As we prepare for Living Lines: An Animated Big Draw we wanted to talk to artists, animators and creators who have devoted their lives to the craft of animation. The thought of creating an animation themed event may seem daunting but we hope that this series of interviews will inspire show just how simple (and fun it can be).
Animation is a enormously diverse art form which is constantly evolving and redefining itself. From the simplest cartoon strips and flip books to the biggest budget CGI features there is something for everybody to explore within animation.
Without further ado let's introduce Shaun and Kim from Quirky Pictures. For over 10 years Quirky Pictures have been running a huge range of animation workshops for people aged 7-70. Constantly challenging themselves to find new and innovative ways to teach animation!
Shaun and I are both filmmakers, we often work together and formed the collective MewLab where we create our own films for the festival circuit and we also make films for companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Time Channel the Tate and many more. Our films have been shown in hundreds of film festivals around the world and have won many awards.
As well as Mew Lab we have also created the collective Quirky Pictures so that we can share our knowledge of animation through teaching animated workshops to aspiring animators of all ages.
At the moment we have two new family films which are currently touring the film festival circuit and are called “Deep beneath the Earth” and “The evening her mind jumped out of her head”
“Deep Beneath the Earth” (https://deepbeneaththeearth.wordpress.com) is about a girl called Lucy and the only thing young Lucy likes is gaming on her ipad. But when she loses it in the woods, she’s determined to get it back. Her search leads her on a journey deep into the earth
Our second film is called “The Evening her mind jumped out of her head”, (https://theeveninghermindjumpedoutofherhead.wordpress.com ) and is of course about a serious woman who is forced to lighten up when her mind jumps out of her head!
Kim: The first time I realized I liked animation as an art form was when I watched “La Linea” an animated TV series created a long time ago by the Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandoli, it uses a simple line to create the character and an invented language. The stories are very simple but universal. Watch "La Linea" here
Shaun: My earliest memories of animation is watching shows like “Pigeon Street” and “Mr Benn”, I was quite young when Animation in the UK where producing some amazing shows.
We loved the Big draw in fact we ran two Big Draw events, one in 2012 and one in 2014. We love sharing our skills with so many people and the opportunity to create a larger scale project where the participant can enjoy bringing their drawing to life makes for a great event!
Animation is magic! In animation you can bring to life anything you can imagine, the possibilities are endless!
A flipbook, it is so easy! You can do it anywhere, you don’t need a computer or any fancy equipment. Just take some paper (not too thin, not too thick) cut out 20 to 50 equally sized rectangular strips, bind it together nicely (or quickly with a stapler) and start animating!
Plan your story beforehand, make a storyboard and choose the best bit of your story to animate! The story is the most important thing!
You can find out more about Quirky Pictures amazing worshops at https://quirkypictures.wordpress.com/ or follow them on twitter @Quirky_Pictures
If you have been inspired by our interview with Kim & Shaun why not become part of the World's biggest drawing festival here