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One of my favourite pieces by Roger Ebert is his “Great Movies” appreciation of Spirited Away (read it in full here). At the end of the piece he details an encounter he had with Hayao Miyazaki himself, where Miyazaki defines one of the key differences between the work of Studio Ghibli and mainstream American animation. I can see his words relating to comics as well, and these words are well-worth reading for any creative and parent.
Here is the excerpt from Ebert’s piece:
I was so fortunate to meet Miyazaki at the 2002 Toronto film festival. I told him I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or sigh, or gaze at a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.
“We have a word for that in Japanese,” he said. “It’s called ‘ma.’ Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.” He clapped his hands three or four times. “The time in between my clapping is ‘ma.’ If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness.”
I think that helps explain why Miyazaki’s films are more absorbing than the frantic action in a lot of American animation. “The people who make the movies are scared of silence” he said, “so they want to paper and plaster it over,” he said. “They’re worried that the audience will get bored. But just because it’s 80 percent intense all the time doesn’t mean the kids are going to bless you with their concentration. What really matters is the underlying emotions—that you never let go of those.
“What my friends and I have been trying to do since the 1970’s is to try and quiet things down a little bit; don’t just bombard them with noise and distraction. And to follow the path of children’s emotions and feelings as we make a film. If you stay true to joy and astonishment and empathy you don’t have to have violence and you don’t have to have action. They’ll follow you. This is our principle.”
He said he has been amused to see a lot of animation in live-action superhero movies. “In a way, live action is becoming part of that whole soup called animation. Animation has become a word that encompasses so much, and my animation is just a little tiny dot over in the corner. It’s plenty for me.”
It’s plenty for me, too.
A couple people asked me how I vary my leaves and trees and honestly, it’s super easy! I’ve never made a tutorial/guide before so I kept this mega simple but I hope someone out there might find it useful at least!
Also, anyone can download the brushes I use for all my art on my tumblr page (: I only use around 5 so go nuts haha
Wow! Reblogging this for reference. I gotta start drawing more backgrounds.
Gothic, glamorous take on Japanese-inspired style.
I think I’m in love….
stiff square shoulders, obi-esque middle, and pleated fabric, oh my
Some amazing design shape work…
Positively drooling over these silhouettes.
In the Fox Forest
- Limited Edition Screen Print -
We have several new art prints available! I’ll be posting info about them over the next few days. Here is the first one…a part of an ongoing series of eerie, little adventures.