Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Joseph Snyder Animation -- A Childhood in Gebo, Wyoming

In August 2014, I packed up my car, left Idaho and headed back to Arizona to pursue a graduate degree at Arizona State University. As part of my financial package, I am the instructor of record for a section of ART 116: Intro to digital media where I teach the Adobe Creative Suite through a series of introductory projects. Teaching this class has pushed me to revive and renew my own set of Adobe Creative suite skills.

In conjunction with teaching this skills class, I took a class taught by my mentor, Muriel Magenta, called Women Art & Technology. The class examines the how women use and have used technology to create art work and the research goes into her ongoing website project.


In addition to the research portion of the class, I had to learn a new, to me, piece of technology. I chose to learn to digitally draw (wacom tablet) and then animate the drawing in After Effects before kicking them out to Premiere Pro to finalize the video and add the sound (which I realize is a very rough cut version in the below sample.)

In 2010 what took me back to my hometown in Idaho was to use my Grandparents stories and their lives to create some artwork -- this animation is an extension of this pursuit. My Grandfather, Joseph Snyder was born in 1919 and passed away just last summer in 2013. He was a great story teller and had lived a rather unique life and thus, had many stories to tell. I have a slew of these stories recorded, some on audio tape that my Grandparents recorded together and some that I recorded during my time with him.

The story I chose to animate consists of Joe getting his tonsils out in a very crude way in the early 1930's in the coal camp of Gebo, Wyoming. In the story, my Grandfather drives his mother in to town to do the laundry and while she does the laundry, he gets his tonsils taken out. At that time it was a common belief that tonsils needed to be removed.

The digital drawings took significantly longer than I would have ever expected, so only the intro to the story is currently complete. There is a drawing of both Joe and his mother Nelly, two mules and a wagon, and a scene of the town of Gebo, with the coal mine and boiler drawn from a historical photo of the location. The animation in it's current state is essentially a trailer.

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