I was in a conversation last weekend in which the conversant (an artist) lamented 'it's too bad [one] can't make a living doing art.' I find these shruggy blanket statements a bit maddening and would like to say right here that there are people who have done it and continue to do so, myself included.
It's hard work, to be sure, and I'm not saying this lightly. It's not for everyone, nor perhaps for all phases of life. Sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's discouraging, and uncertainty is in its nature. But if you need to create and you've got the skills, go do it. If you don't have the skills, develop them or seek out someone who has them. Find ways. Know what you want to do as well as what you don't want to do so you can sidestep things that would lead you down other paths. Listen, ask questions, make your own decisions. Surround yourself with people who are supportive.
And I can't stress enough how important persistence is.
Choosing fabrics for the clothing. I used old felt for the mittens, blue pleather for the boots, red cotton (tinted with a bit of turmeric for an orange-ish tint) for the pants, and some sort of vintage fabric with the perfect scale of weave for the coat. It was originally a pinky-purple, which I then bleached, dyed fuchsia, bleached again slightly, and tinted with turmeric to create the pale peachy-pink colour seen here. Her hat (not seen here) was hand-crocheted under the tutelage of my roommate the pro, and also dyed with turmeric and a bit of beet juice.
Sculpting the head (plumber's epoxy, foil, super-sculpey), pre-baking stage
One of the first few times I listened to the song Dog Walker by The Most Loyal, I pictured a rotating kaleidoscope for the chorus that would resemble a church's stained glass window.
I drew a rough representation of what that might look like in the context of the leica reel, and set about figuring what this might look like in bringing it to actuality. First steps included researching how to make one of those contraptions, what to use for the little fragments (went with shrinky-dinks, which are amazing, for the record), and most importantly, how to rig that in such a way that it rotated evenly and smoothly.
The first kaleidoscope version I animated was a toilet-paper tube rotating in a square cardboard frame that was glued to my light disc's surface. (Handy, these light desks). I had originally intended to glue just the toilet paper kaleidoscope to the disc and rotate that, but had difficulties with that since the disc didn't rotate evenly in the desk so the kaleidoscope tended to wander off-center. Enter cardboard frame and cardboard rings fitted onto the kaleidoscope tube; a circle rotating inside a square. This was better but the shrinky-dinks inside moved around fairly abruptly - they would collect in one corner and then all slide to the bottom at a certain point of critical mass with gravity. It was a bit too jarring.
The solution was to create a circular bottom (the end covered with wax paper to hold the shrinky-dinks) that included a thin circle of cardboard in the centre that kept the little pieces within the general area of the mirrors. The kaleidoscope was fixed to a grip stand arm held over the light disc, and just the circular end piece was rotated. That worked quite well.
The results were composited in Premiere along with a layer of acrylic paint used as a circular matte