Working Title? Oil

I’m enjoying this so very much.

This animation is on a scroll of paper that I purchased from IKEA. I’ve been making scrolls on this stuff since 2008. I really love working this way – on scrolls, I mean. I’ve always thought animation and scrolls are intertwined.

This was my first attempt, but I chanced my mind and decided to work in the opposite direction (to go down instead of up, from this point of view). I got to seven seconds of footage, which is 168 frames, before I abandoned this one.

The above photo shows me wrapping up this scene. It was about 8 hours of work, with a lunch break and dog walks.

Below, the final scroll.

It’s worth mentioning – and, really essential that I explain – that the music in this was the starting point of this animation. In fact, every animation that I’ve produced this year (12? 14?) began with some audio that I authored. This was recorded with a Moog, and I love it. I hope you do, too!


I love the writing of Haruki Murakami. His stories take simple, mundane elements and make them sublime, and they frequently brush against the metaphysical.

He’s written about Spaghetti several times. I was inspired years ago to cook it quite often, like a character from one of his stories.

I’m not going to admit how many hours I spent in the following video, but it was more than seven. It’s a WIP, and is rough, and I see things that I should fix, if I decide to develop it further.

I started with the sounds. I recorded them in my kitchen (as mentioned before) and then put together the soundtrack, with the idea it would be about someone cooking spaghetti. In fact, I recorded myself cook spaghetti that night.

I wanted to to keep it simple and for this to be a “quickie,” which, after the hours started to spread over several days, it was not a “quickie.” My original idea was to have a pot of water boiling. Not so interesting, so I thought someone should fill the pot with water, put it on the stove, start the burner going, and check the spaghetti. These scenes definitely pushed this past “quickie,” and I actually drew several characters that might be my cook in this one. I settled on this bug fellow, and I like his reach. As you can see, I started with the pot on the stove, already filled.

I drew each frame by hand, scanned them into my computer, and touched up the drawings in Photoshop. I rendered the final video with Premiere. And I have to thank my friend Dusten for the steam and boiling sounds, recorded on my phone in our office at work.

I hope you like it.