Study of other figures in the field is an important part of whittling down to pointy animation skills. Coming from that tack, I'm going to start a regular feature of little write ups about interesting artists.
Last year I was asked to write the program notes for the Jim Blashfield retrospective at the Ottawa Animation Festival.
Having written a few of these pieces, I felt the need to pose a little challenge to myself. I wouldn't contact the artist, I wouldn't interview anyone. I watch his films and look at his artwork. Chris Robinson sent me a questionnaire the artist answered with all the "facts" and some good anecdotes. That was all I used.
I'm happy with how that article turned out (and with little modesty think it was the highlight of last year's Festival Reader), but I'm more happy about the time I got to spend with Jim Blashfield's films.
Like many still artists who move into animation, his primary technique is cut out/under camera manipulation. This is the look we're familiar with from his classic music videos.
The cut-out technique, though, is very sophisticated and uses an awful lot of images. So it's similar to rotoscopy in many ways.
Most interesting are the installations the artist has been creating for the past several years.
Animation is used as a means of expressing ideas -narrative or purely visual or just visceral. That's why they capitalize the "A" in Art.