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Art Craft

A Studio Interview with Embroidery Portrait Artist Cayce Zavaglia

February 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Embroidery artist Cayce Zavaglia (previously) creates mesmerizing portraits of everyday people using cotton thread and wool. In this thoughtful video profile, Jesse Brass (previously) takes a closer look at Zavaglia’s process and speaks with the artist about her work. In their conversation, Zavaglia emphasizes the importance of seeing the beauty in ordinary life, and explains the symbolic significance of each portrait’s verso. She has a show of new works coming up in May 2018 at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York. Brass shares many more artist profiles on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 



Animation Art

One Minute Art History: A Hand-Drawn Animation in Myriad Historical Art Styles

February 9, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Filmmaker and educator Cao Shu captures the history of art in an experimental short film that lasts for less than one minute. Throughout the film, the central character goes through the small motions of everyday movements like checking the time and having a drink, with each frame rendered in a different art historical style. The film starts in ancient Egypt and progresses through Chinese ink paintings and Japanese block prints to Modigliani and Basquiat-style portraits. Cao renders a vast array of art styles in a manner that is evocative without being overworked. He lives and works in Hangzhou, where he teaches at the China Academy of Art.

 

 



Animation Design Photography

Grid Corrections: A Short Film Shows How Straight Roads Bend to Respond to Earth’s Curvature

January 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

That the flat Mercator projection maps we encounter in classrooms show a distorted view of our spherical planet is fairly well-known fact at this point. But the real-life application of grids on the earth takes a subtler form with the grid system of roads that defines much of the United States’ travelways. Dutch photographer and filmmaker Gerco de Ruijter created a short film called Grid Corrections that brings together dozens of aerial shots of rural roads. The film demonstrates how the grids are merged to accommodate the earth’s curvature through sharp dogleg turns every 24 miles. Grid Corrections will be screened at the Grasnapolsky music festival, which is February 2 – 4 in the town of Radio Kootwijk, The Netherlands. (via Kottke)

 

 



Animation

Negative Space: A Short Film That Explores a Father-Son Relationship Through the Art of Packing

January 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Presented above is the trailer for the stop-motion film Negative Space, co-directed by Baltimore-based animators Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata. The short film is an adaptation of the eponymous poem by Ron Koertge, which tells the story of a relationship between a father and son through the organized art of packing. Although both directors immediately connected with the message of the poem, the piece struck a personal chord with Kuwahata whose father had worked as an airline pilot.

“I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study,” Kuwahata told Variety. “My most vivid childhood memories are connected with objects, textures, and ordinary routines.”

The directors wanted to highlight these specific textures and feelings associated with everyday objects and clothing, bringing a sense of believability to each ritualized scene. Over the course of three months Porter and Kuwahata’s team fabricated each tiny sock, shirt, and belt from the original material, ensuring an idealized portrayal of the main characters’ connection and bond over perfected packing.

The film was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. You can view a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the animated short in a video by IKKI Films below, and watch trailers for the rest of the nominees on Short of the Week.

 

 



Art

A Relaxing Video Demonstrates the Detailed Steps of Making Paper by Hand

January 18, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Chinese vlogger Li Ziqi films her videos in the serene countryside of China, demonstrating step-by-step instructions for making traditional recipes such as fresh pomelo honey and Lanzhou beef noodles. In one of her most recent videos Li presents the days long process of traditional Chinese paper making, a process which can be traced back to the early years of the Han Dynasty sometime within the 2nd century BC.

The soothing video weaves together the necessary steps for making paper from scratch. During the video Li strictly adheres to the ancient process, using only basic tools such as fire and a mortar and pestle to transform the raw bark. After cutting down a few trees for the paper, Li then cuts and mashes the trunks into pulp, solidifying the consistency of the solution through several rounds of soaking and drying. You can watch the entirety of the demonstration above (along with a surprising twist ending), and view more of Li’s relaxing instructionals on her Youtube channel. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Photography Science

Breathe: A Stunning Black & White Timelapse of Thunderstorms Across the Central Plains

January 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Phoenix-based filmmaker, photographer, and storm chaser Mike Olbinski captures approaching storms around his desert home using high definition video, often posting his works to his Vimeo in 4K. Breathe, one of his latest short films, is the first ever work posted in 8K and features a selection of storms shot in 2017 in either the American central plains or southwest. Watch the video above in high resolution to witness the magnificence of each rolling stormcell gather and disperse throughout a variety of open landscapes.

You can follow along with Olbinski’s storm chasing adventures on his blog, and see more of his timelapse videos and photography on his website.

 

 



Amazing Animation Music

A Kinetic Block & Marble Track Perfectly Synchronized with Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers”

January 10, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Kinetic artist Mark Robbins of DoodleChaos made waves across the internet a few months ago when he perfectly synced a custom course from the Line Rider game to Edvard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King. As astounding as it was to watch the digital game and audio sync up, Robbins took things a step further by making a series of IRL Rube Goldberg-like contraptions with marbles, blocks, and magnets that plays perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers. The feat required listening to the waltz hundreds of times which he says resulted in him “going a bit crazy.” If you liked this, also check out YouTube user Kaplamino.