medium /// animation

“latte foam, goop, and gumption”


This is probably the craziest story I’ve had on the podcast yet. You have to listen {try not to throw your phone across the room in a jealous rage inspired excitement!} I’m talking to New York based Artist, with a capital A, Rachel Ryle about her crazy amazing Instagram feed that changed her life within a matter of weeks. Literally. You can listen right up there under the paper latte, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at her animations… although you might want to watch after we chat because the songs in the animations might play over our talking. Technical glitch! Ok, first up, a few photos from Alt Summit this past June, where Rachel and I met:


Oh, Alt Summit photo booths… the location of so many new friendships. Alright, let’s get on with the animations that go along with her crazy inspiring story! This first one is the project she was working on until 4am, that caused her to sleep in past our recording time {totally worth it}:

I’ve teamed up with @kindsnacks to give away custom pieces of my art that are truly one of a KIND! In celebration of their new & yummy Popped bars, we’re looking for the #MomentThatPopped in your summer! By simply sharing your favorite summer photos, you’ll be entered to win a custom vintage lunchbox featuring a recreation of your special moment hand illustrated by me! Here’s all you have to do: 1. Post a photo of your favorite summer moment on Instagram or Twitter 2. Tag @kindsnacks and use #MomentThatPopped + #giveaway in your post Boom! You’re now entered to win a customized lunchbox of your favorite summer moment, kindly brought to you by @kindsnacks & me! #stopmotion #animation #summer #summertime #art

A video posted by Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) on

Gah! So cute! And now, stepping back two years, this next piece is the first animation, titled “Make Something & Grow”, that started it all:

Make something & grow. #stopmotion #sketch #art A video posted by Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) on

Oh, and right around here she mentioned a music video that she had seen years before she ever did any animating, that kind of blew her mind. This is it. Ok, more animations … this is a very early latte animation, just a couple of weeks in, that got her an interview on a morning show in California:

Latte Art #stopmotion #animation #sketch #art #coffee #latte #barista #latteart

A video posted by Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) on

… the sneaky beer animation that led to one of her first paid animations … clever lady. 

… and now she’s got a huge list of clients including Volkswagen, Goop, Rag & Bone, [lots, lots, lots more], and Starbucks:

Now I want a cake pop. And she’s not only doing client work … she creates so many animations just for the love of making. Here are a bunch of my favorites from her personal collection. These range from early pieces, to more recent. You can actually see her getting more and more creative with each one!

Cotton candy, anyone? #stopmotion #animation #art #sketch #cottoncandy #vintage #yumminess   A video posted by Rachel Ryle (@rachelryle) on

And there are zillions more where these came from! Be prepared to get sucked in when you visit her Instagram feed … they’re like chips … one is just not enough! And with that, her latest personal animation, that just bumped her over 500,000 Instagram followers!?

Well there you have it … one of the craziest stories ever, and a really good lesson in following your gut! Thank you so much to Rachel for doing this with me {note to self: next time ask her about her perfect, colorful manicures!}, to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

“painted into a corner”


Today I’m talking to Vincent Serritella, a very talented, highly trained {and generous} artist who, somewhere along the way, also taught himself to be an animation effects specialist … which landed him an amazing job at PIXAR! What? Yep. We’re chatting about free drawings, a bizarre artsy family tree connection, and the inside scoop about working on PIXAR’S latest film, Inside OutYou can listen right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Here is what we talked about, in the order that we talked about it. First of all, a few images from his 365 FREE DRAWINGS project’… which is how I scored that awesome blow-pop above!


Obviously this is just a fraction of the 365 drawings he gave away, but these are a few of my favorites. Here is the final, self-published, kickstarter-funded book! If you want one, you can order them here, through the Children’s Creativity Museum … to which Vincent has donated 100% of the proceeds. For real. Generous on top of generous!


Alright, now on to his day job. Inside Out... have you seen this yet? It’s the latest film from PIXAR and it’s so good! Vincent is an “Effects Technical Director”, and he worked on this {very exciting to see his name go by in the credits!}. Building magically appearing trestles and cables for the “train of thought”, and shooting fire out of the top of Anger’s head… that sounds like a pretty fabulous day job to me!


Ha! Love that angry little guy! And finally, a very weird discovery that Vincent’s mom made… he is related to a 17th century Baroque painter from Spain, named Pedro Nunez de Villavicencio. Hm. Notice anything similar about their paintings:


What?! So insane! Vincent painted that self portrait years before he found out about this artsy connection to the past. Look at the pose?! And the color palette!? So weird. And amazing. And a bit spooky. Alright, and with that bit of craziness, I’ll say thanks to Vincent {who totally sounds like Mark Ruffalo, no?}, to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and to you for looking ‘n listening! So excited for next Saturday… my friend Lisa Congdon will be on the podcast!

rafael varona

Gasp! I’d love to swim in that rainy lake, or hang out in a tree with that bearded jungle man! Oh, if only I could be magically transported into one of these Impossible Bottles… that is the title of this fantastical series of animated gifs by Berlin based illustrator/animator Rafael Varona. Sigh. Living & breathing illustrations… gorgeous.

{via The Verge}

that time i went to PIXAR to talk about my book (?!)

So this was a crazy day. This is what I saw as I walked into the main doors at PIXAR last week… life-sized LEGO sculptures of Toy Story‘s Buzz Lightyear and Woody… and a poster with my book on it. Mind. Blown. No time to think about it much though because my talk was starting in about ten minutes. As I was setting up, I was told that the last presenter hosted by PU {PIXAR University} had been JJ Abrams. Hm. No pressure. Quick, could I make one of the books explode or something!?

Alas, nothing exploded, but I did get all set up in a gorgeous theatre with a really, really big screen {of course, it’s PIXAR} and talked my little heart out. I told the story of how my blog was born {which included a cameo by my son, because if it weren’t for having him I never would have started this site}, and how the book came about. The main point of the talk though focused on the big lessons I learned while writing CREATIVE BLOCK. We covered blocks, inner critics, public critics, and then getting through all of that so that you can get back to the joy of making work… work that you’re really proud of! I have to admit. I was nervous. I was in a room full of creative geniuses and I was worried that they’d be like “Uh-huh. Yeah, we never get blocked, lady.” You never know?! But no. That was not the case, because as it turns out they were all human. I spoke for about forty minutes, followed by a Q&A. Everyone then went out into the lobby so I could sign a few books {sign books?!?! very surreal, I have to tell you!}. The feedback I got was amazing. AMAZING. I had no idea who was in this line up and as I asked each of them what they did at PIXAR and what kind of art they did on their own {because all of them had something going on the side} I felt like a total fan girl! I mentioned to two of the guys that my son’s favorite movie is UP… they both worked on it! A few people told me that while they’re very confident in what they create at work, they really miss drawing, or painting, or [enter medium here] but felt a bit blocked when it came to getting started again. Several of them said this book was coming at the perfect time for them… it almost made me tear up a tiny bit, but I held it together because I was pretty sure that JJ didn’t cry while he was there.

Lunch time! I had a giant celebratory cheeseburger, and more fries than one person should ever have, with my amazing PIXAR host, visual-effects expert / fine artist Vincent Serritella, and my good friend Cariann Nesler. She came along as my cheerleader/photographer/book seller/driver, thank goodness! Vincent gave us a tour of this insane campus, which included their current in-house art show. Yes, they curate shows using the personal work of their staff – how amazing is that! {that is a close-up of Vincent’s fabulous self-vandalized self-portrait below}. We met a few famous friends along the way, and then, after a lovely full afternoon, it was time to say bye bye…

*Leaving PIXAR. Thank you so much for having me, PIXAR! Hope to come back through those gates again soon.

i’m jealous of rrrrrrrroll

I get motion sick reallllllly easily, but these beautiful & mesmerizing animated gifs are totallllllly worth it. This is the work of RRRRRRRROLL, a collective from Japan. There are five artists involved in art directing, shooting, and then animating these gorgeous, simple, muted, dizzying gifs. Lovely. Ok, I have to lie down now.

{via my modern met}

i’m jealous of matthew divito

Whoa, dude… so trippy. Boston based motion graphics artists Matthew DiVito just, like, totally blew my mind on a Monday morning.

i’m jealous of julia pott

Ah yes, awkward bears in loud knitwear, love from a distance, and what I can only assume to be a polar bear with a crush on a boy named Keith Nash. I am jealous of these illustrations, and I’m jealous of this very sweet, award winning, animation titled My First Crush {fyi: the polar bear that loves Keith Nash is a rough from this film}. And really, can you blame me? The work of London based illustrator / animator Julia Pott makes everyone jealous! I have seen her work on just about every art blog that exists… including this one! {In 2009, I included her beautiful sketchbook in my very first ‘Jealously Curated’ show, Peep Show}.

i’m jealous of amy santoferraro

One of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon is poking around a thrift shop. It’s like looking for a treasure… buried deeply in a whole bunch of other crap. But, every now and then you find something special, and in the case of American artist Amy Santoferraro, a whole truck load of special somethings. Her solo exhibition titled Just Visit is an homage to all of these weird and wonderful orphans. She has created a lovely 5 minute stop-motion animation that features all of her finds {and has great music}. But don’t go home yet! Head over to the Adopt-a-Surprise shelf and buy one of the stars from the film {very sweetly wrapped I might add}. Hm, maybe next time I’ll just skip the thrift shop, and head straight to Amy’s show!

‘Keeping true to catch and release practices, it’s time to let go. Some of these objects have been with me forever, some just a couple of weeks, but all of them have boasted some degree of promise or beauty to me. I ask that you blindly take them on, not knowing, but trusting that they will do something for you too. They were just visiting.’

~ Amy Santoferraro