Making my mark TWO…

Assignment two on the Pikaland ‘Making your Mark’ online workshop

is about ‘finding your voice’

What I know…

Photography, Photoshop, Illustrator (a bit… it’s been awhile!), making stop motion puppets, sewing, daydreaming 🙂

What I love…

stop motion, Tim Burton, weird stuff… some cute stuff (that’s mostly pleasing other people though!), making stuff, drawing, illustrations, textiles, textures… cats, animals, my baby niece, chocolate… and annoying myself with strict limitations and perfectionism… (oops… that crept in but it’s also true… ok, I don’t actually LOVE it… maybe that should go in the ‘what I know’ section.

The whole point of this course is a boot up the bum (boot camp!?) so rather than go off on tangents (which I do all the time) I thought I should try to actually fit in the things I want to create… stop motion puppets, sculptural and hand-made items and drawing etc.

This assignment comes in three parts… one to draw in black and white (inked etc) and then a colour version in any medium we want… I still went for ink as I didn’t want to paint his pants and shoes grey – so slight cheat… I tweaked it in photoshop for the black and white pant/shoes version)

This is Gruffy… he takes having clean pants very seriously … hence why he keeps a clean pair handy at all times!

Gruffy ink painted BW 001
2nd version
Gruffy ink painted 002

The 3rd part is a collage of the materials we used to create it… well that would be teeny tiny pieces of paper that I wiped the ink wash on… hmm… I was thinking of scrunching up wire, armature, fur, material etc into a big wad coated in latex and then cut in half so you can see the contents inside a latex ball. That would take too long to gather all the bits up and dry the latex plus not sure I could cut it all in a nice neat way so that the insides can be seen… a big ball of mess would be the end result.

I decided that the parts that I make the stop motion puppet from are a sort of collage… a huge leap perhaps 😀

so far I have only got a spine, wire legs and polystyrene scull ready… I’m not sure I even want to use wire though.

I’ll post a picture later… I want to try and do some more tonight.

I wont finish it by the end of today (the deadline) but at least I managed to finally have a go at drawing/inking the little guy – I got stressed and couldn’t do it all week!

Clara: The Final Word for Now: via Owl Knit You

Obviously Emily is my biggest fan… and equally I’m a fan of hers!

Clara: The Final Word for Now I posted a while ago about my friend Lenny Carter. She makes the most amazing puppets (among other things!) She just graduated with a 1st from London College of Communication. I went to see her degree show the other day and saw the final incarnation of Clara. Clara is a misunderstood young girl, who feels as though she’s being manipulated by the people around her. In response, she creates her own world to which she can escape reality. Clara is th … Read More

via Owl Knit You

Related Images:

A Girl, Monsters, and Psychology: via Owl Knit You

My friend Emily has posted about my critters a couple of times and it’s strange to hear from someone else’s perspective… some times it’s a little to clear and I guess I’d like not to be so flippin obvious! ;-P

A Girl, Monsters, and Psychology: Work by Lenny Carter One of my really good friends, Lenny, is doing a degree in Digital Media and in her interpretation of the assignments, she intelligently combines ‘analogue’ media with the digital. She combines arts and crafts and wool and resin into fully formed beings (human or otherwise) that express strong emotions and strong insights into the human condition. The combination of a huge personality into a small puppet and ameoba-like shapes give her works thei … Read More

via Owl Knit You


Related Images:

Stop Motion – Clara- Chapter One done…

My stop motion project has moved on slightly from the teaser which I did last year.

after faffing with different camcorder/web cams I finally brought a Canon Rebel but found that it wasn’t compatible with either iStopMotion or Dragon… so I then sold that and brought a Canon 500D with still wasn’t compatible with iStopMotion (which I could borrow from a friend until I could get more money after paying nearly £500 for the Canon) so I ended up buying Dragon stop motion software… which I prefer actually… so this one little chapter cost me over £600 lol… I do obviously hope to continue and improve which should stretch the cost out ;-P

Clara needs her own camera equipment

There’s a few other clips on Vimeo that show the walk cycle etc.. plus also a new (very quickly made) puppet and it’s foul mouthed little ‘friend’.

Clara – Chapter One… from Lenny Carter on Vimeo.

There’s also a facebook fan page which you can join – I tend to update that more often than this blog… but will start to blog more – the dissertation/projects just got in the way!

Clara the Stop Motion Puppet Facebook Page

Update on Clara Project

In a previous post I mentioned that my final year project for year 2 was going to be a stop motion sequence. (click here to see previous post)

Here are some images of Clara and the video of a short teaser clip.

You can visit Clara’s website at ‘Clara’s Animated World’

you will also find links to my blog documenting how Clara was made and Clara’s own blog which is her personal journey into asserting herself and making her own stop motion sequences, hopefully helping her solve personal issues and learn new skills.

All this is still very much in production and I have a long way to go – I will eventually be adding a comic strip (not sure if it’s from Clara’s personal view point or one that Clara actually makes herself!?!) and hopefully the full animated sequence will be done in the next 10 months, plus more useful links for anyone who wants to try this themselves.

Also, the website needs sorting – I want the comic strip segments on the page to zoom and shift to open up – rather than go to a new ‘page’ (it’s a flash website), also the blank segment will be where Clara’s comic strip will go (I don’t have a suitable image for that yet). plus sounds… and how to add video content that doesn’t show a youtube or vimeo logo or if embedding, how to get it to show a decent resolution/quality as it’s rather poor at the moment… but you can see the video below which is from youtube in the meantime!

Clara - stop motion puppet
a pre-production shot of Clara in a 'dramatic' pose!

Stop Motion – Clara Project Proposal for Term 3 (year 2)

In the first term of the second year we had to prepare a project proposal which will be created in the last term of year 2.

I decided I wanted to create a stop motion animation using a puppet that I had started to create.

This first puppet was rather awful so as I was now serious in creating an animation with this puppet I decided to remake the whole thing using a ball & socket jointed armature.

I’ve been keeping a blog on the process which will eventually be attached to it’s own website – click Clara’s Animated World to visit my blog.

As Clara thinks she is a live (!?!) she has also started her own blog which you can find here: Clara’s Blog – all photographs by Lenny Carter –

How Digital Media can aid self-expression

Integrative Project Proposal by Lenny Carter


In using Digital Media as a means of self-expression will raise awareness of how a person can bring their dreams and personal thoughts into reality. This can be educational as well as a possible aid to personal development. The process of creating such work can create skills that could be used in the future, for example: better job prospects and career choices. This could also bring a greater self-awareness towards personal goals, and desires.

Whilst Digital Media cannot itself solve the issue of stress or self-fulfillment of dreams etc, but it can be used as a tool, just like pens, paints and music can help towards stress relief and this has become much more accessible to people since Digital software and computer equipment has become less expensive especially to the young or who have limited budgets.


The project will consist of a stop motion animated film that features a young teenager character that shows how she escapes from her problems (or the attempt to understand and reconcile the effects of them) by using a personal item (a toy that becomes her friend and mentor) by dreaming imaginative scenarios.  The characters will be seen in ‘real life’ and a partial sequence of her dream sequence. It will also have the main character re-create this dream world using digital media.  The viewer of the animation will see the character teach her-self new skills, and could then try the same techniques themselves. The results of the animated film created by the character can be posted onto a social website, like, Facebook, MySpace or flickr etc.

This project is educational in the development of new skills of Digital Media tools and also interplays with Art Therapy. John Harley and Kelly McWilliam’s book, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World, write about how ‘people are taught to use digital media to create short audio-video stories, usually about their own lives. The idea is that this puts the universal human delight in narrative and self-expression into the hands of everyone’, again regardless of budget and skills this is a possibility in today’s technological environment.

Cheaper computers or using computer at libraries (for free) means that creating self-expression art works with digital media is now available to a lot of people. Most computers now come with a web camera, and software can be downloaded for free (especially open source software, i.e.: Gimp is a well known free alternative to Adobe PhotoShop Photo Editing Suite).

Objectives and Research Methodology

  • Storyboarding of animated sequence.
  • Primary Research and secondary research will feature questionnaires on Facebook to the general public and a poll on Deviant Arts aimed at similar types of self-expressionist work using Digital Media software and equipment. Relevant books and Magazines on the subject will also be researched.
  • Research of costs of making an animated film (free versions of software, equipment etc) analysing and researching the techniques of stop motion and animation, including timing and to convincingly move a wired armature, building props and sets, sound techniques, storyboarding, and how to create mood and atmosphere with software and positioning of props and lights etc.
  • Website Design – Platform creation for Animated Film. The site will contain links to useful sites that will aid viewers to make their own animated, alternative realities themselves and to stress the importance of accessibility and that this type of project can be created in the viewers home – specialist equipment or skills is not necessarily needed to create their own self-expressed ideas in animation.
  • Art therapy similar organisations on how self-expression can deal with stress and personal development? Also to research similar websites that use Art therapy to aid self expression in the creative arts and to whether there are any current sites that cover these areas using stop motion animation.

Resources for Project

This project will be completed in a home environment using an iMac, Digital SLR (entry level), or Camcorder (depending on research and software used), and the website will stress the aspect.

The film will feature a homemade stop motion character that is glued and sewn (It will contain a wired body and the main character will feature a ball and socket joined doll (these are now within the amateurs budget – the wired version is the cheapest and more accessible type to use for those on a very limited budget), both options will be used and information given on ease of use.

Software which will either be PhotoShop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, SoundBooth, and a stop motion software package (i.e.: iStopMotionPro), PC or Mac.

Free options will be featured on the website so that viewers to the site can see that stop motion is accessible to the young and those who do not have the funds to explore what used to be a specialist or professionals hobby. Free options to include are Gimp (similar to Photoshop), Audacity (sound), and Window’s moviemaker or iMovie on a Mac.

just baked face on the scanner.

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