What’s Next?

So… thats it. I am officially finished University. So whats next?

Well, something i don’t talk about too much on my blog is that i have a major heart condition. I had my last surgery when i was 11 and it has done me very well, but as the years go on it has declined and so at the end of this year i am having two surgeries.

My recovery time in 2004 was a few months, and it will be the same this time. Due to this fact, i don’t want to go out now and start working for a studio and when i’m a few months into it say “hey i’m away for a few months, bye!” i am always feeling tired and struggling to get work done, i don’t want to start my professional life this way. I would much rather wait and begin when i am at the best health i can be, and can produce the best work i can.

So for now, whats the plan? Sit around and wait? HELL NO.

I am an artist and illustrator at heart. It’s what i enjoy doing, and its probably what i am best at. Through the past few years i have gotten the odd commission to do paintings of peoples pets etc and sold some water colour illustrations also.  So i am turning this into a business.

The Crafty Cat

I want to do all things craft (paint, draw, design, tapestry etc) and so i wanted the word ‘craft’ in my business name somewhere. My name is Emma Catherine, and it was my close friend Mark Lisk who said “What about the crafty cat?” and i was sold. Being an animal lover as well, it was perfect.  I got straight to work designing a logo.

I knew straight away i wanted the logo to be a cat. Due to my dear love of water colour painting, i came up with this…

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I simply took a basic cat silhouette from google and then started playing around with splats of colour with my paints, I combined them and made this, and for once, i actually love it. It embodies everything about me and my designs. Colourful, playful, delicate and usually involving an animal.

For the font i knew i wanted something quite natural, but since my own handwriting is pretty rubbish, i found this for free on Dafont.com and i think its perfect. It is called ‘Jellyka- Estrya’s Handwriting‘.

Although ‘The Crafty Cat’ has not been announced to the public yet, everything has been set in motion. I have made a Facebook Page…

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And an Instagram Account…

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Although as you can see, both of these are empty as i don’t want to start uploading to them until i have announced the business and the pages are ‘live’ so to speak.

I have also ordered business cards, once these arrive i will officially be ready to roll…

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Even though this venture has barely begun, i am very excited and hopeful for the future. If it goes well i will eventually start an  Etsy store too.

Talk by Mike Bell

Today i went to a talk by the ‘Simons Cat’ Executive Producer, Mike Bell at Duncairn Art Centre.

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Funnily enough i had actually met him 2 weeks ago, had a full conversation with him about animation and not realised who i was speaking too! (awkward…)

Now working with a new company called Ncycle (wich i knew)

Simons Cat is wildly known but also became a cult fandom through social channels such as facebook, Books and apps.

Mike used to work at Tandum for about 15-20 years with Simon. Simons Cat was originally created using Adobe Flash, he decided to put it in his showreel and got 30,000 views per day!

Someone illegally put it on Youtube and it went viral. Youtube allowed them to claim their video, and the original film was called ‘Cat- Man- Do’. Wich i remember seeing for the first time all those years ago, and falling in love with it, it was funny, well timed and so relatable to anybody who owns or has owned a cat.

this film got millions of views and their channel became one of the first to become Youtube Partners, they have no made a total of 45 shorts and have over 3 million subscribers.

All together they have 145,230,534 views!

Audience engagment is not just for views but for longevity.

Brad Bird- Simon understands cats, animation and timing’

The real Simon, infact has 4 cats.

Youtube channel posts are frequently posted, but are high quality, showing success happens even without regular posting, aslong as the content is good.

They also upload non animated content such as videos of Simon visiting the vets for research or Simon drawing ‘Simons Cat’.

Funnily enough, the majority of viewers are cat lovers and owners.

Mike said something that stuck with me in a humorous way “Dog lovers meet at parks, Cat lovers meet on the internet”

The finebrothers did a kids react to Simons Cat wich proved the popularity of the animated series and the audiences it appeals too.

Because there are no words in the series, it is loved Worldwide, Germany in particular are huge fans.

Simons Cats site is about to go live with a shop etc

He then showed us (my favourite Simons Cat episode) ‘Double Trouble”, it has the introduction of the kitten and it is one of the most humorous episodes out there in my opinion.

The company is now making their first colour film, going to be about 12 minutes long.

They are doing this through crowd funding on the likes of Kickstarter, people  who donate will get perks such as books and plush toys. This keeps the audience involved off and on Youtube.

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Fat Cat Idea Storyboarded

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1. Story opens to bird singing on tree branch2

2. Camera zooms out to reveal fat cat watching the bird.3

3. Scene cuts to show the cat comically run/shuffle along towards the tree4

4. Close up of cat cats bottom comically shaking as it prepares for its pounce.5

5. Side view of cat preparing to pounce.

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6.  Slow motion of cat leaping towards the tree7

7. Slow motion of cats joyous face as it reaches out to the tree/bird8

8. Cat happily clings to tree as bird fly’s off.9

9. Close up of tree trunk, snapping and crunching under fat cat’s weight.10

 

10. Cat’s face turns to shock as it clings to the tree.11

11. Close up of same expression

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12. Tree comically and vert quickly falls to the ground, hear nothing but silence and then a low moan from the cat under the tree.

 

 

‘Like Some Other Men Do’ Animatic.

For our new project in Design Discourse we were all given the dialogue from a film that lasts 30-40 seconds and told to make a film or animatic using the dialogue, we were told not to find out what film the dialogue was from and so we didn’t, the dialogue is…

What do you think?
 This ought to be the right kind of place
 for a tough guy like you… Garbage cans, rats galore.
 Scram! I said take off! Beat it!
 Let’s go.
 Driver…
 Pull over here.

We were told to make it fun and entertaining, we realised from the dialogue that it sounded very ‘ganster/city/1920/30’s’ era and style. We decided to use animals instead of people. At first we liked the idea of farm animals  such as Cows, pigs and sheep etc. Here are some of our designs.

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We then decided to use a cat character and crow for a cab driver, we liked the style and so we rolled with it.

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crow colour crow outline

Once we finally decided on the 4 characters of 2 cats, a crow and sheep we began storyboarding. Here is a rough storyboard we made on post it notes.

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Dingy city building sets the scene

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Man and woman having a fight, we see silhouette through window20131204_170406

Woman says the line ‘garbage,…20131204_170410

‘Rats…

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Rats view of the window into apartment. 20131204_170420

‘Scram!’ she yells out the window.20131204_170428

The rats begin to run away.

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The woman leaves her flat when she hears the car horn of her lift.20131204_170439

She is all dressed up in a glamorous red dress and gets into the car with her friend the sheep, also in a red dress.

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She tells the driver ‘lets go’.  20131204_170443

We see the car drive off.

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We see from the male cats view he opens a drawer to reveal a gun. A photo of his wife is on top.20131204_170451

We see his paw lift out a gun. 20131204_170455 20131204_170501

We see his feet and tail as he walks up steps that appear to be outside on a building.

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Screen goes to black and we see a clock whizzing by showing a few hours have passed.

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We see the girls car come back and pull in from a view from the rooftop. We see he has alcohol and his gun. 20131204_170519

We see him sitting alone on the roof humming along to the song ‘why dont you do right’.

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The sheep tells the driver to pull over.20131204_170529

She gets out of the cab and her cat friend begins to follow. 20131204_170536

The drunken male cat blurrly see’s the red dress exit the car and he shoots.

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We have not decided whether the screen will go to black or whether we will see the dead sheep lying lifeless on the ground.

The End.

We will begin work on this animatic tomorrow morning, the deadline is on Monday and we will need to work well in a group to have it ready on time.

Perception.

For Design Discourse we have been given 6 weeks to create a 2 minute film with the theme of Perception. For this project i have been put in a group with Megan, Hannah, and Niamh. As always, we began brainstorming our ideas with post it notes and then began developing them further with quick sketches.

I liked the idea of focusing on how we see ourselves and was looking at quotes to do with Perception some that stuck with me were “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”- Wayne W. Dyer

and “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” – Oscar Wilde

Basically what this said to me was the world is as happy or as sad as the person who is perceiving it to be this way. If you are sad the world will seem sad, and against you. If you are happy and optimistic, even the saddest of times will be able to be overcome due to how you feel within yourself. 

It all comes from within and so i decided to do i little sketch of a kitten looking in the mirror and see’s itself as a big lion.

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I decided to make a little story board about a teddy bear who’s eye falls off and his owner doesn’t want him anymore. He ends up in a charity shop shelf for months and months and becomes very sad and lonely until one day an adorable little girl comes into the store and reaches up and grabs him and gives him the biggest, loving hug possible. The bear is in complete shock as he cant believe the little girl wants him, relieved he smiles with great happiness and hugs her back lovingly.

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Although i really liked this idea, and the team liked it we realised that to do this it would need to be animated and we do not have the time to fully animate a 2 minute film. We discussed this with Conann and he showed us some films created through painted backgrounds and slight movement through editing and minimalist animation and we decided this could work really well. 

I started looking at films with this style and remembered the scene from the film 500 days of Summer were he is in sucha  great mood that animated birds start flying around him, a full band comes into the scene and everyone starts dancing i thought this was a great way to inspire the team with new ideas.

I drew a little sketch from this scene into my sketchbook to explain to my team even further.

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I started drawing out other ideas such as a birds eye view and an insects eye view of the world and drew a city how they would see it.

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I also liked the idea of when we put on our headphones and close our eyes, we are in a totally different world and our moods change entirely depending on what we are listening to, this was inspired by the quote by Jonathon Safran Foer “Songs are as sad as listener” . I drew the image below whilst listening to stairway to heaven…

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We all began getting slightly dark and twisted with our ideas and began looking at the idea of sanity. What is sanity? Do villains think they are in the right? Is it ok to be a little insane? We began looking at the Seven Deadly Sins, what makes them deadly? Should there be an 8th deadly sin? What should there punishments be? And this is were we all got very dark and twisted. We started focusing on the deadly sins and how they should be punished. We looked at the idea of the glutton being boiled alive in oil, someone being dismembered, someone being stretched in a Tudors style way. This is what we are currently working on and i would like to think we will begin shooting, animating and editing together our film next week.