Directed and animated
by Bernard Derriman

After multiple viewings and laughs, I wanted to share this animated short with you this morning. It was created by Bernard Derriman, an incredibly talented artist/animator who also happened to be my mentor when I was training in animation at the Walt Disney Studio — did I ever mention how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to work with talented people like this??! He now has his own animation production house, Squetch, and pretty much everything he produces makes me laugh out loud. This piece is no exception. It's a competition entry for the Annecy International Animated Film Festival — one of the biggest animation festivals in the world, held annually in France.

The fantastic champagne effects were done by
Adam Phillips, also a friend and and ex-Disneyite, who has also made a success of himself with his own animation and related projects. Both guys have each created quite the fan base and have established themselves as experts after learning and combining paperless/computer animation techniques with their solid background in traditional drawing, animation and special fx.

If it gives you a laugh too, you can vote for it
here. Click on the "Vote" tab, and vote for "Pop"!

oliver jeffers

If you're a fan of picture books, or write and/or illustrate them yourself, you're sure to know of Oliver Jeffers' work. I enjoyed watching this behind-the-scenes video, so thought I'd share it here for other fans of his work.

Lost and Found
Lost and Found is on my list of favourite picture books — I know it made the cut as it's one of the few books I had shipped over from my vast collection in Australia.

I adore the illustrations, the gorgeous colours and most of all its heart warming story. I think I love it even more now, after hearing the snippet of where he got the idea for the book — from an event in Belfast "where this kid climbed into a penguin enclosure and managed to kidnap a baby penguin . . . "

Honestly, who
hasn't wanted to do that at some point?

The story has also been made into an animated short:

A quote from Jeffers, on his working methods:

"I almost can't separate them in my brain:
the pictures define the words and
the words define the pictures."

I liked this description: that's how I feel when I'm writing my books — the images and words usually appear as one, and both are equally as important at getting the story and emotion across.

And on his illustration technique:

"I mix all different types of media together;
an old book cover . . . white pen . . . different types of paper with coloured pencil . . . acrylic paint . . .
really whatever material the illustration calls for at that point."

I love that. It sounds (and looks) so fun and creative like play. Like when you're a kid with a craft box and you get so inventive with all kinds of mismatched materials to come up with a creative solution (I always wanted to make a real, live working robot. He would walk around on his toilet roll legs, and do my chores with his crunchy aluminium-foil hands).

Hearing and watching how Jeffers works inspires me to be creative, to push myself, to experiment
an artist doesn't have to be a purist, and use only watercolour or oils or pencil or digital. I'm not a purist at heart when it comes to mediums, but sometimes it's easy to forget to look outside the box, and play.

On that note, I'm off to make a robot.