Animated by Guillaume Blanchet (who you might know from his hilarious The Man Who Lived on His Bike), this new stop-motion short called A Girl Named Elastica tells the brief story of a girl who leaves her home to adventures around the world. Probably the most notable aspect is the ingenious use of thumbtacks and rubber bands to create the majority of the animation which takes place entirely on a small bulletin board. A Girl Named Elastica has been winning awards at animation festivals all over the world since last year, and you can follow Blanchet over on Facebook.
Paint Showers is beautiful animated short directed and animated by LA-based Miguel Jiron. Filmed back in 2011, the piece was made by photographing sequences of paint drips and splashes which were then set to sounds of rain creating an otherworldly thunderstorm of paint. You can see much more of Jiron’s animation work right here. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Since 2008 Hungarian/German graphic designer David Szakaly has been churning out some of the most dizzying, hypnotic and wholly original gifs on the web under the name Davidope. His blend of twisting organic forms, flashes of black and white, and forays into pulsing technicolor shapes have inspired legions of others to experiment with the medium, many of whom have been featured here on Colossal. It’s hard to determine the scale of Szakaly’s influence online, but a simple Google image search for “animated gif” brings up dozens of his images that have been shared around Tumblr hundreds of thousands of times.
Szakaly began experimenting with the vector animation program Macromedia Flash back in 1999 where he used the software to create presentations, banners, and other creatives for clients. It was nearly a decade later when he decided to dedicate more time to experimenting with motion graphics and found that Tumblr was a great platform to share his quirky gifs. While he still works in the corporate world on other digital projects, he has also found commercial success making animations for clients around the world. Though it’s his personal work that really stands out. If or when gifs end up on gallery walls, it will be hard to deny Szakaly’s role in getting them there.
Artist Caleb Wood created this impressive animation that he drew frame by frame on a wall at Prøve Gallery in Duluth, Minnesota. Titled Plumb, he refers to the piece as a “gallery animation installation.” Wood graduated from RISD in 2011 with a BFA in Film, Animation, and Video (a department headed by Dennis Hlynsky) and has gone on to show his work internationally. You should also check out his other recent animation project Goodbye Rabbit, Hop Hop.
Painter, muralist, ceramicist, lithographer, designer and kite maker Tyrus Wong was born in China in 1910 and emigrated to the United States with his father at the age of 9. As a child his teachers noticed he possessed exceptional artistic skills which would land him a scholarship at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. By 1930 he was working in Hollywood for Warner Bros. and from 1938 to 1941 he became a “Disney inspirational sketch artist” where his lush pastel drawings of forests and deer would serve as inspiration for the movie Bambi where he served as lead artist on the film. Wong retired in 1968 and began a second career of making kites which he would fly on the Santa Monica Pier. He is now 103 years old.
Update: It’s also been brought to my attention that the Walt Disney Family Foundation in San Francisco actually just held a retrospective exhibition for Wong called Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong. If you’re interested, the catalog for that exhibition is available here. (thnx, Kelly!)
Colourblind is the latest stop-motion short from Australian animation firm Oh Yeah Wow (previously here and here). While the animators have previously worked with light, textiles, clay and other materials, this piece was constructed from geometric wood pieces to tell the story of two beautifully imagined characters. The video was created for alternative rock band Elliot the Bull’s latest single by the same title, Colourblind.
No, you’re not on drugs, or maybe you are, in which case you might want to wait a while before watching this. Overstepping Artifacts is the latest fractalized music video from French animator and musician Alexandre Lehmann (aka Ricardo Montalban or Zzzzra) as part of his ongoing Musicians with Guns series. The clip is the definition of ‘otherworldly,’ and was created using special fractal software that results in morphing forms that seem part organic and part architectural. Overstepping Artifacts is a follow-up to his 2011 video Astroblast which is similar in tone but visuall quite different and also worth a watch. Lehmann talks a bit about his process in a 2012 interview over on Empty Kingdom. Best viewed HD, full-screen, headphones, etc.