Friday, 26 June 2009

A particularly animated experience

Last week I was privileged to have been involved in Arts week at my local primary school. While I was preparing, I thought back over my own arts education and recalled that probably the most fun was had back at University where we produced, as a class, a short animated movie based on a field trip to Berlin. I don't actually recall many individual projects set at Uni, (most of it passed in a blur of fun and Snakebite n' blacks in the union bar), but that one I certainly do. It was hard work, that's for sure. Hours of drawing and aching fingers. Frame after frame of 2 o' clock in the morning tedium. BUT, the result was awesome. A huge diverse range of animations joined together that represented our trip exactly. The fact that I remember it so well, suggested to me that of all the projects I could set my Year 4 group of children during Arts week, learning traditional animation would be a particularly enjoyable and rewarding one.

We went over the basics, the theory and the 'perception of vision', we created storyboards, we designed characters and we studied how many movements would need to be made to make one second of animation for each child. And boy, we had fun. What a fantastic experience to spend 2 days with such an enthusiastic, upbeat, creative group of little people. They were unexpectedly prolific and by the end of the project we had between us created a huge stack of cells to be scanned in and sequenced together. The results though, speak for themselves. 24 children, who had never animated anything before managed to produce a beautiful sequence including characters, movement and morphs.

I am incredibly proud of their achievements and would love to do more of this kind of thing. I can so see why teachers are teachers. To feel so proud of a bunch of children, who do not actually belong to you, is just inspirational.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Loitering in bookshops. Not necessarily but most likely Waterstones. Part 2

It's been a busy week this week. I've actually not had half as much loitering time as I would have liked. But having said that... This week, the book that I think is most gorgeous and would really, really, really like, (for myself, not my kids, obviously) IS... actually a set of books.
The 'This is...' set of books by

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Aesthetica Annual Creative Works Competition

Aesthetica Magazine "engages with contemporary art, contextualising it within the larger cultural framework. Founded in 2002, Aesthetica Magazine is one of Britain's leading art publications.

Exploring the varied nature of the arts and recognising the dynamics of contemporary culture, Aesthetica pushes the boundaries and evokes debate around today's most important topics. Bringing a fresh perspective to the national forum, Aesthetica is at the forefront of contemporary arts by critically engaging with visual arts, music, film, literature and theatre."

and at the moment they're taking submissions for their annual Creative Works competition. So, I've gone for it and entered some Rubbish Pictures. I'm not very good at entering competitions. In fact, I'm rubbish at pretty much all promotion. It makes me a cringe a little. But it needs to be done! Who knows, it can't do any harm and it might get me a little exposure... Fingers crossed...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I spend far too much time loitering in Waterstones...

I have a list. It's as long as my arm. If I were an exceptionally long armed orangutan, that is. I love children's books. They're why I wanted to become an illustrator and why I still DO want to be an illustrator! So my thoughts are that each week here on the teatime blog I'll chose my current favourite and share. It's going to be difficult. Theres one at elbow position I'd love to discuss at some point and a whole host around the nobbly wrist bone area.... but we'll get there. A whole long arms worth, week by week. That is so long as they stop publishing more....

This week, the book that I think is most gorgeous and would really, really, really like, (for myself, not my kids, obviously) IS... 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joelle Jolivet.

It's a very lovely object full of funky flat graphics and a bonkers storyline of being overrun by penguins.

This then wins the first ever 'Wallop Gorgeous book o' the week' prize. Hurrah for penguins. And amazing french artist types.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Family time at the Design Museum

A note for this years family day at the Design Museum has just popped into my inbox and I was very pleased to see it. We've taken part in various other family events run at the Design Museum and they're generally a good day out. Last year, we made 3 dimensional models out of.... anything and everything, ( a 3d rubbish picture no less?!) and then filled up one of the design gallery spaces with our newly created 3d cityscape. It was inspirational. Kids have no limit to their imaginations and are willing to get stuck in straight away with none of the reserve that us adults carry around with us so much. It was a delight to see and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with on this next family design day.

Monday, 8 June 2009

We walked for LIFE! :-)

I know, I know... this is an arty blog. I should be sticking to arty things and discussing rubbish pictures...But just as an aside, just this once, I've got to mention yesterdays Walk For Life in aid of Crusaid. What a fun day we had, walking the 10k route around London, from Tower Bridge to St Pauls Cathedral, round via Holburn to Waterloo bridge and back along the South Bank passing Tate Modern to return to Potters Field and a very welcome beer tent. This is an annual event, ideal for families and lots of fun, AND we managed to raise over £500 for Crusaid - a very worthwhile cause. So if you feel inspired, do join in same time next year!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A nice cream tea for hungry orphans?!

I've just put the finishing touches on a quick poster for my absolute worthiest client, The Lunchbowl Network - a wonderful school based charity who support orphans in the Kibera slums of Nairobi.
Once again Lunchbowl are raising funds, and it's time again for their annual 'Cream Tea weekend' where they provide delicious cream teas in return for a small donation to their funds. Previous years events have been a huge success even attracting visits from a host of celebrities. (Cbeebies presenters were particularly welcomed and appreciated by the younger visitors) Heres hoping this years event is just as big as a success and raises lots of money for a worthwhile cause. If you happen to be in the New Malden area do drop by and enjoy!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Sculpture (not entirely rubbish for once) in the sunshine

I'm not generally a huge fan of sculpture per se, I'm normally more of a flat-art-on-a-wall fan, but a weekend visit to the amazing Yorkshire Sculpture Park may well have changed all that. We popped in on our way down the M1 to see the exhibition by Sophie Ryder, currently showing in the lower fields area and we weren't disappointed.

'Ryder’s work draws on human, animal and mythological forms, melding the attitudes and instincts of each to create a series of hybrids. Ryder has developed a narrative around the Lady-Hare; a creature with a hare’s head and the artist’s own female body. Through this character the artist examines the human condition and plays out her own emotions'.

What the official blurb fails to mention is the sculptures are also awesome. They're huge, they're half rabbit half person, they're bonkers and they're just ... lovely. Best of all for me, there's a rubbish link here too... Ryder's works from a distance appear to be simple cast metal but on closer inspection, just like my own pieces, theres a whole wealth of discarded household 'stuff' in there to be found! Bike chains, bits of machinary, old toys. What a selection of truly great things to gawp at.