Category: Animations

Nickelodeon spots from 2013

Ten years ago I got to work with an incredible team of creative people at Nickelodeon to make a collection of network IDs for the holidays. It was the opportunity of a lifetime and an experience I’ll cherish forever.

Together we came up with the concepts and I worked like crazy to knit up a ton of characters and props, including some Nick stars that I got to render in yarn. 🤩 Then we did an intense 2-day shoot in Times Square to make the stop-motion magic happen.

I remember feeling bittersweet when it was over, because this unique educational and affirming experience was coming to an end, and also because it coincided with my move from NYC to Chicago. It was quite a way to say goodbye to the city!

Then, incredibly, I DID get to work with them again the following year, although the next time I stayed in Chicago and shipped my knits out to the team, who then animated them in NYC.

So much gratitude to Matthew Dunteman, who made the whole thing happen. And to Steph Shank, who was the brilliant mind behind much of it, including those adorable 2-D clips!

Inflation animations for the Washington Post

The Washington Post (!) recently asked me to make a series of six short stop-motion animations visualizing what’s happened with inflation in the U.S. since early 2020, for an interactive piece by Damian Paletta. I said yes!

The project was an absolute blast to work on, and a terrific challenge with all the air physics involved, plus a tight deadline.

The resulting piece requires a subscription to view, but you can also see the animations in this Instagram post.  

Here are a couple of my lovely sketches based on the concept from the art director.

As you might imagine, making a balloon shrink and expand and float took some movie magic. By “magic,” I mean it was a lotta lotta DPNs to erase in Photoshop.

Here’s a wider behind-the-scenes look at my set. This shows my attempt to light everything to the best of my abilities.

Of course, I had to make a bunch of characters and props in a short amount of time for this project. Fortunately, they were all tiny and quick to design and make.

And there were quite a few things I didn’t have to design from scratch: the sun, the original-sized balloon, and the clouds are from my book Adventures in Mochimochi Land. Plus, a (modified) Bluebird of Crappiness stood in as Fed chairman Jerome Powell!

Big thanks to Emily Wright for hiring me for this dream project!