Saturday, September 30, 2017

Inspired by Animated Life: Sweet Fern Productions

Animated Life: Coelacanth by Sweet Fern Productions
I love to be inspired, as an artist and a human being. Then I like to share what I find so here we go.

For the last few years my work has been focused on animating science. My current project Anim8Nature is the result of that interest. I am always looking for great examples of that kind of work, especially those appropriate for kids. In my research I found the SciArtCenter and Labocine. That was the path I followed to find Sweet Fern Productions.

Sweet Fern Productions created a 5-part series of animations for the New York Times OpDocs.These short animations "celebrate pioneers in science and pivotal moments of discovery, using paper-puppets. They were produced in collaboration with Howard Hughes Medical Institutes’s BioInteractive."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Helping Teachers and Teachers Helping Us

Teachers are such important people. We trust them to play a major role in the education our children. Our mission at Anim8Nature is to make their job easier. We are creating resources for exploring science with art built around animated life cycles. Monarch Butterfly, Acorn, Jellyfish, Shell Fungus

I have been an educator for over 40 years, but never an elementary school classroom teacher. I need help understanding contemporary classroom culture and how we can make the best product to accomplish our mutual goal to help kids become creative, engaged human beings.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Anim8Nature: Building a Community to Explore Science with Art

I just spend two days in Washington, DC at Women in Film & Video events and when I want to celebrate the concept of community, WIFV comes to mind. I have been a member for over twenty years and it has changed my life in many ways. Most recently I am the recipient of the WIFV Seed Fund Grant for Anim8Nature. I am profoundly indebted to WIFV for the funds and the mentoring, additionally for the vote of confidence.

Now I need to build a community around Anim8Nature to ensure its success. How are I going to do that? 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Anim8Nature: Fungus Now Screening

Anim8Nature, an educational resource in development, is driven by questions. We are creating 10 animated life cycles and educational resources to explore science with art. Our mission above all else is to spark curiosity and get people of all ages asking questions. 

Spores (very enlarged) being released from a shell fungus
Animating the shell fungus was a big challenge because, well, fungi don't do much. They don't have a lot of pretty body parts that move around like butterflies or jellyfish. Also, everyone has seen a butterfly or an acorn and get it. Fungi are all around us and while most all of us have seen a mushroom and even eaten a few, seeing this kind of fungus in the woods is not a universal experience. So part of the challenge was to believe that they are interesting enough to warrant a slot among the 10 featured organisms. Yes, they are important and they are fascinating. Fungi provide a very valuable role, among other things, they return dead material to the soil so it can be used again. 

A Plan Comes Together

It fascinates me that sometimes when inspiration comes, it's everywhere I look. I like that! My challenge to visualize the connection of...