Tess Martin 8/31/16

Tess Martin

Tess Martin is an independent animator who works with cut-outs, ink, paint, sand or objects. Her most recent award-winning film is ‘The Lost Mariner’, an animated interpretation of an Oliver Sacks case study, and her most recent music video was created for the song ‘Oh My’ by the Australian band The Animators. Her films have displayed at galleries and festivals worldwide. In addition to her personal and commissioned work, Tess is also passionate about animation community. She has run and moderated the monthly Manifest Animation Show & Tell events in Rotterdam since October 2014 and she is the director of Haptic Animation Amplifier, a non-profit that helps support & distribute animation from the Pacific Northwest of the USA. She also occasionally writes about the world of independent animation for Cartoon Brew and other sites or publications.

www.tessmartinart.com

www.hapticanimation.com

www.manifestanimation.com

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35 thoughts on “Tess Martin 8/31/16

  1. To experiment with so many different animation methods but at the same time always keep the flow or the style similar is the most fascinating about Tess’s piece. Her works truly addressed the social, political problems she cared about; and the fact that animation was used as a medium to present these problems with documented voices, along with her years of experiences at different Artist Residencies, are a perfect way to really expand and push forward the recognition and reputation of the animation community. Mario was my favourite piece, not only because the lyrics and concept was dark in an subtle way, but also because the visuals quite successfully created such atmosphere. The choice of using marker on glass is the most suitable as the moments when the glass is painted black with markers, its texture really did feel disturbing. She also combined well narrative shots that reflected the lyrics, and some more conceptual shots that went well with the tone of the piece. I believe Tess made a lot of good choices of which methods to use for which ideas for many of her works. During the conversation she talked a lot about how animation is recognised as a form in-between art and film, and then over the years it is slowly changing after people have seen the many possibilities animation could bring. Its quite helpful hearing from an independent animator comments on the community & industry, and seeing her work is the most inspiring as well.

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  2. Living in Los Angeles, I sometimes forget that animation is a global art and not just the product of Hollywood studios. As such, it was interesting to hear from Tess, given her position as an animator who lives and works both in the States and abroad. It was particularly striking to realize that America possesses such a broad definition of art that encompasses everything from traditional painting to animation, while Europe has much more restrictive boundaries that separate fine art from animation. Despite her international travels, there also seems to be a unifying element in Tess’s work that derives from her initial experience with animation in Scotland. She had mentioned the impact of seeing the puppeteers on stage without any semblance of hiding, and it seems as though the troupe’s attitude of transparency carried over into her work. I posit that this can be seen in most of her animated works, from the tissue-paper cut-outs — which are translucent by their very nature– to the ghostly remnants of paint that linger behind the moving figures in “Mario”. Even her live-action “Breda on my Mind” is a transparent short in that the viewer literally sees the participants creating a map of their city. Overall, it was beneficial to hear from an independent animator with various experiences under her belt.

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  3. This week speaker, Tess Martin, showed us a work developed in a broad range of techniques, which she started to explore during her Bachelor degree thesis project as a Fine artist. In her work, the technique works more like a medium for expressing ideas, than like a esthetical resource. As such, in her work “the lost mariner” she uses photographs cut-outs, the traditional medium for keeping memories, for showing us the situation of a man that constantly loses his memory. In “The whale story” she uses huge painting on walls to tell a Story about a whale, a huge animal, and his encounter with some fishermen. She jumps easily from technique to technique in order to convey with each one, not only a narrative idea, but a conceptual and more subtle one. Due her experience between the United States and Europe, Tess have a very clear idea about the differences between how is the animation understood in one in each of these places. This took the conversation to the topic of whether animation was considered art, at least a separate form of art or was indistinguishable for purposes of funding, exhibition, circulation, etc. In more personal level, I particularly enjoyed the talk due Tess honesty about her processes, from the research related to residencies and other creative spaces for artist and animators, to the very mental processes she follows in order to decide how her movies are going to work. Also, I felt some of her movies very touching, “they look right through you” and “the lost mariner” were two of the movies that I felt beautifully made, so it was easy due the selection of scale and space, to relate with the characters and the stories told.

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  4. It is a rather beautiful thing when art and science collide with one another to tell a story. Although Tess Martin has a vast array of artistic animations under her belt, I would say her most thoughtful animation presented was The Lost Mariner. What gravitates me to this animation in particular is its examination of the human brain’s frailty. As someone who has previous experience in psychology as a major, the examination of neurological disorders drew me to it. Indeed, The Lost Mariner itself reinforced the lesson that animation can encapsulate the emotional turbulence of neurological disorders. The combined use of photos as cut-outs and photo metaphors littered throughout the animation conveyed the haunting realization that without the ability to form memories, we become lost in who we are. Without them, we are lost in a static ocean with no hope for a future.

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  5. Go over a artist’s work is a kind of personal experience to me. Many people like me doesn’t want to share everything with people. However, this time we can turn back time and learn from the beginning, and it’s a brand new thing, also a impressive experience to me. I really into the short film talking about the relationship between people and their pets. The emotion is so pure and innocent. I make me think of my short time with my own pet and let me think a lot. What’s more, the wonderful experience watching these pieces encourage me a great deal. Through time and effort, my own work can touch someone and make them think a bit more.

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  6. Thanks for Tess Martin sharing her works and experience last week and it truly give me many inspiration in different ways. First of all, I am so interesting about the materials selected by her to make the film, or we can say, express her feeling. She do try a lot of stuff for explore the experimental area, and I think she always can get the the best way to express herself. Like the film, A Moment’s Reverie, which is about about the memory, or just say inner world, and what she use to present the film is cut paper. Those paper are very light and thin, and they are always putted up the warm light, which allows the light to easily pass the paper. Some times it can make the paper to be felt so light, which is just perfectly visualize a clear and light inner world. In another words, the paper’s texture is a wonderful servers for the story’s subject or expression. I always believe that a good director should mobilize all materials from the film to tell the story or express, Tess’s piece is a so good example! And secondly, another so important information I got from Tess is about residency.She bring us a totally new world about how nowadays animation maker find support to make their film, pr we can say it is just one of modern animation maker’s live style. I believe it is so great and I cannot wait to have a try. It is so appreciate about the seminar by Tess and Sheila. Thank you for sharing!

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  7. One thing that really impressed me about Tess’s works is the way she gathered stories from her amazing journey and expressed them through her animations. With her unique style of storytelling, her animations consist of varies types of fascinating experiments that can really communicate with the audience. I love how she collected all the beautiful stories from her trips and residencies, got inspired from them, created some beautiful pieces of art and shared them to the world. One of my favorite pieces is “The Whale Story”. Hearing the story directly from Radiolab is one thing but visualizing it and turning it into one beautiful documentary animation communicates the idea even stronger and more effective. I was touched by one of the dialogues from the film saying “The bridge between the communication of species is still too far for us to cross.”, but the film itself, along with the sound and the animation, can clearly express that idea and I felt it was really powerful. However, working with the crews is very challenging when it comes to creating an experimental work but the film was successfully turned out very touching. I would like to thank you Tess Martin for sharing your beautiful stories and inspiring us with your art.

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  8. I quite enjoyed Tess’ seminar this week, even though her kind of animation is pretty much the polar opposite of the kind I would like to pursue myself. I think she’s the first animator I’ve met which has talked this extensively about how animation relates to the fine art world in the US and Europe. One of the most impressive things about her work to me is how quickly she is able to produce her shorts, and the huge range of materials and topics she chooses to work with. She’s managed to hold onto a level of conceptual freedom that I think most artists lose by the end of their formal education. Where some artists might decide to spend the rest of their careers mastering a single medium or delving into one particular theme, Tess allows herself to pursue any endeavor that strikes her fancy. I think that’s a choice that’s deserving of more respect than perhaps it gets. Her work is heartfelt, smart, and possesses a unique tactile quality that audiences can’t help but relate to. I look forward to seeing what she makes next!

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  9. I found Tess Martin’s presentation to be fascinating. To peer into her progression as an artist and the development of her body of work through a diverse array of media and styles was enlightening. Her career is something that I have hoped existed so it’s refreshing to hear about someone who is living my dream. I really enjoyed her first film the most (which she may find surprising) but even though she was punk-rocking it, there’s a delicate honesty to ‘A Moments Reverie’. It’s not structured and timed like a traditional film. It is an impressionistic slice of life film that is more reminiscent of dreams and memories than a 3-act story. The soft colors and sudden shifts to black paired with the subtle soundtrack make it a conflicting experience of nostalgia and discomfort. I loved it’s quirks and pacing.

    What I also enjoyed about getting to know Tess is her commitment to advocating for and supporting the animation community (particularly the experimental community). Her sites are back up, and after poking around for a few moments it’s clear that this will be a major resource for me as I move forward. Tess was so open and warm about sharing advice and trade secrets. I’m super glad we got to meet her and hear about her work. Thanks for sharing Tess!

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  10. I really enjoyed Tess Martin’s seminar. I appreciate how she rotates around using different under the camera animation techniques. I personally struggle focusing on one particular animation method so it is inspiring how Tess promotes exploration. Even though Tess uses different techniques, her work is consistent in obtain strong vibrant textures. The layers of textures create a sense of intimacy throughout her work, probably because they all have the “artist’s touch.” As Tess goes through her timeline, the viewer’s can follow how her work is evolving with her. She uses animation as a way of researching topics that concern her. After her film, “The Lost Mariner (2014), Tess want to dig deeper in using her creative practice to help others in understanding mental illness. I can sense Tess’s curiosity and play in her films, which creates charm and beauty in her work. I appreciate how she views animation as an art form and I have strong respect for her doing her own independent work. After her talk I personally want to look into art residency that I hopefully can participate in the future.

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  11. I was really enjoy of Tess Martin sharing her excellent works last week. With her vividly describe of her experience, I got a lot of inspiration. Since my last major is Environmental arts, Animation is a new major for me. So experimental animation is also a new field to me. I am so glad at the initiation stage I have chance to see Tess Martins’ fantastic works that bring me full of interest to explore. Tess Martin always pay attention to collect unique story that makes her works rich and colorful. One of the most impressive thing for me is Tess Martin has courage to try many materials to do her works. Each material have its own unique meaning and support each story. I really like one of her film that use photo to tell a long story. It seems like as same as shooting reality. However, this method can bring us many reminiscence and true feelings. I love your works very much, thanks for sharing your works.

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  12. It’s nice to see Tess Martin’s works from all time. I love the idea of the film Plan Face that only the main character doesn’t have any pattern on her face or body. It stands pretty clear what’s a person feel when she just arrives a new place. I’d love to see what’s going on in the whole story. The paper textures are so beautiful that it brings up an elegant atmosphere to the world.

    Tess Martin tries lots of different materials to make her film. Paper, sand, wall paintings and cut out live action pictures. They make her films warmer than the perfect digital animations. “They look right through you” is my favorite film from her works. It doesn’t really matter what the pets or the owners look like but we still can know them well from their stories. It’s the universal thing that people love their pets as their family. Having this film as the memories of those special family members is special and sweet.

    Almost all the films from Tess Martin are about memories. The frame of Mind seems to be an interesting project, too. I’m looking forward to watching the whole film when the time she finishes it!

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  13. All of her works that she showed us in the seminar were great and I could not eye off from the screen. It was interesting to see how her works have been changing since her first animation till the latest one. The first animation of her was simple and it allows me to the style of fine art which makes her works special and separate from typical animation. I Think her later works are combined different kinds of techniques which makes them even greater. I could guess the result is because she started work with others such as animators or artists. In addition, some of her works was so powerful even though images and sounds were calm and peaceful. Also, I was amazed by the rage of her works. Not only her animations are unique, but also the story of her exhibition shows different characters of her works. It was a great time to join her world. I thank her that she shared time and such beautiful works with us.

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  14. One of the key things that struck me about Tess’s presentation was her patience and attention to detail. The scale of her stop motion work that involves paper is extremely tiny, yet all of the moving parts interact naturally. I can only imagine how painstakingly slow the process of moving all of those parts is. Her movie “Plain Face” reminded me of the style in Eric Carle’s children books, the most famous one being “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. Both Tess and Eric take advantage of the natural texture in paper to further the enhance the imagery in their works. The two works most memorable to me were ” The Whale Story” and “The Lost Marnier”. Unlike her previous works, “The Whale Story” was a large scale animated wall painting. I think it was very smart of her to use voices of the audience to tell her story. By splicing together the different clips, Tess achieved a “RadioLab” effect of storytelling without directly using recording from the podcast, therefore she avoided needing permission from RadioLab for their recordings. I found the pacing of the story as well as the “interactive” wall drawing very compelling. Last, I think “The Lost Mernier” was one of her most impactful pieces. Her entire process of cutting out all the characters of each frame pair well with the concept of the pieces. Looking through the comments about the short on Vimeo, I can see many people who had real connections to the characters in her story. I look forward to seeing her work in “Frame of Minds” when it is completed.

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  15. Tess Martin was an incredibly inspiring speaker for me. It makes me glad to know a career as an independent female animator exists, and that the path to a career in animation doesn’t have to include an undergraduate in animation. I too studied fine arts with little to no support for animation and had to sort of teach myself for my application here. I felt pretty lost after undergrad and it amazes me how many incredible resources Tess offers for free. She’s a truly wonderful person! The idea of residencies or gallery applications isn’t new to me, but it’s my dream to be part of festivals and travel around the world. I get very intimidated with those who studied animation before coming here. I didn’t know the basic principles nor the history at even a fraction of some of my classmates. It can seem frightening to try to get my foot in the door when everyone around me seems to already know where the doorframe is and I haven’t a clue! I know for me I want to tell my own stories and create my own projects, and it amazes me at how much Tess has done! I love that she took an interest in animation history in the Pacific Northwest and now there’s this awesome organization! I wish there was more research and investment in animation history outside the studios. Especially for female animators because sometimes even in the fine art world it seems pretty lost. At the same time I don’t want to sound like a broken record because we talked about this a lot last year. I would also personally want to know the history of mentally ill animators, because I have heard on many occasions that animators are beautifully broken people.

    I should probably stop rambling about the emotional response I had to the lecture and talk more about Tess’s fantastic work. I truly appreciated that she was more interested in the conceptual meaning behind the medium. I feel this attitude is often amiss in animation. It seems like most people are really interested in craft, and making it into the big studios, and making something that looks like a big studio made it. After a while the meaning is lost. I especially responded to Tess’s first piece. It was gorgeous, and such a unique approach. The feeling washed over me, just like the sequential images wash over any viewer to evoke motion. In a similar way the seemingly different visuals came together to speak a singular idea. It was truly wonderful. I also really appreciated the whale tale. Not only because I LOVE radio lab (snap judgement, this American life, all things npr) but also because the communal aspect of the project really stuck with me. Sure the lighting isn’t perfect, but it has such an incredible energy to the animation that truly brings that story to life. I don’t think that energy could have been recreated if she had made the same animation on a computer. Not that I’m against computer animation! It just has its own energy to it. I’m currently trying to learn Maya and the like so I can experiment down the road. Everyone one of Tess’s work captures the energy in such a provoking way, that perfectly conveys the meaning of the piece. I am certain it is because of how careful Tess is to use a medium appropriate for the project that she is so successful. She is a true artist and I really look up to her.

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  16. After experimenting with stop motion for class assignments, I found Tess’s work very inspiring. Tess is a multi-talented animator/ film maker who is not afraid to experiment with avant-garde techniques. The techniques applied to her project vary depending on what she is creating. I really respect Tess’s experimentation because she is able to carry her style throughout the project. The project that stood out to me was “The Whale” because it felt like multiple mediums collaborating to produce one project. In “The Whale” she had a live actor, frame by frame animation and storytelling. Tess is able to create successful projects that involve multiple mediums while adding her own style to them.

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  17. I think what stuck with me the most about Tess is that she did not set out to be an animator but developed her skills over time and improved them with each project. It is very inspirational and encouraging that we all can be successful story tellers with out the flash. There is something very charming and refreshing about Tess’s work. I really enjoy under the camera animation in a world where our senses are constantly exposed to 3D, although I like both mediums.
    The pieces I really enjoyed were the documentary pieces. I enjoyed the Whale Story because it was done right out in the open for everyone to see and enjoy. It was nice to see her skills as a painter really come through in that piece. I also really enjoyed “They Look Right Through You.” That one really stuck with me because of the integration of the rotoscoped animation with the live action backgrounds. That is something I would really like to explore some more: working outside. I have done it once before and I really like that you can see the light change through out the animation. Its almost as if the day is animated, too.
    In all, Tess was very inspirational and I look forward to seeing her next projects.

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  18. Tess Martin’s presentation was quite interesting and informative. What was really interesting for me about her works is her courage to try different techniques. I think for an independent filmmaker it is essential to chose his or her techniques and medium based on the subject he or she is working on that. In my consideration Tess chose techniques adequately and she managed to make a good film with them. The other thing that I noticed about her work is how she changed the rythm of her works from slow pace and really long takes to more fast pace and shorter takes. I think that shows how she evolved from a fine art artist to a filmmaker. Although I like long takes myself but I think using them in appropriate situation is what really give them value. I like her last film the most. I think the maturity of her vision in film making was obvious in that film.

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  19. Tess Martin’s works are very thoughtful. She used variety of materials to accomplish her goal of animation. We also have similar experience to use different materials to make a film in our first semester. Sometimes it’s super hard to control the materials like sand. But when you overcome all the difficulties and finish whole film, the result will surprise you. It would be more than what you expected. In Tess’s film “The Lost Mernier”, she used cutting out to tell the story. The emotion of the story was very strong and it make me remember the most. The cutting out form helps the story very much. I really look forward to see her work when it is completed.

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  20. “People seem to think that exploring a lot of techniques means you’ll be mediocre at a lot of things – I just don’t care what people think.” – Tess Martin

    As someone who holds the belief that the idea is everything and technique is the skin, I believe that different ideas fit best in different skins; one size does not fit all. I’ve always been curious to explore a range of media, not feeling tied to any one in particular. In contrast, I’ve heard it said that artists ought to find their niche that makes their work easy to recognize and categorize. Tess herself touched on the pressure to conform to this mould, saying “galleries think [my work] is too film and festivals think it’s too art”. However, being the badass independent artist she is, Tess is continually increasing the repertoire of mediums she’s worked with as her achievements grow. Tess liberated me from feeling like I need to stick to a particular technique, validating that it’s possible to be simultaneously both versatile and successful. I’m really glad she spoke early in the semester, because what I took away from her example is something monumental to my development as an artist. A huge thank you to Tess for the eye opening presentation outlining her history as an animator, and for being the relentless trailblazer she is. I’ll be looking forward to watching “Frame of Mind”!

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  21. I really appreciated how Tess’s lecture explored conceptual and artistic ideas while also addressing the practicality of what it looks like to live a life as an independent animator. It’s clear that Tess is a giving person by nature as she pours this quality into seemingly every facet of the work she does. By running organizations like Haptic (which is: WOW! what an amazing resource) she is paving a path that empowers other artists to lead independent careers similar to hers. There is so much in this world to discourage artists from pursuing their visions so I find her action on this front to be a truly powerful thing.

    While Haptic represents Tess’s drive to share her wealth of information and resources, I find her piece, “The Whale Story” to echo a similar idea of fostering a creative community. I love that this public art piece actively involved passersby and gave strangers a chance to share a steak in creativity of her art piece. While I really love animation created by a singular artist, I think there’s a real beauty to works created by a community of minds. “The Whale Story” finds a way of taking these two aspects I like in animation while forgoing the typical great big team of animators. “The Whale Story” becomes less about the Radiolab story on which it is based and more about the city of Seattle as a living breathing organism. It is as much a document of the urban space and the people who lived there as it is a retelling of a wounded, awe-inspiring animal. The construction wall Tess painted this animation on is now gone as a train station stands in its place. Seattle is undergoing tremendous changes as tech companies like Amazon dig their heals into the city and effect a chain reaction of rising rents, sprouting high-rises, and an all-around denser city. The open ocean we see in Tess’s story is simply no longer there.

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  22. Funding for the arts can be so difficult to acquire in the United States. Grants seem few and far between for artists that just want to produce work and not have to rely on what’s interactive, socially engaging or supportive of the many things underrepresented in our society. I think Tess Martin just goes for it and produces work without being constrained by the fears of funding or public opinion. I’m sure that she does deal with those questions and fears to an extent, but Tess comes off as confident and I guess I would say, “artistically bad ass.”

    I wish I could just drop everything and go make art out of mediums that I find intriguing. Just leave and not worry about how I’ll live, or how exactly my work will come off to whoever out there is actually paying attention. I should be doing that now, but you can’t really be free when tuition is so high and you’re constantly worrying about what move to make next that will affect the rest of your life. Graduate school becomes a completely different animal when the process also enslaves you to debt. Trying to figure out how to prepare for the onslaught of hefty monthly payments with the tools at hand illuminates the artist within me and instead I’m struggling to understand the hustle of the entertainment industry.

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  23. If you’re an artist and you would like to travel, Tess Martin is your go to gal!! Her knowledge and experience of artist retreats and abroad artist programs is unparalleled! The Denmark residency open to international animation students sounds like an unbelievably amazing opportunity, and the prospect of opening a small business in the Netherlands with a special visa, becomes more and more appealing with the daunting prospect of Trump as US president.

    I appreciated all of Tess’s animations, but two I made note of so I would not forget. First: While short and soft, Tess’s 12 frame stencil loop of a whale and a boat (Silence in Time) was so simple, yet the lighting and contained movement, added to its elegant beauty. Second: The addition of the aerial time-lapse utilized in Brenda on My Mind, adds to the meaning of the piece because it highlights the importance of city layout/street organization through its juxtaposition to a carefully edited and composed series of closer more intimate clips which give the aerial shot a “big picture” feel. One lesson I won’t forget from Tess’s lecture was that an animation reaches its full potential when the animation technique supports and adds to the story (which is why The Lost Mariner is so compelling). Another bit of advice that will no doubt come in handy is to try modeling sand when doing sand animation, so the sand stays slightly more compact.

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  24. Tess’s lecture was absolutely fantastic. She certainly has a ‘sense of touch’ in her work (haha!… ok I’m not funny :|). But seriously, what I most appreciate about her work is that the medium contributes to the content. I feel so often in animation people are so concerned with craft that the meaning behind the work lost! This is something that was driven into my brain when studying painting. Why paint? Why that stroke? Why cerulean and not kings blue? Why study painting? What are you doing with your life? Why are you sleeping on the floor, haven’t you seen the cockroaches? These are all important questions. For the most part questions like these seem lacking in the small portion of animation that I’ve sampled (Mar does handle the cockroach questions pretty well). Why copy UPA? Why were these artists creating these styles? What does it contribute to the work? I feel like questions like these are rarely asked. Especially in computer animation. It’s so competitive in animation and so little support for the arts that all the focus is on the craft, getting into a studio, and eventually the art is forgotten. Just popping out Finding Bruce, Trucks 8 and Toy Story 11 with plots based off the mustard stain on the napkin from John Lasseter’s last hot dog. Ok, maybe Finding Bruce would be cool. I would see that movie, because sharks.

    For me, the insights Tess gave will stick with me for years to come, and her work is stunning. I had a very strong emotional response to this lecture, because it really eased a lot of my anxieties about my own work. I too studied fine arts in my undergrad and had very little support in seeking out animation. I had to teach myself a lot of the things I did for my application here at USC. I sometimes feel very intimidated by how much other students who studied animation here know. Especially in how many of them already sort of know what they want out of animation. I have just been introduced to many new ideas like documentary animation, abstract animation (abstraction releases the viewer!), the 12 fundamentals of animation, screen writing, debt, and especially animation history. I honestly didn’t know that things like sand animation or pinpoint existed until coming here, and to be perfectly seriously they blew me away. Being someone so new to animation, socially awkward, and morally unable to stomach namedropping to impress people… I felt pretty lost and unsure how I would become an independent fancy experimental animator. I certainly failed to do that very same thing as a painter, so how could I put my foot in the door for an even smaller circle? It can sometimes feel very insurmountable to be part of the animation realm. Tess really made it seem the opposite of that. She is so welcoming and supportive. It amazes me how Tess paved a path for herself, and is so supportive of other independent filmmakers in the process. I personally have a dream of making my own films, experimenting with new ideas, and traveling around. Tess is doing that very thing!

    I love these websites!! I looked over Haptic, and I truly think I will be going back to this website for years. The thing I love most about Haptic is how it’s celebrating not just independent animators, but also the history of animation in a certain region. I can be kind of a nostalgic person, but I really love the smaller histories of places that are often overlooked. Usually in history that are these big events we go over without really looking into why. In Art History one of my professors once said that to look at the history of art is to look at the history of culture. Art says so much about culture, and how we got to where we are today. When I paint I have to look up the history of the location I’m painting, or I just feel disconnected. Animation history is so lost sometimes, and especially seemingly dominated not just by studios but male artists. I won’t delve too much into that because we talked about it a lot last year in seminar, but for me I think animation history is being molded so often by people who choose to not include many important voices. For me I especially wish to know the history of mental illness and animation, I’ve heard on many occasions that animators are beautifully broken people. I suppose we’d have to be to have the patience to do what we do. Yet it’s projects like Animated Minds that really interest me. Animation is a modern art form, and it seems invaluable to document it and all it’s unique cultural forms.

    As far as Tess’s work I watched all the videos on her website (not creepy, right! :D). There’s so much to discover in her work from zoetropes, to snowballs, to informational videos about water that it’s really hard to select one film that sticks out. As I said before what I truly appreciate is how the medium of choice is carefully chosen to contribute to the work’s meaning and energy. While Whale Story could have been done different. Hired a voice actor, animated in TVPaint or Maya – the energy would not have been nearly as communal as it was with Tess’s technique of using the wall and strangers as voice actors. The story became a universal one, a story that is told and told again. And it is truly. I think even pixilation contributes to the meaning of the film. Capturing certain moments, and facts to create a picture – but maybe not everything is included. That is the very idea of a story. This is just one example of how the medium Tess uses’s serve as metaphor for her projects, hoe she not only captures the story but also includes a distinct energy that couldn’t be recreated. It’s simply fantastic.

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  25. Tess Martin’s presentation was inspiring, her works were beautiful. She has wide range of work, from paper cut, paint, wire figures and sand animation. I especially like the whale story, almost life sized whale painted on the wall and have a real actor interacting with it. I think it proved it to be more than just another experiment in animation but a dynamic blend of visual and audio narrative. Martin mentioned that animation really is this great balance of freedom and restriction. There is a lot of stuff people can do with animation that can’t do any other way. I agree with her, animation is powerful media, which give people the power to expend their imagination and make inanimate objects do stuff that people wouldn’t normally do, and it is a joyful process. And thanks her for all the resources.

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  26. Tess Martin uses many techniques to create her world in her animations, including the use of simple compositions and natural colors. It’s funny that when I saw her work “A Moment’s Reverie”, it reminded me my home country, Japan from the beginning, then later I found out that it was inspired by her stay there. It’s surprising that she can create a very certain atmosphere and feeling with simple composition and materials. I like the way which she animates animals and I fell that I can feel her love towards them.

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  27. What an informative and interesting presentation! I really enjoyed Tess Martin and her work. I always love seeing the progression of an artist and what they create, and in this case with Tess it was especially interesting to see the different ways she worked and what she focused on. I’m really looking forward to keeping up with her films, and to see what happens next with her current project. One of my grandmother’s had Alzheimer’s, so ‘The Lost Mariner’ and what she’s currently working with ‘The Frame of Mind’ on really struck home with me. I also just loved the 12 frame stencil loop, it was gorgeous. I can imagine staring at that for a long, long time if I had seen it in person in the gallery space.

    I feel like I greatly benefited from Tess’ presentation, not just in an artistic inspirational point, but also regarding how she discussed the residencies at length and what those entailed. I think as artists, all of us have this wanderlust in us and to know that we can apply for these residencies and live all over the world while getting paid to create STUFF is just the best thing ever. I’ve heard about residencies but didn’t really know much about them, and boy will I be checking those out.

    Thank you Tess, for spending the time here to show us your amazing work, to talk to us, and for answering all of our questions!!

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  28. What an inspiring and amazing presentation!
    I really appreciated Tess Martin’s great work and presentation. Visually, her works are so elegant. From the inside, her stories are very powerful.
    What resonated me most was “the Whale Story”. the concept of this piece is very deep: the bridge of communication between species is hard to cross. Another thing that triggered me a lot is this piece has a interaction between a painted animal with a human actor, which also made this piece more like a multi-media live action.
    Another piece that resonated me a lot is”Mario The Lost Mariner” which gets inspiration from a old traditional Italian folk music. visually, the simple and neat design represents the purity of this folk music.
    Thank you Tess, looking forward to see what’s coming up next!

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  29. I think Tess Martin’s presentation was very informative. Though I don’t think my career path will be an individual/experimental artist, it was still very interesting to listen how she’s been travelling many places and making great works.
    The fact that I liked the most about her work is she’s more concentrated on the actual contents(story) over techniques themselves. I always think animation, or animation techniques are just means of delivering stories – so it was very pleasing to watch her films, strong messages with diverse styles.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, work, and many information. It was a great lecture!

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  30. Tess Martin gave a great presentation on her journey in the art form of animation. I appreciate that she shared her experience with different residencies. Residencies are a great way to find new expressions through experiencing different locations world wide. I really love that she has found freedom to be eclectic in the mediums that she works with on different projects.

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  31. Tess Martin’s presentation was really inspiring. In tonight’s seminar, I found the greatest potential in artist. Being an independent freelancer, She used her imaginary to explore possibilities in her works, which is really encouraging and powerful.
    One of her work, “The Whale Story”, catch my eyes. What resonate me is the connection between actor, animation and vocal. Using different voice to tell the story is subtle and touching. The emotions of every voice actors become a strong element in this work. I really love it.

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  32. I quite enjoyed Tess’ seminar this week,her working experience were quite inspiring . Even though her kind of animation is pretty much the polar opposite of the kind I would like to pursue myself.I appreciate that she shared her experience with different residencies. Residencies are a great way to find new expressions through experiencing different locations world wide. I always want to be a independent artist so Tess’s presentation is really useful and informative . Thank you.

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  33. It’s fantastic to be in the presentation by Tess Martin. I enjoyed a lot by listening to her experiences about applying art residencies and stories behind each film. With confidential voice and crystal clear eyes, I can see the strength of a female artist who dedicates to showing audiences the world and the concept in her mind. And I was deeply impressed by the reason why she utilizes layers of paper to create works. From her perspective, Paper is something unreal that can reveal hyper realistic. Plus, diverse papers have different textures which can demonstrate the complex visions from societies. By viewing her pieces from Plain Face, The whale Story, Slices in Time to Frame Of Mind, something amazing is that she is never satisfied with specific forms or materials. She kept trying and challenging herself with brilliant strategies and making processes. And the most critical part of her characteristics is that she always searches for a new way to express her ideas and feels pleasant while creating art works.

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  34. Tess Martin is a “typical” independent animation artist, she showed her wanderful works to us, these works has a strong personal style, various forms of media, which is used as an independent animation artist’s advantage. But I personally comment is that the independent will also bring some “negative effects”, generally independent animation quality is lower than the “commercial animation”, many people can not understand these works, because the abstraction of unique style sometimes is to much. The media she used was also I was learn from Lisa’s class, and not too many media innovation. This reminds me that I want to see balance in personal style and general audience, even as an independent animation artist.

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