Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Part 2: Q & A with Stop Motion Animator Phil Dale

Second part of my Interview with animator Phil Dale, considered one of the leading stop motion animators of his generation. As a member of the Liaka Animation Studio, Phil specializes in stop motion animation, with his most notable work seen in some of our most favorite animated features such as Corpse Bride, CORALINE, The Boxtrolls, and The Tale of Despereaux.  Since Phil has made some progress on the Blythe Animation Project I wanted to talk with him regarding the next steps in the creative process on his collaboration with Maribel aka Voodoolady who has brought Cobain Blythe to life via her photographs.

Phil working on the Blythe Animation Project in his home studio.

1. What has been the most challenging part of this project?
I’m an Animator first. That’s my area of expertise and professionally I haven’t had to build and rig my own puppet for a very long time. One challenge has been trying to figure out how to do those things again. The other challenge, if it can be termed that, is that I only have short amounts of time to dedicate to the project……15 minutes here, a half hour there. I have a full-time job and a young family that need my full focus, so it just means that what is already a slow process, creeps forward even slower. But, even small steps move you forward over time. 
Been working on some custom eyes for the Cobain Blythe collaboration today.
Still working on the paint job. Next I’ll need to rig the eyes for animation.

Mold making. Trying a different tact with the Blythe eyes. Wasn’t completely happy 
with what I had. Going to try casting some resin eyes!

 Mold making pt2. Negative space. Silicone mold for Blythe eyes.

2. When bringing characters to life, do you have a set personality envisioned?
Well on this Blythe project I asked Maribel (@Voodoolady) for cues as to the personality of Cobain, It is her doll after all and it’s important to me as it’s a collaboration to bring the character to life in the way Maribel has imagined her.  Also, there are obviously the dolls look and styling that also hint at her character, but what I’ll be able to add is personality as conveyed through movement.  I think the wide eyed look of Blythe dolls in general gives them a feeling of the young innocence of wonder at the world that is appealing, coupled with a sense of cheeky mischievous fun.  So that is the sort of thinking and approach I will bring to the personality.                                            

New Blythe eyes! Let’s see if the mechanism of this new approach will be more fruitful. Hopefully a little animation test in the next week or so.                                             
I seem to have wandered down a side alley with this Blythe Animation Project 
and have become fixated with painting eye chips! These are some I did last night.

3. Do you have a storyline in place for Cobain?
Well I had an idea for a little story, but I wanted to hear if Maribel had any ideas first. To my surprise our ideas were almost identical. It’s not anything ground breaking, but you will have to wait and see what the story is.                     

Eye Rig v2. It’s not pretty but its working better than my first attempt!

4. Will this project be a short story or a commercial length production?
As I mentioned it’s all about bandwidths, so I only envisioned it being a micro short film. Even a short film is a lot of work. Maybe producing it in installments that can play on Instagram. I like the idea of trying to use new media platforms to tell stories.  Let’s see how this goes, if there is enough interest from the community maybe it would be possible to do a Kick Start to fund a larger project.  

Was going to try and do a little animation test this evening... but the power supply for my camera isn't working! Let’s see how long the battery takes to charge.

Okay it’s a bit rough and ready but here is the first little Blythe Animation test. 
Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

Regarding his posted Blythe Animation rough test……..

Phil: I’m please, but also a bit embarrassed by the reception the test has got. I shot it very quickly, for an hour or so after the kids went to bed. 

MDB: Why would you be embarrassed by the reception the test clip got?

Phil: I guess professionally I didn’t feel the quality of the animation warranted that response, but don’t get me wrong, it was great to get! 

“I think the Blythe Community is a perfect fit with animation.”                                                                                             Phil Dale ~ Stop Motion Animator

Please keep updated on the Blythe Animation Project and Phil’s other upcoming projects by following him on Instagram @HandMation and also his Handmation Facebook Page. 

Stay tuned for an upcoming Q & A with Phil’s collaboration partner on the Blythe Animation Project, Maribel aka Voodoolady.  You can visit her Instagram @VOO_DOOLADY and also her Flickr.

All photos and videos courtesy Phil Dale/2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gnowee's Information Booklet

Gnowee is now at the Auguste Clown Gallery Fairies and Folklore Exhibition. She comes with a booklet detailing her story and all work done to create her. Here is a look at her booklet.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Tease & Tan, Blythe on Holiday

Away on Holiday, Evangeline came along for some island adventures. Getting a bit of Vitamin Sea on a little tropical island in the Pacific. She is becoming quite the little traveler, from California, NYC to Hawaii she is ready to see the world. I found some wonderful keepsakes in stores just her size, the cute lounge chair and the choice surfboard were the perfect addition for some fun island shots!  Looking forward to see where we will land next.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

National Ice Cream Day

Evangeline forgot the spoons, but Love is leery to leave her alone 
with the tasty bowl of Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gnowee, Blythe Artdoll by My Delicious Bliss for Auguste Clown Gallery E...

A Dreamtime Tale of the Wotjobaluk Indigenous People.
The Tale of Gnowee
The Sun Goddess of the Aboriginal people out Southeast Australia.
Gnowee lived on the Earth at a time when the sky was completely dark. 
One day while gathering yams, her baby son wandered away. With her torch, Gnowee set off in search of her son, but could not find him. She continues to search, lighting the whole sky with her torch. It is said that if her son is ever found, the world will be plunged back into eternal darkness.
Auguste Clown Gallery is now accepting orders and preview requests on the exhibition pieces so if you are interested in purchasing Gnowee you can email them at info@augusteclown.com
If you are in the Melbourne area, please stop by the Auguste Clown Gallery and view the show and if you are so inclined have the option of purchasing Gnowee for your collection.
Auguste Clown Gallery ~ Fairies and Folklore Exhibition
Opening Night Friday 7th August, 6pm – 8pm
Free entry, champagne provided.
The exhibition will show from 7th August – 23rd August.
Auguste Clown Gallery
52 Johnston Street
Fitzroy, Melbourne VIC
PH: (03) 9416 4662

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Once Upon A Blythe Gallery Exhibition, Australia

I am so honored to asked to participate in the upcoming Once Upon A Blythe Exhibition in Melbourne, Australia next month. The theme is Fairies and Folklore, I did not want to submit a piece that was in any way expected or obvious.  I decided since the Gallery show is in Australia, to honor the continents indigenous peoples…...the Aborigines. They have a tradition deep in folklore and tales told during what they call Dream Time, one of these tales is of a woman called Gnowee.  

The sun Goddess of the aboriginal people of Southeast Australia. Gnowee lived on the earth at a time when the sky was dark and people used torches to see their way. One day while she was gathering yams, her baby son wandered away. With a huge torch, Gnowee 

set off in search of her son, but she couldn’t find him. She continues to search, lighting the whole sky with her torch as she searches for her son. It is said that if she ever finds her son, the world would be plunged into eternal darkness.

 Traditional Aboriginal Dot Body Painting

Her Pull Rings are of Tiger's Eye, a member of the quartz gemstones with a radiant golden to red-brown colour, with a silky luster. This is a powerful stone that aids harmony and balance, and to release fear and anxiety. Traditionally carried as an amulet against curses or ill-wishing, and is known to give courage, self confidence and strength of will. Her beads consist of two styles of rich wooden hand carved, Golden filigree minis, Gold flecked glass and Smokey Quartz beads on brown satin ribbons.

 Gnowee's headpiece is made of genuine soft leather with golden chain detail

If you are in the Melbourne area, please stop by the Auguste Clown Gallery and view the show and if you are so inclined have the option of purchasing Gnowee for your collection. 

The Auguste Clown Gallery is now accepting orders and preview requests on the exhibition pieces so if you are interested in purchasing Gnowee you can email them at info@augusteclown.com  

Auguste Clown Gallery ~ Fairies and Folklore Exhibition 
Opening Night Friday 7th August, 6pm – 8pm 
Free entry, champagne provided. The exhibition will show from 7th August – 23rd August.

52 Johnston Street 
Fitzroy, Melbourne VIC

Ph: (03) 9416 4662

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tanned Blythe just in time for Summer Neo Blythe Cherry Beach Sunset

“I spent the whole day at the beach, collecting shells and reading in the tree shade.
The day had gone by so fast, I looked up to see that the sky was orange and pink, the perfect sunset colors!
My grandma makes some of the best cherry pies on this coast during this season, so I always can’t wait for summer!”
It has been five years since the last tanned Blythe, Manuheali’i Paradise Girl.
Tanned brightly and wearing her pink bikini or summer dress, Cherry Beach Sunset will look perfect next to Manuheali’i!
She wears her cherry pink pareo around her bikini, heart-shaped sunglasses and bracelets matching, listening to the waves crash on the beach, relaxing.
When it’s time to go get some of grandma’s famous pies, she changes back to her cherry patterned sea-blue dress, fixing her hair back with her ribboned hairband.
Her hairstyle is permed and long with bangs. Her hair color is brown.
Her eye
Mocha (sun tanned).
The illustration is a concept, and does not reflect the final product.
Expected Release Date: July 17th, 2015
Price: ¥14,900 about $120.47US

Q & A with Animator Phil Dale, Who is Bringing Blythe to Life

Phil Dale has over 20 years of experience working in the animation industry and is considered one of the leading stop motion animators of his generation.   Working as an Animator and a Director,  he always brings true magic to his projects. He is a member of the Liaka Animation Studio, and his work has been demonstrated through many award winning commercials, music videos, short films and features films. He specializes in Stop Motion Animation, Story Development and Screenwriting.  You may have heard of some of his endeavors, such as……….The BoxtrollsCORALINEThe Tale of Despereaux, Corpse BrideParaNorman and The Periwig-Maker to name a few.

Animator Phil Dale working with  Victor Van Dort on the set of Corpse Bride. 
/ Photo Warner Bros.
Dale working on Boxtrolls set / Photo via @ Handmation

Working with The Corpse Bride / Photo via @Handmation

If you follow Phil Dale on Instagram (@Handmation), he recently shared a sneak peek of a special and exciting upcoming collaboration with Maribel Diaz (@Voo_dooLadyand her Custom La Chica Del Lunar Custom Blythe, Cobain. Cobain is an overall wearing, grunge guitar playing, Teddy Bear loving, little girl who has thus far been magically brought to life through the lens of Maribel’s camera.  Now we will have the opportunity to see her little spirit come to life with the enchanted help of Stop Motion Animation!

Phil Dale announced via his Instagram @Handmation of a future collaboration 
with @Voo_doolady. / Photo by Voo_doolady

There is such character, warmth, beauty and magic in stop motion that completely fascinates me. So to see an animator of his caliber showing interest in bringing Blythe to life, well that thoroughly peeks my interest to say the least.

I needed to know……Why Blythe? She truly enchants me and all of the others in our community worldwide, but why? A creative mind such as Phil Dale could create any character in his mind from scratch; why choose our little Blythe to bring to life?  

So, since he follows my Instagram Feed (@MyDeliciousBliss), I simply reached out to him and asked, he was gracious enough to oblige, so here is what Phil Dale had to say about Blythe…….

Q: “Why did you choose Blythe as opposed to any other doll; what was it about Blythe that drew your interest?”
A: “I stumbled across the world of Blythe via Instagram a couple months ago. Until then I had not really been aware of it, but I was immediately intrigued by the gorgeous custom dolls that I saw. With a little digging, this large creative community came into view that I found fascinating. I think it was the convergence of craft, photography and a sense of storytelling that seems to be part of the tradition of Blythe that really drew me in.  That, and the fact I really like the proportions of dolls, the large eyes have the potential to be very expressive, and the custom faces are full of character. It seemed like there was a lot of common ground between this community and the world of stop motion animation. So I just got a sense there was potential within this community for me to find a place of my own within it. I don’t quite know what that place is yet, but the best way for me to explore Blythe is through the medium I know best, animation. Maribel (voo_dolady) has been helping me understand the Blythe world and answering my questions. I’m not sure where the collaboration will end, or what doors it might open, but I’m already learning.

Who knows, maybe there is a market for collectors and creators to see their dolls come to life? Or maybe there are some ideas from the stop motion world that can be incorporated into new customizations for dolls! I don’t know, but it will be fun finding out.

Cobain packing for her long journey. / Photo by @Voo_doolady

Cobains' arrival at Phil Dale’s studio had him already rigging her Kinetic Armatures. 
/ Photo by @Handmation

Working on eyes for Cobain Blythe Collaboration, next to rig the eyes for animation
/ Photo by @Handmation

Mocked up in an animatable eye rig. 
/ Photo by @Handmation

As with the entire Blythe Community and Stop Motion fans alike, I am sure we are all looking forward to seeing more progress and evolution of this wonderful collaboration! I would like to welcome Mr. Dale to the Blythe Community and thank him for his time and for being so wonderful. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

National Pink Day

In honor of National Pink Day, my bubblegum hued beauties wanted to show their love of pink.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Auguste Clown Gallery Exhibition Snaek Peek

My Submission for the Once Upon A Blythe, Fairies & Folklore Exhibition at the Auguste Clown Gallery in Fitzroy, Australia. The Show will run from August 7th ~ 23rd. More to come soon!

Bey Good Ambassador

Evangeline wants to help, she is a Bey Good Ambassador.  
Go to Beyonce to find out how you can help too.