Animating with Harriet and Day Light Savings Reset

Friday I met with Harriet Patton at her house to work on an animation for Elegy to Connie.  After catching up at her dining room table, we brainstormed ideas for spelling out her name.  She pulled out her first aid kit, that she used when she was a school nurse, and we began to animate her name using the tools inside the kit.  We had a lot of fun and when we finished her name, her mind was already rolling to the next scene.  She had collected several nursing doll figurines over time, mostly they had been gifted to her.  She created a scene where the nurse dolls were serving and helping other figurines.  We animated these characters in a record amount of time.  It had taken a long time for our schedules to meet, but once we were together it was so easy.

Friday night I met up with a friend to go listen to Michelle Alexander's talk at the MO history museum. She spoke about her book The New Jim Crow and went over her thesis on how the prison systems are a new form of Jim Crow laws in the U.S. as prisons have multiplied 4x's since the 70's, and are incarcerating predominantly men of color with minor drug incidences that brand them for life and deny them opportunities like social services, voting rights, and access to education, when they leave the prison system thusly creating a vicious cycle these men can't escape.  The prison industrial complex at its worst- a for profit industry with hidden racist roots.  I look forward to reading the book.

Meanwhile, my brother, who is working as my animation assistant, and I continue to work in the studio and I am happy to say that we are nearly to the 10 minute point with this last scene of the movie.  Which means we are within the schedule of actually completing the animation by the end of the year!
Reaching this goal on Saturday, meant I was able to take off work on Sunday, and give myself a much needed break.  I wrote, cleaned, and did laundry.  Then I met up with my family to take a beautiful drive down to St. Mary's, MO to look at the fall leaves and visit the antique mall.  If I was painting right now, I'd be in landscape heaven as it was as close to a rainbow palette as I'd ever seen.  Blue sky- red, orange, yellow, green leaves, and purple shadows.  When we rolled out of the antique mall it was pitch black.

Daylight savings time starts to send our winter minds into reflection as we are forced inside due to the early darkness and approaching colder weather.

I'm using this as a chance to reset myself as well, wake up earlier, spend more time in reflection.  I am thinking about this- What is the narrative I tell myself about my life and in what way is it working and what needs to change?  I am feeling better than last week but want to use that frustration as a source of understanding.  Among these deadlines I've got to find a way to take care of myself and keep balanced with exercise, food, and relaxation time.

I caught the end of an NPR program about defining success. As we drove along the Hwy 61s, I thought -what is not working with my definition of success and what is working?  With my own art work- I am not fully interested in validation of my artwork by selling it for expensive prices, I would like to however get by.  After I finish this film, I am considering what would it look like to put less emphasis on succeeding through the pre-existing routes of the art world- say gallery representation/ major shows, college teaching job and instead place a greater emphasis on locating a job that gives me a quality of life and time to make things.  I'm also going to trust my instincts and not be set on using these chains as the way to share my film. Anyways, this is a question I am going to dig deeper into this month.


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