What GIF best describes how you are currently feeling?
Oh, that’s easy:
You graduated with a degree in sculpture. How did you get into creating hand illustrated GIFs? What was the first GIF you made?
I started making very simple hand-drawn animations by the end of school. My first gifs were ways to document the flipbooks I would make from my frames. Now that I think about it, I guess I’ve always been interested in gifs that still showcase drawing by hand. Here’s one of those early ones:
What attracts you to the GIF format?
Immediacy and accessibility. I’m interested in quiet art with a big presence. Unlike movies which require long periods of physical immobility and blast you with sound, the gif is something you can scroll by, almost not even noticing it. A gif demands only as much attention as you have to give it. Because they are brief and only have a visual component, when a gif is powerful, it’s done with economy and intelligence.
What kind of a process do you go through to create your art?
Most of the time, I’m rendering an object that exists in real life. So first I have to figure out what that thing moves like/looks like. Then, I draw the frames on sheets of tracing paper with mechanical pencils, scan them in, sequence them in photoshop, export…and voilà.
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from taking walks. For me, the best ideas in the world come from things we don’t notice right away. The most interesting thing could be a small bug or a crumple of trash on the sidewalk.
Who are a few of your favorite artists?
Conor Backman, Moonassi, Robyn O’Neil, Hanna Hur, John Bohl, and, curator, Max Guy. Taking it way back, Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Current favorite GIF?
All of Natalia Stuyk’s GIFs
Tell us a bit about your upcoming show in Cape Town.
Next month, I have an exhibition with Ledelle Moe in Cape Town, South Africa, at a gallery called Commune1. “Traces” features my biggest mechanical pencil drawings, some of which span over 10 feet long, and Ledelle’s large-scale concrete sculptures. The show imagines a landscape where humans no longer exist, but their monuments—buildings, statues, etc—remain.
The show has actually been a huge process. Last year we erected a very similar show, which was called “Solitary Stones on A Rocky Shore,” and was curated by Max Guy at a gallery called Open Space in Baltimore, Maryland. Very tragically, the space caught fire just two days before the opening. The building was condemned. Much of the work was damaged. Since both of our works touched on the power of natural disaster, Ledelle and I were both startled by the loss…not to mention devastated. Now, exactly a year later, we have the chance to do the show again, hopefully this time it will be even better!
Any fun projects you are currently working on and can share with us?
Yes! Lots. Two in particular: first, I’m working with a programmer, making mouth-animations for a speech app. Second, I’m collaborating with a bunch of great illustrators on a tarot deck. Hopefully both of these projects will be released this fall. As always, I’m animating and drawing all the time.
Want more? Check out more amazing hand drawn GIF art from Miranda Pfeiffer on Giphy.com…and if you have a Mac iOS 10.8 or higher be sure to download the screensaver!
A piece on a hardworking and thoughtful artist who went to my alma mater. Dig it.