Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Storm Thorgerson

In case you haven't noticed, I changed the blog description above. I've realized that my blog doesn't really work as an animation blog alone, as I don't always have anything new to discuss, and my mind tends to focus on multiple mediums. I've decided to include other things that work their way into whatever ventures I'm on.

I want to share a newfound appreciation (and realized influence) of graphic designer Storm Thorgerson.

Being the rock enthusiast that I am and also being an artist, it should be no suprise that I have a great appreciation for album artwork. I have to admit, however, that I've never really taken the time to appreciate them as works of art. Its probably because in recent years, we've had the great popularity of MP3, iTunes, and the iPod. Its kind of sad when you think about it. Its a strange feeling when something like music is suddenly replaced by computer codes. But even before that, as I was growing up, I could help but listen to an album, and associate much of it with the artwork of the album cover. I grew up listening to old rock music, as I had a hard time in my teens accepting newer music.

But back to album art: I was quick to notice album designs by Hipgnosis (the British art design group) and especially those of Storm Thorgerson. I didn't realize until recently just how much those designs are embedded in my subconcious. Thorgerson's images are very similar to Salvador Dali's world; in fact they are almost parallel. But there is something that separated Thorgerson's work from Dali's. Of course the fact that they are two different artists has something to do with it, but because there is music to be associated with the covers, there is more to back up the proposed narratives of the works.

I don't know enough about Thorgerson to explore him as an artist. In fact, this interest is very recent. But the images are on my mind, and I want to swim around them for now.

I have to admit, a few of these albums here, I have never listened to them. I just put them up for the artwork, but if anyone reading wants to post an opinion of the albums, they are more than welcome.

I'm not going to make any secret about this. The reason I started thinking about Thorgerson's work again was due in part to the recent passing of Pink Floyd's keyboard player, Richard Wright. As an avid listener of Pink Floyd, the news of Mr. Wright's passing is sad, and truly marks the end of something special. His contribution to Pink Floyd's music is immeasurable. My heart goes out to his family. Shine on, Richard Wright.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Half-Assed Update

I have been concerned lately, because I can't seem to come up with any decent ideas for a new film. And it doesn't help to continually read about the destruction of commercial animation.

I have just read John K's latest blog entry, which happens to be part of something larger. Mr K is currently writing up a very informative history of Canadian Commercial animation. Although distinctions are pointed out from American animation, I feel like some of the noteworthy criticisms Mr. K has to offer are mirrored in the history of American commercial animation. The parts that really shattered me was where he detailed the devastatingly unoriginal ideas behind the characters and stories in some of these shows and movies.

Not coming up with any good ideas lately is frustrating. And when I see things that have half-assed ideas, a part of me should feel determined not to follow that route. But then another part of me fears that I may follow that route without knowing it. After all I must admit: I did not know what made lousy animated shows/movies until after I turned 18. I grew up on certain things, and recently I watched them again. The feeling just isn't the same.

I don't know why I am saying all of this. I guess I just need to blow off some steam (and this seems like a harmless way to do so). I enjoy Mr. K's amazing insight into the art of good animation and filmmaking. But even though I am no longer an enrolled student, I still feel like I don't even know half the game. I completed Parasite's Delight having learned a great deal about structuring a short film. But the feeling is fleeting; I was wondering how much work it will be to do it again. I don't learn as quickly as some of my peers.