Eyecatchers: Matthias Brown

matthias-brownAs anyone who spends a fair amount of time surfing the interwebs knows, GIF animations are quite a thing.

And while, in my experience, the vast majority of GIFs out there range from the trivial to the annoying, many amounting to nothing more than a short, looped video clip stolen from some movie or TV show, thanks to the always reliable Colossal, this morning I’ve discovered the work of Matthias Brown.

Brown’s minimalist drawings are set in motion using rotoscoping technique, which dates back to 1915.

I’ve always loved the simplicity of drawing, how it serves as the foundation for so much visual art, from sketch studies that evolve into fully-realized paintings or sculptures, or even storyboarding for movies. I remember, years ago, a friend who, having loved the early Pixar films, was inspired to become a computer animator. He was quite proficient with computers, but in order to get into a college computer animation program he was surprised to learn that he first had to take a number of classes in drawing, because he had no experience in it whatsoever.

Matthias Brown’s GIFs have an ephemeral informality that, paradoxically, makes them at once enjoyable as playful, standalone pieces, while also suggesting that they could be preliminary ideas for bigger works.

For this installment in my Eyecatchers series, here are some of my favorites:

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Video Fridays: The Inflated Animals Of Rollin’ Wild

meerkatsForgive me, readers, for I have…

…well, I don’t buy all that stuff about sin, so…

Forgive me, readers, for it’s been over a week since my last post. (Yeah, that feels better.)

As I mentioned in that post, I took off last Thursday on my annual road-trip/camping/abalone-diving adventure, which was awesome as usual, but I came down with a nasty cold on my way back, and that was decidedly not awesome.

Anyway, it’s great to get back to my Fish & Bicycles thing, and I’ve got a very fun Video Fridays installment for you this week!

As I was lying in my sick bed, my wife showed me a video to cheer me up, and it was remarkably successful.

I’ve seen lots of cartoons with animals, in both traditional and computer animation, and of course the African animal kingdom got the full-on Disney treatment with The Lion King. So, you might think I’ve seen it all.

And yet, the folks at Rollin’ Wild have put SUCH a fun spin on the subject that I found myself utterly engaged and gratefully chuckling.

The spin? Well, the animators simply ask the question: What if animals were round?

Enjoy, and Happy Weekend, everyone!

Eyecatchers: Dreamy Haley Morris Animation

Haley-MorrisI’m not a HUGE fan of the music of Iron & Wine, essentially the stage name of singer-songwriter Sam Beam. I liked his early lo-fi recordings, with his breathy, almost whispering vocal delivery, there was nothing at all like it coming out at the time, but his music seems to have become more polished and produced along the same trajectory as his rising fame, something I don’t, personally, consider a good thing.

HOWEVER, while browsing Vimeo, I stumbled on a video for a song off of the new Iron & Wine album, Ghost on Ghost, and it really caught my eye, which, to state the obvious, qualifies it for this installment of my Eyecatchers series.

So, the music I can take or leave. It’s kind of a sweat, quiet song, somewhat reminiscent of early Sam Beam, but nothing particularly special.

If I can thank Mr. Beam for one thing, however, it would be for introducing me to the work of animator Haley Morris. You know you’ve been hooked, when watching one video leads to watching another, and another, until, as if in a blink of an eye, your lunch break is over.

Morris’ stop motion animation is absolutely stunning, with a dreamy quality that can transport you into her world of imagination. The mind boggles at the time and care it must take to craft these images and set them in motion, one frame at a time.

I hope you enjoy the following as much as I did: the Iron & Wine video, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of that video, and then one of her other shorts, titled Undone.