How Did You Do That? Nancy Liang Shares Her GIF-Making Process

Nancy Liang1b

I’m excited! It’s finally time to share my newest fea­ture called How Did You Do That? This series will revolve around mak­ers and how they cre­ate the things we love. It comes from both a curi­ous and self­ish place, because when I look at an illus­tra­tion, I often won­der how it was made. Don’t you?  For the first install­ment of  How Did You Do That?, illus­tra­tor Nancy Liang shares how she cre­ates her beau­ti­fully spooky GIFs. She also gives some great advice for aspir­ing animators!

So, with­out fur­ther ado, here’s my inter­view with Nancy!

Brown Paper Bag: What’s the first step of cre­at­ing your GIFs? What type of draw­ing mate­ri­als do you use, and how do get your images on the screen?

Nancy Liang: I begin with sketches first. They start rather loosely but become more defined as I use them as a guide when I col­lage. Some­times my final work will not look exactly like my sketches — a few things may be miss­ing or changed.

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Nancy’s ini­tial sketch (fin­ished piece below).

NL (answered con­tin­ued): If it is an ani­mated piece I have to think about what I need to ani­mate before I start. I write a lot of notes and use a check­list. For me the ani­ma­tion process must be very orga­nized and con­trolled. The process is very close to that of tra­di­tional ani­ma­tion. The back­ground is usu­ally a sta­tic hand­made and/or hand drawn piece and what I choose to move is sep­a­rated into lay­ers and placed over the back­ground. I will then scan all my lay­ers into my com­puter, arrange them in Pho­to­shop and then start to animate.

I use lots of kraft paper and dis­carded card. If I ever use color I make my own tex­tures by paint­ing, using mark­ers, pas­tels etc. I use a range of graphite pen­cils rang­ing from 9H to 9B.

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Nancy’s fin­ished ani­ma­tion (sketch above).

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Beautify Your Home with Unique Silkscreens from Side Effects Print

Side Effect Print

Lay­ers of Needs by San­dra Milanovic

Side Effects Print is a col­lec­tive that con­sists of young, aspir­ing artists from the Balkans region. They pro­duce large-format silk screen prints that’ll no doubt enhance your space. Art­work is sold exclu­sively in their shop, and it’s very diverse in terms of styles. You’ll find character-driven por­traits, bold geo­met­ric shapes, and hand­writ­ten notes.

Every­thing is pro­duced on high-quality paper using 2 to 6 col­ors. Each piece has a lim­ited run of 100 prints and isn’t repro­duced afterwards.

I’ve included some of my favorites here! And, espe­cially for Brown Paper Bag read­ers, Side Effects Print is offer­ing a spe­cial dis­count. Use the code SEP15 to get 20% off your order. Offer is valid until May 1, 2015. So, get on it!

Side Effect Print

Lay­ers of Needs by San­dra Milanovic

Untitled 001 by Stefan Unkovic

Unti­tled 001 by Ste­fan Unkovic

Untitled 001 by Stefan Unkovic

Unti­tled 001 by Ste­fan Unkovic

Untitled 15 by Jovan Trkulja

Unti­tled 15 by Jovan Trkulja

Where Am I by Milica Pantelic

Where Am I by Mil­ica Pantelic

Where Am I by Milica Pantelic

Where Am I by Mil­ica Pantelic

Field of Rhombus by Danijel Savovic

Field of Rhom­bus by Dani­jel Savovic

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

Power of Legacy by Lazar Bodroza

BeginningEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Begin­nin­gEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

BeginningEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Begin­nin­gEnd by Bratislav Milenkovic

Land of the Lines by Zeljko Loncar

Land of the Lines by Zeljko Loncar

Insanely-Detailed Paper Animal Masks by Mlle Hipolyte

Look at all of these tiny pieces of paper! French illus­tra­tor and paper designer Mlle Hipolyte cre­ated these gor­geous ani­mals masks that are awe-inspiring in their intri­cate details. Seri­ously. Just take a look at the individually-folded pieces of paper lay­ered on top of one another. They build a col­or­ful, tac­tile form that mim­ics fur.

Mlle pro­duces 2D illus­tra­tions, too. Check out their Behance and Face­book for more.

 

Exquisite Illustrations Created with Thousands of Tiny Lines

sara corbett

Count­less tiny lines form these exquis­ite illus­tra­tions by Sara Cor­bett. The Brooklyn-based cre­ative uses the minia­tur­ized ticks in design­ing crea­tures like zebras, bats, fish, and more. They’re seen frol­ick­ing in the woods in unlikely pair­ings. (Who would imag­ine that a rac­coon and ele­phant are hang out?)

We all know the power of a small line, but it’s nice to be reminded that even the sim­plest mark can imply tex­ture, move­ment, and the dif­fer­ence between tree bark and a rabbit’s fur.

If you enjoy Sara’s style, be sure to check out her comics, too!

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And, a lit­tle extra: Sara also designed and made this cute plush toy!sara-corbett8

Fancy! Adorable Hand-Felted Cat Creatures and Regal Poodles

cat rabbit plush

I know, I know. It hasn’t been all that long since I fea­tured the adorable stuffed crea­tures of Cat Rab­bit Plush. But, I vis­ited her Big Car­tel shop the other day and was excited by what I saw! She’s added hand-felted fancy poo­dles and well-dressed cat crea­tures with their own lit­tle pets.

Since writ­ing about her work, I now own one of Cat Rabbit’s pieces — a flo­ral alpaca. And, I can attest at how well these are con­structed. They’re pos­able and chock-full of fun details like tiny flo­ral blooms and col­or­ful cheek high­lights. It only makes me want to buy more, more, and more.

cat rabbit plush

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Wonkyvision: A Delightful Look into the Strange World of Kyle Pellet

kyle pellet

Artists, illus­tra­tors, and mak­ers: do you keep a lot of your work from years past? Per­son­ally, I’m bad at that. I have the itch to clean and dis­card, which means I’m often get­ting rid of work that’s on my com­puter but is tak­ing up too much space in my apart­ment. That’s why, when artist Kyle Pel­let con­tacted me about his new pub­li­ca­tion, Wonkyvi­sion, I was intrigued. It’s a col­lec­tion of his draw­ings from 2010 to now.

Pub­lished by Val­ley Cruise Press, this 32-page zine show­cases Kyle’s sense of humor and his wacky char­ac­ters through­out the years. They pep­per the pages, bring­ing an absur­dest joy to the entire thing. Check out some of the spreads below. I love how he manip­u­lates pho­tos, paint­ings, and other draw­ings. They all look like they’re in Kyle’s “world,” but occupy dif­fer­ent parts of it.

Inside-Cover-Front kyle pellet KP 5 KP 10 KP 6 KP 18 Pg04 pg16 pg19 KP 16 KP 2

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Decue Wu’s Dizzying Textures, Patterns, and Colors (Oh My!)

Decue Wu

Decue Wu was one of many tal­ented cohorts in the MFA Illus­tra­tion Prac­tice pro­gram at MICA. She’s got a won­der­ful style that com­bines a dizzy­ing array of pat­terns, col­ors, and tex­tures, and she’s able to pull these dis­parate sources into a cohe­sive image.  Beautiful!

While I love me a good still life, I really enjoy Decue’s fash­ion illus­tra­tions. She’s repli­cated looks by Dolce & Gab­bana, along with Miu Miu, Lavin, and more for Vogue China.

You can fol­low Decue on Behance, too.

Decue Wu Decue Wudecue-wu-2decue-wu-8 decue-wu-7 decue-wu-4 decue-wu1 decue-wu-5

Beautiful, Bold Illustrations on Natural Fabrics by Amelie Mancini

Amelie Mancini

Amelie Mancini is a French print maker and painter who is based in Brook­lyn. Her Etsy shop is full of wares that I’m con­stantly search­ing for: tea tow­els, totes, and pouches. The hand-printed pieces are bold, shape-driven draw­ings that fea­ture ani­mals, plants, and dec­o­ra­tive objects. Check out that vase tea towel that’s below — it’s my favorite.

I find the graphic qual­ity of these acces­sories really appeal­ing. With their neu­tral col­ors and nat­ural fab­rics, they’ll be valu­able addi­tions to out­fits and decor, but also stand on their own as beau­ti­ful pieces.

Amelie Manciniamelie-3 amelie-4 amelie-2amelie-7 amelie-9 amelie-8 amelie-10 amelie-6

A Narwhal with a Ukulele? Now, That’s a Party!

Aniek-Bartels-7

Doesn’t this (above) illus­tra­tion by Aniek Bar­tels per­fectly cap­ture the essence of Spring? I am wish­ing for tem­per­a­tures warm enough to ride on a bike with­out a jacket.

If you think that image is fun, check out the rest of her happy draw­ings below. March­ing ele­phants, nar­whals with ukule­les… that’s a party I want to go to! Aniek has a Soci­ety 6 shop, too, in case you want any of these char­ac­ters on your iPhone case.

 

Aniek-Bartels-2 Aniek-Bartels-1 Aniek-Bartels-4 Aniek-Bartels-5 Aniek-Bartels-6 Aniek-Bartels-3 Aniek-Bartels-9 Aniek-Bartels-8

Adorably Tiny Totems Mean You Can Carry Your Spirit Animal with You

smallwild-10

Small Wild is the online shop of Danielle Ped­er­sen, and it’s where she cre­ates tiny ani­mal totems out of clay. The adorable ceramic crea­tures are dec­o­rated with gold accents and other defin­ing details. Some­times, she’ll strap fab­ric acces­sories to their back, as seen above.

I like the idea of car­ry­ing around an object that brings you com­fort, and that’s how I view the items in the Small Wild shop. Maybe the tiger is your spirit ani­mal, or you iden­tify with the sloth. What­ever the case, these fig­urines are a lit­tle reminder of joy that you can take with you through­out your day.

small-wildsmallwild-19 smallwild-8smallwild-18 smallwild-9 smallwild-3 smallwild-6 smallwild-2 smallwild-17smallwild-12 smallwild-16smallwild-11