“The Fiddle-Room”

The Fiddle Room, NBKH

Before I continue my series of posts about the projects I’ve made for my new study, I thought I’d bring you these pictures I took yesterday of my workshop area at Nørrebro Kunsthus.

To those who don’t know it yet, Nørrebro Kunsthus is an art collective that I’m part of, which consists of 20 young artist who reside in a 350m2 building, situated in the Nørrebro area of Copenhagen. We have many different facilities, such as an editing suite, a sound studio, a large hall for painting (and other large-scale projects) and several project rooms with desks – and even more facilities are currently in development.

Unlike most workshop collectives, the concept of Nørrebro Kunsthus is that we share all the space within the building so that everyone has access to the different facilities. Most places, you pay to have your own designated space (usually 10-20m2) and you will have to provide all the tools, machines or whatever else you need. At the same time, though, we actually all have some individual space at Nørrebro Kunsthus where we can keep our personal materials and tools – while also having access to the equipment of the editing suite and sound studio, and various tools, machines and paint (that we’ve gathered for free, usually given to us by family and friends).

When we leave the building, we usually clear our things away so that other people can use the particular space, but if you’re working on a project which is difficult to move, it’s possible to leave it as there’s usually space enough for this. So, not only is it still flexible enough so that people have plenty of room for themselves while sharing the space with others – it’s also cheaper than most workshop spaces in Copenhagen.

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I mostly reside in a room that we call “Nørklerummet” in Danish or “The Fiddle-Room” - a room with desks, decorated for concentrated, small-scale projects (drawing, sewing, prop-bruilding and such). It’s situated on the 1. floor in the sunniest corner of the building, so the lighting is very good.

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No cinema inside. It’s just a closet. The sign is a left-over from our previous exhibitions. Will probably need them another time.

There are four other people who sometimes use the room, but they have aloud me to decorate it as much as I want, as they don’t use is as often and don’t need as much space for their tools and materials. So I’ve taken advantage of the situation and decorated some areas of the room by painting a little and putting my dolls, pictures and projects on display.

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I’m a very structured, visual-minded person, so I like to be able to get a good overview of my projects by hanging my sketches and inspirational images on the wall.

We used to have three desks in the room, but when I concluded that the third one was hardly ever used, I decided to replace it with a “Material Bank” for keeping various materials to share with the other members of the house.

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Material Bank sign

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Paper, cardboard, yarn, tools and various small materials

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Large box: Large pieces of fabric – Small box: Small pieces/scraps of fabric

I take up a lot of space as it is, because I have a hard time departing with materials as I can always think of something to use them for, but I concluded that I probably had more than I would ever use, so I thought I might as well make a public bank of materials to promote  a general idea of recycling materials as much as possible in the building. When you make many different types of project, like I do, you can usually use all kinds of scraps of cardboard, plastic, fabric and whatnot. There’s no need to throw it out and force yourself to buy new things whenever they are called for.

Some close-ups:

The red window-box is where members can put receipts for me to keep (I'm also the treasurer of the building). The picture on the right is an original Donald Duck painting I got all the way back in 1994, when I was only 6 years old, from an artist called Fred Preston who was a friend of my mother.

The red window-box is where members can put receipts for me to keep (I’m also the treasurer of the building). The picture on the right is an original Donald Duck painting I got all the way back in 1994, when I was only 6 years old, from an artist called Fred Preston who was a friend of my mother.

Jiji, Edgar Allan Poe and Toxic Boy watch over my work and give me their sign of approval.

Jiji, Edgar Allan Poe and Toxic Boy watch over my work and give me their sign of approval.

My boyfriend's collection of animal skulls which he has been so kind to let me use. I also keep some some figures and a photo from my trip to Egypt (around 2003-ish) and a photo of me and my "foster grandmother" from our trip to Tenerife (2002-ish).

My boyfriend’s collection of animal skulls which he has been so kind to let me use. I also keep some figurines and a photo from my trip to Egypt (around 2003-ish) and a photo of me and my “foster grandmother” (Ethel) from our trip to Tenerife (2002-ish). Ethel died around 7 years ago and I would have loved to have shared my current life with her, so I guess that this is my way of bringing her with me. Excuse the poor time estimates – I’ve always been horrible at remembering dates.

I hope that you enjoyed this tour of my workshop. Perhaps I’ll bring you photos of the rest of the building at a later point.

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New home, New education, New experiences

It’s suddenly been quite a few months since I last updated this blog – basically ever since I started at my new education at the end of January: “Multimedia Design and Communication” at The Copenhagen School of Design and Technology aka. “KEA”. On top of that, I’ve been really busy with moving to a new apartment and several other things. As things are calming a bit down now, though, I thought it might be time to start blocking a little more frequently again. I have updated my Facebook page in the mean time, though, and I generally post more items there, as I don’t think that all material is fitting for my web site – so be sure to check it every now and again for more info about my latest endeavours and various tidbits about latest news in the world of animation.

I’m really happy with my new study. It’s a great mix between creative and very technical work, which really suits a right/left-brainer like me. I also like that it’s very hands-on and I get to learn a lot of really useful techniques that can aid me in my creative work in so many different ways. Our courses are usually project-oriented and we go through the process of creating a full product with everything included. This can, for example, be some kind of web site that we design, develop, programme, test etc. – usually for a particular client or target group. That means that we also learn how to communicate with the client, how to present and develop the product, and, of course, how to work well in teams.

During these last three months, I have already learned the basics of how to programme HTML, CSS, Javascript and PHP and I have developed my digital drawing skills a whole lot. I was honestly quite insecure about starting at the school, as I wasn’t 100% sure what it would be like, but I was very positively surprised and presently I can imagine myself finishing my bachelor degree and perhaps study further in a similar – if not the same – field.

But anyway, since this new education is taking up a lot of my time, I have decided to start blogging about some of the highlights of what I’ve been making so far, and will be making in the future, for school projects, so as to document my development. In order to get up-to-date, I have decided to start at the beginning and make a series of posts these upcoming weeks about what I’ve done so far.

“CHOCOLATE ADDICTS ANONYMOUS” – A GROUP PRESENTATION

So this time I bring to you something from my very first week at KEA, where we had to make some kind of creative group presentation about something that all the group members had in common. This was merely a non-serious exercise in making a presentation for the class, but luckily we had lots of fun with it.

We chose to talk about our mutual love for chocolate!

We went to my workshop at Nørrebro Kunsthus and each stop motion animated a brief and very crude clip, including real, melted chocolate, which somehow depicted a story that we connected with our love for chocolate. I assembled and animated this moving diorama over the course of about 7 hours, inspired by the Tim Burton movie version of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005). I have watched the movie dozens of times and usually eat chocolate while I’m at it.

For the presentation, one of the group members got the brilliant idea that we could act as an “addicts anonymous” group. So we called ourselves, “Chocolate Addicts Anonymous” and let the little clips loop on a screen in the background as we each told our neurotic tales of why we were so addicted to chocolate. I was the nervous, jittery character of the group, who frequently scratched my arm, as I passionately talked about “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, not leaving out random facts about chocolate (as they are told in the movie).

“I watched it yesterday… And the day before that… And the day before that… I watched it this morning… I was planning on watching it tonight… BUT I REALLY WANT TO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!”

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The clips worked really well as these sort of abstract images of our mental state while we were telling our stories and the class was very impressed with the work. I felt very proud to have my workshop at had (which is located just 500m from the school!) and that we were able to set up a chocolate-melting laboratory and animation set so quickly.

Photo: Jørgen True/Scanpix Denmark

Bispebjerg Cemetary. Photo: Jørgen True/Scanpix Denmark

The last thing I want to mention in this post, is that my new apartment is located extremely close to both my school and my workshop! I just plain and simply love this fact, as I can walk between these three locations in mere minutes. The downside, of course, is that I don’t get much out of the “Nørrebro” area of Copenhagen, but I’m content with it and try to make an effort of going for walks at other locations every now and again. Now that the weather has become more sunny, I have taken the opportunity to walk around the green area a little north from where I live around a big bog called “Utterslev Mose”. I grew up near by and would often go for bike rides in the area during my teen years, especially around the very beautiful “Bispebjerg Cemetery”, and spend my time developing ideas for stories in my mind (this was the time when I had just started writing). It’s a place of tranquility and solitude for me and I get really inspired when I’m there. It’s really great to have it close by again and I will remember to make the time to go there more often, to escape the busy Nørrebro area, find some inner peace and churn out some good ideas.

Photo: Thomas Fog

Bispebjerg Cemetery in the Spring. Photo: Thomas Fog

All for now, more for later!

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The website in 2014

As you can see, the look of the website has changed a little this month, but the material on it is roughly the same. I decided to change my WordPress account, which just meant that I couldn’t have the same design. It actually turned out that I didn’t use (or need) a lot of the perks I paid for in 2013, so the look is the only thing that had to be altered. The only thing I’m paid for this year, was the domain name.

This is partly because I can’t really afford throwing money away on what I still thought was a pretty boring web site design and also, because I really want to make my own from scratch. The plans (as described in my previous post) are still there, but I can’t say when exactly I’ll have time for it. “Unfortunately” I am in the luxury situation of having a lot of upcoming projects and will have to prioritize, but I am starting a new education next week, which will also concern web programming, so, who knows, it might just happen earlier than expected!

But in the mean time, I hope you’ll enjoy following this page and checking out my portfolio!

Neon Zally

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2014

After spending a lot of my energy in 2012 creating “Nørrebro Kunsthus” (the workshop I share with 24 other young artists), I felt that I could relax a little on the practical front this year and spend more time on my own creative projects.

2013 was especially “The Year of Portfolios” for me. I finally created that website I had been wanting for a really long time, I made physical portfolios for applying for schools and jobs, and, of course, I started a Facebook page as a hub for posting about my interests and endeavors. It was really great to finally get a proper representation of my skills and it has turned out to be useful on so many occasions.

A lot of projects still stand incomplete, but I got further in the process on several of them and it was a really nice feeling since some of them were ideas that had been lying about for years.
In the spring I made production drawings for a stop motion short film that I wrote called “Seed Baby”, along with a few animation- and construction-tests.

This autumn I made an “animatic” (animated storyboard) for my hand drawn short film, “Mr. Exclamation”. The amazing thing was that the sound studio that the musicians from Nørrebro Kunsthus had been building, was finally finished in September, so we were able to record the voice over (with a lovely performance from my boyfriend, Jens Hybschmann), the foley and the music for the animatic – all under the same roof. After reading Richard Williams’ “The Animators Survival Kit”, I got really psyched about challenging myself to animate the whole thing myself, even though I am definitely not used to drawing that much. I’m sure it will be a great learning experience and I hope that I will have time to complete at least some of it in 2014 – between all my other upcoming projects.

In between these, there were many other projects, big and small. I added a number of costumes to my inventory and especially felt a big development when I completed my dress for this year’s Halloween Party at Nørrebro Kunsthus (on the picture!). It was the first costume that I sewed completely myself and I now feel that I should be able to sew almost anything if I try. I love making replica costumes, but have also found out that I have fallen more and more in love with creating my own characters and creating a world around them. I am already working on ideas for 2014′s upcoming parties and conventions.

In November and December I have been an intern at “Klaverfabrikken” in Hillerød (a culture house, north of Copenhagen) where I have been writing a script and making production drawings for an interesting interactive experience for children, which will be part of a new “sound museum” that will open this Spring in Hillerød. My internship is officially over, but I really want to be a part of creating the props and costumes for the exhibition, so I have decided to keep working on it, regardless. I really look forward to seeing the whole thing acted out when they start in April and to showing you guys what came out of it. It will run on a weekly basis and the participating children will be from schools around the city, who will learn about sound and music while solving various puzzles. It was fun to try and work out a story for a very different kind of setting than what I’m used to.

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A “Mummy Mole” – design sketch from the mentioned project in Hillerød

Anyway, those were some of the highlights from 2013!

Happy new year, everyone! And thank you all for taking an interest in all my weird projects!
Best wishes,
Sally

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“What a jolly stop motion X-mas, Sandy Claws!”

What a jolly stop motion x-masFor Christmas I got a whole handful of additions to my collection of stop motion animated films AND books about stop motion animation!

DVDs:

“Frankenweenie” (2012)

“ParaNorman” (2012)

Books:

“A Century of Model Animation”
By Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton
(Stop motion history, told by Ray Harryhausen)

“Frame-by-frame stop motion”
By Tom Gasek
(about modern stop motion techniques)

“Stop-Motion Filming and Performance”
By Tom Brierton
(I have his two other books about “Armature Machining” and “Puppet Sculpting” and look very much forward to reading this one as well)

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A new website in 2014

I’ve decided to make a new website that I will launch in the new year! My WordPress subscribtion runs out by then and it made me decide that it was about time that I made a home-made website – just like I’ve always wanted to.

Today I made a super quick “sketch” of an idea I’ve actually carried around for a couple of years. I’ve always wanted a more creative web site, but, on one hand, I haven’t had the technical skills to make it happen and, on the other, I’ve not really had the time. To be honest, I’m not sure I can necesarily make it work the way I really want it to, but I’ve decided to try anyway!

Here’s the idea:

I want a web site that is like an interactive dolls’ house – where everything is a collage of real miniatures. To explain this, I’ve made a mock-up layout using pictures from the web and a few of my own:

Mock-up website house

When you run the curser over and object, you’ll find that the object represents a part of the menu:

Mock-up website house menu

When you click on a menu button, a window pops up.
Example:

Mock-up website house with animation pop-up

It would be awsome if there could be a little animation as well. My idea is to photograph the miniatures that I make myself individually and then animate a few frames that will be activated once you click the image.

But anyway, I’m definitely not promosing that the web site will look like this in January, but I will at least make a temporary more “standard” web site that I can launch by then. I just thought I’d share my ideas with you guys! If you have any input, please comment below or on my Facebook page.

Have an amazing day!

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov. 2nd: Sci Fi themed Halloween Party at Nørrebro Kunsthus

Drawn by: Jens Hybschmann

Poster by Jens Hybschmann

Science Fiction Fest,
Halloween 2013
November 2nd, 8 pm – 4 am
Free entrance
Dresscode: Wear a costume!

Find the Facebook event here.

Nørrebro Kunsthus
Drejervej 25,
2400 KBH NV

Stop by our super cool Halloween Party at Nørrebro Kunsthus!
We are transforming the building into an intergalactic space station with sci fi themed rooms. Dance in our Star Lit Universe where our Robot Band and Alien DJs produce spacey tunes all night. Hang out in our Retro Disco Robot Lounge, where we’ve made sure to cover the walls in tin foil so that our guests are safe from any alien mind-control beams. Get your beverages at our Alien Conspiracy Bar, which will be covered in ancient evidence that aliens have been around for millennia.
Meet our cast: The Alien Overlord, Octorella – The Parasitic Tentacle Girl, The Robot Space Band and a whole mesh of cyborgs, 70′s space chicks etc. etc. – all here to give you a night to remember!

See ya there – if ya dare!

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