawing. My poor hand is taking revenge on me by refusing to function properly. Stupid hand.

Here is another sketch I did while developing the character:


Illo Friday: Cars

Here's an oldie i had lying around. It fit the bill for this week's Illustration Friday topic.
It's the fantasy of being a race car driver you have when you play with those little toy cars.

Uni has been frantically busy the last few weeks, so I've neglected poor bloggo...
But in between lack of sleep and lack of sanity, I will have finished my new animation in the next week. yay!


Illo Friday: Neighbours

Friendly neighbours in the fridge

The mayhem begins

I'm studying a postgrad course in animation, and this week we start production on our first little film. It's a 30 second piece, and I've decided to hand-draw it. scaaary...

Here's a peek into the development of the character:


to painter or not to painter

I've been trying out a program called Corel Painter, that we were introduced to at uni. It imitates real artists materials.
I do like the fact that there's a program out there that can achieve these kind of real textures, but at the same time, it feels that.. well... isn't it easier to use a real pencil?

I guess there's no undo button in real life :)

Below is the pengi I created for this week's Illustration Friday topic - Polar.


First of all...

Here we go..

I thought I'd finally bite the bullet and start a blog.
(Blog is such an ugly word... couldn't they have thought of something that rolls a little nicer off the tongue?)

I'm a designer/ illustrator and have just gone back to uni this year to study animation full-time. yay!

I'd like to use this space to post my artwork and works in progress, in the hope that it will provide the much-needed kick up the ass, to get me working on creative stuff more often.

So milk and cookies... as the description suggests, are nicer than bread and butter. Bread and butter is what we do to survive. Milk and cookies is all the fun stuff in between. Sometimes the two overlap (in a cookie sandwich?) This blog will mainly be about the milk and cookie side of life..