Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CONTEST! 10 VIP tickets to Give Away!

I have 10 VIP tickets to give away for Canada's Pink Floyd Show – Comfortably Numb, presented by CHOM 97.7. Recreating Pink Floyd's legendary 1975 concert at the Boston Garden.

PIGS, WISHES & MOONS TOUR: Montreal, Saturday, Feb 11th, 2012, 8pm, L'Astral Concert Hall.

TO ENTER CONTEST, email me at aprilanna@aprilanna.com, I will email you back a confirmation that your entry has been received.

Subject line should read: “VIP Contest – Comfortably Numb”.
Please include your name, phone number & email address.

I will print your entries & hold a draw on wednesday evening, February 8th, (this will be filmed & released on youtube). I will announce & contact the winners on thursday, February 9th & friday, February 10th.. .If you win, you will need to confirm your attendance by lunch hour on the day of the show or your tickets will be given away to someone else.

If you wish to purchase tickets, I am offering exclusive ticket discounts at $7.50 off each ticket with Promo Code "MONTREAL". ($32.50 discounted ticket offer; tickets are normally $40. each).

Offer is under CHOM FM Ticket Offer.
Click here to buy a ticket at Ticket Master.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Transformation Meditation Stopmotion Animation

This particular behind the scenes includes a conversational interview between myself and Victor with regards to the subject of letting go to meditation. Due to the nature of this shoot & limitations, I didn't get much actual behind the scenes footage as I normally would do, but there is still much to share that went into the behind the scenes experience.

Behind the Scenes
Transformation through Meditation Stopmotion Animation: Body Painting.
Model: Victor Santoro
Music by: Cora Flora
Art, concept, photography & stopmotion animation by: The Art of April-Anna

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Transformation through Meditation Stopmotion Animation: Body Painting

An artistic exploration of the inner transformation process created through regular meditation. The heart gradually grows as the spirit relaxes, as you relax into your breath, let your mind go, your heart expands. The inner key to personal growth is also your personal key to the world; inner transformation opens up the world. I have metaphorically explored this by the galaxies appearing inside the keyhole. "Be the change you wish to see in the world..." - Mahatma Gandhi.

Model: Victor Santoro
Music by: Cora Flora
Art, concept, photography & stopmotion animation by: The Art of April-Anna

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Meditation, Stopmotion Animation & the Heart of things.

I chose to work with the symbol, "om" "auhm" from Sanskrit because it represents interconnectedness, inner peace and the metaphorical alignment with the universe & higher conciousness.
Last friday, Januarary 13th, 2012, I did a photoshoot with actor & model, Victor Santoro. The purpose of the photoshoot was to create footage for a stopmotion animation, as well as to do a regular photoshoot at the end. For those of you who follow my work, you'll know that in the past I have worked with well over 20 photographers at this time, but now, due to a lovely birthday gift, I am equipped with my own professional camera, a tripod & a small traveling film light.

Anatomically correct heart layered behind the metaphorical heart, with tree branches growing out of the arteries.
This would have been my first shoot I felt confident enough in my skills to do my own photography; I am very pleased with the results. Our theme was the inner transformation both directly & indirectly created by meditation, with some loose interpretations. It was very organic process and I designed it as I went along. My intention was one of flexability with regards to the needs of my model; if he got too tired, I was prepared to be able to wrap up the drawing/painting so we could call it quits, but otherwise preferred to go with my flow until it reached the end. Which I didn't know what that end was until I got there. It's like the painting creates itself in some senses.

Beginning of the meditation process during the photoshoot. The timing of adding the "om" was meant to indicate the relaxation into letting go to the meditation process.

It was really nice how it all pulled together. When Victor first arrived to my studio, I shared my ideas which I had come up with during a brainstorming session the night before. Victor then gave me feed back and we talked the concept out a bit more until we had the visual broken down (didn't take long) as a mental storyboard.

Clips from what will become the Stopmotion Animation.
The entire shoot took 13 hours!! We started at 5pm knowing that this was an experiment and we had no idea how long a stopmotion of this nature would take to impliment. By the time everything was said & done, we had approx. 1200 photos! We completed the stopmotion part of the process at 5:20am, and then did approx. 40 minutes of regular photography. Right now I am working on the stopmotion, but I have the photography portion of the shoot finished with regards to selection & editing.
More photos to come!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Preparations for Spring

I know some of you may be thinking, wait, hold up, you're talking about spring when our unseasonably mild winter has only really just got started and we just finished celebrating New Years Eve? My thinking is that it can take some time to be prepared for spring, what am I talking about? Gardening of course! I have had a garden plot for two years, and before that I experimented with porch gardening for two years prior to that. With much trial and error, I have come to a point where I now want to focus on learning how to yield. Since I want to stay organic, I am researching how to companion plant.

My porch garden in 2009; what you see are beans, chives & wheat grass.
Yes, yes, I realize alot of you don't have the option to garden, being as you may live in small quarters, possibly an apartment in the city? Well there are still options for you. I love this, great DIY project for anyone concerned about trying to subsidize expensive organic food costs by growing what you can in your own home with only a window; here's a great TEDTalks about that very subject.

Limited space? Here's a blog that talks about gutter gardens; yes you heard me right, same theory as a window box only it's gardening in gutters that are secured to the outside walls of your home (which ever direction gets the most sun).

In my garden plot, I have several plants that should come back this year (my 3rd year, 10'x10' plot), or plants which I allowed to wild seed, which includes; Oregano, Arugula, Thyme, Blueberries (this will be it's first year that it's mature enough to produce fruit), Lavender, Peppermint, Chives, & Lemon Balm. I always seem to have a bunch of plants mysteriously show up (obviously wild seeded somehow from neighboring plots), which I think is fun.
My porch garden in 2009
In past years I have done things pretty wild and disorganized, usually I have too many things going on in my life that I am unable to properly prepare & plan out what I am doing. This year I have made time. It's worth it. Not only does it lower my impact on the environment (footprint) by eating what I raise in my garden, I am buying less food that comes from far away (even if it is local, it still has to be driven to Montreal) and I am more sustainable as an individual within society.
Last year, even though I was regularly neglectful of my garden (I was working too much), I still was shocked at how much food my garden produced, while not all my needs were met, it was enough to make my grocery bill a heck of alot cheaper, and it cost me almost nothing to get started, especially since I collect seeds at the end of the season. Since I eat organic, this makes a significant improvement to my quality of life and health.
The other added benefit of gardening is that it is exercise, and it is very emotionally healing. It gets me outside in the sun and fresh air, getting my quota of vitamin D.
2010 Beans early in the growing season at my community garden plot.
Both my great-grandmother (who died in her mid-eighties when I was 18 years old), my step-grandmother, & mother (mostly during the 1980's) had large vegetable gardens (anywhere from 10x10 feet up to an entire backyard), fished & canned. Especially the grandmothers, they raised an incredible amount of food, enough to keep at least a family of four fed regularly. Excess food was often traded with neighbors or friends who were growing or baking things that they weren't; in this way, they created a sustainable network of organic small time growers who had very little needs for supplies provided from the outside world.
2010 - Mystery Squash; I had a bunch of small vine plants show up in my compost when I was going through the compost that had been sitting fallow over the winter, stirring it, and was shocked to find 60 beautiful, healthy plants!
"Dear, you need to rely on yourself, your friends, your family, your community, but don't rely on the government." Their reasoning for doing this was because it was passed down through the generations as the right way to live. But why is this the right way to live? While self-sufficiency is always good, unexpected turbulent times can hit anyone at any times, be that personal, economic, social, global et cetera. The "great depression" being a prime example of why already having the habits of self-sustainability is a smart thing to do; at least this is what they taught me. I wish I had listened more and learned what I could while they were around, but unfortunately now that I am ready to learn they are no longer here to teach me. Luckily, I have my friend, the internet!

2010 Community Garden Plot - Arugula. I was very neglectful of my garden, as you can see it needed cleaning up and better maintence, which is my goal for this year is to truly learn to become an urban farmer!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Earth Summit 2012

Earth Summit 2012 – What is it?

The Earth Summit 2012 is formally known as the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) or Rio+20. It is an opportunity to create real progress towards sustainable development. In 1992, world leaders came together as the Earth Summit 1992 to create a road map for sustainable development – a plan known as Agenda 21.
Twenty years later, these leaders are meeting again to look at the progress we’ve made, and what challenges we still face. We’ve had a few great successes, like reducing the hole in the O-zone layer, but a whole bunch of NEW problems have also come up, and we haven’t done as much as we CAN, or SHOULD. The Earth Summit 2012 is a chance for nations to commit to real changes, and figure out how they’re going to do it.

The Earth Summit in 2012 has two main themes and three objectives:


Green Economy in the Context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development

Recent economic crises are proof that we need to create a more stable system – a ‘green’ economy. There is no one definition for a “green economy”, but essentially it requires rethinking economics to encourage more environmentally and socially friendly practices. This means putting equality, and ecosystems, before profits.
A green economy does not ignore the people who suffer from poverty, or take our natural resources for granted. A green economy will tax pollution instead of hard work. It will make it easier, and more profitable for businesses and consumers like us to make “greener” choices. It will encourage new technologies and better infrastructure – it will support us now and into the future.

Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

‘Institutional Framework’ refers to the system of global organization for sustainable development. This system includes the UN institutions in charge of developing and monitoring sustainable development programs. Progress on sustainable development has been slow partly because this system isn’t working: the international organizations involved do not have the authority or the resources to make real change. For sustainable development to move forward, the system needs to be streamlined and international institutions need more authority and resources.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

This is my virtual greeting card to you, a stop motion photography film made to celebrate the arrival of 2012. "As you slide down the banister of life, may all the splinters be facing the right way." (Irish Blessing).