This collection of animations is an homage to existentialism and stems from a desire to share my memories of peaceful environments with anyone who cares to stop and look. I find peace and comfort in looking at the world outside of my own perspective. I feel most human and interconnectivity with others when I boil down my existence to a fraction of a blip on the timeline of the universe. Astronomer Carl Sagan says it best in his famous book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space; “In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves”. My animations are meant to envelop you in a breath of serenity.
To create a calming experience, I made use of gradients, lighting effects, and sound. To begin, I accessed my own memories and thought back to times when I have felt tranquil introspection. Plaza is representative of my times in the town square of Pénjamo, Guanajuato. Remy is a portrait of my walks in the woods with my cat of 10 years. Bedroom is my safe place, home. There is heavy use of pink and yellow in the animation; warm toned light has always represented sanctuary for me. Teotihuacan is my personal tribute to the Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest pyramid in the world and an integral part to the mystery that surrounds the Pre-Hispanic city. Peaceful magic can occur anywhere, it doesn’t have to be a pyramid or a Stonehenge to make you appreciate the majesty in nature which leads me to Kayaking. I’ve lived in Dahlonega since I was 6; I have enjoyed exploring the many watering holes available in the area. Kayaking on the river is one of my favorite ways to experience nature. In my youth I found what I believed to be my own daffodil patch by my own tree. This patch of daffodils would announce to me the beginning of spring and I would make the yearly pilgrimages in February to “my” tree and see if “my flowers” had begun to push through the snow yet. Daffodils is the first time I have documented my favorite tree on earth during my favorite time of the year. Guanajuato City is the capital of my mom’s state and it is built straight into a mountain which makes for narrow and steep streets. The strange urban planning makes it feel like you have stepped into another world. Lastly is Dover Beach, inspired by Matthew Arnold’s poem of the same name. The poem describes a vast landscape with glimmering white cliffs; his words sprouted images in my brain which I have transposed onto paper and screen in this exhibition.
This project is something akin to a journal; images instead of words to memorialize life moments. Painting these scenes was therapeutic for me because it allowed me to tangibly see the images that are normally bouncing around in my mind. My choice to create animations versus still images was driven by my desire to learn and to instill life into the painting. The process of pose to pose animation meant that the scene stayed still for a long time until I was satisfied with the composition. The moment I added another keyframe and the painting began to move I would get a feeling of exhilaration; it was as if the painting had gained a life of its own, even though I was in full control of the movement. I chose to create gifs because of the repetition of movement; the removal of suspense aids in the ability to get lost in the animation. If you look at the gifs and find your mind becoming quieter, then the animations have had the effect I desired. I created prints from the animations and placed a QR code beside each one. Using your phone camera or camera app to scan the code will lead to a compilation video that contains all the animations. Doing this, you can hopefully experience the same joy I did when my static painting began to move and gain life.
This was 8 original gifs that I compiled into 1 video in order to create the maximum relaxing experience.
©2020 Indra Valdez, All Rights Reserved
digital art, gif, relaxing, Mexico, animation, looping