A is for Amateur Animation

Ahhh! The letter A is such a high profile letter! I mean, it’s my letter. It’s ridiculous how much I adore that block letter A. And it's the FIRST letter! The Alpha of the whole summer. I have lists upon lists of amazing activities for the first letter. So many of my favorite things start with this letter. Artichokes. Avocado. Apple Pie. Arizmendi. Ann Arbor. I mean, just look at my house: A-Collage

I mean, really.

And there are two more that aren't even pictured.

But back to the blog.

Okay, here’s the story of this year's letter A activity:

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to participate in the Photoshop training course, Blogshop, here in San Francisco. Ever since then, I have become a Photoshop junkie. More specifically, I have gone cuckoo for the animated GIF. I do not exaggerate. I made my friends suffer through a photo session involving a five person rotation (with props) on my loveseat to create my first GIF. I documented a school project by creating a GIF for each of the groups (there were 22), and then placing them in a 3 by 7 grid (check out my page on the wiki if you’re a Friends schooler!) and it was...awesome. Potentially migraine-inducing, but awesome just the same. And yet, I still haven’t satisfied my ravenous hunger for animation.

Enter Alphabet Summer.

Back when Alphabet Summer was just a twinkle in my little Valencian eye, my “Save Tuesdays” crew in Spain used to craft it up HARD CORE. Once, we even rented a giant apartment in Denia and spent THE ENTIRE WEEKEND CRAFTING. It was wild. It was there, somewhere between a stop-motion animation session and a hair dyeing extravaganza, that my little blob friends Maxi and Carmel were born.

Occasionally a way to illustrate internal turmoil, and mostly just because they’re so fun to draw, they became my favorite two-dimensional amigos. Maxi is the nervous, anxious one; Carmel, his laid back and fun-loving contrast. They generally are only seen in my journal, but they eventually became the main characters in my second NaNoWriMo novel (2011’s thrilling Star-Crossed Glovers, about an adult co-ed softball league, among other equally as exciting things.) Who knew back in Valencia that Maxi had been the starting catcher on his college baseball team and was working a dead-end job in Ferndale, Michigan, playing Wednesday night softball with a group of misfits?

So, here you have it: A little bit of simple Photoshop magic + little blob creatures = Amateur (but amazing) Animation.

Everyone, this is Maxi, and this is Carmel. Maxi, Carmel, meet everybody.

The GIF plays on repeat, so if you miss something just watch again!