Happy & Sad Dreams

Hey friends,

Sorry, this blog has been inactive the past month or so. I’ve been prioritizing other projects and IGOTAJOB.

Not saying what this job is at until I’ve finalized paperwork…mostly because my brain is still telling me that it’s not real even though I know it is. It probably won’t feel real until the first day of work which is coming up on March 13. In the meantime, I’m moving to New York City without a place to stay and lots of craziness as a result. Well, that’s not entirely true…I have family in Connecticut that is letting me crash there for a couple days while my dad and I go apartment searching. After that, the only plans are to make an Airbnb reservation for the rest of the month. I leave for the city this Sunday, March 6th. Life has gone from 5 mph to 100 mph what feels like overnight.

To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m absolutely terrified too. But the good kind of terror. The kind of terror that you just are so excited to pursue that you’re running at a cliff full speed with only a very thin bungee cord and a very brief safety talk. I’m so unprepared but so ready to spring at this opportunity. Life is going to be insane for the next month and I will be updating this blog as much as possible.

I’m thinking about daily uploads here again. Ones that function similar to a journal so that I don’t forget all the little details and moments of the move and memories I’m about to make. I am so ignorant right now of all the business and movement New York City is going to hit me over the head with, but I’m so excited to try my best and live there.

In other news, a sad one, some of my childhood is leaving me. My favorite video store, The Video Station is closing. It hurts like hearing a friend has passed to know that my weekends will never again hear “Can you pick up _____ film/movie/tv show from the Video Station?”

It’s a relic that shaped my childhood, my dreams, inspiring me, and gave me a goal I didn’t realize I had. I want to design title sequences at some point during my art journey and the movie magic love comes from this place. I owe The Video Station for teaching me about stories. It’s a library of artistic moments that have shaped some of the stories I tell today. My dad said it sadly, “I will no longer look forward to Friday evenings.” It’s true. Every time I’ve left Boulder some of the things I miss most are watching videos and TV with the family, eating dinner, and going for walks with the pets and my mother. But crowding around the TV to watch a film my dad grabbed from The Video Station was always something I loved. Fresh popcorn (not that microwave kind), green apples, blankets with the lights low all huddled on the couch to anticipate the film found on the shelves of this place.

It’s sad to hear, not something unexpected, but sad. I’m sorry that it happened and some part of me wants to find a way to fight back, but I’m not sure how. How do you bring a video store back when everyone wants convenience? I’ll admit Netflix is easier to watch sometimes, but it’s never had all the titles I want to see. There’s no charming surprise of a title there, just algorithms that tell me what I’ve already seen in a different form. I’ll miss the recommendations and the charm of browsing, finding that story I didn’t know I wanted to watch.

To The Video Station, Thank you for giving me a foundation of stories to live by. Horse films that I rented out constantly, horror and sci-fi I couldn’t get instantly from Netflix, foreign films I’ve never heard of, and stories that bring me joy. Thank you for being here and I’ll miss you greatly, old friend.

thevideostation

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2016 Highlights & Review

Here are some highlights from 2016 and my New Year’s Resolutions.

It’s interesting looking at to what this blog evolved to. It started with stories and then turned into this journal of trying to keep myself on track with goals and habits. I’m proud of keeping up my habit. Missed a few days but kept to it almost every day this year. Here’s the favorite posts from the year. There’s more of course, but I can’t pick all of them!

Proud of all the hard work I put in this year, but still got a lot to get done. I looked through the original resolutions I had for 2016 to see what I had accomplished and pivoted.

  1. Animation Shorts: Make some shorts to advance my portfolio.
    • Pivoted this one into learning better animation skills from School of Motion. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in animating with After Effects. I feel more confident in where I want to go career-wise as a result.
    • Created some GIFs and worked on a couple larger animations. Some are not finished but I hope to finish them in January.
  2. Stories: Learn how to tell better ones
    • Changed this to learning through watching and analyzing short animations. I wrote a few stories through the year, but I changed focus to learning stories for animation and film.
  3. Minimalism: Start getting rid of things that don’t add value to my life.
    • I never made a full commitment to this one so…It did save me many times during the year when I did want to buy objects. A good reminder to check if I actually needed it or if I just wanted it. Still need to clean out and donate many things, though.
  4. A career job: Get a career job in graphic design.
    • Got one at the beginning of the year, but after that, I kind of dwindled. I lost a lot of confidence after I had to turn down a freelance project for the first time. November’s Startup Weekend really helped bring back that confidence. I think I will be able to focus better and apply for many things out of my comfort zone now.
  5. Read more.
    • I’m def going to make a habit of reading a minimum of 15 pages a night. I read some books but I’m disappointed in the amount of reading I actually did.
  6. Start a Youtube channel.
    • ACCOMPLISHED. I didn’t post much after the Booktube-a-thon but I started and that was the whole goal. I will hopefully post more in 2017 and find my footing there. I’m still camera awkward, but the more I practice the better it’ll be.

I’m happy with what I’ve done this year, a little annoyed at some parts of the work ethic, but excited to change these bad habits. Can’t wait to see what I make of 2017! I’ll admit 2016 was difficult with all the deaths and the sad moments, but we’re still here pushing forward. I’m just so excited to be out with the old and in with the new. I’m excited to work and make all the new goals real!

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’re celebrating and looking forward to making 2017 amazing! I’ll have a post with my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow! Have a great party and stay safe!

~Kendall

Extended Deadlines are the Best

Good news, I can sleep tonight. After all that stress about making the deadline for the Pond5 Title Sequence contest this week they extended the contest till the 30th!!! I CAN SLEEP GUYS. SLEEEEEEEP. Which is important because I have a lot of networking opportunities tomorrow…after the 4 I’ve already done this week….so much follow up. I’m so tired, but having so much fun. Denver Startup Week is so amazing!

Since the contest is extended I halted my hasty animating. Now I can focus on making good animations and finessing, rather than rushing. Still going to hustle and get more animation done tonight, but now I can stop at a reasonable time like midnight. There’s no need for me to look and feel like my animation right now.

Here’s a short preview. Ignore the real cursor. If it wasn’t obvious I was prepared for a long night considering how tired I’ve been from Startup Week. Glad I can relax a little bit. Still got tons to do, but now I can have better animation!!!

process

 

Wrap Ups & New AAR Song ‘DGAF’

Finished my wrap up video for Booktube-a-thon. Includes the spine poetry & TBR lettering I never posted.

Since that’s done I’m now currently distracted by the new All American Rejects Song DGAF.

Animation Inspiration 30

Boomerang Global Rebrand

I love this rebrand! The brand is very bouncy and cartoonish, which I love. Seeing all the classic cartoons running through it too is great! I love that there’s a channel to complement Cartoon Network. It’s great to see how it still feels similar to their parent channel, but also has their distinct own style within it.

You should also read the in depth article as to how they rebranded the channel and their though process on the new branding for Boomerang. http://artandgraft.com/portfolio/boomerang-rebrand

Reading case studies is one of my favorite things to do! It’s always fun to see why someone has created the brand in the way that they did. Also they have a style guide up there, which is like eating chocolate cake with raspberries on it and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream together while drinking some alcoholic fruity drink………..um…yeah, I have a thing for style guides. I really love seeing design process.

Loogos in Motion

Yaaaaaassssss. I’m gonna have to keep this on file for reference. I love the transitions from logo to logo, as well as the personality that the animation adds to their logos. It’s really fun to see all the different types of logos, and they still work together in in this showreel. I’ll probably come back for some studies of how they animate their logos so I can create animate some of my own. ❤

Animation Inspiration 26

Marathon

I like watching the characters run with the fat wobbling around. 😀 So cute & hilarious. I likey it. I’ve been reduced to describing things as a child because I enjoy these types of animations so much. lol

ALM Illustration/Animation ’16

I should do an Animation Inspiration devoted just to reels. It’s so much fun seeing all the different pieces of work pulled to work together in less than 2 minutes. Syncing to the music is hard too so it’s interesting to see how these all still work to the beats without compromising the original animations. Also the strong visuals and movement in this reel just make me happy. This reel is really interesting, especially after listening to my favorite podcast, Animalators. Which if you like mograph you should listen to. I’m addicted, I don’t know about you, but I am.

Animation Inspiration 16

It’s April and I’m rewatching Christmas animations…this is completely normal, because Spring is the time you think about fireplaces and hot fires to curl up next to…right? Okay maybe that’s a lie…I really just think about how I should probably go outside instead of sitting inside trying to art, but then decide that watching Charmed for the umpteenth time is probably a better idea. Anyway, back to the animation inspiration.

This is Yule Log a project created by Daniel Savage which has creative animations of yule logs from many different animators! There’s a ton of which are beautifully done and absolutely mesmerizing. So many unique styles which makes me excited to create. If you have time you should watch all of them, otherwise here’s a few of my favorites (which is all of them, but I made myself only pick 3 for the sake of this blog).

Tripping over Thoughts & The Raven Boys Book Review

I don’t know what it is, but I’m just smitten with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I started trying to hand letter the title again. There’s just something about this book that makes me fall head-over-heels for it. I honestly was going to work on my Snackadoodle animation and start refining my script for my Untitled second animation. I picked up The Raven Boys book again for a little research for an art project, instead I found myself rereading it. Just drinking up the words.

I’ve been trying to make a coherent paragraph on this book, but I just can’t seem to express these feelings I have. I feel drunk on the pages and like I’m eating chocolate at the same time. It’s just such a strange thing to describe the power this book has over my creativity. I’ve been sitting on so many ideas for creating, and yet I haven’t done them. WHY HAVEN’T I MADE FANART? This is me being uncomprehending of this blasphemy. I don’t think I’ve been this excited to make something since Hannibal. And I created a whole brand for that TV show just because I could. Logo, patterns, and a whole lot of silhouettes.

Just tripping over my thoughts today.

So making this relevant to storytelling with a quick synopsis and a short spoiler-free review.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is about Blue Sargent. She comes from a family of fortune tellers, and everyone has some kind of prediction ability except for Blue. Her family has told her for as long as she can remember that she will kill her true love. The story centers around her coming of age and meeting a group of boys that attend the all boys school, Aglionby Academy. They are known as Raven Boys. One of the boys in this group is supposedly her true love. There more to the story, but I don’t want to give anymore away if you want to read the book, which I suggest you do.

I thought it was a rich narrative with a voice I haven’t really encountered. I don’t know if I just haven’t read books with Stiefvater’s style of writing or if she’s just very unique in her own style, but I really love the way she structures this story. The narrative is well done and pacing is great. There’s a ton of world building and a great sense of detail that makes the world seem real.

The characters and how they are depicted in this narrative is a little hyperbolic, but still rooted in real emotions and life. This makes the characters feel very real and full of layers. It is a fantasy book, but there is a nice realistic feeling that contrasts all of that. Example is that Blue’s family deals in predictions, but at the same time it’s set in a modern type setting. So there’s magic but there’s also cars and they still go to school (unlike some high school TV dramas, looking at you Pretty Little Liars). It creates this picture of what we think of fortune tellers to be by making it feel modern with very sceptical and vague predictions. On the other hand you have very mystical scenes that happen in the book which are described in a realistic tone. It reminds me of that feeling where you turn in a test and you’re just so sure you failed. Absolutely positively failed that. And then you get your test back, and somehow you passed and got a high grade. So it’s that feeling of knowing you did well, but you’re not at all sure how you pulled off this miracle test grade. I guess that’s the closest feeling I can think of to describing the way Stiefvater wrote this book.

The plot develops quickly and goes in unique directions. I can’t say a lot without spoilers, but I really enjoyed the twists near the middle and end of the book. I could say more, but I want to leave some excitement for my creative projects I plan on making. There’s just so many things in this story that make me want to wildly create fanart. I forgot how powerful the story was for a little while there. I’ve been wrapped up in other stories and thinking about my projects, so, when I just started skimming and then rereading it just made me remember how much I loved the book.

5/5 Stars because I’m still drooling over it.