I met Elliot at a new-LA-family Thanksgiving in 2012. We were both there because R___ had invited us to his gallery for the occasion. There was a last minute change of plans, which we should have seen coming, because the wonderful woman who was cooking the traditional Thanksgiving feast lived a few doors and a couple flights of stairs away and cleverly decided that we should go to her instead of her carting the feast to us.
Though sitting in a stranger’s living room with other transplants (I assumed) and the host’s friends was awkward, I was [to quote Mrs. Peacock from Clue] determined to enjoy myself. Not that any effort was needed. Holidays put me in a good mood because I have always enjoyed hanging out with my family and eating delicious food during them.
A few punk or metal kids enthusiastically pitched their upcoming gig and gave out tickets. A man with a cane and a woman with extremely large…personalities [read breasts] sat on the couch. We unintentionally played musical chairs as people filtered in and out: to the kitchen to grab a beer, to the hallway to go to the bathroom, up the stairs to have a cigarette on the roof.
I met Mike (Elliot Next) on the roof. The story isn’t that exciting, actually. I’m just happy that I remember it so well. On the roof we talked about art and music. Turns out Elliot had studied everything I have ever wanted to know (hyperbolically speaking, of course).
I think the next time I saw him was when I was outside of R___’s gallery a few months later and he was walking back to his place with a pizza.
Fast-forward a year full of a few encounters, getting to hear his music and see his art, brief and otherwise conversations, etc. and I’m so happy to know him!
This is an animated portrait based off a photo I took at Schmaqulin, his Wednesday night residency at the Five Star Bar in Downtown LA. It’s always a good time. You should come! [Schmaqulin is a weird word, yes. Elliot asked me to help him make a promotional video that would be mostly people trying to pronounce it.]
As far as the art goes…
I’m getting better at drawing portraits. I use thinner lines, now, which may make the shapes too seamless. I’d like some seams…
[Also, I should be using Illustrator…I know, I know]
I am definitely still in the process of figuring out animation on Photoshop. I’ve got the gif thing down to an extent where I’m satisfied with my progression, but I need to let Photoshop go and learn how to use Flash or something.
I tried saving the filing as .mov, but the fps are all messed up/don’t translate. I may just be missing a button or setting adjustment, which would be lovely (once I figure it out). I have a feeling that I’m missing more than a button, however, and I’ll have to learn something new again, which will be interesting while painful and then eventually second nature.
Part of my hard way journey: I made slideshows on YouTube because my videos weren’t loading. I saved the frames as jpegs and just committed to some editing time. I kind of like how they turned out, but the resolution quality is unsatisfactory.
I would also like to add sound.
I plan to hit the YouTube-verse to find some 12-year-old who knows how to do all this stuff and can explain it using pictures and nonchalance (which is how I learned how to animate on Photoshop).
If I had to pick a non-animated version of this portrait to be the final draft:
The animated version (the second time I actually started a drawing with the intention to animate – I haven’t posted the first one yet. Believe me, I’ve grown a lot…)
Another gif that shows a bit of the process behind the drawing and the animation:
And some stationary documentation of the process:
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