Friday, September 9, 2011


CSSSA ended more than a month ago. I think I've finally stopped crying enough to talk about it.

500 of the most talented art students thrown together into one environment and studying what they loved best for an entire month. Nothing short of pure heaven. I'd give my left toe to go back in a second.

Anyhoo, here's some of the stuff I managed to poop out during my time there:

Our first project was to animate a 3-5 second video using cut paper. Although I had animated before, this was my first experience with stop-motion.

During the second week we had a dance party where we wiggled around the classroom like the awkward teenagers we were. Our assignment that week was to animate our attempts to break it down.

My last and most favorite assignment was to create our own short film. The minimum was 20 seconds, but I ended up making mine a little over a minute. I was heavily influenced by experimental animation during my time there, so I decided to do my film using a method called "charcoal smearing." (You take a piece of paper, some charcoal and you create each frame by smearing or erasing your previous doodle and drawing on top of it.)
I did this film for an old comic book artist who was a resident in my parent's nursing home. In his younger years, he'd worked for Will Eisner (who I am terribly inspired by) and was still a crazy-awesome artist even in his nineties. Miss you, Chuck.

We did life drawings almost every day. It was my first time drawing from a live model! Most everybody improved massively from the start of the program to the end and I'd like to think I was no exception.

A few of the ones that I am not embarrassed by.

Aaaand of course, a couple of pages from the ol' sketchbook:

 Blind contour. We had a field day with this.

During our graduation ceremony, we crowded together and hugged and cried and laughed and shared stories about our month together. One tangent in particular stands out to me as the defining moment of CSSSA. 

A classmate of mine was sharing about how when he went home, his parents would want him to be something, lawyer, whatever. But he just wanted to be an artist. And that's when we, all of us, just broke down. It had hit me then that I would not see these people for a long time, probably never again, at least not in an environment like this one.

I spent the next six hours crying. I thought I'd never stop. I was away from home for the first time in my life, in a strange new setting with strangers who in a month's time became my friends for life. Every doubt and insecurity I had about becoming an artist seemed null and void. During that wonderful, wonderful month, everything just seemed indescribably possible.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great recount Renee, and all of your work is so fantastic! Missing you heaps! :P