Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New!! Keta Nadotawag: Listen - Stopmotion Animation

Stopmotion Animation Short Film by The Art of April-Anna
Collaborators: Flying Down Thunder & Rise Ashen
Keta Nadotawag - Listen
Music: Flying Down Thunder & Rise Ashen
Directing Assistance: Mynah Marie
General Assistance: Ziggy Lam
Lyrics & Translation:
Kida nâdôtawag awesîsag
you should listen to the animals
Kida nadotawag pineshishag
you should listen to the birds
Kida nadotan aki
you should listen to the earth
Kida nadotawag kakin awiyagog
you should listen to everyone
Kida nadotawag kichi aya-ag
you should listen to the old people
Flying Down Thunder & Rise Ashen - North Wind
Flying Down Thunder & Rise Ashen - One Nation
Flying Down Thunder's Youtube Channel:

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Art of Procrastination....

This is what remains of the huge building that burnt down earlier this year on my street, 
the fire was massive & ate up half our block.

I am presently procrastinating with getting moving on editing my stopmotion animations; I have a small amount of work to do on the stopmotion for Flying Down Thunder & Rise Ashen, "Listen" (it didn't get accepted to the film festivals, boo but I was having computer problems that day and got it in a few hours late so I don't know if that had anything to do with it), I discovered my hand flashes in & out of one frame, so I need to fix that otherwise I can release it. I have some other older projects to wrap up editing but need to focus on these new projects cause one of them I am on a deadline for (I need deadlines I have come to realize). 
Film trucks are leaving again, not this parking lot but the other one behind 
where I am taking this photo from, they keep using as the base camp 
for all the film shoots in our neighborhood which this year is way more then normal. 
Every couple weeks we have had a different film shoot happening here. 
This film is called "The Race".

Art store mural, this is new.
So, of course, I went for a walk in my neighborhood & took photos, for exercise (and to help my food digest). I bought raw chocolate, coconut milk, almond butter & crackers from the grocery store. Now I am editing my photos from the walk'about for my blog (here)... ahem... 

Errrrr... Working, you said? ... Ummm... Yes, I am working on stopmotion animation. In a minute, that is. I really should get my ass in gear; I have so much fun making the stopmotion, but the post processing, computer time is my least favorite part of the process, though the finished product would be my true favorite part, of course I would  be redundant. Oye... Ode to the battle of conquering mountain me.
Book Store on the way to the grocery store.

Lordy... My courtyard still smells like skunk and pot, right now the combined scent is wafting into my office. It's been days since the skunk sprayed (and people do smoke pot in front of the hostel next door). Where are the incense? 

Saturday Night Pub Drawing Session

Kebeko playing at Brewtopia on Friday.
So on friday, I met a lovely woman when I was at Brewtopia, a 71 year old who looked more like late fifties with a beautiful presence. Her and I noticed each other as soon as I walked in, don't know why, just sometimes like that, instinct. She told me later it was my necklace that caught her eye, for me I think it was just simply her presence because, unlike most 71 year olds, she had a very timeless style of dressing that felt very young but not in the sense of "trying", rather, just being. She made 71 look fun, and she was super present, just enjoying the music. But you know how it is with some older people; for those who are refusing to confirm to the society norms of their age & want to still be young at heart, some come across as trying too hard, but this lady was just being real, you could see it in her body language & her style of dress. People like her remind me that old age doesn't have to suck. 

So anyways, she really took a shine to what I was doing. Everywhere I go to do these pub drawing sessions, people super love it, they can be really shy, but they get very curious to watch the process unfold and super appreciative. Which for me feels really good, people enjoy it as a part of their experience of watching the live band and instead of me being by myself at home drawing (I get way more attention drawing at the pubs then I do if I am drawing at a coffee shop) where alot my art is collecting dust (getting into the galleries isn't easy for a lot of reasons, plus I need frames for my work if I want to hang the new pen & inks etc). I feel that art & music should go together. 

So anyways, this older lady on friday, she would come pop over every half hour or so; she was there for both sets of the band; when I do these sessions, I sip my stout as long as possible & usually draw at least three hours; gets me out of the house. I find with regards to this medium that I produce alot more & remain way more focused then I do at home; something about the over stimulation of the environment that would normally make me edgy, I pour this into my art, but also live music for me is like food for the soul. Art is also a great bridge to communicate with people; I just sit there and do my thing & the world comes to me.

I learned that the 71 year old woman was now a semi-retired school teacher, she was still teaching but just mornings. She focused on kindergarten and Grade 1. She was from Australia originally but spent most of her life in Canada. I don't remember what subject she said she used to teach, she had recently decided to switch to phys-ed, which for that age range is mostly dance & music, amongst some sports. I was surprised, but she said she loves this change because it helps her keep active physically, which of course helps her own health. She said in Australia, when you are trained as a school teacher, regardless of what subjects you specialize in, everyone is trained to be able to teach phys-ed, I was surprised to hear this (I have school teachers in my extended & immediate family). Her husband was a journalist & amongst the serious subjects, he used to write an art's column for one of the big papers in Montreal for approx. 3 years (she didn't say which decade, only referenced that it was a long time ago). As a result they were always going to art galleries & exhibition openings, often the pre-public events which meant they had first pick of all the art, including before the museum curators (she mentioned who it was at that time, she knew all the people in the fine art & commercial art industry). She knew things have changed for artists today, for example, it's now become the norm that galleries survive by renting the wall space to the artist, which I think is wrong, but that's another subject I don't wish to talk about or I will start venting. 

So at the end of the night, after having been watching me draw as much as watching the band play, she came over when she was leaving and put something into my hands but kept my hands held shut, she didn't want me to see what she had put in my hands.  She told me that she wanted to give me a gift of money, that while she said "This doesn't do your art justice, I can't afford to contribute what I feel it's worth, but this is a little something to help..." She explained that she really wants to see me succeed & knows how hard it is to make it as an artist so she wanted to make a donation towards my over all living expenses so that I can keep pursuing my work, with a huge emphasize on repeatedly telling me how talented I am & she really believes that I need to keep doing what I am doing. Super gratitude beyond words, kindness of strangers never ceases to blow my mind (something I learned alot about when I used to hitch hike). So this is what allowed me to go out last night to do another pub drawing session. 

Last night I went to the Irish Embassy, I had checked out Grumpy's first, there was a dark haired bearded fellow singing & playing the guitar with a fellow on one of those wooden drum box thingies that you sit on to play; they had talent but I wasn't feeling the vibe. He was singing a song (original material) that was talking something about "the devil within". When the bartender told me that they had no more Guinness, I decided I needed to go somewhere else. Which is how I ended up at the Irish Embassy cause after checking out the other places (I was looking for live music), I decided I was more in the mood for the old 60's & 70's rock'n'roll that the cover band was playing at the Embassy (I considered going for the Irish music at Hurley's or I could have gone with a punk band upstairs, then of course the same band from the night before was at Brewtopia). I have been there before but it's not my favorite pub, I used to go there for the Irish Chamber of Commerce social meetings (networking thing) as well as they used to host one of the Irish Sessions that Belfast Andi runs. So anyways, when I first walked in the band was playing "Miss you" by Rolling Stones; during their second  set, (lord the music the pub played between sets was horrible, I left the pub plus the waitress never came to take my order after being there a half hour so I was really annoyed but after wandering around a bit I ended up going back there; I really wanted to draw somewhere not at home), at the moment I was thinking, "Come on, play some songs I love.", they then went into The Doors, followed by Creedence Clearwater Revival "Born on the Bayou", which is awesome since I been playing that particular song rather obsessively over the last several days. Their last song of the night was another CCR song, "Have you ever seen the rain.". 

I had an awesome response from the people hanging out at the pub to my artwork, I had perched myself at a tall table with a stool in such a way to be open & welcoming to those around as I wanted to encourage people to watch the process. I was giving away artcards to anyone who came over curious about what I was doing. Like the night before, I had a few "fans" who kept popping by all night. One girl was so thrilled with what I was doing that when she saw I had finished my drink & wasn't ordering another one, she bought me a pint of Guinness, I was super grateful, and she took my old glass away to boot; so I gave her a thank-you kiss on the cheek (the French thing with the kiss kiss means you can do this and it's not weird LOL) and one of the artcards. The last song of the night (radio at that point) was "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees but I totally misheard the lyrics and thought they were singing "cheer up sleepy dreamer" LOL. Auditory processing disorder means I hear all kinds of interesting things that aren't what was said (or sung, as the case may be). 
End of the night, I had borrowed Ziggy's Ipad to see what it's like to use. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Owls & Music

Two dudes dressed as female super heroes, they were hilarious & dancing quite outrageously.... 

Tonight I went to Brewtopia for a pint... When I left the house, I left with the intention to go find somewhere with live music to sit and draw to, which is one of my favorite things to do. Art & music should go together in my opinion.

I might say more later, but due to the time of morning it is & how packed my next week is, I have decided that tonight, I am going to allow my photos to speak for themselves instead of writing a proper blog posting.

However, I will say this, the band was very talented & upbeat, doing a mixture of originals & covers. I would describe them as Jimi Hendrix meets Brazil; they are called Kebeko, and apparently they are playing again tomorrow night (I am not going but certainly they were fun).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Time Without Age, Across Centuries.... "Kieres"

Aurelie modeled for me as a body double last night, though we decided in the end she was really just a second character; for another project (secret) that I have been working on for the last several weeks. I am actually simultaneously working on 3 stopmotion animations right now, while trying to get caught up on editing work as well as dealing with regular promotion of my work as an artist & the business side of all that (services).

Tonight, Aurelie (Projet Aeolia) & I began shooting her stop-motion animation for "Kieres". We are really pleased with the work, so beautiful. The song "Kieres" is in Spanish, but we decided to include English translations in a poetic presentation so that we can make the stopmotion animation & the song more accessible to a larger audience outside of the context of those who understand Spanish. We went tonight to the dollar store to find props, specifically we needed butterflies (they used to carry these beautiful feather butterflies that I have only one left from) but couldn't find what we ideally wanted (went to 2 dollar stores) either for style or color so we had to choose from what was available, which that combined with what I already had at home, we ended up being very happy with the results we got.

The translation is roughly;

"If you want, we will cross the centuries/time without age, if you want, we will cross the immensity/space of closely together, I will draw the colour of my love on your soul, I will let you hear the butterfly that is flirting together, to put my hand on yours, to cross our fingers, that you think that mine are yours, sharing our body melted, it inspires me the perfume of your aura, do you feel how my heart is fighting inside my rib cage; Do you want this?"

Be sure to check out my new website at: www.aprilanna.com

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I am really excited about this stopmotion animation I am working on. In the meantime, I just did another shoot tonight for the same project, and I am doing a middle of the night shoot with another model (third model meant to be a body double) for the same project tonight.

 So here's another teaser from last week's shoot!

Be sure to check out my new website at: www.aprilanna.com