I watched THE video. And I don’t think I ever see Yurio enjoy one of his performance so much (and woah, I want to see the whole thing, the animation is very beautiful ಥ_ಥ)) - his angry teenagers soul his sated.
(and please, give us the whole Viktor and Yuuri pair skate performance. PLEASE.
Aaaand I really want to see more of a young Viktor, but this is just a dream of mine. Sigh.)
Other than that - Viktor costume in the drawing is one of Johnny Weir!
The Issue of Being a Freelance Artist (When working with non-designers): A story by Sean Williams (and future reference for other artists)
Hey guys, looks like its story time… I’m going to vent to you guys about something that just happened to me today, and hopefully you guys can reblog it so that we as artists, can try to avoid this from happening in the future.
For the last month or so I’ve been working on a freelance project for a woman who plans on running a blog about going to College. Throughout this process, I’ve worked with her step by step, going through designs, drafts, re-drafts and etc. After turning in the final design yesterday and being in agreement that the design was good, and that payment should be finalized; she sent me an email stating this:
“I ran the design by a couple of people affiliated with by blog, and I am going to have to ask you to redo it. It’s just not what we were looking for. I’m not a design person at all and I wanted it done, so I settled on it. But this has to be done right”
“Okay, fine” I thought. Sometimes things don’t work out, and designs need to be redone. I was fine with this, and I have absolutely no problem working with a client to make sure that they’re happy; but something about her wording stuck a chord…. She settled. And for reference: THIS is what she said yesterday- BEFORE the email today stating: “This has to be done right”
FUN FACT: I had gone in a completely different direction before coming up with the design I sent yesterday, but after HOURS of working on it and checking in with her (with her telling me she loved the way it looked) –
–I was asked to redo it.
She told me to redo it. A DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE. Which I did (The design I turned in yesterday). But I digress..
Icontinued reading through the email:
“If you are not able or willing to take this on, then we can just cut our ties here. If you would like to finish the project in a time sensitive manner and be paid the other 50$ and be featured, then please get me a new design by today.”
At this point, I’d been working with her for a little over a month, (I’m a full-time student, and I work the maximum number of hours that I’m allowed to work on campus, on top of that I’m the president of an animation organization on campus, so suffice to say, I’m busy) and she had a deadline for the project, so there was a part of me that could understand her urgency. We had decided on $100. Half up front and half after I had finished. But now something else had stuck with me: “Please get me a new design by today”
What? Are you kidding me? a NEW design? We had been working together for over a month, and I had worked based on what she wanted, and now she wanted a COMPLETELY new design by the end of the day. A day, I might add that I don’t have free because I have work and then other school-related obligations that I need to fulfill… That would mean sketches to generate more ideas, having to confer with her on the design, THEN actually implementing the design, and having to clean it all up, with 1.) No direction (because the way I designed it previously was obviously all wrong), and 2.) By the end of the day.
This had to be done right, and after all of that working and reworking, I was STILL looking to try to be as helpful and professional as possible. So of course, I was considering starting from scratch and coming up with a THIRD finalized design, until I read the rest of the email… HERE’S THE KICKER: I can’t even make this shit up.
“A few things to keep in mind. 1. I am a professional. I’m an adult, this is my business. I want it clean, simple and streamlined”.
In my head I thought: “You’re joking. You’re going to tell me these things like I’m a child? First of all, I may be a student, but I’m a working adult, I take care of my schoolwork, I pay rent, I pay a car note, I’m ENGAGED, AND take care of a pet Ferret. Beyond that, not only have I worked on this project with you step, by step, but I’ve done COUNTLESS drafts and ON TOP OF THAT, you’ve told me multiple times that the design is perfect for what you’re looking for”…
Are you fucking kidding me. This woman thought it was okay to send me: A designer; this “HELPFUL” link. About tips. FOR NON DESIGNERS. WHEN SHE HERSELF IS NOT A DESIGNER. After this I was LIVID. But I kept my composure and kept reading:
“Ask me questions, read the blog, treat me as if I’m a real client. Let me know your thoughts on this.”
I almost couldn’t contain myself. For a month I’ve done sketches, layouts, and etc… I’d worked with you step by step, following her instructions for the design, FOR EACH ITERATION OF THE DESIGN and I had tailored each of my changes exactly to her specifications. Beyond that I’d read and re-read over the blog multiple times in an effort to come up with a design that would best display her intentions. I was so upset after reading her email that I literally just closed my phone and walked around for a few minutes to clear my head.
After much consideration, I decided to do what she herself had suggested and cut our ties. And I did it in what I feel was the most respectful way that I could while still maintaining my dignity. I sent her a message stating that I’m sorry that things didn’t work out, but that I could tell that she clearly didn’t respect me as an artist, and that I thought it best if we didn’t continue working together. I wished her good luck in finding a designer that could suit her needs, and I went about my day.
Although this situation didn’t end the way that I had expected it to when we began working together, I’ve learned some things, and I wanted to share my story with you all as a way to help raise awareness for things like this:
-VALUE YOUR ART. -VALUE YOUR TIME. -VALUE THE CLIENT BUT DO NOT LET THEM STEP ALL OVER YOU
There are non designers who will commission you and be happy that you created something for them, and there are those that will NEVER be satisfied with what you give them. See the warning signs and DO NOT work with people who are going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.
I’ve worked with more than a few people who don’t appreciate the amount of passion and hard work that goes into art, and it draining, frustrating and its just not worth it.
Another thing that I learned is please please please DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT.
The project that I was working on wasn’t worth $100. And after the second draft it was even worth doing for $200. I understand being a student and needing money, but I’d rather work for free on something that I love than work for pennies on something that I hate.
Don’t take a project just because it pays. AND PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO UNDERCUT YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU’RE A STUDENT OR BECAUSE YOU DON’T FEEL THAT YOU’RE A “PROFESSIONAL” YET.
I have friends in the animation industry who STILL don’t feel like they’re necessarily “Professionals”
KNOW YOUR WORTH. And never ever EVER Let anyone tell you what you’re worth. Especially if they don’t know or respect just how much work and time goes into making the beautiful things that you all make.
I think that’s about it. Thanks for putting up with yet another long rant about me trying to navigate my life as an artist!
(also… completely unrelated: If you’re an artist reading this, let me know! I’d love to follow you and I hope you do the same!)
I mean, seriously. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. So cute. So beautiful. So moving. So touching. Beth and Esteban made true masterpiece and I think everyone should find a four minutes of their time to watch it. It’s absolutely worth it.
CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW POWERFUL THE ENDING WAS TO THIS AMAZING SHORT FILM !!??!
it is literally just about two hearts coming together, regardless of gender, ethnicity, and other insignificant things, because that’s what love is!
love is love.
Hello I'm a young aspiring artist that just started high school and I want to be an animator. Lately I've been stressing my self about how good I am and if I'm going the right path to be where I want to be. I get so worried about the future and if I'll be able to achieve my goals enough or on time I know this is long and your a busy person so please don't answer this if you don't want to. But do you have any advice at all anything will be appreciated thanks so much
The trouble is, even when you’ve ‘made it’ and you’re a working professional that feeling doesn’t go away! It turns into “oh god I’m a hack, they just haven’t seen it yet” or “im not good enough to be here”. The difference is, pros have these feelings and they keep drawing. When I was in high school I had the lowest self esteem but I kept drawing and striving for my goals because it was better than doing my homework. (haha I was an awful student. dont be me)
Also, there’s no such thing as “achieving goals on time”. Everyone has a different path. Yes, art school > internship > job is the path everyone obsesses about but it’s not the only way in. I have friends who didn’t work in animation until their 30s, and honestly it made their work more interesting and beautiful! I have a friend who never finished high school and lived out of a car for two years while stacking produce at a corner store. Now he’s an award winning Character Designer! One of my heroes never went to college and just pestered people until someone gave him a job. It’s all persistence, and maybe that’s why this job isn’t for everyone because that shit is HARD. When you’re feeling great, keep drawing. When you’re feeling bad, keep drawing. That’s how you know if you’re on the right path, if you can persist even when you’re at your lowest point.
I’m sorry this advice isn’t very practical outside of “keep it up”. But that’s all you can do, that’s all I’ve ever done, and that’s all we have to keep doing. Good luck on your journey!
Let’s be real, we’ve got the headstrong, hot-headed princess Allura in a long abandoned and forgotten castle with no one but Coran to keep her company. I couldn’t just not make Allura the beast. I wanted to make Coran all the pieces of furniture but finally decided to put his mustache to good use. And obviously Shiro’s gotta be the beauty fresh from the Galra gladiator ring.
Part 2: Task: 12 Days of lesser known animated show/film recommendations
Hey, guys! I’ve been a bit down lately, so in order to give myself something to do, I decided to share with you all the lesser known, underrated or entirely hidden gems of the animated world (as far as I know), be it show or film.
-The animation must be traditional (no CGI unless it’s minor and in the background; i’ll do an all CGI list later).
-The recommended work must have soothing, inspiring or otherwise admirable leads with realistic emotional connections.
-The plot of the story must be intriguing if not wholly believable and the artwork must meet certain aesthetic standards.
-The characters must have emotionally realistic interactions with one another in ratio to the time allowed for them to interact.
-The animation in question may be from anywhere in the world.
Also, feel free to clue me in on any that I don’t list, because I would really appreciate a new animated find!
As a matter of course, a great deal of the listed shows/films will be ‘anime’, simply because japanimation has the monopoly on the most unique and varied story lines, and Japan (and sometimes France) are the only ones making mostly traditionally drawn animated features still.
Alright, here we go … …
Day Two: Fairy Tale Films :)
The Day of the Crows
I absolutely adore this film. Not only is The Day of the Crows a superbly animated feast for the eyes, but the characters, lessons and honest interactions take it a level above most children’s films. Not only that, but the dialogue is wonderfully translated from the French to the English subtitles. As a matter of course, I prefer watching films in their original language unless the dub has some inventive dialogue or more adequate voice acting, but this little known gem isn’t likely to pick up a dub any time soon anyway, so all of you who only watch dubs should make an exception for this one.
It is the story of a young boy who has been raised by an ogre in the woods, until one day he must leave the protection of the trees for the nearby village in order to save someone precious to him. While there, he meets a young girl and begins to learn the touching history of his family. It’s a delightfully nuanced film. Really, don’t miss it!
Note: The title is mildly misleading, as any crow characters are showcased near the end of the film and don’t get much screen time. But why should that bother anyone?
Fusé: Teppō Musume no Torimonochō
Is there any anime lover who would pass up a film with adorable characters and animal transformations? Well, I actually would pass up the ‘animal transformations’ part, but that may just be me. Fusé is a touching fairy tale centring around a young huntress who befriends a dog-like humanoid named Shino. What puts this movie a pitch above the other films out there with a similar premise is it’s refusal to give the characters more slack than any real person would get. People die…there’s a surprising amount of gore which I feel is somehow toned up despite the soft animation. It’s the sort of film that makes you laugh less because it’s funny and more because you know your window to find things humorous is rapidly disappearing. You want the characters to be happy….you think they should be because the film is so cute…but it’s the bitter-sweet trick of the story.
It’s based on the Hakkenden, an old Japanese novel series that details the exploits of the ‘Dog Warriors’, beings reincarnated from the slaughtered spawn of a princess and her dog lover. This is part of why I can forgive the dog-creature theme, because the characters within the story on a few separate occasions refer to the story as a ‘counterfeit’ or parody of the Hakkenden.
An old Russian animation about a young woman who is the child of Spring and Winter, stepping into a village for the first time and learning that she does not have the capacity to love as other humans do. It’s very touching, very whimsical, and in the end bitter-sweet. I’d recommend it for the beautiful artwork alone, but the characters are given a surprising amount of life considering how old the film is. It’s clearly a labour of love.
The Dead Princess and the Seven Knights
An old Russian film based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The most fantastic thing about this film is that from start to finish the entirety of the script is one looong poem, complete with rhymes. I believe this film, Snow Maiden and The Twelve Months are all apart of the same collection, but these three are not dubbed into English, like some of the better known in the series, such as The Snow Queen.
The Twelve Months
If you are familiar with this film, it may be because you’ve watched the anime incarnation. I’d advise you to watch this one instead. Not only are the characters a bit more vital, but the art is a step above the anime and the humour is a bit more fluid. It is a Cinderella-like tale about a girl who wanders into the woods after being forced to preform an impossible task, and receives guidance from the Twelve Months, who are portrayed as a band of merry males of various ages having a meeting around a camp fire in the dead of winter.
Kirikou and the Sorceress
Kirikou and the Sorceress is a fascinating film about a young boy who, from the moment he is born, is able to talk and think like an adult. But he is still only a baby, and is very small because of it, which causes troubles between him and the towns people, and eventually gets the attention of a wicked sorceress that finds him a nuisance as he starts to use his size for unusual heroic feats.
Every character is fun, the dialogue is insightful and the resolution is terribly sweet.
Tales of the Night
A series of re-worked fairy tales told through ‘shadow puppet’ visuals. Beautiful stories, really. All of the interactions between the characters are unique and admirable, and every tale has a satisfying conclusion. You may think the shadow puppet look takes away from it, but, really, it only gives you a bit more emotion to savour since every character looks pretty much the same, allowing their intentions to nakedly drive the stories, rather than their looks.
The Last Unicorn
Based on the book of the same name, and with a screen play by the author, this film is one of the better known ‘hidden gems’. The story follows the ‘last unicorn’, as she searches for others of her kind, who are being held captive in a barren land that is very far away from her gentle forest. She gathers loyal and endearing companions along the way, and eventually looses a bit of herself in the throws of a pseudo-romance with a prince.
It’s a classic. The animation is unique and whimsical, and the pacing, characters and eventual resolution are all wonderful. It was my favourite film as a child.
The Princess and the Pilot
The Princess and the Pilot is a touching tale about the blooming tenderness and self-awareness between a pilot and the princess he is tasked with transporting across the ocean. There is political intrigue, bold decisions and the rude awakenings of reality in a war torn country. Both the leads are relatable and worth the care you inevitably develop toward them. And though the ending is a little frustrating, it is handled in a realistic and tentative manner that shows the meaning of personal feelings, even if physical circumstances can’t reflect them.
Miss Hokusai is the fictional and slightly sensationalised biography of an actual historical figure from the Japanese artistic past. The story is told in a series of self-contained artistic episodes that explore the philosophy needed to produce vital art, by teaching the characters emotional lessons through supernatural interactions. It’s very unique and telling, and every character has a degree of believably that is pleasantly attention grabbing. Some might complain that the formatting leaves a bit to be desired, but I’m pretty sure this is all intentional.
Princess Arete is one of those rare princess films that is all about a princess and her character building, and not at all about romance.
Little Princess Arete is kept in a tower where she grows increasingly depressed, despite her night time slips into the town bellow her window. By a bitter sort of luck, she is kidnapped by a wizard, and from here able to experience the world, albeit under a curse. The film has a very charmed and truthful grasp on the meanings in minor interactions and it never betrays the passionate heart of it’s female lead.
It’s a bit slow, but if you watch movies for the enrichment they provide and not for the face paced thrills, this one may be for you.
An old Japanese feature from the ‘60′s about a young boy who must do battle with a wicked witch to protect his home and family. The characters are enjoyable, the battles are pretty neat and the animation is a proto-perfect anime film suite. Honestly, if you’ve seen Kubo and the Two Strings and then you see this, you may feel, as I have, that it is like the spiritual grandfather to Kubo.
The Life of Guskou Budori
If you’ve ever seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, these two may look familiar to you. As you watch Guskou, you may develop the suspicion that the characters are an alternate incarnation or perhaps even a canon reincarnation of Giovanni and Campanella.
The Life of Guskou Budori is about said titular character as he navigates life after the death (otherworldly kidnapping?) of his younger sister during a great famine. The animation is simply gorgeous, and if you can forgive the incredibly vague narrative, you may just find yourself walking along a very enchanted dream.
Like Galactic Railroad, all of the characters are anthropomorphised cats. I’m unsure why that is, but it’s cute and inventive. It too, is based on a book. If you haven’t seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, I would also recommend that one, as it is very touching and poetic, but it is very slow. If you happen to like both of them, the anime Spring and Chaos, another anthropomorphic cat tale, may be for you, as it is about the guy who wrote the two aforementioned stories.
Tales from Earthsea
If you are a studio Ghibli fan, you may be in for a treat. This is a loose adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s seminal work the Earthsea series. It wraps into one film the characters and issues of four books, and so it doesn’t do the books much justice as it has bit off a bit more than it can chew. But if you accept it as an entirely different story that happens to have similar magical rules and the same names as the Earthsea series character’s have, the film is quite good.
Young Arren is a disturbed young man who runs away from his posh life and is picked up by the Arch-mage Ged. After making a special friend and fighting a deranged wizard, Arren learns how to own up to his fears and find peace despite his crimes. I recommend watching the original Japanese dub, as it is a bit more insightful about the Earthsea world.
It is directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro. If you like this film, you may like his other, more well rounded film From Up On Poppy Hill (my favourite Ghibli film), and Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, which is an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’s book of the same name (and a far more skillfully crafted adaptation than Tales from Earthsea. The perks of being a seasoned animator, I guess).
If you like the films, or even if you don’t, I recommend reading the Earthsea series and the Howl’s Moving Castle series. I prefer the latter.
A by itself, B-/C+ if compared to the books.
Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice is one of those barbarian films from the early 80′s. It’s got action and romance and wild prehistoric beasts, an obvious bad guy that’s still pretty well rounded despite his minor screen time and a bit of sorcery that you can laugh at if your mind is dirty enough to catch the innuendos. In a nutshell, Fire and Ice is a great late night blast from the past that every child of the 90′s should see at least once.
With art overseen by the legendary Frank Frazetta, I think any serious artist could find this film pretty rad as well.
The Cat Returns
The Cat Returns is a fascinating continuum of Shizuku’s story from Whisper of the Heart (another Ghibli film). It’s a fairy tale to the max, complete with a dapper cat ‘prince’ and woefully silly damsel-in-distress. It’s a lesser known Ghibli film, which is why it’s on the list, and if you do watch it, I recommend pairing it with Whisper of the Heart, a high school drama about a young girl’s blossoming romance and her attempt to write a novel, since it’s only right to see the little strings that connect the two tales.
It’s funny, charming and the Baron has a British accent ;) Mmm-mm delish!
Whew! What a long list!
Next time: Best Comedy Supernatural animated shows/films.
(aka phrases I use here to describe very specific things)
Sameface Syndrome: when various female characters all have their faces designed according to the exact same formula, in a way that detracts from the story and is clearly done only to make them “beautiful.” Does not apply to stylistic choices, and does not mean that the characters literally all have the exact same face. Ex. The women in Frozen were designed with major Sameface Syndrome.
Keaneface: currently the most common female face in Western animation, consisting of a heart-shaped face with large eyes and a small, low-placed nose and mouth. Popularized (though not invented) by legendary Disney animator Glen Keane.Ex. Moana has a different body type, but she still definitely has some Keaneface going on.
Girly-Tomboy Compex: when all female characters in a movie or show can be defined as either “girly-girls” (typically feminine clothing and interests) or “tomboys” (actively rallying against feminine clothing and interests, and/or interested in “boy stuff”). Ex. GoGo Tomago and Honey Lemon are pretty much complete stereotypes! They really exemplify the Girly-Tomboy Complex.
Usagi Syndrome: when a female character is criticized for traits that are universally accepted in male characters, such as being annoying, lazy, or gluttonous. Named for the protagonist of Sailor Moon, Tsukino Usagi.Ex. The publisher told me that the protagonist of my novel was too immature for her age. I guess she got hit with Usagi Syndrome.
Girl Power Quota: the practice of having your female character(s) act tough throughout most of the film and/or save the male character(s) at least once, only to suddenly become helpless during the climax.Ex. How come that character who knows kung fu was suddenly incapacitated by someone grabbing her arm? Guess the writers hit their Girl Power Quota.
Strong Independent Woman™: also called the Strong Female Character™. Refers to a method of writing female characters where, instead of giving the character an actual personality, the writer instead makes them “strong” with shortcuts like making them needlessly violent, having them constantly sass others, decrying all typical feminine traits as “weak”, etc.Ex. I was excited that they decided to add a female character to the action hero team, but she was too much of a Strong Independent Woman™ to be interesting. The writers clearly don’t know what women are really like.
Historical Accuracy Fallacy: the claim that it is okay for a story to star mostly white characters because of historical accuracy, even though the story uses fantasy elements that are obviously not historically accurate, not to mention many historical time periods had more POC than we realize.Ex. I got an anon message saying that there shouldn’t be black people in How to Train Your Dragon because the vikings were white, but I guess they were still fine with the dragons! They fell right into the Historical Accuracy Fallacy.
Smurfette Principle: making female characters who are essentially exactly the same as the male characters, except with gender signifiers like eyelashes, pronounced lips, the color pink somewhere on their person, or clothing. Coined by Lindsey Ellis. Ex. Classic Disney characters rely way too much on the Chipette Principle, what with Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck.
These are a couple homophobic comments I found on the beautifully animated short film “In A Hearbeat”, and the video is such a blessing, it really made my day!
I see so many other comments too about “liberals and homosexuals shoving lgbtq trash down our throats” and I would be honored to tell all the homophobes out there:
The LGBTQ community has had to deal with heterosexual and homophobic propaganda being shoved down their throats since the beginning so why are you complaining?
Can’t take it? Don’t know how to deal with it?
“Our children are gonna turn gay when they see this!”, “Being gay is a sin, crime”, “Being gay is a mental disorder”, “All gays and everyone from the lgbtq community will go to hell!”
Telling someone from the lgbtq community they have a mental disorder or is going to hell is like saying, “The majority of us have brown eyes but you have blue/green eyes so you have a mental disorder and you’re going to hell”.
That’s how ridiculous it sounds.
I hope some day, in this life or the next, you will see the beauty in diversity, because diversity is a wonderful thing. It shows us that our differences shouldn’t limit us, and teaches us to love others whether they’re different or the same.