All posts by Rachel Chorley

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Pride.

February 28th. People across the country gorging themselves on glorious, glorious pancakes. It was also the day before my Mum’s birthday – happy birthday Mum! But there are more reasons to celebrate. Colours. Flags. Glitter. Music. It was AUB and BU’s second annual LGBT+ student pride event, celebrating our diverse community, and the power we have to love and accept ourselves and one another. The event involved a colourful parade, a live stage, a sports zone, BBQ, and market stall, followed by the afterparty Cirque du So-GAY. Best of all, the crowd was full of smiling faces.

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The festivities marked the conclusion to the 3rd National Festival of LGBT+ history, which AUB and BU celebrated with OUTing the Past, an event brought to us by AFC Bournemouth and Schools OUT UK, where talks were given by guests such as LGBT+ rights activist Linda Bellos OBE, and AFC Bournemouth photographer Sophie Cook, who happens to be the first openly transgender employee of a Premier League football team. AFC Bournemouth is also the first Premier League football team to sponsor and support LGBT+ events, and have been wearing rainbow laces in their matches as part of the Football V. Homophobia campaign. The club say that “in the past few months polls have shown that whilst football fans would be more accepting than ever of a gay player in their team, as many as 72 percent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse at football matches”. We know that this sort of hatred is unacceptable, and AUB is proud to be a safe place for everyone, regardless of their identity.

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Pride is not just a celebration of gay members of our community; we can’t all fit into neat little categories. Sexuality is fluid. Gender is a spectrum. Whatever label you identify with, or if you don’t identify with any at all, we are all part of the same community. Whoever you are, whoever you love, you are welcome here. For many people, coming to university is the first time that you have your own independence, and the opportunity to really learn about yourself and be free to be who you are, knowing that you will still be safe and loved. If you are struggling with your own identity, you can always have a chat with the lovely people at Student Support knowing that you can speak openly in a place that will be free of judgement. There are also places locally you can go, such as the Space Youth Project, and you can support the community through charities like Stonewall. Personally, my sexuality is something of an unspoken topic, and I must admit I was quite nervous to check out the pride events yesterday. I’ve never really made a big deal of it or thrown myself into the scene. I am very shy and introverted, and after years of severe homophobic bullying at school, every fibre of my being tells me not to be loud, proud, or stand out from the crowd, despite being completely comfortable with my own identity. Once the rainbow laces, bracelet and face paint was on, there was no hiding. It’s not that I’m in the closet, but I’m not exactly out either. Well, I guess I am now. Sorry mum.

At the end of the day, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?

 

To see more of the beautiful photographs head to our Facebook Page

Words by – Katie Charleston

Photographs – Ewa Ferdynus


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Artistic First Aid Kits // BUMF Says

Our Article Writer Daisy Leigh-Phippard shares her thoughts on art as our tool to fix ourselves and our situations.

We’ve all had those days when everything just seems to go wrong, or semesters when every assignment and workshop doesn’t go right. We’ve come out of a lecture feeling worn out and unmotivated, just wanting to go home and collapse face first into bed. While that first reaction to face plant the pillow is what a lot of people will go and do, sooner or later we’ll get bored and move onto something else to get us away from the stress of modern society. It comes down to your definition of art, but most of us will gravitate towards some form of artistic escapism when we need to switch our worrying brains off. Artistically inclined or not, going home to draw for hours or sitting down in front of Netflix to watch someone else’s creative vision are both taking advantage of art as a metaphorical first aid kit.

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It’s not so easy to imagine painting over some deadlines with water colours or using a needle and thread to stitch up our exhaustion and it actually working though. I, for one, would love it if I could just press play on a film and it would literally pause time that I could be spending on my actual film course. But, in a way, that’s kind of the point of consuming art: my tutors always joke about how watching a film is technically research, and it is. As a filmmaker, taking in as many examples of other people’s work in the field can only be a good thing. As artists in general, consuming everything that falls into our path is research if we want to recreate the human experience creatively.bumf4redBut I’m not just here to justify procrastination. With the rise of self care we’re more aware than ever that taking time away from work, social media and every other pressure we’re piled on ourselves is an important thing. I would argue that consuming art and entertainment is one of the most effective ways we can do this. In its most basic form, art is about telling narratives to its audience in various ways – narratives that often have to do with confronting issues that we all experience at some point in our lives. Remember the desire to face plant the pillow? Go watch Kiki’s Delivery Service to see what I mean. Art has a way of capturing our experiences and feeding them back to us, and there’s nothing more comforting that being shown something you’ve felt by a complete stranger and knowing you’re not the only one to feel it.

bumf5redSo then, rolling out of bed and opening up a beautifully designed picture book makes sense, even if it is addressing something a child would find entertaining. Really we’re all still people trying to make sense of new things – university students especially. And it’s not all about consuming what other people have made, it’s about creating it yourself too. Frida Kahlo famously painted butterflies and flowers onto the plaster corsets she had to wear because her spine was too weak to support itself, because it gave her a way to escape the cages her body was literally kept together with. As much as we’d all love to come out of that bad lecture, jump in a taxi to the airport and fly away somewhere for a few days it’s not going to happen. But getting out of our stressed heads for a few hours through creating something, anything, is a pretty close compromise. What we have made at the end is a bonus.bumf2redYou don’t have to have a little tin packed with paper, pens, paints, camera lenses and sewing needles to do it. Most of us probably aren’t skilled with all of the tools available, as much as we’d like to be. But just a word document on a computer and half an hour typing can be enough of a metaphorical plaster on a bad day to make a difference. More and more I find myself coming home and going to the easy stuff like Facebook and YouTube in the background to ‘get away’ from stress, but I’m still in the same place once I turn it off.bumf3redThe times that I decide to properly take a step back and pull up my video editing software, pick up a book or take out my pens and just devote myself to creating something for a few hours are the times that I come back actually feeling able to deal with the stress of everyday life again. So perhaps it takes a little more effort once we’ve fallen face first into bed, but in the long run using our own artistic first aid kits is the best escapism we have.

Words by Daisy Leigh-Phippard, Illustrations by Vanruethai Chansue


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BUMF Features Part III // Edward Zorab

This week our BUMF Feature focuses on Edward Zorab, an alumnus who studied for a Foundation Diploma in Art at AUB before moving to London and attending the Met Film School at Ealing Studios. He has just completed his third short film, Spacemen, and is in pre-production for his fourth.

In our BUMF Features we give one AUB student, or alumnus, a feature article for one week, and we interview them to find out a little more about them and their work.

Bumf Gallery_Spaceman Screening-4Edward Zorab’s “Spacemen” seems to be cyclic, unintentionally echoing how Wade Wilson aptly sums up life; “an endless series of train wrecks with only brief commercial-like breaks of happiness”. I’d reckon Jimmy’s your average fella, with the wide-eyed innocence that we’re all “blessed” with. Dressing yourself up as the self-important protagonist in your own life takes us back to that age where we think we know it all. Ah, how university life has changed all that (stop me, before I weep over the Year 11 Glory Days). Where was I?Ah yes. Hallucinations of a suicidal spaceman. I’d run you over the full plot of Ed’s film but since it’s 15 minutes, just a bit rude on our part that you’ve clicked on this without clicking on that. C’mon. It’s beaut. I could quite happily watch through Jimmy’s telescope for as long as time permits. I’m just going to share some of my thoughts towards the film since it’s an intelligent commentary as opposed to a 20-minute Family Guy skit (sorry to let you down).

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It’s hard not to get caught up in that deep space dream world, each of ours differs slightly but we all have time we set aside to purely indulge in daydreams of our futures. It’s important to acknowledge that and know when to set it aside. When you’re photographing a crash-landed Spaceman, you might clock you’ve gone a step too far when you get the prints back and realise you were taking pictures of grass all along. This was never revealed, but you have your fingers crossed that Jimmy’s not that far gone in his delusions.

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Jimmy’s Spaceman packing his bags, flying the nest or crash-landing in flames is synonymous to inner voices or external assumptions about life being repeatedly crushed as our experiences are so far apart from them. There’s no clear path; Cadence rejects Jimmy then, later on, we see them back in Finnegan’s Forest. Life’s not the magical love story little ones envision, it’s actually pretty bloody complicated. Our expectations are set so high that we want to trip head over for someone immediately and be done with it, that the good stuff happens automatically after choking on a potato or proposing over the smallest glimmer.
If there’s anything to take from this, it’s how much dating has changed for us. How the hell Jimmy would fend on Tinder, I couldn’t bear to watch.

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I’ve watched Spacemen a few times now and it manages to harvest that warmth that we sometimes view our childhood and teenage years with. I chuckle each time at the same bits and I’m quite thankful to have finally seen a film that doesn’t wash over the purely hormonal dread of disappointment that comes with dating. Suddenly, all those over-exaggerated emotions make sense and you can sigh with relief that we really all were in the same boat

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If you missed it, here’s the full length film.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Photographs by Rory James


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BUMF Features Part II // Edward Zorab

This week our BUMF Feature focuses on Edward Zorab, an alumnus who studied for a Foundation Diploma in Art at AUB before moving to London and attending the Met Film School at Ealing Studios. He has just completed his third short film, Spacemen, and is in pre-production for his fourth.

In our BUMF Features we give one AUB student, or alumnus, a feature article for one week, and we interview them to find out a little more about them and their work.

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe interviewed Ed to find out more about his work.

We will be showcasing Edward’s work all week including a showing of his film ‘Spacemen’ on Thursday at 5:30pm down in BUMF Gallery.

In the meantime, check out his Instagram @SpacemenShortFilm

Interview by Brittany Sutcliffe, Video by Marta Anderson


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BUMF Features Part I // Edward Zorab

This week our BUMF Feature focuses on Edward Zorab, an alumnus who studied for a Foundation Diploma in Art at AUB before moving to London and attending the Met Film School at Ealing Studios. He has just completed his third short film, Spacemen, and is in pre-production for his fourth.

In our BUMF Features we give one AUB student, or alumnus, a feature article for one week, and we interview them to find out a little more about them and their work.

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In this 1960’s coming of age drama, Jimmy must choose between boycotting adolescence or falling in love with quirky dream-girl, Cadence. Naturally, things are made all the more complicated by routine hallucinations of a suicidal Spaceman

 

 

We will be showcasing Edward’s work all week including a showing of his film ‘Spacemen’ on Thursday at 5:30pm down in BUMF Gallery,  As well an interview and more information about Edward on here.

In the meantime, check out his Instagram @SpacemenShortFilm


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Identity // BUMF Says

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe shares her thoughts on identity.

“Describe yourself”. “Well, at the moment I have pink hair, but I have blue eyes-”, “No no, your personality”. One of the reasons I love my course so much (complete cheeseball, soz) is because my lectures address societal confusion and at the very least, allow a level of personal questioning to go away with and think about (big up Andy and Annabelle). Recently, we had one on identity, that it’s something conditional and subject to change. We know you can’t determine someone by their race, gender, age because they’re factors that are only visually informative and each person can still think independently to act against the stereotypes created by those features. We are never just one thing and we can never be categorised. On one hand, that’s fab because no one wants a bad label on them without a good label. On the other, we’re at a crisis where this idea about identity suggests there’s no point handing out labels in the first place. Who are we?

“You are as many different people as you know”.

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When I’m looking out from the top of the bus and I see a stranger tuck hair behind their ear, I mimic it without consciously realising. When you yawn, I yawn. Even typing the word “yawn” makes me yawn. I used to keep notebooks about anything and everything and when they took up too much space, I typed bits of them up. I found said bits from my first notebook in my first year of Sixth form and inside was something I’m at peak embarrassment over. Now, I’m trying not to be too harsh on myself here because Sixth form was the first time I didn’t have to wear a uniform and I was particularly image-conscious where I’d never thought to dress for the teenage vessel I had. However, now that my course teaches me about artists who explore the endless flaws in society, I’m haunted by the fact I felt the need to write a list of clothes I wanted to own.

Fitted shirts. Cable knit sweaters. Loafers, vintage jeans, Doc Martens, skater skirts, bomber jackets. All things I planned on buying with my part-time wages. To spend my money on dressing like people I’d seen because I looked at them and thought something positive of them and therefore wanted to project that opinion onto myself. As if by wearing what they wore, I’d adopt their mannerisms in some way. I can guarantee my mum treasured at least five items of the types I’ve already listed because high street stores have been there and done that several times over, resurrecting the same trends in different shades in the hopes of a new fad for a someone like me to make a list out of and go out and get. The goal? To feel like a new person, I’d assume.

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I went shopping in Oxford Circus’ TopShop very recently and I just couldn’t get into it. My eyes hurt from squinting across rows and rows and rows of racks. There’s nothing wrong with wearing what you like (or even to a certain degree, wanting to look like someone else) but for me, there was an unhealthy link with being unhappy with who I was and spending money on clothes as if that would “fix” me somehow. Retail therapy is all well and good but since I was 16 and working in a luxury outlet, my wages were rendered useless because they circulated within that same retail park. I never made any savings. I never had financial goals. I never wanted to drive because I never had the money to even consider it nor the motivation to save for it, not when a monthly shopping trip would temporarily lift the mood. The only savings I’ve ever had in my life and I’m making them now, at university, where I’m drowning myself in debt.

It’s painful, it really is. I’m disappointed with myself but the only thing I can be is thankful. A) There were very few big consequences to that mindset because B) I’m old enough to spot it and deal with it, as opposed to sweeping it under a carpet along with all the money I can’t get back. The fact that you can walk into a store and buy an entirely new persona astounds me. It does work because otherwise, you wouldn’t feel better afterwards. It’s almost a placebo for your personality and for a little bit, you walk with pride.

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The end game to this kind of thinking only goes one way. The truth is, our identity is interpretative. There’s no moment of absolute truth. What someone thinks of you today may well be invalid by tomorrow. We’ll continue to grow and change and we’ll want to visually associate ourselves with different people and places for different reasons. Our image provides us with the temporary comfort of avoiding a complete and utter existential crisis. For this, I can sleep soundly knowing that’s all shopping needs to be.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Illustrations by Alda Lilja


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Educating Jesus // Marius Leaf

Marius// My art is motivated by curiosity. I feel an urge to respond to current global issues, reflect time and situations I find myself in. I am interested in subjects that are universally human: identity, sexuality, social status, religious and political ideologies.

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Pencil has been the first art media that I chose to code my experiences; by using symbolism and surrealistically fluid-anthropomorphic figures. My art practice involves a conceptual investment in objects and images, just as any religion invests in its icon and the ritual use of objects. Exploration of performance allowed me to express situations that otherwise would not be accepted growing up in post-soviet Lithuania. The necessity to step out of my comfort zone is an inseparable part of my creative process. I am also interested in artistic-social investigation. In my art practice, I encourage myself to address criticism of consumer behaviour and undertake wider explorations of the Anthropocene.

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 I am interested in the pre-Christian pagan religion as well as Lithuanian oral tradition, folklore and mythology.  I identify myself with animism belief that everything has a soul or spirit. I believe in individuality and singularity, that has raised my current interest in post-humanism, rational secularism. Religion provides a perfect ideological supplement to capitalism. Capitalism creates our consumer society and economic structures, where the only measure of progress is always more: the surface and quantity became more important than quality.6

Contemporary art has become a part of popular culture, with artists becoming stars, seeking fame and validation by triggering primitive human desires to influence consumers to act impulsively and irrationally.

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Religion is broadly seen by many progressive thinkers to be the cause of intolerance and war. I take a critical approach towards religion and its attitudes towards women and sexuality. I believe that human rights should come before religious rights or conservative traditions. Questioning and critical analysis are the most important aspect of my art practice, which is provocative and engages the audience. I believe in a society where everyone has equal rights and freedom of expression.  If I do not know the answer to my concerns, I listen to my conscious inner voice to find what is truly right. If I still do not know – I keep asking questions of myself and others until I find it.

 

Facebook // MariusLeaf

Website // www.mariusleaf.com

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The Shining // BUMF Reviews

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe visits AUB Acting student’ performance of ‘The Shining’.

Open night for ‘The Shining’ from AUB’s acting students and I’m blissfully unaware of the fact the performance isn’t entirely seated. Ah. I regret confirming with one of the actors that I came alone as she says “well we’ll make sure to take extra special care of you then!”.

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Lulled into a false sense of security in the beautiful hotel, the best possible setting as you struggle to pinpoint where it all goes wrong for Jack. What’s the difference between rage and madness? I’ll ask the train of talented Jack’s and Wendy’s I saw this evening.

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When a performance has been so famously coined (Jack Nicholson, duh) and when presented with such a logistical challenge as a guiding an audience around, the entire crew smashed it.

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Costumes were also gorgeous, where did you get that dress? Yes, there’s the uncomfortable laugh during an outburst of hysteria but after a while, you notice yourself checking the blacked out rooms and corridors on the way round, just in case. A jump when the cast barge through out of nowhere, a shout, or cake forbid, as I found, turning round to see a bright white Danny or postured Delbert Grady stood right behind me.

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The gore and nudity reinforced this, you’re made to feel silly with your discomfort when confronted with the sheer fearlessness of the actors. Fantastically orchestrated, pop down The Chine Hotel for a hair-raising showing (don’t get the joke? Go see it then) every day until the 18th of February to challenge your experience of performance.

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Who needs the gym when you can run up and down spooky hotel stairs.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Photographs by Ewa Ferdynus


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Protest // BUMF Says

Sorry we’ve been down for the past week, we ran into some technical difficulties. Hope you didn’t miss us too much! Now we are back, have some content…

Our Chief Article Writer Brittany Sutcliffe shares her thoughts on protest.

Of all the endless purposes art has in our personal lives and for society as a whole, one of the purposes I’d like to focus on for a sec is how art can provide a timeline of visual responses to the way society has moulded its image over the years. Right now, we’re seeing a lot of protest. Protest in expectation of equality, the signs now being collected by museums from the recent women’s marches that took place worldwide. Protest against our dependence on tech, the rise in photographers going back to good old-fashioned film. Protest against our leaders, Shia Lebeouf’s anti-Trump installation art. Something all of this is encompassed by is our growing self-awareness. We’re realising we have a voice and we can do something with it.
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In a time of such anxiety and uncertainty as the past year, I’m inspired by the sheer volume of people taking discussion and debate forward in solution to any social crisis we’re faced with. No mother, it’s not just a phase. The general consensus? 2016 sucked eggs for a lot of us. I don’t even think the happiest of us can say we’ve had a good year when we’ve all been swamped with the dampening misery that’s come in wake of losing such culturally vital inspirations as Bowie and Michael. If not to us directly then at least seeing our peers or our parents suffer.
All of this talk of time and death has me thinking positively. Where will the future put us? Better yet, where will we put our future? I still have hope, here’s why.

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You only learn once you’ve made mistakes. Sure, something you can take on the chin when it comes to your academics or, if you’d like, you can have the Britt-perspective for free; Remain or Leave, Trump or Hillary, life did not come with a manual. Anyone sitting there and saying “see, I told you that it was the right thing to do!”, respect their faith but take comfort in their naivety. Until we can read minds, travel to alternate universes, our crystal balls start working or mind control becomes a thing, we’ve got so much further to go. I’m not saying we can’t get there eventually, I’m just saying that we need to respect the rate at which we’re growing.

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Tech can change overnight and whilst that’s great for five minutes on flappy birds, I’m satisfied that people are far more complex. The last thing we need is the next generation of six year olds randomly spouting which horses to bet on and mystically winning millions. We wouldn’t learn anything from it…except that we can finally afford everything we once ticked off in the Argos catalogue come Christmas time. Irrelevant. We’re an adaptable, responsive community. We’re shaping the world in the way we think it would look best but we’re not sure how that picture’s going to look until we see it on the news. Never thought I’d cite Jess Glynn but here we are, “don’t be so hard on yourself”.

Words by Brittany Sutcliffe, Illustrations by Sveinn Snær Kristjánsson


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Dash // Gabe Robertson

Gabe // Set in the countryside, a Touring Grand Prix takes the race through a small town only to have an unexpected car join the race!

This animation was done during my final project in Second Year. The brief allowed me to explore animation and moving image, which was great as I was keen to start developing and translating my work into animation. I chose to create the animation using Blender, which is a free to use 3D program.

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I had decided to create an animation about a 60’s Grand Prix as I was excited to explore and research archival footage and classic car design. It seems that most modern day vehicle design is similar to one another and the cars themselves have less character than vehicles during the mid 21st Century. Reading through books, old magazines and the web I started to pick out and illustrate the vehicles I wanted to use in the race.

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The next challenge was to translate my Illustrations over into a 3D style which still upheld my visual language. For me this was the most challenging, as the technical aspect of using 3D programs was very new to me. I only had very basic 3D program knowledge, and ended up spending a lot of time flicking back and forth from YouTube tutorials.

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As well as creating the 3D Models for the vehicles I also had to create the characters and sets. For me this posed an exciting challenge as I wanted to set the race in a realistic but unusual place for a race. I wanted the race to go through normal streets and countryside lanes rather than a normal race track’. As for the characters, a mixture of time restraints and style choices led me to create 2D flat characters that would sit inside the 3D vehicles. I feel that they work really well, and give a funny and interesting vibe to the world they inhabit.

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The plot was to be very simple as it was only an 10 week project, and I wanted to focus on the visuals rather than the story. I had initially envisaged a civilian car getting caught up in the race, and this idea went through a few iterations. For the final animation, I’m still not sure it’s that clear other than it’s a race. But overall I’m really pleased with the animation, I feel the strongest scene is the final one, as by then I’d worked out more technical aspects and had started to push the creative and playfulness of my illustrations.

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If you’re interested in reading more on my blog you can find it from March to April 2016

Website // gaberobertson.com

Instagram // gabe_robertson