FAUN is HERE!

November 6, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Hello, Wild, Wild Web of the World!

I’m here to announce that the silent, walk-about character “FAUN” is finally ready and eager to work!

From another dimension (possibly from out of a wardrobe), a stunned, mythological warrior fauna has stumbled into our world.  A warrior princess in her own universe, she must now come to grips with all the strange wonders of this modern planet earth.

Email Rachel for full details about booking Faun for your events — Corporate and festival!

This news and updates can be viewed on my “Performance” page.

VIDEO!!

Faunus is Upon Us

September 15, 2012 by  
Filed under News

A few years ago I began posting what was the beginning of a new performance project for street and corporate functions.  I decided some how, for some reason at some point to become a good mythological faun.  None of this cheese, fairy, sparkles, ivy stuff, but a Narnia-esque warrior princess, straight from another world.  Silent, strong, and straight from the wardrobe into your venue – walking around and experiencing humanity for the first time, as if they were the strange, other-worldly creature.

It’s a few years later and progress was slow for a while.  Faunus went through different incarnations and prototype legs, but is finally piecing together into a full and rounded character.

Let me show you my progress…

This was my first attempt at reverse stilt legs.  I could prop myself up into them, but taking a step was impossible.  It looked cool, but was a horrible, horrible, horrible design.  But it was a start.

Second attempt.
At the height I wanted my legs to be, I had to keep lengthening and widening the base until I was a giant, cartoon-hooved monster.  It was still a little unstable and I was bound to break something if I ever mis-stepped.  …OH, and built out of wood, each leg ended up weighing in at 20 pounds.  It was completely un-maintainable.  On the upside, this prototype gave me something to begin costuming.

Finally.  Good engineering.  I’ve invested in Digilegs (http://www.digilegs.com/)

I had to sacrifice the height I so desperately wanted (I wanted to be well above any given crowd), but I knew that I was making too many sacrifices to the design and illusion if I were to insist on that extra foot of height.  So, instead of being 7 feet tall, I decided 6’3″ or so would do just fine.  With horns, hair and a headdress I’d still be noticeable.
Digilegs are surprisingly easy to  adapt to.  It’s just a matter of becoming natural at it — rediscovering where your toes end.  (PS: I think my fly is open in that last photo. How embarrassing.)

Horns and a headdress.
I made a feather mohawk for my extra height and royal warrior princess persona.  Knowing some of my costume would be hooking together in the back, I created extra hair and decoration to mingle in with my own hair and cover most of my back.
I discovered by accident how to made dreadlocks out of fake hair, while I was gathering loose bits to clump up in matted balls and throw in the garbage.  Ta da!  Dreads.  Braided through some brown yarn and matted up some more – it matches my real hair pretty closely.

I created a top out of a second hand leather coat and purses.  Purses have the best buckles.  I traded a frankentoy to an Etsy craftsman for one of his metal bras and then passed it onto animation co-worker, Jason hall who had begun making me genuine, hand crafted armour…

ARMOUR!!!

And right now I’m working on re-costuming the digilegs and building new hooves that can clip back with spring power, when I lift my legs.

So. these are the pieces.  Theyr’e slowly coming together, but I haven’t been able to put them all together at once yet.  I hope by December I’ll be able to show off and advertise Faunus as a fully developed character and be able to focus on WHO she is.  Then look out for a warrior faun at festivals and events near you.

Dear World,

May 6, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Dear World Wide Web,

It’s been far too long since I’ve paid any attention to my website.

It’s been a long time of settling in to new work, new direction, and a new city.  I’m still feeling a bit of a creative lull since all of the upheaval of the last chapter, but I’m counting on it being the creative equivalent of a long, REM nap — the kind you wake up from, feeling like Jello and thinking, “Wow, I must have reeeeally needed that.”  (And a creative lull for me means that I’m only working on one project at a time, not 7.)

I’ve rented out my cozy Hamilton home and moved to the capital of this great country, Ottawa Ontario, Canada.  For the last six months I’ve been an Animation Supervisor for one of the very best kids’ shows on television today (Sure, I’m a little biased, but ratings don’t lie either!)
Wild Kratts is the animated series by Chris and Martin Kratt -“The Kratt Brothers”- who are more widely known for their success in creating, “Zoboomafoo”, “Kratt’s Creatures” and “Be The Creature”.  Their in-house presence in the studio really brings a great life to the work place, along with an amazing and wise-beyond-his-years director, Simon Paquette, and so many other open and caring crew members.  It’s a creative environment you don’t often come across in the work place — the the sort of personality that SHOULD be present in every art studio.  I’ve always said that the personality of leadership trickles down through any organization, and this place happens to be caring, wise, quick to laugh, and slow to anger.  That says a lot to me about the individuals.

On another note, we have studio pets:
Meet two of the three lobby Turtles, Tortuga and Tortilla:

I’m still working on getting together my new street performance project, Faunus, which, while becoming more and more realistic looking and coming together as a character, still has a long way to go in functional reverse-stilt construction.  I’ve had to pass that job on to a real stilt-maker.  While that gets dreamed up better, a fellow Animation Supervisor in the cubical next to mine, artist, Jason Hall, is working on real Warrior Princess armour for Faunus.  She is going to be a strong matriarch of wherever it is she comes from.

On the Franken Toy front, I’ve temporarily pulled the plug on them.  I have some serious carpal tunnel syndrom and complex tendinitis (also the reason I’ve switched gears in street performance, from chalk art to Faunus).  And although the toys have been my best viral works of art to date, I can’t justify the strain they put on me and on my chances of healing.
I may get back into them when I’m not already doing so much with my arms, but until then they’ll just be a lovely bunch of photographs for people to blog about.  And maybe the occasional personal gift.

That said, it is official that the Kratt Brothers love Franken Toys:

So much so that Chris (seen above with a gifted Wild Kratts Franken Creature) bought Robo Reggie for one of his sons.

So… I suppose that’s all I’ve got to post for today.  I’ve finally gotten another great job, I’ve managed to keep my house and my two cats, and in one month I’ll be moving into a cute, little apartment right in the heart of down town Ottawa where I look forward to being able to paint again.  I`ve still got goals and plans, but I refuse to have expectations.  Six months ago I did not see myself here.  But being here now – it`s a good thing.

PS: I`ve also started taking roller derby lessons with the Capital City Derby Dolls.  So don`t mess with me.  I`ll crap you up good!

Nagasaki Circus is a Wrap! …and I aint talkin’ a chicken caesar wrap!

October 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Film Festivaling, News

I’ve spent the last year creating 6 minutes of film entitled “Nagasaki Circus”.
My longest work yet (I am a commercial maker) was written by a cynical, stilt-walking mime named Martin “Lurk” Ewen.
Martin, a mime, turned out to be one of the most articulate human beings I’ve ever encountered (innately poetic, no?) and upon reading his short story of the same name, I couldn’t help but want to try to do it justice in film.
The story sat in my mind for close to a year, searching for a style and a medium worthy of its surreal nature, and then I discovered Lee Zimmerman and his hypnotic marionette show.
I believe Lee was the piece of the puzzle that brought us all together.  We all knew each other from the variety performance community, which created a great dynamic.  In variety performance, there’s about a half-a-degree of separation from everyone else.  I love my hippy world.  I’m glad it was able to successfully cross over into my other hippy world.
Eventually the project was taken on by executive producer, Judith Keenan and Bookshorts and we ended up with funding and encouragement from Bravo!FACT as well as the National Film Board of Canada.
This was my second film with the National Film Board’s involvement and I hope it’s the sign of a long lasting relationship.

The final piece is now touring with the Moving Stories Film Festival and will be submitting to other film festivals shortly.  Bravo!FACT has graciously let us hold off on airing the film until the summer of 2009 so that we can get the most out of our festival endeavors.

To read more about “Nagasaki Circus”, see what The Moving Stories Film Festival has to say in their press release.

Also, be sure to take a look at the Moving Stories tour schedule to see when it might be passing throughyour area!

Update: Watch “Nagasaki Circus”.