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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Compose Through Metaphor

“I never make work that is careless.” Tezuka Osamu

While discussing experimental animation during an interview he gave during the 1960’s, Tezuka Osama explained that he desired to introduce the good parts of Japanese animation to the world. He wanted it to be understood internationally or globally. “I would like to convey big messages to the world,” he said. So he began to make pieces for an international audience so that others would understand and care.

To convey his messages of animation and life, culture, humor and irony he worked with familiar images drawn from universal theme and experience. He built upon common ground to engage his viewers, and then angled the image or the expectation of the story in a way that it became a fresh insight and a means of communication. He thoroughly enjoyed the different perspectives that people saw after viewing his style of experimentation.

Next week we’ll look at some of the techniques Osamu used but for now here’s a glimpse into one of his pieces.

The titles he chose also provided an introduction to his images and concepts: Jump, A Memory, Mermaid, and Legend of the Forest, showing a wide range of topics and idea grist. Often we forget that our titles are as valuable as the metaphor images themselves. Titles, characters, music and images all intertwined as metaphor in his animation.

Here is Osamu’s list of characters (images) for his short film, Tales of a Street Corner.

According to the caption these are the people who live at this corner. Note their variety.
            : a friendly girl and a teddy bear
            : a naughty mouse
            : a plant with seeds
            :an old street light
            : a street Punk “Moth”
            : a woman on a poster
            : a young violinist on a poster

Journal Prompt:

1.     Choose two of these characters and make up a sketch of them even if you are a stick figure artist.  (Like me)

2.     Then from your interpretation choose a word image or metaphor as their main personality characteristic.

Share:  Whom did you choose? Why? What is your word metaphor for them?

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