My animation piece, Failed Definition. Fall 2013.
Stop motion. Paper cut out.
The first part of an animated series that pushes forth a discussion of identity as layers of influence. Inspired by the works of Kara Walker, it is a silhouette black and white animation that uses iconic imagery and sound-fueled connotations to allow audiences to relate and connect to what they are seeing It follows the overstimulated channel-flipping sense of information overload, with so many influential message that create, grow, and take apart the body that embodies it.
Ideas are not some vague entity that exists in a vacuum. Identity politics aren’t separate from an artist’s work, and regardless of intention, representation of images and sounds and anything in your medium has it’s own connotations within culture. It has it’s past and it’s influences.
[And a message to my class: These ideas aren’t absent in your works, IDEAS DO NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM. You cannot brush them off with “We’re all the same! Human rights!! Stop talking about differences.” These differences are why bigoted harmful aggressions still hurt us. Acknowledging them are the first steps to actually discussing these topics. Assimilation just erases experience. The hate crimes you talk about, that you appropriate, the pain you use to get your points across should be proof enough.]
The first part of the series focuses on the three main points of identity I present and embody. They are words I have reclaimed for myself as well. Queer. Fat. Person of Color.
The first three sequences show parental/guardian nurture sides of the nature vs. nurture argument of identity. What you are expected to be (Gender), What you are expected to reject (Body ethics), and What you are expected to take pride in (Race/Ethnicity).
Gendered messages: Heteronormativity, Marriage, Femininity (for those AFAB), and Reproduction.
Body messages: The Food Pyramid, Self Control through guilt & Constant surveillance of diet, Dieting pills, and the Trophy Child ideal.
Race messages: Patriotism of your past generation’s nationality, Culture (through language, storytelling, and songs), Activism, and Acknowledgement of the past (Immigration politics)
The second half of the animation deals with the more normative and iconic images that have heavier connotations with mainstream ideals. They crush the person, belittle them, take away from them, and it turns into internalized bigotry as an after effect.
Gendered messages: Abuse (emotional & mental. Reference to queerness as assumed tragedy), Gay Marriage (as the epitome of queer politics and assimilation for equality), Fetishization, and Bigotry (Westboro Baptist Church getting more media attention than the people it’s hurting.)
Body messages: Thinspiration, Health (being confused with weight, or emotional abuse of ‘we just care about you/you don’t care enough about yourself/we’re just worried’ message), McDonalds (fatphobia in capitalism with no regards to classism), Lethargy (generalization of laziness to make fatphobia unjustifiable.)
Racial messages: Cultural music as a joke cue (connotation), Poverty (constant imagery of starvation, pity, children selling candy, linked to white guilt & white savior), Culture Appropriation (Halloween and the Sugar Skull), Religion (as ignorance of poc) and Violence (Drug Wars & PoC as primitive)
So here’s some stuff I’ve been doing for my Character Design class!
- Creating Characters out of general shapes! I chose two best friends! Their shapes are almost opposites, Kiara is the black trans girl who’s highly enthusiastic about the small things in life only with those she’s closest to (Dominique), she’s bouncy, and always the dreamer! Though super indecisive.
- Her friend, Dominique, is a more calm down to earth tarot card reader. She cannot see. Black cis girl, who has created her OWN cards, which have both braille and certain scents she uses for her readings. She’s super chill and people joke that she acts older than her age because she gives good advice. (she might secretly have a crush on Kaira???)
- Silhouettes of Kaira with different body language
- Showing relationships through body language. These three are queer bb punks who live in the mystical forest. The silk worm, the pond/swamp elf, and the bushy haired faun child. They’re all cool friends that are super snobby. Right now they’re watching someone fall on their face and laughing at them. It was probably a cis dude.
- Hero/Villain redesign! It was so hard finding a story that had to contain only ONE hero and villain, who wasn’t cis, male, or white. Sailor Moon was the closest, next to Avatar (but there’s no clear villain there…) so I went with these two! Fat and small Sailor Moon!! Why? No it’s not “because she eats a lot” it’s actually because fat people deserve to exist. Whoa mindblowing. Also despite all the cute art and feminist links to ‘girl power,’ Sailor Moon is EXTREMELY FATPHOBIC. Not body positive at alllll. I tried rewatching it and it was too toxic. So I made a darker skinned (no, not tan) fat and short Sailor Moon bc she’s adorable!!
- Queen Beryl, her character’s design was way more fun to do, mostly because of the way she carries herself proudly with those broad powerful shoulders I wanted to keep!! Kinda like a goddess statue or sorts. Her character was always made to be vain and emotionally caused for jealousy and romance (yawns) so I made her someone who craves power and elegance for her own sake, not a future husband. What a badass!!
(and edited the description for easier read!)
If you ever want to piss yourself off as an artist, esp in the name of self improvement, go ahead and draw a bunch hands/feet/foreshortening.
You can see my first shit attempt there at a hand and getting a little less sketchy as i go on and get more confident i think???
I guess that’s the nice thing about being an artist though. As cheesy as it sounds, it really does take practice, self motivation, and working through your mishaps to get better!! There’s no faking it, no amount of money or expensive materials that can really improve your skills like HARD WORK can!! So yeah!! :D
So uhh here’s some stuff I’ve been doing for my Character Design class!
There’s a bunch of awkwardly mediocre/didn’t-even-read-the-assignment works in this clas so far from other students, along with the casual offensive drawing. SIGHS. But I’ll take from the class what I can…
also lol bc all my characters are queer and I clearly refer to them neutrally unless stated otherwise each critique, but the class always says ‘she’ if they see boobs and ‘he’ if they don’t and im like FOR FUCK’S SAKE PPL DO YOU FORGET HOW TO LISTEN OR???
WELP For now, I can totes say I’m doing better work than I did when I first took this class!
Currently working on: deciding which silhouette for the Sailor Moon redesign I like best! (ngl the villain Queen Beryl was WAY more fun to redesign!!!)
So I was practicing 30 second gestures to calm down one night after a panic attack
I ended up merging all the layers after I’d done about 40+ or so
if anything through, it just ended up reflecting my paranoia
I DREW THIS TOO BC MY PARTNER IS HOT
THIS IS WHAT THEYLOOK LIKE ON WEBCAM
So while Jade went to go eat burgers orgasmically, I decided to doodle this for a good 10 minutes. What I looked like this past week at school all stressed and shit X’D
(i cant believe this took only 10-15 minutes even I’M impressed snsldjfng)
Some TalonRO commissions I did in my spare time (which I have like none of now B’D )
I like my chubby monochrome retro pin-up style a LOT!!!
So raae asked my partner and I to draw ourselves as OFF bosses! *u*
So here’s me~
Bear cubs in training!
Just a doodle that Mig and I did, based on this post. 8D
WE DID A THING TOGETHER
WE’D MAKE THE CUTEST BEAR CUBS
I MADE A THING