Wednesday, 3 April 2019

LAUAN502 - Going Live


Since the end of last academic year I have responded to the following:

Loop de Loop theme Dog - was accepted and presented on the website, was reblogged twice and gained 15 notes. This one made me really happy as I could relate to the theme. Even though I mistook the deadline and rushed to make this in one day instead when there was still one month to submit.  
It was made a straight ahead animation on top of a frame-by-frame, shot on my now retired LG K8 phone with chest of drawers as a rostrum. I did not let anyone in the room for hours when animating as all would be ruined if my phone or the pegbar moved. :D I definitely enjoyed this one!

2 x Free T shirt design comission to a non profit organisation for young Mathematicians and Physicians in Slovakia,  P-Mat n.o.  Both as na responses to given brief with on to be made over a weekend and one over a week time. Enjoyable experience as I was once greatly involved with their Maths seminars when I was in Secondary school.

Loop de Loop theme Pig - missed the submission as I forgot in all the hassle, then again,my response was a Guinea Pig, who knows if it would get accepted.

YCN Hostelworld Brief - submission planned for 504 module, however character assets were not delivered in time for animating response to this brief.

CDC - quick response on the night of deadline - not submitted, pending acctepting to the Facebook group

Planning to submitt to Sustainability Award in May 2019, here is a quick sketch I did for the theme of the issue Jenny and I are hopefully push forward after seeing her storyboards.

Also have been part of a group with Jenny and Cara (first group project experience) responding to RSPB Brief 2018 - even though we did not get the commission, it was a valid group work experience and I got to practice some concept art.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

LAUAN502 - It's Showreel Time


When I approached this task I worried about lack of material to put together 40 seconds. My Uni year did not go exactly as planned so I pulled out couple of rather personal projects produced over the year.
  • Loop de Loop response to theme Dog from summer
  • Little experiment from when I was on a plane this winter
  • Caver girl puppet.

I decided to use my clay card from when I went to the Manchester Animation Festival. Manily because at the moment I have been using a photograph of me to represent my online presence, not what I want to put into my showreel.


Pictures below were used for some of my online presence this year. Although, I chose my clay cards since I am promoting myself mainly for traditional and stop motion animation techniques. :)

LAUAN502 - CopyShop

Copy Right

I have been posting my work on social media before but never really thought about how to protect my work should anyone like to take advantage of it.

With all honesty I am more worried about accidentally breaking someone else's copyright and find these little © a bit scary. However, as a developing professional it is time to face this topic. I try my best to attribute enyone's work I mention. I defnitely do not claim a work as mine if I have not made it and mention if it is inspired by a certain source.

Reviewing my options after discussion seminar, I am leaning towards copyleft, fairly lightweight and friendly... and of course watermarks. I the moment I am not too bother if my work gets modified and reproduced as long as somebody is not using me. Thiscan alsoallow visibility of my work to grow, for now.

I also fancy the creative commons for my more precious projects, at the moment it could be useful for example for my CoP project. I just cannot figure out how to embed the link for the banner into my blog.

In the meantime I am putting signature (instagram,facebook - concept art and vidoes) on my work where I consider it needed and a footer for my blog.

I am not planning on going back to Slovakia after my studies therefore that is not applicable to me yet. :) 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019


LYFF 2019 Volunteering

I applied to be a volunteer this year at Workshop at LYFF 2019. I am more than excited to say that I got the role and will be assisting at the Aardman workshops alongside other events!

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

PP Group Part 3

Pre and Post Presentation

Here are my slides within the presentation.
It includes materials sourcing places within or local to Leeds. Some of them I have been to, some of them I have been recommended or researched them as animation materials suppliers. To know where we source the materials from can give us an idea of how much we need to charge the client. Considering we cannot bulk buy and store the materials as there is not space for this in the studio. 

After the presentation, Mike had a valid point that I need to keep in mind and never thought of before. That is Health & Safety when it comes to scrap and second hand materials so that it does not have toxic remains etc. This may be a whole new topic to explore when it comes to covering us legally as a collective.

PP Group Part 2

In Depth research and conclusions

As part of the market research I made the goup's showreel showing skills of all collective members. This was useful because with a picture in mind of what is out there I could tailor it so that it would offer the well recognised feel of motion graphics (oh so famous in this area) through a well detailed and themed Devon's 2D animation. I chose this as the lead due to the above mentioned, its length and standard. 

I had one smaller issue, that was all of us made some animation with night sky and moon. Therefore I had to be very selective to show the range of what we animate (not just dreamy nightskies) and still show off everyone's skills. I used the colour schemes of shots and themes as a guideline for transitions. 

I also made the sound using an android app called Music Jam. It was mainly informed by the rhythm of the first shot, then everything was matched to this rhythm. What it means is that even if one plays the reel without sound, it will still have structure and rhythmic appeal. :) 

PP Group Part 1

Initial research
My initial Research consisting of us selecting roles and identifying what contributions and responsibilities I have within the group. I have identified what is out there on the market in Leeds in terms of the existing studios and theirs animation focus. It shows that with our range of skills at Odd Socks collective will be rather unique for this area and so we have some potential in Leeds. 

Sunday, 17 March 2019


Introduction to Animation

I had an opportunity to assist Terry and Jo at the LAW with one of their workshops. I was making sure that everyone knows what they are doing and gave a hand where possible and needed. It was a really positive experience. 

I received some lovely feedback from one of the participants ''It was really good of Cat to suggest messing around with the ipad while we were waiting and helping to set it up''. 

At this workshop, I also met Georgia, with whom we are now working on a project raising awareness on problems with waste and bees. We decided to go for Cash for Cans to fund any expenses related to the project. :) 

Sunday, 3 March 2019

LAUAN502 - Networking

Professional Development

Events suitable for my professional development:

1. Manchester Animation Festival, Manchester 13th-15th November 2018 
A mixture of premieres, conferences, discussions and screenings of contemporary animation. Opportunity to meet students from other Universities. Such a busy pprogramme that there is pleny relateable to my specialism. 

2. Creative Speed Dating, Leeds Arts University 22nd November 2018
Great way to learn what students on other courses are doing and whether we can be of help to each other. 

3. Rio Cinema London: Leeds Animation Workshop at 40 Years, London 2nd December 2018
Opportunity to help setting up a stall and being on a panel. 

4. Leeds Young Film Festival, Workshop Volunteering - April 2019
Experience within a field I may go into, education and work with children. As well as meeting creative professionals.

5. Sheffield Documentary Festival, 6-11th June 2019 
Interested in outdoors and having half of a 504 module focused on Documentary, it sounds like a valid experience to go to. 

6. IWD 2019 with Girl Gang Leeds
Again, opportunity to meet creative professionals and talk to them about their experiences, ask questions etc. 

7. BSL Society/ GIAG
More insight into the language allowing more thorough research for my CoP topic.

8. Flatpack Festival - Tim Allen Workshops
One can never have enough experience in Stop Motion and gaining that experience from key Animator of Isle of Dogs sounds valid, especially after I lstened to his presentation at MAF.2018 with a dropped jaw. 

9. Annecy  Festival, 10-15th June 2019
I cannot go this year but will be secretly happy for anyone who will get to go as it looks like an incredible experience and if I spoke French I would apply for volunteer position straight away. 

10. Gallerry openings and visiting professionals organised at LAU Library and Gallery
Sometimes the best things are discovered at random by being exposed to and open to the opportunities. This seems a good chance for that.

So I have set up a Linkedin account (profile and connections can be viewed on the link below). What went wrong and what went well. How did I deal with it?

  • Did not have good photo :(
  • Self conscious about biography :(
  • I took several takes and tweaking + peer feedback (thanks Damian!) :)
  • In the end I put in my most enjoyable experiences within Animation industry that represent what I do :)
  • after all it can always be updated and improved :)

LAUAN502 - Working Freelance/Self Employment

Business stuff
Over the summer I have identified that freelancer work is likely not for me, when I applied for a freelance job even though nowhere near animation related. However, I understand that it is crucial to have a contract and invoice should the stuff actually happen, to protect myself and make sure I get paid. 

I worked my minimum desired daily rate to be £100 if I worked 260 days a year. Considering I will have work less than 260 days per year I will need to charge some amount up to £200 to reach this target. It is realistic considering that Junior Designer gets daily pay £100-200 according to the article below:

I found it challenging to make up an invoice and a contract, I am a first timer in this field. But that is something I will tweak with time and experience. I tried to make it recognisable and personalised in neutral/positive formal tone as that is how I want to approach my future clients.

Sunday, 24 February 2019


Visiting Professional - Virpi Kettu

Virpi visited our University to give us more insight into Puppet making and Stop Motion. It was the first time I learned about K&S fixtures and I will definitely be getting some tacky wax for those moving facial features. 

I have also learned that I need to stack on the supply of fast-drying epoxy glue and pine wood (not balsa, it is too weak though lightweight). 

Another valid tip from Virpi was to make a character blink before a repair if something needs fixing. :) Looking forward to try it. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

LAUAN502 - Social Media Pro

        How I use my current Social Media accounts:

Facebook - personal profile, part time job, societies, university collaborations
Instagram - personal x professional mix 
Viber - personal, communication with friends
WhatsUp - mainly professional
YouTube - professional/portfolio
Google Drive - personal and collaboration projects, group projects communication
Blogger - professional, log of work at University
Linkedin - professional, networking
Gmail - personal and university email, both personal and professional use

Overall, it is vastly full-filling my personal needs but not yet my professional needs. I have not thought of my online presence as a professional other than my Blog and now Linkedin (after study task 4).

In the past I have set up a facebook page dedicated to my art. Maybe it is time to give it a re-make and bring it back to life as facebook is one of my most used profile, making keeping up to date and reaching audience easier.

I do not use Twitter at all, or Etsy. I always felt as such it would be too much and I would not keep up with the amount of social media accounts.

My professional presence on social media will reflect on my plan that I created to maximise time vs. efficiency. 

Changes I want to take:
  • You-Tube -> transfer portfolio to Vimeo, think about starting own art channel
  • WhatsUp - keep it professional
  • Facebook - keep it personal, can cross share my posts in from other social media, decide whether to re-fresh my facebook art page
  • Instagram - separate the personal and the professional
  • Skype - for professional use
  • Twitter - for professional use

Sunday, 17 February 2019

LAUAN502 - Collective Enterprise

Forming a studio

My top priority is to have the place of work pet friendly. I see myself keeping a dog all the time in the future. Pet friendly studio will be allowing me to spend longer working hours worry free. Just like the belgian shepherd in Bryan Adam's music video for Please Forgive Me. One of the reasons I saved up for a PC, to be able to work at home on days when the schedule outside of Uni gets too busy. 

Therefore, it is important for me to find someone not only compatible in terms of professional interest but also understanding of my needs. 

Jenny and I agreed on the pet friendly and sustainability terms and soon we got Petra join us too with her puppet making skills. We formed a collective as despite of a variety of skills and much potential of working on projects together, we also have strong individual interetsts. 
Later Devon joined our collective. Jenny came up with the name Odd Socks, as we are all very different but work together well, everyone agreed and I cannot help myself but it reminds me of the name Hungry Sandwich. It sticks. 

My roles within the collective are:

Lead Stop Mo Animator
Market Research
Materials Sourcing and Research

But I will also contribute to Storyboarding, Building Sets and Backgrounds

Monday, 11 February 2019


Trying/Testing Cell

I got to try using the cell at LAW, I traced some of my old frames using Chinagraph pencils and then tried some other materials. Only to find out that Glass Marking Crayons are also good to use on the cell. I would not say I will take it further, the only place selling cell paint that I found is Chromacolour and the paints are super expensive, so I did not get to try this, but it was one of the things on my list to try. 

Sunday, 10 February 2019


I went to see this film mainly because it was convenient and I liked the main actress and the trailer. However, when I sat in the cinema I was left with a dropped jaw at how beautifully the emotions of Bumblebee were animated and how humorous the actions of the character were in many scenes. As well as almost a double personality this character carried - the strong and brave and caring - the emotional, clumsy and silly. 

See the source image
er were from time to time. 

Sunday, 13 January 2019

LAUAN502 - How Much Do You Need?

How much do I need?

This task was useful to realise worth of my work as a becoming professional. I will definitely keep in mind how much money I need to earn to stay alive if I get any commissions. 

I was trying to control my income and spendings for a while now to keep thorough record of my finance on several occasions. After a while realising that it is hard to track my contactless spendings. So I want to put aside money for certain things such as monthly food budget, monthly social life budget at the beginning of the year etc. aside from my subscriptions and direct debits. Whatever I do not spend from these categories could go into savings. :) I must say it takes a lot of dedication.

I found experience from Leeds Animation Workshop relevant and useful when it came to calculating spendings.

As I can get most Softwares at University at the moment, if I were to do this spreadsheet after my studies, I would have to account for these also. Although I do subscribe to Adobe bundle at the moment. 

Overall, I earn somewhat over my spendings which is good but I am not spending much money on social life at the moment and it would be nice to change that. The major costs here is accommodation and bills, plus courses for self improvement e.g. driving lessons (in the future). I am looking to reduce this for next year.

However, it would be great to be able to put more into savings. What made the task difficult were costs such as events that are likely a one off in a lifetime: Driving test, Instructor course, Animation Workshops, getting things like PC (one off investment for several years) come up.

Sunday, 9 December 2018


Insipring Animations and Animators

I just came across this beautiful animation on You Tube by Puuung.
The style - colour scheme and character design is so appealing, thought I need to share it. In a way it reminds me of my Beano Brief response in 2D plasticine from last year.


Visiting London

During first weekend in December I travelled to London to meet Terry and Jo from LAW at a screening at the Rio Cinema. I helped out setting up LAW stall and small exhibition and I even got a chance to be on the panel after the screening (I am the one in light purple fleece). What a new experience to me.
I got to speak to the lovely organisers of London Feminist Film Festival too! 

Sunday, 25 November 2018


Casting Inductions

Our University provided us with induction into latex, wax and silicone molding. This was a sign up upon interest workshop. I decided to attend as I thought it would be useful to enhance my Stop Motion skills. It was definitely a valuable experience however at the moment I believe I prefer using other materials. My favourite out of the three was using wax, maybe because it can be easily melted again - less wasteful. 

On the picture above from left - 1 colour silicone cast, multiple colour silicon cast with built in armature, wax cast.

Sunday, 18 November 2018


Manchester Animation Festival 2018

This year I went to the MAF by myself as I could not afford the trip with University. It certainly reflected on my social experience at the festival but it also meant that I had the freedom to go to the talks and screenings that I chose to without tying on my friends. 

I pinned down the most interesting ones and then when to anything else that fitted around it too.

At the MAF Market, I spoke to a representative of BFI, Brown Bag, Animation Tool Kit and even got an Aardman book - signed.

I was really impressed by the talks about the Isle of Dogs and The Night of the Trampires.

On the whole, it was an experience that supported my research, confidence, and knowledge for all of the modules this year. 

I also made myself little clay business cards. By the end of the day when I placed these onto the table, they were all gone. :) One got even reposted on Instagram so that was lovely. 

Sunday, 11 November 2018


Collect, Organise, Research - Evidence

Me at LAW, Photo by : T. Wragg

Over Summer I planned to try out Strata-cut Animation. That is when I learnt of Leeds Animation Workshop. We stayed in contact and I met their previous interns who produced a short film 'Own Skin' at LAW's studio. In the end I was pleased to be offered unpaid in-studio experience.

I was impressed by the message behind the films made by LAW especially 'Alice in the Wasteland', the environmental message is close to my own interests. However, my favourite film remains to be 'Crops and Robbers' with its playful and relatable-to-audience setting (through the game Monopoly) within very serious context.

In September, I helped out with the exhibition and promoting of events for 40th anniversary of the Workshop. It was enjoyable to attend the screenings and see wide range of films that LAW chose for this occasion and I finally watched Black Dog (1987) by Alison de Vere in full. 

In October, after tidying up exhibits from the previous event and learning more about the studio, I was shown how to manage some simple admin work. This one I could apply in my everyday life to keep on top of my spendings and savings.

After discussion with Terry Wragg I was able to clearly identify what I would like to gain from my time at LAW. Since they have experience using cells and pannable rostrum, I would like to learn more within this area. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

LAUAN502 - Who do I want to be?


Figure 1.
Figure 2.

I will try the following to eliminate impact of my weaknesses:
  • Setting myself small deadlines to keep up to date especially during winter when I tend to feel down and less motivated.
  • Taking a day off to have a break - catch up with those naps and gain inspiration.
  • Keep record of my spendings and put money aside to spend on my studies and professional development.
  • Get in touch with Academic Support and tutors when it comes to writing formal emails for Networking and Collaborations.
  • I need to set myself regular sessions for research and time for reading websites and news. :) 
  • Keeping up to date with my YouTube, Instagram and Blog to maintain my online presence and keep building a portfolio.
I am saving up for a new PC so that I can develop my computer skills at home without affecting my lifestyle (me & my dog Cherry - one of the reasons I did not apply for Erasmus, but I probably would not last that long without her anyway)- in the meantime I would like to dedicate some of my lunch breaks for this action. 

On the other hand, to maintain my strengths I need to keep up to date with the Study Tasks so that I can maintain enough hours at work to support myself financially. This will allow me to get materials for experimenting, which is fun.:)

I tend to multitask, keeping up to date with workload will allow me to eliminate the pressure I put on myself. I also need to carry out research before MAF to give myself best chances at speaking to professionals.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

LAUAN502 - Who Am I Now?

So after long Summer here is my response to the first study task. You will learn a bit about where I am standing at the moment and what my plans may be for the near future.

Caving and my dog Cherry are my biggest inspiration at the moment. By me 01/10/2018. 

So far on the Animation programme I have learnt the following:

  • This course is not what I expected in the way of approach towards traditional animation and also use of timetabled time.  
  • But it is okay because I also learnt that setting up an amateur animation station is super easy. Even if it is just a phone propped against a drawer to use as a rostrum and shooing everyone out of room to keep it still and in one place. So I am hoping to do more of little self projects at home this year.
  • I now value the experience of theoretical research into topics of my interest in Context of Practice module even though I was sceptical about it at first. 
  • Organisation is the key and I could feel the ease when my blogging and study tasks were up to date at some point last year, therefore I am completing this task today.  
  • I may not get on well with computers when it comes to Animation (yet) but cintiq is my friend especially when I needed to rotoscope for my BSL in Animation CoP final piece or the RSPB Brief response.

I want to know more about:
  • Strata-cut
  • Scriptwriting
  • Framing & panning
  • Functional puppet-making
  • Cell Animation

My 5 strengths are: 
  • Problem-solving
  • Multitasking
  • Straight-ahead animation
  • Puppet making
  • 2D plasticine stop motion (Plasti-cut??)

I want to improve:
  • Group-work
  • Communication with collabs, networking, eg. for sound production and reference footage.
  • Using the University workshops, last year I felt extremely uncomfortable using the workshops. There are several reasons and I am being highly sceptical if I can improve at the moment but I will try, so fingers crossed. 
  • Keeping up to date with sources of contemporary animation.
  • Working on small projects such as Loop-de-Loop and 11 Second Club to gain experience. (Only submitted one Loop-de-Loop so far when the theme was 'DOG' <3 ). 

The following practitioners are of my interest regarding Animation:
  • Maxim Sviridov - Max Sviridov's Plasticine Studio - plasticine aesthetics
  • Aardman Animations - stop-motion working puppets
  • Leeds Animation Workshop -local workshop, strong animated topics
  • David Daniels - strata-cut
  • Hayao Myiazaki - story telling and aesthetics
  • John Finn - BSL in Animation

The following websites reflect my areas of interest: