Monday, January 11, 2010

Inky Pinky Ponky

Finally, the gesture drawings I promised myself I would put up:

And doggies!... The first one and some of the second are of Joey, my 2 year old Pomeranian. The rest are my teacher's dogs.
I did some while I was in Kolkata, in preparation for what would potentially be my one-quarter project here at R.I.T. I've yet to scan them. I really want to do something gestural and cultural. Going back to India twice in 3 months might've been a driving force :P

My original idea was to have the animations on a hand-made paper texture... All traditional. But as I think more about it, I want to do more to it... Add backgrounds with watercolors, etc... I went to the souvenir shop in Kolkata, because I wanted to take back memories of my city, no matter how tourist-y that seems. And I found beautiful postcard collections of watercolor and ink paintings of just ordinary scenes of Kolkata. It was called Portraits of Kolkata and the paintings were by Samir Biswas. They were really inspiring in their simpicity. It wasn't displaying the (stereotypical) "rich culture" of India to tourists- with colors and well-known festivals or anything like that. I'm not denying India has a rich culture or is monochromatic or anything. But sometimes one needs to stop and look. At the chai shops propped under a Banyan tree. The little hand-made mandirs on the side of the road.

I'm trying to find some website reference to his work as I type this. It's amazing how little known some great illustrators are. Samir Biswas probably isn't that obscure, at least not in Kolkata. I just found out he did the drawing for the restaurant, Oh Calcutta!

Speaking of which, I bought a few beginner's Bengali books from Kolkata for my friend who wants to learn to write Bengali script. It had little drawings next to the alphabets.. Like in an English book you would have the drawing of a cat next to the letter "C". And we were both talking about how these illustrators are overlooked. They're just so amazing and simple and expressive. You should walk into a crowded book fair in the fields one day and step into the children's educational book stalls. Awesome. I wish I appreciated all this before when I had such easy access to them.

Here are some stuff.. Not exactly what I'm talking about, but stuff I find to be great nonetheless:

Some of them (not these ones in particular) remind me of the John and Faith Hubley styles...And I absolutely love their works. I watched The Tender Game today on CartoonBrew and it made me tremendously happy.

Anyway, I'm going off on tangents. My point is, looking at those paintings by Samir Biswas, I want my film to have similar backgrounds. There's too much inspiration around me to let me settle with one idea and be satisfied with it. I guess my ideas are still amorphous at the moment.

Another one of my inspirations was a short film called Madagascar, carnet de voyage, which we saw in the Animation Show of Shows conducted by Ron Diamond at our school last quarter. I absolutely fell in love with it.

Speaking of inspiration, I finally decided to motivate myself to find time to start reading again. I went to the library today after class and got a book. Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. It's a collection of short stories. Might be a little too serious/deep seeing as what I really wanted was light reading. But I'm gonna do this. Finish it before it's due.

I should go back to studying Ethics now.

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