Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cats 'n' girls (4)

"The following occurs to me as a method of procedure:

Take the most recent pictures - minutely analyze all the business, action, and results, using the better pieces of animation as examples going thru the picture with these questions in mind:

1. What was the idea to be presented?
2. How was the idea presented?
3. What result was achieved?
4. After seeing this result - what could have been done to the picture from this point on, to improve it?

This is a small section from a memo that Walt Disney wrote to Don Graham on dec 23th 1935.

When I read this letter today, this section in particular made sense to me. I thought it answered some of my questions that I was having concerning the 'pushing' of my own work.

How can I push my one-story-drawings to the next level?

If from now on I consciously keep the above questions in mind when making a one-story-drawing, I think it will give me insight in how I can push that drawing to the next level. If you apply the answers from the 4th question to the next drawing you make of the same story, it will be a push!

I also think that it will be good for not to answer the 4 questions in my head, but to write them down, so they exist.

So, let's put it into practice. See if it works?

Here's a one-story-drawing.

1. What was the idea to be presented? ( I think this means what's the story you want to tell?)

A girl get's a small kitten for her birthday. Surprise!

2. How was the idea presented? (I think this is about how the story is staged.)

I see a girl that looks at a young cat in a basket. It's probably a present, seeing flags, and a birthday hat and wrapping paper. She's happy, she is smiling, and surprised, looking at her eyes. Her face is turned away from the cat, so she just might have been a little bit afraid of what was inside of the present.

3. What result was achieved? (I think this means what is the story you read from the drawing as it is now?)

She's kinda happy with her present, not ecstatic. It's a bit of a weird looking cat; a little bit big maybe for a kitten. But the basic ingredients are there, a girl and a cat. And it's a party, probably a birthday, decorations, hat, giftpaper.

4. After seeing this result - what could have been done to the picture from this point on, to improve it? "

Maybe the girl could be really really happy in her emotion when unpacking her present. So study happy emotions.

The cat can be cuter, more like small kittens are. Fuzzy and cute and likeable. Study kittens.

How the present looks can be improved, more a box maybe with a lit that's pulled of or something like that. Design the present that holds the kitten.

Instead of making these studies, I drew this as my next drawing for the same story ...

Not exactly improving the previous sketch I think now. There's a few steps and desicions missing. I guess they took place inside my head really fast, and as a result I thought I needed to make this drawing.

Why did I make this then?

It now feels more like creating a whole new world where you can ask the same 4 questions again.
Do I really need more characters and envorinment to tell the story of a girl and a cat?

I don't claim this is the way to push your work, but I think it will help me to understand better why and how I make my decisions while making a one-story-drawing, and how I can improve myself, and become more effective in telling a story. That is also what this blog is for. To get an insight for myself in how I work, and how I can improve and develop myself as an artist.

ps. Saw TS3 yesterday. Loved it, I think pixar takes you on a nice emotional rollercoaster with a film about toys. Impressive.

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