In case you don’t follow The Art Assignment yet (and you should, you really should), here is our most recent episode with Toyin Odutola. 

Currently mulling over what my own GIF is going to be. Watch the video, and then make your own and post it online using #theartassignment!


I wanted to start drawing again and I thought I’d participate in this weeks art assignment. I’ve watching the art assignment videos and responses for a bit now and think it’s a really great project, so I really wanted to do this.

I chose to make a gif about my bookshelf (one of them, but this one has the most important books). 

The first row are mainly YA fiction books, some of them I have read a dozen times, a few of them I haven’t even read yet. They are extremely valuable to me as they connect me to certain parts of my life and have probably taught me more than most of my school classes. 

The second row are my books on film, art and the two diarys I’ve had so far. The books on making film have taught me many many things about the industry I want to go into, and have helped me a lot in our film club at school. There’s also a clapperboard I got from my parents a couple years ago, though I’ve never used it :) 

Third row is mainly just old magazines, one of them got for almost seven years or so. 

These are the books that are most valuable to me, either because they have a lot of memories attached to them, or because they taught me the knowledge that I hope will help me in my future.

( I thought I’d ad in a picture of the complete bookshelf at the end, in better quality so you can see all the books)

The Art Assignment #3:

The Assignment

My intimate and indispensable gif is my imagination. Without it I never would have found my passion, my talent, and my career and also some of the best friends I have ever had. My imagination is mine alone and it never stops and I hope that’s true with all the work it has allowed me to do.

It began with words, that led to ideas, then to stories, then to drawings, and it is limitless so I want to continue to ride it out.

Intimate Indispensable GIF: Tea

So there’s this thing called The Art Assignment on YouTube ( theartassignment on tumblr) where contemporary artists give people little creative exercises to challenge them to think in new ways and such. One episode of this that I’d wanted to do something for for a while was an assignment given by Toyin Odutola (toyinodutola) was to take something intimate and indispensable to you and express it in the form of a GIF. Toyin chose her hands; I chose tea.

Toyin said in the video of the assignment that the working on art is kind of like a form of prayer; in a very distracting world, getting lost in the process of drawing centres you. I get that feeling too, but what I also get it from is tea.

The ritual associated with putting down everything that I’m doing, waiting for the water to boil and preparing the tea is pretty prayer-like. Muslims turn towards Mecca five times a day; I turn to my kettle. The process removes everything from my head and centres me again. It gives me time to breathe in a day that’s otherwise jammed with mental activity.

It’s also the only thing that really ties me to any kind of cultural identity. We’ve pretty much agreed that if any kind of apocalypse were to befall Britain and Ireland, the survivors would last about as long as the tea supplies, upon which they’d make sure there was a bullet for everyone.

In the third episode of The Art Assignment, artist Toyin Odutola prompts viewers to create a gif of something intimate and indispensable.

I wasn’t initially going to participate, but I was in the circuits lab early Friday morning to finish a project with my friends, and I eventually had the place to myself after they left for class. I was playing around with some optional stuff at the end of the lab and ended up building a sample-and-hold circuit. When I hooked it up to the oscilloscope, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked exactly as expected with little to no troubleshooting – and trust me, that’s a rare occurrence. I found the simplicity and beauty of the waveforms mesmerizing, so I recorded them.

The circuits lab is an intimate place to me because, as a future electrical engineer, I will spend a significant portion of my time as an undergraduate in this well-lit, well-equipped room. And for electrical engineers, nothing is more indispensable than an oscilloscope. This instrument is the best way for us to see what is happening in all those wires and components we’ve hacked together.

Without oscilloscopes, we are as good as blind. But with them, we become privy to secrets only electrons know.


Calling you out: Dolores / yes4poe

StakeoutIntimate Indispensable Gif | Quietest Place | Psychological Landscape | What How WhereWalk on It | Off | Make a Rug | Under the Influence | Imprint / Imprint | Sorted Books | Find Your Band / Find Your Band | Photo a Friend / Photo a Friend | Desktop MonumentDesktop MonumentThe One That Got Away | Please Do Not TouchExpanded Moment / Expanded MomentRelative StrangersEmotional FurnitureBecome Someone ElseAssembly LineArtistic AlchemyArtistic Alchemy / Artistic Alchemy | Customize It / Customize It | Collaborate with Son Lux 


It’s Intimate, Indispensable GIF day! Here are some highlights from the many fantastic GIFs that have come in so far. 

And we’ll be featuring more on tumblr today. 

Oh, and if you haven’t seen Toyin Odutola’s Art Assignment episode, you should watch that first!

Intimate, indispensible GIF: My Grandfather died at the end of January this year. One of my fondest memories is he would take me rock hunting, he would always keep the rocks and no one really ever thought to ask why. After he passed away we found out what he was doing with them. He had made them into little statues and painted them. They were all labeled for each of the grandchildren. These are the two he made for me, with them were a note: “Don’t forget to laugh”. I keep them close and when I am missing Grandpa I will sit and talk with them. I love them.

The Art Assignment Ep. 3 - Intimate, indispensable GIF

When I heard the words ‘intimate and indispensable’ my mind immediately jumped to ‘wheelchair’. This is a GIF of my wheel spinning. I took video of myself doing all sorts of things and this made the best GIF out of the lot.

The indispensable part is pretty simple. I cannot move without my chair. I cannot walk more than 2 metres unaided and even then I feel considerable pain. My chair is a part of me. It is my legs. It is the very essence of my independence.

The intimate part is all that stuff I just told you about. I don’t tell that stuff to everyone (he says telling The Internet). My disability is a very personal thing. The struggles I face on a daily basis are something few people will ever understand. That’s OK. It is my choice to hide all of that behind smoke and mirrors. My chair is the symbol of those struggles. It is the reason they are kept largely invisible. It is the smoke and mirrors.

Intimate, Indispensable GIF

I’ve had these pictures taken for months and then the photoshop I had was too outdated to be able to make gifs and then the end of my semester, but now, behold! My first gif! Done for The Art Assignment’s third assignment.

I don’t get to play my bass as much as I’d like to anymore, but it’s still absolutely indispensable to me. I love music and I love bass and I barely have any words to describe what it means to me. Following music also lead me to the path I’m on now. A path that I am incredibly excited about. When taking these pictures I wanted to be certain that they would all be from my perspective, what I see when I play.

This is my Intimate, Indispensable gif. I chose pictures from my summer at a sleep over camp as a counsellor. It’s pretty clear from the photos who was most important to me and I am so pleased that I shared a summer with them.

Finally I got this to work. Took me so long to pick these pictures and get them in gif form. Relatively pleased with how it turned out.

Thanks to The Art Assignment for giving me a reason to look back at my past summer and reminisce about the phenomenal times I had. 

3. Intimate, Indispensable GIF

I don’t think I was being terribly creative with this GIF. I’m kind of in a rut in terms of creating things at the moment. The biggest message from Toyin Odutola that sunk in was the “if I could do it, with serious laziness, you can do it” part of it. The “fun and easy” part of it. Because I’m definitely feeling lazy (and sleepy) lately.

I thought about what would be most intimate and indispensable to me, and it always comes down to a few things, including introspection, body image, and art/creation.

So, what I did here was set up my tripod (actually it’s broken so I rubber banded my camera to the mount since I have misplaced the mount… yikes) and videotaped myself. What we have here are 8 frames of gestural sketches of me moving around in my studio, and apparently trying to keep my head attached to my body. 8 frames for a typical 8 beat phrase in dance, 8 frames for the lucky number 8 in my family’s culture (I’m Chinese, thanks for wondering). 8 frames because that’s a small enough number to draw and photograph and crop and animate and upload without giving myself a headache, or a chance to be distracted and give up. 

Making small things is the first step. Hopefully it’ll be a catalyst for me to continue making things (especially since I’m running out of posts).

Art Assignment #3 Intimate, Indispensable Gif

I love reading, so I chose a few of my favorite books and put them together into a gif.


Watching this week’s Art Assignment, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. To me, intimacy is something that is best found naturally. Luckily for me, I’ve been capturing tons of video footage of my friends over the past year or so, so I have tons of footage of some of my favorite moments with them. They are very much indispensable to me. Hopefully these gifs help show that. 

Top Left: My best friend playing the cowbell at pep band. Sam was practically born a drummer, and there’s nothing quite like seeing somebody in their zone doing what they do. 

Top Right: Ever since I started vlogging over the summer, my friends have become more and more accustomed to the camera. This captures that. 

Middle Left: The pep band has a tradition of singing bohemian rhapsody on the bus back from games. Here’s everyone mid-belting. 

Middle Right: One of the more memorable nights of my life - here’s Hana and Rose on the drums and Andrew screaming on vocals letting off steam after a long week. We all jammed out for a good while after that. 

Bottom Left: Our Christmas party. Rose gave Ray a little toy bus. I’ve never seen a happier kid. 

Bottom Right: Hana and I laughing about who knows what on New Years. Another memorable night to me. I think shared laughter is more intimate than we give it credit for.