Jam for Hope 2023

I could not be more proud of my students who offered up an entire weekend to a fellow student with a wish. RIT senior Zach Sheikh is battling cancer for the third time, and wanted to bring the RIT community together to create games and animation that would inspire young adults who are also facing adversity. We spent Saturday and Sunday collaborating and producing an animation that incorporated 2D and 3D assets, and the end result, while still a bit glitchy, shows what can happen when we focus our energies for good!


Voices by Selma PeAr

SO honored to have been asked to be part of RIT MFA student Selma PeAr’s Voices which she managed to complete smack in the middle of the pandemic  shutdown. Directed by Selma and also featuring Komal Ashfaq (who was also the Producer) and Lani Dobson, this film is a beautifully subversive statement about where women stand today. CT Chen was the DP, with Robert Stokes as First AC, Nolan Kearney as Second AC, Zack Stone as Gaffer, and Creighton Yanchar as Sound Mixer. Congratulations on a wonderful, RIT Honors Show-selected film, everyone!

mari jaye blanchard in Voices by Selma PeAr

Komal Ashfaq in Voices by Selma PeAr

Lani Dobson in Voices by Selma PeAr

Creativity in the face of Corona!

Very proud of my freshmen classes’ ability to pivot in the middle of a semester, return home, and continue working in such innovative ways!  They were featured in this RIT article highlighting (only) some of their solutions to continuing their work without any of the hardware on campus!

Below are the instructions I made for them regarding DIY light tables and down-shooters, and they did the rest!

DIY Downshooter Using StopMo Studio App

It’s Raining…Yogurt?…

RIT Lecturer Kevin Bauer and I received a PLIG (Provost Learning Innovations Grant) in 2019 for our project “SOFA SLow-Mo”, and when we envisioned bringing students together to explore movement and record it all in slow motion, I am not entirely sure either of us saw Kevin sitting in a turtle themed kiddie pool getting yogurt poured over his head (in my efforts to stay environmentally friendly but also have different liquids to pour and observe fluid dynamics, I opted for eggs, flour, yogurt, milk and water…a veritable raw pancake of material!)  The students who joined us for this session bounced, threw, jumped, ran and spun their way to more reference footage for their peers for years to come!

Thanks, US Embassy in Kosovo!

My VR Workshop this past July was a great success.  HUGE thanks to the US Embassy for sponsoring my visit, as well as the visits of fellow Americans (and Rick and Morty Directors) Bryan Newton and Matt Taylor!

Brief interview of how it all came about here.

Drawn to Animals

My students and I were so fortunate to get a visit from Melissa Brush of the Nocturnal Gallery who I met by chance in a bookstore and HAD to invite to my Drawing for Animation class! The slideshow says it all…animals are amazing, in every slippery shape and form. Some students carefully confronted their fear of certain ones (entirely white Ball Python around the neck, anyone?) and others jumped in with gusto, sketchpads in hand.  A wonderful drawing day, and we can’t be more grateful to Melissa for joining us!

ILSSA North Mountain Residency

Just spent a few days down in West Virginia at the North Mountain Residency with other ILSSA (Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts) members and am re-energized as a teacher AND a human being!  Workshops varied from book-binding to sonic meditation to vintage animation, which is the discussion I led and which pleasantly surprised me in terms of everyone’s focus, efforts and results.  They can all be seen here, including a song sung during dinner-prep that I absolutely had to include.

Farmer to Light Table

Sometimes I’ll try the assignments I give my students so I can see where they might get hung up.  Here’s a rough test of a farmer slipping around in mud, in perspective.  I got hung up on the timing and arm movements, so I made a point of discussing both again in class. My favorite part of teaching is how much I get to learn!