Monday, 18 February 2008

Guess who's back.....

First I want to apologise for not posting in a while, I should have given some sort of notice. When I found out I got the Job at Ink, I decided to take a break from drawing, animation, and art in general. Not because I’ve reached my goal, or because I have nothing more to learn, on the contrary I feel my journey is beginning, My studies and efforts so far were to bring me to this point in my life, to the beginning of what I hope will be an enjoyable career in animation. I know that I am fortunate to have this job and will not take a day for granted.

Before I go on, I just want to thank everyone who stopped by my Blog, whether to just browse leave comments etc. I want to thank the Blogging community; I feel I have grown because you share your work world. Thanks to The London Animation Studio (Central St Martins LAS) past present and future, you guys are great and I hope to countinue to grow with you. I want to thank my friends and family for their support and belief in me. My parents who continue to support me even though they may not understand my chosen career path, and my Lady, For putting me first so I can do this..... :)

So what have I been up to?

I arrived here on Roberts Burns night, (or the day after, not sure) and had my first Taste of Haggis with Mashed Potatoes, so my introduction to Scotland was one of tradition. I’m staying in a basement Flat which overlooks the river Tay So I am privy to some fine views in the morning; sun Rises and sunsets...yep! My room is pretty cool to, it's a bit plain at the moment but I hope to fill the wall with inspiring stuff.

One of my Flat mates, Kyla Tomlinson, also a work colleague, and a fine artist also works with me at Ink. I hope I learn a lot from her. The very next day which was Sunday went to the cinema to see Sweeny Todd, with Kyla and a couple of her friends, Sara and Vickey (also another work colleague, so my first weekend in Scotland was cool especially as I was to start work on the Monday, (more on that later)

I came to Scotland at a good time thanks to the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts) hosting the annual Projector Animation Festival. Ink supplied at least 4 tickets and time off for us to go which was cool. I got to meet a lot of animators from around Scotland, sat through many lectures, even got to see Persepolis which is amazing. One of the artists I met, Jenny Soep (which happens to be good mates with Kyla) was capturing the event with some beautiful drawings, click on the link to check out her blog.

I also got to meet the legendary Bill Plympton. He showed some of his Shorts (animated shorts...grow up, lol) and spoke about how to market yourself in Animation. He was also selling some rough frames from various films his made. I bought a rough from his new animated feature, Idiots and Angels. He also had a still from the animated video he did for Kanye West, I Heard Em Say, I wanted it but it cost £100, I settled for taking a photo with him instead. J

In short Projector was really informative entertaining, and inspiring, so it gave a lot of enthusiasm for work. The after party at the end of the week was cool. DJ Garry Whitton was animation on a projector. They supplied flip books paper, and taped huge sheets of paper to the walls so we could draw and dance pretty much anywhere. The idea was to hand our creations to the DJ so he could “mix them into his set.

The animation community here seems to be quite big, especially at the university, so to be in the thick of it feels great.

Throughout the week I’d gone to a few to Bars, restaurants, saw No country for Old men at the DCA so socially, I had a real busy week.

Also went to Edinborough with Ken Anderson and Sean Yu (both work colleagues) with the hope of drawing, instead we took loads of picture and just looked around shops, including Forbidden Planet. It was my first time there; hopefully it won’t be my last.....

As for Dundee, I didn’t think I’d like here, but I’m actually really enjoying it, the air is cleaner, it’s peaceful, everything is walking distance, and the people seem really friendly. I feel really relaxed here. The fact that work is about a 10 min walk away from where I live, is a refreshing change for me considering in London the journey to work is a 1hr15min commute via bus and train.

So what’s it like working at Ink.... so far I love it. It’s a really cool place to with people who are highly skilled at what they do so in a year’s time (if all goes well) some of those skills will rub off on me.

In the little time I’ve been here (3weeks now) I’ve learnt much about the inbetweening but most importantly, about myself. This is the hardest Job I have ever done in my life, (especially the clean up part) but the most rewarding. As the days go by it gets easier. It’s weird, last year I was studying animation, and this year I’m working in animation, but it still feels like I’m studying the difference, I’m specialising in Inbetweening. I sit there sometimes and think...hold on...I’m actually getting paid to do this????!!!! The strange thing I’m finding as an inbetweener is, you need to be able to draw, and understand animation principles but it feels like you do neither, yet you're improving in both. Any inbetweeners out there that feel the same way? Ink has also made a deal with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design for us to do life drawing free 4 times a term on Thursday morning. The students there do a session on Thursday evenings also, so I drop in. I make sure to go every session, as I need life drawing badly, I’ve become very rusty, (it’s been almost a year).

My first session was quite difficult, for some reason I was really timid, trying to get everything right. The next session I decided to loosen up a bit, after Ken lent me a book called Force. I took a bigger pencil, one that was given to me almost 10 years ago as a gift, I feel like I have the right to use it now J (long story and this post is long enough already).

It restricted me in terms of detail and forced me to use broader strokes. In doing this, I found, for the first time, I was actually studying the form rather than trying to replicate it.

Also joined a sketch group out here, started by Ken, which also has a blog so I’ll be posting there also. We go every sunday about 1 oclock to a huge Borders just past the town centre. I'm finding it quite hard, I don't know if it's because I took such a long break or because I'm so used to drawing people on the train.....

So far, that’s my life so in the Scotland. I’ll be posting every 2 weeks from now on so no more huge long winded posts.....

And Again....


PS: Happy now Timbo :)

PSS: I'll be updating my links real soon, I have loads of links bookmarked, something like 200 so I'll add some real soon......


Maarten Rijs said...

YES a new post at last :)
awesooome. It was longer then I expected, so now I gotta run to work, ill comment later haha.

Paul said...

Glad you are enjoying yourself up in Scotland. It sounds great up there, I'm rather jealous. Look forward to hearing more.
Laters Mate.

Ken said...

Man, im dissappointed your post was shorter than I anticipated waha!

Awesome documentation of your 3 weeks in Dundee. Man a lot has happened in such a short space of time!


Ken :D

messytimbo said...


I’m so happy see that you've posted and that your having such a swell time. I’m kinda jealous; I didn't know that Dundee had such a big animation collective, it's amazing. That animation festival sound sick! Bill bloody Plympton, i friggin love that guy! It’s a shame that you never had the money to buy that kayne west vid piece. That a really good video.

I like the life drawing, and I really love the sketches you did in boarders. I love the one of the girl reading while drinking her drink, and the one of the guy reading with he's eyebrows raised, you really get a sense that he's reading something interesting.

can't wait to see more dude!

lacopol said...

hey wesley!!!! i'm happy to see you again... your life in scotland looks like good for you!!! I love you 'lil sketches!!! and maaaan you meet bob plymton!!!!!lucky man! and It's me who increased with your work dude!!! lol see you soon friend!

Maarten Rijs said...

whooo i wasnt dreaming. there is a new post. nice!
woa man exciting stuff, so awesome! you must be having the time of your life.
im such a loser for not having heard of bill plympton... ill look him up.
loving the sketches.
cant wait for your next post!

lacopol said...

this is Bill plymton... Bill not bob... sorry

G1toons said...

sounds like you are having a lot of fun, nice post

Joe Karg said...

Damn Wes, it will take me months to read all of this, but at least that will give you time to prepare another post:)

Awesome stuff!


Shouren Ho 何守任 said...

Hey Wes, that sounds amazing! You are going to have more fun and learn more everyday there. Keep growing man and enjoy your life.

Yoyo said...

well done Wes, glad that you've made a good progress. All the best then:)

Paresh Dholakia is Spider P said...

Nice read wes, very happy to hear you're enjoying it all

Olivier Ladeuix said...

ah ah, nice one Wesley. We pretty much know everything about your new life now and it looks like you are all set to have a great time.

Because of the february train disruption, Virgin trains gave me a free 1st class ticked to any destination in UK. I am intending to go to Edinburgh so I will be joining your sunday sketch crawl end of march, begining April. Let me know when it is best so I can catch up with you.

Ah I realised you are doing it in Dundee. How far is Dundee from Edinburgh?

Tobias Schwarz said...

congratulations on your new job. the l`illusioniste is a challenging one to work on for sure! Hope you enjoy the scottosh cuisine as well.

Anonymous said...

Hello, i'm so pleased everythings going so well. I can't beleive you found a Forbidden Planet, your never gonna have any money left :)

Look forward to hearing what your up to next.

Take Care

Helen C

Matt J said...

Congrats on the job. Scotland should be a very inspiring place to draw.

Abhilash.N said...

Wooooooow....Awsome blog..!

MaaB alias Nawell S said...

Hey,I've just discovered your blog as I was assistant at Django I find very interesting to discover your vision at INK.I wish you good luck!You seem very talented.