To develop as a professional, raise your profile or just for the kick of it, it is a ‘good thing’ to do your own projects, where you are both client and designer. Development task you are required to practice setting yourself a brief and answering it, in anticipation of your Major Project.
I have recently become really obsessed with animation and I constantly want to learn new skills in this field so I have decided to focus on this area. I have created a number of animations with different styles from hand-drawn assets to green screen footage. However, I haven’t created any purely with geometric, digital assets so I want to explore this field.
An artist called Fanshore recently contacted me requesting an animation and album cover for his EP release called Better Days so I decided to take on this project as it would be a perfect opportunity for me to experiment on After Effects and to expand my portfolio. West London’s Fanshore is a project born of escapism. The musician had always used his craft as a portal, as a means to escape dreary city life in 2k17 for something with a little more flavour. Filtering jazz, hip-hop, and more traditional songwriting styles into his potent voice, Fanshore is set to make his debut with something a bit special. New cut ‘Better Days’ is a summer-fresh tropical melter, with the percussive crunch lingering alongside those plucked guitar lines. The bubbling effects have a hazy, lysergic feel, recalling those early King Krule cuts or even Tom Misch at his most loose-limbed and low slung.
I was given a piece of artwork from Fanshore that had been created by another illustrator called Joe Caraway as an idea for the animation style. Fanshore described to me that he wanted to tell a short story about the weather in his animation, he wanted to show a tropical storm and so I started researching a lot of animation on Vimeo and through websites such as It’s Nice That. I wanted to find a style that complimented the music so that I could send this back to the musician as a directional guide.
The artwork that I was given was a palm tree, sat next to a swimming pool, that was encased in a frame. This art reminded me of two animations that I have recently stumbled across online: Dan Croll – TOKYO and Will Stratton – Manzanita. Both of these animations use digital drawings to tell a story through basic animation and clever transitions. Both animations play out inside a tight square frame which is a stylish concept and one that would definitely pair with the provided artwork.
I started off by thinking of how I could link different types of weather to the provided artwork. I wanted to show a sunny day being turned into a dull stormy night and then back again to the original frame, creating a loop, that shows the repeating cycle of life. I wanted to stick to basic shapes and small changes in the scenes to create a minimal but stylish animation. I wanted to keep the colour scheme bright, fresh and tropical with a hint of somber greys for the stormier scenes.
My final animation transitions from a summery day, to a rainy scene, where the water rises and fills up the entire scene. This then turns the square into a dark night’s sky, until flashes of lighting brighten up the design, bringing the loop back to its origins as the yellow background transitions into a circle that gets smaller and fades away. Once this design was finalised I sent it back to the artist who was very pleased with the outcome, he then asked me to create a new album cover for him. I accepted this request and started experimenting with stills from my animation. I wanted to explore glitch art, but manipulating photos to produce an overlapped design that is packed with repeated assets and a selection of cleverly blended colours. In order to create such a design, I started print screening stills from my animation and then opened them up in Photoshop in order to do a lot of experimentation. I loved the simple screens in my animation, so by turning these into chaotic scenes, it created a beautiful, trippy, contrast.
Fanshore’s music is summery and plays homage to the synth vibes of the 80s, mixed with layers of different sounds, from pianos to technical sound effects it mixes the styles of traditional and modern vibes. I wanted to portray this in the album cover, by mixing glitch art which is a technical process, that shows layers of designs, overlapped with a sleek serif font implies a mixture of new and old techniques, providing the cover with a sophisticated yet edgy design.