023 – New project/obsession

by Mei-ling

So I’ve caught the Animation Bug, in a big, big way. MEI WANT MORE. I’ve an exhibition coming up in April and my original idea (making embroidered lace out of jute coffee sacks) just isn’t exciting me anymore. If I’m feeling uninspired, it follows that I don’t do anything creative. I hate thinking that what I’m working on is a waste of my time. While I know this is completely silly and nothing is truly a waste of time (as long as I’m making something, right?) it’s just a quirk I have. Ideas come first, and breathe life into the process. Process for the sake of process feels empty, unless of course process is the idea. Ha.

So I knew I wanted to make an animation, as well as take the opportunity to “level up” my craft by introducing more complex elements into my film, such as the multiplane camera, and 3D puppets. So for a few days I researched and read everything I could find online, but aware that without a story/concept I was excited about I probably shouldn’t waste money and materials making stuff that will have no pragmatic use when I finally DO have an idea.

Then I remembered an idea that I’ve been sitting on for over 5 years now – a children’s book idea I had before I left Hong Kong for university. It’s a story that is centered around a tree leaf, who is blown away from his home-tree before his time. He has an existential crisis, and through his adventures and the other plant life he meets along the way he comes to terms with who he is and what he is capable of. It will be told through the eyes of an eccentric naturalist, who has known since she was a child that all plants have consciousness, and has dedicated her life to being the weird lady who watches our tree for clues that will reveal an intricate and astonishing culture.

There’ll be more details as they form, of course. So far I’ve chosen the type of tree that’ll be starring (ginkgo), written the opening scene, and started making my first puppet prototype. WIP pictures below! The plan is that I’ll exhibit all my prototyping/concept art in April.

IMG_1843Transferred design, thread colour selection.

IMG_1844Couching wire around the edge of design.

IMG_1847Full couched outline. Nearly didn’t have enough wire!

IMG_1848Buttonhole stitch over the wire.