Animation Plans

After being really happy with how my test animation turned out I want to make more animations with more ambitious movements and pathways.

This piece involves a stationary creature with animation motion lines around it, an almost comic-book-style of animation. I like how it depicts movement without actually showing any motion.

I want to try an animation with harsh corners as I want to take advantage of the fact that animation doesn’t need to be a physically possible motion.

Again, I like the harsh turn but also making sections of the path completely straight.

Another combination of a sudden turn and straight lines, really utilising basic geometric shapes.

I’m unsure whether to slow down the turns or keep them the same pace as the rest of the movement.

This idea plays with depth. Depending on the outcome I will either feature this more often or just stick to animations at one depth.

This is a wave motion, almost snake-like or a fluid swimming movement.

Another pathway using perfect geometry as I like the flatness it suggests.

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Book of Creatures 3

Some of the creatures are really starting to become quite strange and abstract as I work with referencing inanimate objects in their designs. These creature-object forms are some of my favourites from the book so far.

Bird-like creatures

Jar of jelly-like creatures




Shape-shifting creature

TV-mammal hybrid

Tree spirit

TV-plant hybrid

Computer screen-plant hybrids

Computer-plant hybrid

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Book of Creatures 2

Filling the book has been really enjoyable. Drawing one piece per page is a way of working that I think suits me as it doesn’t feel so weighted. There are certain creature archetypes that are starting to appear as I fill the book. Different species are essentially evolving within the drawing formula.


Bear-like tree-dwelling creature


Algae/swamp monster

Plant-mammal hybrids



Bubble/cell-like creatures

Anemone/seal-like creature

Another bear-like creature

Forest dragon

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Thinking about Aesthetics

I’ve been thinking about aesthetic art and how people react to it. Purely aesthetic art is just as valid as any other form of art, but it seems as though striking the balance between conceptual and aesthetic art can be really effective. A film by artist Maryam Tafakory was what made me really consider the relationship between conceptual and aesthetic art and how this relationship can be used to alter the audience’s experience.

Still from Absent Wound, 2016  (

I saw Maryam Tafakory’s film Absent Wound in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016. I was initially drawn to the screen the film was playing on solely for the visuals. It was an aesthetic that really resonated with me and I wanted to see what the film was about.

Still from Absent Wound, 2016  (

I watched it twice as I was so captivated by the actual content of the film, as well as the visual that initially drew me in. This got me thinking about how an aesthetic can be used to influence how an audience will experience something. Making something visually pleasing will always attract attention, although I understand that what is considered to be visually pleasing is to an extent down to personal taste.


I discovered Gizela Mickiewicz’ work online when I saw an image of her piece, Negotiating Distant Memories, online. Much like my experience with Maryam Tafakory’s piece, I was instantly interested in this piece.

Negotiating Distant Memories, 2016  (

Mickiewicz’ work led me to consider how to go about taking inspiration from a conceptual artist when making aesthetic art. Should the concept behind an artwork be ignored if all you are referencing is the aesthetic of the work? I don’t want to disregard an artist’s intentions but they may not be relevant to this theoretical piece.

Raw Time, 2014. (

Her work uses a lot of components that I am particularly drawn to for their material quality. She uses a lot of textures and colours that I favour. I’m drawn to tiles, concrete, plants, water, anything relating to bathrooms or swimming pools. Although these components are not necessarily present in my work, I see a vague resemblance in some of the textures and shapes I work with.

I identified some traits that seemed to be a running theme present in a lot of my work. My work tends to be calm, unimposing, non-threatening. In the same way people might make ‘angry art’ or ‘sad art’, I make calm art. I make non-threatening and unimposing work as I feel this allows the audience to get closer to a piece without being intimidated. I don’t want an audience to be scared off by a piece, I want them to be comfortable in the presence of my work.


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Book of Creatures

I remember working on a project about making a comic that came to a standstill. I wanted it to be either a comic or a collection of images or scenes that would cover a general theme instead of having a concise and explicit plot as I thought this would better communicate the idea behind what I envisioned. I thought the idea of having a comic without a narrative to be compelling as it kind of removes the comic’s main function, which is to tell a story. The project lost momentum as I was struggling to think of how to move the project beyond the planning stages and start making work. I wanted the drawings to be spontaneous and not heavily considered, so although planning was necessary, I felt that it might reduce the authenticity of unplanned drawings. I wanted to return to this project at a later date when I had a better idea of how to carry it forward.

Although I’m not making a comic, at least for this particular project, the idea of using a book seems an appropriate format to show this collection of creatures. So despite leaving the comic project behind, I wanted these drawings to still channel the same sense of spontaneity and originality as I envisioned the comic to have.

Using a book is a good way to encourage exploration. The end result will be a book of drawings in chronological order which is a good way to show development and how these creatures evolve over time. I’m hoping the a5 format will encourage me to produce lots of drawings without getting too held up on how ‘good’ I perceive each one to be, and having a physical book of drawings feels like a more substantial outcome than a collection of loose drawings.

A segmented creature

An almost god-like serpent creature

Stingray-like creature and a skeleton diagram



Pocket-sized creature

Genie/wizard inspired creature

Serpent-bear hybrid

Dragon-like serpent


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Water Sculpture Ideas

I had this idea to try to make the most appealing liquid I could imagine. I’ve also been thinking about creating a sculpture that would hold water. Combining these two ideas seemed to be the most effective way to use them as the sculpture will be a way for me to display the perfect liquid I’m imagining. In order to make this perfect liquid I’d need to try out mixing different combinations of liquids and pigments. I already have a pretty good idea about what this liquid would look like. 

Easy washing up liquid

The bright, turquoise-green colour of this washing up liquid is what tempted me to buy it. The liquid is glossy and slightly viscous and it also smells amazing as it’s aloe vera scented. I’ve almost become a bit obsessed with it so I thought it seemed appropriate as a starting point for the perfect liquid.

Sketches of water sculpture ideas

The sculpture is a way for me to hold and control a transient material, which is itself manipulated by how it is held and controlled. The piece contains something abstract

Another idea I had was to make a sculpture that holds a specific measurement of water. I thought about ways to measure water that were illogical or nonsensical, almost meaningless. It would be interesting to work with a two-dimensional unit of measurement as it’s so incoherent and inappropriate for measuring a three-dimensional material. A sculpture could be made with a one-metre-long groove on it, meaning that when filled the sculpture would hold a metre of water. Again, this could be combined with my ‘perfect liquid’ idea to result in a sculpture that holds a metre of this perfect liquid.

Sketches of ‘1m of water’ ideas

The sculpture holds water in a measurable way. The piece would quantify and contain a material that is difficult to quantify and contain. However, its quantified in an illogical unit of measurement, so this precious, perfect liquid is only presented as a nonsensical, abstract form.

When I thought about making this I was unaware of Duchamp’s 3 Standard Stoppages. My piece is similar to Duchamp’s in that both pieces physicalise and quantify something intangible and impermanent. However, the intention behind his piece was to ‘imprison and preserve forms obtained through chance’, whereas mine is more focused on containing and storing a transient material.

3 Stoppages Etalon, 1913-14  (

One could argue that the artwork is the experiment rather than the actual physical piece. The piece is only an object to preserve this experiment, meaning the work can be replicated for the same effect, which has really immortalised the piece.

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Creature Origins

During Foundation, I thought the kind of work I was going to produce was ‘not fine art enough’ to fit in with my fine art class. I categorised my drawings as illustrations, despite being entirely my own creation rather than a realisation of someone else’s ideas. I almost saw my drawings as a lesser form of art, but now I see that it is just as valid as more traditional and classical art.

There is a drawing formula I came up with a few years ago that I really enjoyed working with. It started out as a way of doodling or warming up to draw something so I never really thought too much of them. At this stage they were all fairly humanoid creatures but I varied them with different face and body shapes. The drawings always followed the same structure of a mask-like face and an extremely simplified body, drawn mostly in gently curved lines. I really liked that despite the differences in appearance, the creatures all looked cohesive and had a sense of unity, as though they could all exist in the same world.

This gave me the idea to see how far I could push this formula. Using the same general style but altering the faces and bodies more drastically, I developed these creatures to have physical attributes mirroring different species in the animal kingdom. The more I experimented with this, the more extreme their proportions and personalities became. The drawings became more exaggerated and stylised, and therefore were much more expressive. It was at this point that I had the idea to animate them.

The following images are some examples of early drawings of these creatures from a couple of years ago.

Self Portrait

Portrait of a friend

Self Portrait

One of the first more animal-looking creatures

An attempt at only using line and not filling in the face

Another loose, more line-based drawing


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Animation Test

I used this page of drawings as the basis of my animation. I really enjoyed drawing these as I could push this drawing formula in so many directions. After filling the page I could just imagine the creatures all moving around so I wanted to animate them.

Drawings in fineliner, A3

One thing that has previously held me back when wanting to make an animation is the idea that I need a narrative to be able to animate. Without a narrative I felt there wasn’t really a reason for me to be animating.

I came across an animator who makes fairly intricate 2D animations but with quite simple ideas. His work is very lighthearted and playful, almost nostalgic, as it often references classic Nintendo video games. Each animation briefly explores a concept or activity through a collection of short scenes, lasting only a couple of seconds. I like that the focus of his work is often playing around with movement rather than telling a story. This reassured me that animation doesn’t have to be a huge, daunting, laborious process with one outcome, such as a short film.


I followed the brief I set myself during the practice workshop, which was to animate a test cycle using one of the creatures I had drawn. I spent seven hours making the different versions of the animations, two hours of which was spent fine tuning them to be as smooth as I could.

I initially animated just the layout for the body so I could add more layers on top of it. It took a lot of trial and error to get the movement to look convincing and smooth.


I wanted to try making the animation smoother by adding frames in between all existing frames. This would mean the movement is only half the speed at the same frame rate as the original. I didn’t like how slow the movement was and I didn’t want to overcomplicate the animation with a higher frame rate as well as more frames, so I decided to just use the original base I made.


I went back through the animation and added the face to each frame.


Similarly to the face, I went back through each frame and edited on the eyes.

I presented my animations to my group on the second day of my practice workshop. The feedback was positive and motivating as my peers seemed to really like them. I really enjoyed making something lighthearted and working without a definite concept. Working in this way took the pressure off and made the actual animating process more enjoyable as it didn’t feel so weighted. My more conceptual work is often quite process-based, so working in this repetitive, partially-mindless way felt appropriate.

My goal with animation is to create something that is entirely made by me. I’m considering writing music to go alongside the animations as I like the idea of each piece becoming a complete audiovisual experience. The issue I see arising with animation is keeping myself motivated since I’m not working towards one final piece. I’ll have to keep myself motivated through the desire to explore how far I can push these characters and their movements.


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Practice Workshop

I attended Practice Workshop 7, which allowed me to visit Babak Ghazi’s studio and to view his piece Lifework. It was interesting to see the setup that a practicing artist would work in, and also to see how his piece was now being stored.

We were slightly put on the spot when we were asked to introduce ourselves and talk a little about our practice and the work we make. You could tell that we were all nervous and didn’t really know what to say. Babak commented on what each person said, drawing parallels between our practices and his own. It was really liberating to have an established artist relate my practice to his own. It made me feel much more confident in my work. Babak talked about how he feels he almost doesn’t have a practice as an artist’s work can vary so much over time, and that labelling yourself with a practice seems limiting. Having discussed the parameters of what a practice is, or lack thereof, we then reintroduced ourselves, now being given more of a chance to consider what we would say. I talked about being very focused on process, especially repetitive processes, and how I try tailor my process to be appropriately therapeutic for how I feel at that specific time.

Lifework showed a level of almost obsessive organisation that I could really relate to. Babak arranged all of these objects and documents into labelled box files according to their subject matter. I actually did a similar thing a few years ago where I organised all these documents and pieces of paper into a series of files, almost exactly as he did. However, my files had no labels so each group of objects was only categorised mentally. My actual organisation process was slightly odd in that there was no obvious logic to it. I used an almost subconscious sorting process based on my instinct of where each object should go.

Babak asked us to each set ourselves a one-day project that would allow us to overcome an issue we had experienced recently in our work. He essentially created an opportunity for us to try something that we may not have otherwise pushed ourselves to do. The one-day turnaround really helped motivate me to make the animation I’d wanted to make for a while. Also, I quite liked the idea of us as a group setting and sharing individual briefs to return at a later date to show our results.

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Railing Tape Ideas

The piece I am presenting at my first exhibition is the railing. I thought that the concept behind this piece seemed appropriate for my first show.

I have three ideas of how to wrap the tape around the railing.


Sketch of idea 1

The first is the initial design I came up with. One roll of tape hangs from each post of the railing. I would attach a roll to each post from one side to the other, hanging each at a random length and a random distance along the pole. I like the idea of working systematically; following a pattern or a set of rules made up by me. The result looks quite decorative, but also fairly plain.


Sketch of idea 2

The second idea involves laying four rolls of tape along the railing lengthways (effectively against the ‘grain’ of the posts) and off the end of the railing. The tape would be a simple, almost waterfall-esque shape, flowing along the top of the railing and off the end. This idea has a much more rigid, regular arrangement and doesn’t allow any improvisation.


Sketch of idea 3

The third idea uses only one roll of tape. It would be randomly hung, wrapping around the various bars. I want to make large, swooping sections of tape underneath the railing, whilst keeping the loops above the railing fairly taught. I want all of the volume to be on the underside of the railing.

I think idea 3 appeals to me most. The design would be completely improvised, which I think adds to the spontaneous, instantaneous action of attaching the tape to the railing. The piece offers a contrast in time frames. It’s the conjunction of two items: an old object with a lot of mental weight and the immediate, almost thoughtless action of attaching the tape. The piece also references site specificity as it can only be assembled when the exhibition is set up.

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