How Crafting Saved My Life

…I mean my sanity.

I didn’t start crafting until the fall of 2007. I wanted to make an animated film but I didn’t want to use clay since I’ve heard from other students how difficult clay animation can be for first time animators especially when you think about the amount of lights we must use for film animation.
I set my sights on creating a cast of cloth dolls (wired for movement) so that I could create my zombie masterpiece.

The first problem.

I hadn’t sewn anything since I was 12 years old. Even then I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine and I couldn’t follow a pattern.

The second problem.

I don’t like to ask for help. My family is absolutely stubborn and autonomous, growing up in that environment left me with the feeling that if I wanted to do something like film-making for instance, I had to learn how to do it myself.

So instead of hiring or collaborating with someone on the doll work I learned how to sew by hand and machine over three months time. Instead of working with some fellow film production students on the lighting, set production or camera work I ended up taking up each one of those tasks.

*You can sense how autonomous I tend to be.

Before I started my animation I had little interest in my academic career. Film-making had become a depressing process for me personally. I loved watching films but I struggled with the technical issues. Production work was offset by the theatrics of crew members. The grind of production destroyed not only my energy by my desire for filmmaking. When I discovered this new creative outlet I felt like I had come to life for the first time in two years.

Suffice to say I have a better appreciation for my sewing machine, the resilience of muslin and my family who supported me through my crash course into stop-motion animation.

As I said earlier…crafting saved my life.

[The film is still in the works. I am editing my footage now for a future screening.]

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