Writing might be my main art practice. I get to be one hundred percent free as I write, and let my imagination drift off endlessly. It’s accessible, you can easily maintain your work; there’s always a pen and a paper somewhere. I personally keep a notebook with me all the time just in case I come across something interesting, or if some idea occurred to me worth saving. Reality holds a big portion of my inspiration, and ordinary is my favorite subject to ponder. I let the idea grow organically before I start expressing it.
It was last year, around the springtime, that I finally released my second memoir ‘Morning People’. Please feel free to have a look on this page, and please let me know what you think about it if you ever read it. ‘Morning People’ follows a series of changes happening in the City, beauties that turn bitter under the pressure of the political and economical changes, the sweetness of the past, the tension of the future, the stillness of the present. The unrecognizable distinction between my subjective interpretation of reality and the world of dreams. The ups and downs of our ordinary everyday lives that we had to go through under these circumstances. The book was finally out in the month of April, and I was happy with the piece. Such a priceless feeling to hold your thoughts, an idea that once floated in your brain, as a book printed on paper, and you can flip through the pages. But, that wasn’t the end of this project. Perhaps it was just the beginning. There was a side of the story left unsaid, parts that I was unable to express through words, or they would lose their charm if ever said in words. I needed to paint a bigger picture of my view.
Even though the idea of the animation started before the book itself, moving to the City had a great impact on the storyline of The Street. These two projects basically evolved together, but the film took a step further, and saw what was beyond Morning People; time, I believe is the secret ingredient to glaze the reality with different layers of perspectives.
I started drawing a basic storyboard just to make sure everything would be sorted, and I wouldn’t miss out some detail. I sketched down the scenes, made a simple yet clear plan of the process of the work. Drawing and painting the background images was the next step, and transferring the watercolors to digital format was the step after. Some of the images would be seen a few times during the film, with different lightings, showing different moments in time. So, I decided its best if I painted the shadows and lightings digitally; it would save me time. Making an animation is a collaborative work, different artists contribute to the piece with their unique talent. But. Unfortunately, I had no extra help, therefore the film had to be simplified the most. After scanning the watercolors, I brought them alive with the proper lightings and simple color corrections. I could now start animating. Each scene was marked by certain footages, so I roughly knew how long each scene would be. Collected videos were then divided into frames, ready for rotoscoping; the drawn frames were again assembled on the watercolors as animated images. I also got to experiment with animating certain objects in some scenes, such as the branches and leaves swaying in the wind. After seven months of drawing frames every single day,
I finally finished animating. It was now time to blend the sounds and the images together. In the meantime, I kept rewatching the video to make sure I was completely happy with the result; I edited and redrew some scenes. A few more renders and watching and rewatching, and rewatching again, I decided to call it done.
‘The Street” was screened in our open-studio session “Have You Seen My View?!” in June 2018, in RAIZVANGUARDA, Bordeiro, Portugal. Please feel free to watch the animation on this post.