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Animation Festival!

Dear Winterites,

I don’t feel the need to go into detail about classes. They’re more or less going to be the same from here on out. That's probably the easiest part of this journey. This week, our main assignment has been focused on creating a bouncing ball. This involved creating a 1-point grid, drawing arches, putting in rough outlines of the ball bounce progression, squashing and stretching the ball, and rework, rework, rework.

Monday, as usual, was an overview of the week. I felt particularly tired on this day. It’s an incredibly useful class to have, but also the most boring. All other classes are focused on doing, while this one is all about listening. Plus, the weather was dreary. That doesn’t help boost motivation for getting things accomplished.

Our secondary assignment is focused on Time Management. We’re to make a detailed schedule for an entire week, follow it, and then submit it to our professor. Now, I already do lists. I have monthly goals, which I can then break down day by day to meet them. I do time management. I have to otherwise I’d never get any books written. However, this assignment has us breaking things down by the hour, and that just exhausts me. After I’ve completed this week and sent it in, I’ll be going back to my usual time management style.

Due to the continuation of certain struggles both in regards to school and outside of that, I felt like crap on Tuesday. Thankfully, I went jogging with one of my travel companions (hereafter referred to as my dragon companion), during which time we ranted about our problems. Therapy at its finest. Honestly felt a lot better after getting those weighty thoughts out of my mind.

On Wednesday, it was announced to us that the school would not be supplying a certain sketchbook needed for Life Drawing. Annoying. So, my dragon companion and I went on a side quest to seek out what we needed. We ventured to the house of Michael, a purveyor of all things art and craft. His generosity was such that not only were we able to get what we needed, we were allowed double for the cost of one. The spoils we plan to share with other companions.

For Thursday’s Life Drawing class, we got to work with another live model. I’m honestly just terrible at gesture drawing. Cave drawings, that’s about the best I can conjure up. Art is one magic that will take me a while to master, I tell you. Some of my other companions have suggested some tips and tricks that they use, but I’m still figuring out how to apply them.

**Warning, as it is a life drawing class, the models pose nude. If that triggers you, please ignore the photos or stop reading here.**

(Yeah....these are not amazing, haha! Some of my classmates say my lines are getting more confident, but I think that's only because I'm trying to draw faster and therefore don't have time to be unconfident. Maybe? I'm not bashing myself. I know I have skill, but I'm also aware that I haven't developed it. This means any and all art skills are currently at a lower level than they will be after more practice.)

(This is the result of my long study drawing. I'm slowly getting the hang of using measurements for proportions. Definitely something I'm currently not great at, but I can see how it will be a useful skill to have in my pocket. I'm getting there.)

By Friday, my bouncing ball was complete. Another successful week of study and animation learning!

(Who knew a bouncing circle could be so adorable!? When seeing this, I think to myself, "I could totally do VeggieTales!" Obviously, I don't have that level of animation knowledge yet, nor is VeggieTales even really a thing anymore (sad face), but if you know, you know what I mean.)

Alright. Now that the week has been briefly mentioned, onto the fun stuff!

This weekend was the Ottawa International Animation Festival (hereafter referred to as OIAF). As a student of animation, I got the opportunity to volunteer at OIAF, which meant I could check out the various events offered free of charge!

(The above is the guidebook, wherein lay contained the secrets of OIAF.)

Friday, I helped out from 1:00-5:00. My position was as a floater. I got bounced around a fair bit to help out with various tasks. Honestly, it was kind of boring. I didn’t get much opportunity to meet anyone from the animation world, so that was a disappointment.

I must say that quests to downtown are not the safest. Dangers lurk in the shadows, and they have a way of showing their ugly faces the later into the night it gets. Though I personally did not have to face any of the underworld demons on the Friday night, I did witness an interaction with one that was uncomfortable at best. I won’t get into it because that’s not my story to tell, but I was grateful that my dragon companion was with me. There is safety in numbers. I just hope the poor girl who was suffering was not too impaired to accept the help of the paramedics who came to her aid.

Saturday was my second shift. This time, I got to be at another location where more exciting events were happening. It was here that I finally got to rub shoulders with animators and others who simply enjoy all things animated.

(Just my volunteer t-shirt.)

My volunteer shift was from 1:00-6:00. During this time, I got to sit in on a couple talks, one given by animation studio recruiters. That I enjoyed though I did not get an opportunity to talk with them personally.

I also got the opportunity to help out with the teardown of various booths. It was during this time that I got to talk with a couple of the vendors. So great! I may not have any of the required skills yet to be an animator, but it’s never too early to start networking. Perhaps I didn’t leave the strongest impression, but I got to gain a feel of the animation festival. That's something. Maybe next year I’ll get to explore a bit more and meet more people. I’m so glad I had this opportunity to at least get a small taste.

Some of my travel companions wanted to stay for the afterparty. I hung out for a bit as well. We took part in a gesture drawing session. Super casual. They had different cosplayers come out and model for us, so that was neat. I drew two of them, decided the costumes were too overwhelming at this point in time for me to attempt, and wrote a short story instead.

(I know. It's probably some of my best work to date. Insightful. Impactful. There's drama, suspense, intrigue. Genius. And, as a bonus, you can see the outline of the sketches I attempted on the other side of the page.)

Once again, the journey back to our lodgings took place at night. And once again, another uncomfortable situation found us. A heavily intoxicated man decided we were beautiful and stopped to chat. He didn’t try anything untoward, but I would have greatly appreciated him moving on his way much sooner. Again, I’m glad my dragon companion was with me, but as she admits, she’s a small dragon. We both would have preferred a knightly presence at least for the intimidation factor. Or perhaps an ogre. An ogre would have been perfect.

Anyway, we made it home safely. That’s what matters.

(Just a few images I took whilst exploring the city to end things off.)

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