You Gotta Follow Your Heart to Make Great Art
I’ll be honest, I can barely draw or paint. However, what I lack in art technique, I’d like to think I make up for in creativity and imagination. I’ve been making collages on wood and canvas for years, and have always wanted to animate them. This is how I got into making GIFs which, I have to say, is a ridiculously fun process that I’d encourage you to try.
Now, I’ll admit I was lucky–I did have an animator friend show me some basics on how to use Photoshop to make stuff move. However, this is something you can totally learn from YouTube tutorials. Sure, there’s a learning curve but once you start goofing around with GIFs, you’ll be hooked. Trust me! I won’t bore you with instructions on how to make a GIF. Rather, I wanted to share my thoughts on what I feel makes a great GIF. First off, you don’t necessarily need art skills to make them. After I used up all the stuff from my personal portfolio, I realized I could pull facial expressions, body parts and landscapes from preexisting stuff I found on the Internet (mostly from Early Renaissance paintings). Basically, if you can’t make it, look for it. I believe that some of the most imaginative GIFs are made with quirky source material that people find online.
I like making people laugh. It’s why in my GIFs you’ll see a fox painted over 500 years ago playing bongos or a historically famous monarch using a remote controlled Lamborghini while a shirtless onlooker jams on a keytar. I like to breathe humour into imagery that wasn’t originally intended to be funny. GIFs are a form of entertainment, and I find the funniest ones tend to get the most attention. With GIFs, humour is king! Mind you, it would be interesting to see a series of utterly depressing GIFs…
I know this will probably come across as sounding massively clichéd, but with all art you really have to be yourself (GIFs included). Don’t let other GIFs influence your creative decisions and certainly don’t aim to replicate what others are already doing. Find your own angle and people will appreciate it. Be original and carve out your own niche. People will eventually take notice.
Lastly, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously. Not every GIF you make is going to be great or memorable, but while you’re going through the process, you’ll learn invaluable lessons that will bring you closer to where you want to be. From my experience, GIF making is all about proving an old proverb right- practice makes perfect!
– Jason “Scorpion Dagger” Kerr
MONTREAL’S SCORPION DAGGER (BEST HANDLE, RIGHT?) BASICALLY CHUCKS RENAISSANCE ART, POP CULTURE AND HILARIOUSNESS INTO A DIGI-BLENDER TO CREATE THE MOST RIDONKULUS GIFS EVER MADE. LULZ- MAXIMUS, WE SWEAR!