On Monday I traveled to MICA where I will be teaching the course Studio Remix
, to create an adaptation of "The Snow Queen," by Hans Christian Andersen. It was an incredible and serendipitous moment when I got the call from Jose Villarrubia (thanks to a referral from my great friend Yuko Shimizu) to head the class along with David Drake, fabulous theater director and actor.
So many names.
My apologies, but it helps to frame the story.
Together we are working with our students to construct a version of Andersen's fairytale that is rooted in present day with some fantastical elements.
To stop and think silently to myself about it makes the project seem quite daunting, but as we concretize each step along the way, the anxiety that comes with tackling such an impressive assignment begins to wan.
This is such a relevant project not just in way of the meaning that we've chosen to derive from the story as being one of the protagonists' coming of age, but also that the illustration work that we are doing is being placed within a different forum. As the landscape of illustration continues to change, new opportunities are beginning to surface. It's exciting to be a part of this, for the students to witness and experience the breadth and new functionality of their work and collaboration.
I'm keeping the details vague, as the project has not yet been fleshed out entirely, however there might be options which favour a more multi-media approach when using their work.
I understand that animation and projections, and sounds effects and sculptures have existed for years, but I think that in a traditional Illustration learning environment those uses and applications have been held at a distance; not on purpose, but rather because there was no immediate need to combine disciplines. When the world is rich and there are so many choices, it's easy to create so much separation and so much categorical division because there is a demand for everything. But when the economy shrinks and the pool gets smaller, or perhaps alters its form -- what then?
No, I'm not suggesting that Illustrators become Jacks and Janes of all trades
, but if we're to use this analogy maybe cultivating a relationship with that playful part of ourselves could give rise to innovation.
I'm hoping that these students will see and become inspired by the new role that their work will play, and align illustration in general with video and animation, with sculpture and fine art, and with graphic design and performance.
You can track the development of our production on tumblr.com
(Yeah, that's right, I wrote tumblr... I feel like I'm sleeping with my lover's cousin).