Crafty Animator Conference

I attended the Crafty Animator Conference in Rich Mix in Shoreditch last Thursday. It was a great way to ease back into the animation mindset post summer. I’m still processing a lot from the whole experience, it was a day full of talks and lectures on the various aspects of craft within animation, with a wide variety of speakers.

my view for the day

The main note I can’t seem to get out of my head was something that Birgitta Hosea said within the day’s opening lecture, regarding nostalgia vs productivity. She was discussing the impact working on a film in which each frame has been painstakingly hand-crafted and how productive you could physically be within that kind of constraint. She made an interesting point about the current fetishisation of technique, which makes the ideas behind the work nearly forgotten as the artist is so focused on the labour-intensive aesthetic.

I’m still unsure how I feel about this. She was discussing how some students deliberately take longer routes purely to achieve an aesthetic they could have replicated more quickly within an adobe programme, which I agree seems slightly unnecessarily pedantic if you could achieve the exact same effect within a computer aided programme. But I still think that hand crafted work and computer aided design do not need to be at odds with each other, and that the hand crafted process can be enhanced and eased with the aid of using more contemporary programmes. I also feel like this dismissal of slow, purely hand crafted animation takes away from the process the director and maker goes through. Obviously this kind of process isn’t suited to working within a fast paced industry, but within the scope of a personal artistic practice I don’t think we can by any means regard something as inefficient or unproductive. The textile artist within me I don’t think could ever not be crazily in love with painstakingly handcrafted animation, but I am fully aware that going into this final MA year and within the scope of my grad film, I will have to completely embrace the point where hand crafted and computer programmes intersect in order to get anything done.

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