[NOTE: I began crafting this little post on April 1st, but didn’t post it till the 10th].
What fresh Hell is this, gentle readers? As I sit and compose this post it’s April 1st, ordinarily a day of tricks and general tomfoolery. The universe, however, pulled the biggest prank on us humans ever and forced us all into seclusion, lest we contract the COVID-19 virus and overburden our healthcare systems (or worse). Not funny, Universe.
When not scrambling to place curriculum online so that the Winter term can finish, this art professor busies herself with drawing strange little paper puppets. Frivolous, you say? Perhaps. And yet, we all have our coping strategies for stress, and mine has always been drawing and various other creative pursuits. This creativity of mine won’t find a cure for the current pandemic, but it’s a tiny corner of control I can wield in an otherwise rudderless situation. Below are some recent creations, with a focus on the approach of Spring.
In addition to teaching and making art and animated films, I like to make and sell articulated paper puppets for my Etsy shop. Think I just enjoy the straightforward, playful simplicity of puppets and paper dolls.
I recently made this short stop-motion video “commercial” to promote my shop — but, honestly, I just wanted to get some of these puppets under camera to see what I could do with them. Their range of motion is limited (most of the heads don’t move), but I was up for the challenge.
The music is just some royalty free loop I downloaded from Soundsnap.
Quick update as to what’s happening in the world of all things papercut: Papercut Pictures and Papercut Puppets.
Firstly, my latest animated short Wunderkammer will screen May 11th at the Anifilm 2019 international animation festival in Třeboň, Czech Republic in the non-competitive programming block “Midnight Animation: Body”. This feels like a stylistic homecoming for this project, since it was inspired (in part) by Czech paper cutout animation, most notably the work of Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague (who created the feature-length cutout animation film Fantastic Planet).
In June, Wunderkammer screens on Thursday, June 6th at the granddaddy of North American underground film festivals, the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
Lastly, I continue to add to the paper puppets in my Etsy shop. Check in at regular intervals for the latest additions.
Over the Christmas/New Year’s break, I turned my attention towards the business side of my art practice. In the spirit of renewal for the New Year, I decided to resurrect my cobwebbed and long neglected Etsy shop and upload some new listings. Ultimately, I plan to add these to this web site/blog — with an option to purchase via PayPal button — once I figure how to actually do that.