Charles Young must be a busy man. In 2014, he created Paperholm, a project where each day, a new model is produced, photographed, and uploaded to the web. On August 11, 2015, after year of building, he completed its first iteration. The paper sculptor then took a short break but has continued Paperholm as of November of last year. Charles’ creations now depict a city that has the hustle and bustle we’d expect from an up-and-coming metropolis.
Individually, the pieces are impressive—they often include some movement from, revolving doors to driving vehicles. Once together, however, you see how clever Charles’ work really is—the relatively simple forms (created with 200gsm watercolor paper and PVA glue) appear increasingly complex as they spatially relate to one another and create an overall narrative about the place.
I love it when embroidery is in used in unconventional applications, and designer Elliot Schultz has done so in a super creative way. He created a series of embroidered zoetrope!
If you aren’t familiar with a zoetrope, it’s an animation technique that uses a series of pictures on an inner surface. When they’re rotated and displayed — either with a strobe light or by photographs — the illusion of motion is created.
For his final project at the ANU School of Art in Australia, Elliot created six discs with animated sequences embroidered on their surfaces. They were designed to be played on standard turntables, borrowing the shape and size from a 10″ vinyl record. Once they were hit with a strobe light, the animations came to life.
Check out the GIFs and video to see these pieces in action. How cool! (Via Colossal)
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.
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.
I always enjoy a good GIF, and so of course I’m loving Allison Kerek’s work! She’s a Kansas City-based illustrator (my hometown!) who studied interactive design in Philadelphia. Her fun animations feature skulls morphing into Ben Franklin, flashing NIKE dunks, and of course, Missy Elliot on top of a jeep. I could watch these pop-culture-centric for a looong time. Kim Kardashian’s fluttering hair is mesmerizing.
If you want to follow along with Allison’s GIF-making, check out her Tumblr!
Here are some of Allison’s non-animated illustrations:
Nancy has since animated her landscapes and added glittering lights, subtle puffs of smoke, and your not-so-average travelers. They’re mysterious, charming, and have surreal elements in them. After all, when was the last time you witnessed a boat traveling across the night sky?
Each year, I look forward to the holiday-specific projects that put a unique spin on the classics, like Yule Log 2.014. Now in its second season, this series of short films are created by illustrators, animators, directors, and coders to bring the traditional Yule Log into the digital age.
There are a ton of them that are available for view on the Yule Log site. Here are some of my favorites!
Do you have about 11 minutes today? Sure you do! So, use your time wisely and check out Kristen Lepore’s new animated short, Move Mountain. You might remember her work, Bottle, which was widely popular a few years ago. This, like its predecessor, does not disappoint. Delightful yet sophisticated.
PS: If you have scardy cats like I do, they might be startled by some of the sound effects.
I don’t know about you, but boy, did it snow in Baltimore! Schools and businesses were closed and I didn’t leave my apartment for over 24 hours. Julian Glander’s animated GIF of a sandwich snowboarding down a mountain feels oddly appropriate right now.
The snowboarding sandwich GIF isn’t the only sub-related animation that Julian has in his portfolio. He actually created a slew of them for the popular sandwich franchise, Subway. The animations feature $5 Footlongs modeling, in space, getting their portrait painted, and more. I think Julian’s work is hilarious and I love his style. His characters are tactile, settings colorful, and it’s just a lot of fun. I wasn’t aware that Subway had a sense of humor, but these GIFs prove me wrong.
All images via his website. You might remember Julian’s work from the popular Yule Log 2.0 last holiday season.
These animated GIFs by Tara Dougans are a little crazy, a little weird, but very cool. They combine drawing, animating, and are a nod to fashion illustration. Some are subtle, like the long-necked models delicate tears. Others are dizzying, like the images directly above and below. I’m mesmerized.