Book Binding Vlog

Book Binding Vlog - Jessica McLeod-Yu

I have always loved creating my own booklets and used to make photocopy style comics and magazines. Though, an actual hard cover book was always too complex for me to figure out at the time. Towards the end of 2020, my curiosity was sparked again and I wanted to give it a go.

The Vlog below talks about the process of creating my first hard cover book, from dying the paper, sewing the spine and making a paper press, as well as the challenges I faced along the way. Book binding is a whole discipline in itself and difficult to execuite well. However, I thought this was an endearing project and it gives me so much joy using the final book as a journal to write and sketch in. Each page is individually dyed and has it’s own texture and colour. (And it also smells delicious!) I intend to try out more book binding styles in the future, but for the time being, I’m very happy with how this one turned out.

CLICK on the video below to see the full Vlog!

ART & VIDEO:
Website: http://www.jess-mcl.com​
Youtube: @Rocket Child
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYLb…​
Instagram: @rocket1111child
https://www.instagram.com/rocket1111c…​
Facebook: @rocket1111child
https://www.facebook.com/rocket1111ch…​

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Cheap & Easy DIY Camera Rig

How To Make a Cheap & Easy DIY Camera Rig

This last year I became more serious about publishing more videos on my youtube channel. For the time being I’m more comfortable publishing speed drawing videos of my digital art. That is because it is easier for me to do screen capture recordings on my computer. In contrast, making progress videos of real life art projects have been a challange, such as changing light (day light and indoor lights), getting phone calls when I’m using my phone as a camera, the table shaking when I move and more.

To solve these problems, I decided to design a camera mount that would allow consistent recording for traditional art. The frame is made of PVC pipes that are strong, light weight, and can be taken appart for easy storage. The top part has X and Y sliders that allow for easy repositioning of the camera, and the open frame structure allows room to add fabric to be used as a potential photo box.

While it can be used to film progress videos, I feel as though it also has the potential to be used for animation as well. By attaching a webcam, and having Dragonframe installed on a computer, this frame can be used for stop motion animation as well. So if you’re the type of person who likes more organic, textured artwork this can be an easy solution to a faster work flow for digitise your traditional artwork.

In the video below I talk more indept on how I came up with the idea, and I show how objects look when they are positioned within the rig.

CLICK below to see the full video on How To Make a Cheap & Easy DIY Camera Rig

ART & VIDEO:
Website: http://www.jess-mcl.com​
Youtube: @Rocket Child
https://www.youtube.com/c/RocketChild
Instagram: @rocket1111child
https://www.instagram.com/rocket1111child​
Facebook: @rocket1111child
https://www.facebook.com/rocket1111child

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Summer Vibes by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite​
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/3flRW7C​
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/Bohw8ikZaSI​
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How To Make a Portable RECORDING BOOTH – Studio VLOG

"Portable Recording Studio" Jessica McLeod-Yu, rocket child

I’ve been recording my own music and dialogue for years to go with my animations and videos. However, it’s always such a hastle getting all my equipment out and prepared, especially if I have to travel. This last year I decided to come up with a solution and build a PORTABLE MUSIC STUDIO inside of a briefcase. It’s a cheap, lightweight and professional way to record dialogue, music and sounds on the go, especially if I have to visit clients or friends. I’ve already tried it (as demonstrated in the video), and it works really well and takes away the hustle of setting up random bits of equipment.

It’s still a bit difficult to focus on performing, and recording documentary footage, which is why the guitar video bits don’t sync up. However, I have discovered the wonders of Adobe Character Animator and making my own character avatar, which has allowed me to playfully express myself, without having to be directly. I think it’s pretty cool.

(For those who wonder what I sound like singing… now you know.)

CLICK below to see the full video on How To Make a Portable RECORDING BOOTH – Studio VLOG.

If you ever make your own recording project inspired by this, please link it down in the comments.

ART & VIDEO:
Website: http://www.jess-mcl.com​
Youtube: @Rocket Child
https://www.youtube.com/c/RocketChild
Instagram: @rocket1111child
https://www.instagram.com/rocket1111child​
Facebook: @rocket1111child
https://www.facebook.com/rocket1111child

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MUSIC:
“December 1, 2020” – Jessica McLeod-Yu

NYE2020 Message: VLOG

nye2020 jessica mcleod-yu

Instead of sitting around being depressed, I figured that I’d put my energy to good use and farewell the year with something nice and meaningful.
00:00 – Introduction
00:25 – My thoughts and refllection on the year
05:18 – “Happy New Year” COVER SONG on my cat piano
10:10 – Surprise!!

Hello everyone, I hope you can take the time to watch this whole video.
I recorded a cover of “Happy New Year” by ABBA with my customised Meowsic Cat Piano. On other years, I found this song so contrary and sad to the usually celebratory energy, but today I found it fitting. The video is not in synch with the music, because I’m not skilled enough to record visuals and sound at the same time lol. One day I’ll get better with both. (Also, the keyboard is a toy, so I can’t play multiple keys at the same time like a proper piano, so I had to improvise.)
Have a happy new year, and hope you stay well and strong!
Love you all!

CLICK on the video below to see the full message…

ART & VIDEO:
Website: http://www.jess-mcl.com​
Youtube: @Rocket Child
https://www.youtube.com/c/RocketChild
Instagram: @rocket1111child
https://www.instagram.com/rocket1111child​
Facebook: @rocket1111child
https://www.facebook.com/rocket1111child

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MUSIC: COVER by my – “Happy New Year” – ABBA

Cat Solo – “Can’t stop the music” – The Village Peopl

A New Animated Music Video

For the last few months I’ve been working on a music video for a folk musician called SONiA disappear fear, and I am happy to be able to share it now.

I first met Terry, SONiA’s wife and manager, serendipitously last year at Sydney airport when I went to pick up my boyfriend, Edu, who came to visit me for Christmas. We chatted a bit in the arrival lounge about flights and arrival times, and learnt that she and SONiA were in Sydney to perform for some music festivals. I said that I was an animator and we exchanged details. A month or so later, I met up with SONiA and Terry again and we agreed to make some music videos together.

The first one being a trailer for SONiA’s new retrospective album, Love Out Loud, celebrating 30 years of her career.  From our conversations and listening to her musics, I learnt that SONiA was the first openly gay folk pop musician, in both her music and her lifestyle, (as opposed to artists who came out later on in their careers).  She has been a great advocate for LGBT+ rights and fair treatment of marginalised people. SONiA’s lyrics and songs are quite illustrative and are often drawn from her life experiences of being Jewish and owning and embracing her identity of being gay despite living in a society that doesn’t always approve.

Despite her demure appearance, I could tell that SONiA was a real bad ass, and I was incredibly impressed to meet someone who was so sincere and brave to not only live out her truth, but also be positive and kind enough to share those experiences in order to inspire others and create positive change in the world.

It was a lot of fun creating this album trailer. SONiA was supportive of my art style, and very generous about giving me free rein to experiment and design creative cuts, which was aided a lot by her colourful and illustrative lyrics.  While it was important for it to look good cohesively, I also had to navigate a delicate balance of highlighting each song’s message, while keeping the snippets short and fluid. Over all, I’m proud and pretty happy with the overall video.

Please check out the animation & making of videos below =)

 

 

How to Create an Animation Channel on Youtube

Rocket Child Youtube Channel Cover Art - Jessica McLeod-Yu

rocket child youtube cover art blog

A few months ago, I started creating Youtube videos. Previously, I only used my account as a viewer, or to upload little animations. However, I’ve been researching how some people have used their channels as their own private TV station in order to make video as their full time jobs. Curiously, I figured that I would give it a go, though I wasn’t sure what kind of videos I should make. 

In my research, I learnt that there is a Youtube Animation Community. However, the irony is, not all of them can actually animate, at least not in the same capacity that I can.  So what makes them so trendy online?

The way people are able to generate an income on Youtube, is often by ads. Every time you’re forced to watch another annoying ad on a video, the channel earns a percentage (a few cents). Therefore, with more views and subscribers, one is able to turn cents into dollars, to potentially thousands or millions.

I remember in 2009 when the kids at school watched “Charlie the Unicorn“. The story was ridiculous, however you could really see the time and work put in by the creator, Jason Steele. Yet, what happened between then and now to cause the qualities of videos produced online to change from animations to moving comic book style?

Footofaferret‘s explain the reason very clearly in his video about the History of Youtube Animators.  It turns out that the Youtube algorithm greatly affects the materials people make, and the ways that they do it. When the Rick Roll meme was popular, a lot people started creating misleading Click-bait videos, causing Youtube to change their rules. The website started to reward the creators who produced more longer videos with a greater view retention.  In other words, viewers who watch the whole video as opposed to clicking and leaving. 

This affected the animation community greatly.  From my own experience, an animated project can take months or longer to create off screen, such as the planning to the laborious task of production. Meaning that one could no longer upload an incredible 3 minute animation every few months and expect to earn. 

These new earning regulations caused the Youtube animation community to adapt and change their mode of production. In order to create more videos, the quality of animation was sacrificed with more emphasis on storytelling and anecdotes. sWooZie is probably the most notable ‘Youtube Animator’ (I’m using the term Youtube Animator to refer to this particular style of youtube videos as opposed to animators in general.) In this early video that he produced, sWooZie uses DeviantArt Muro (a free drawing software), and a video editing program, which I think is incredible seeing that Muro isn’t suited for animation at all. He then uses his expressive personality and storytelling to bring the piece to life.

Since then, many other people have jumped on board creating their own ‘storytelling animations’ for youtube. There are some mixed opinions about it. Some people really enjoy these types of videos, while others feel that it’s unfair that these people to get more recognition than more skilled animators.

For me, I don’t grudge these people for their online success. However, it does perplex me, since I am a traditional animator who likes to create quality hand drawn works.  It’s hard for me to judge what will work or not, since I am new to the Youtube scene… as a creator, as opposed to a viewer. So I figured that I’d just give things a go and see where it takes me.

As a way to learn how to produce quality videos faster, without disrupting my usual work flow, I’ve been creating Speed Drawing videos and Tutorials showing my work process.

As well as a drawn series about how I walked the Camino de Santiago while handling type 1 diabetes. The production for this is slower, since I’m hoping to find funding and support from relevant medical parties to help produce it. That being said, I have already heard feed back from some people saying that the discussed topics have been helpful and interesting. I really hope to continue creating more videos.

The benefits of using Youtube is that it is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world, meaning that as long as some one uses a search term relevant to your content, they can find your video, as oppose to Facebook or Instagram, which are formatted as feeds based on time relevance. (Meaning that your posts will get buried and lost.)

That being said, I don’t know anyone personally who is an experienced Youtube creator to ask for advice. The Youtube website itself doesn’t have an online forum neither, (that I know of), to ask for advice on how to expand my brand awareness and connect to more people. If anyone has any advice on growing an authentic audience, without paid promotions, I would greatly appreciate it.

For you, the reader; do you have a youtube channel or know someone who does? Let me know your thoughts below in the comment box.

Rocket Child Youtube Channel - Jessica McLeod-Yu

How I Became A Citizen Of The World

"How I Became A Citizen Of The World", Jessica McLeod-Yu

"How I Became A Citizen Of The World", Jessica McLeod-Yu

Following my previous articled About how my choice of hair colour responds to my personality, I felt inspired to write another article about a different aspect of myself: How I became a Citizen of the World.

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia with English as my first language.  I have a very multicultural gene pool. My father is from China, and on my mother’s side, her father comes from an Australian, Scottish, Irish background, and her mother comes from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.  We don’t know the much of our family tree on that side. However, Trinidad has a diverse immigration history with mixes from the native people, African slaves, and the Spanish, French and British colonialists. It’s hard to really say what mix I’m made of.  Playfully, I call myself a ‘Whatever’.

When I was younger, I found it hard to fit.  I was proud of who I was and for being so unique, yet many Australians didn’t believe that I was Australian, nor could they believe that I was born here.  Australia has an incredible number of multicultural citizens, and immigrants. However, I don’t think the people were used to having a single person with so much genetic variety, and with that, I felt lost.  I was Australian, yet I didn’t fit in completely.

I remember in high school we had a small homework task to write a report on belonging.  Though it was an easy task in theory, I felt crippled.  I didn’t feel that I belonged, and I was ashamed to admit it.

When I was 14 years old, I started studying Japanese as my compulsory language class. I had always loved Anime and thought that learning the language would let me be able to watch anime without subtitles.  I loved my classes.  The Japanese language was hard to learn, yet it was so different and exotic.  Everything was completely new and so much fun to learn.  As the years went on, I became determined to visit Japan.

When I was 16, I went on my first 2-week overseas exchange trip.  It was a life changing experience for me, and the moment when I caught the incurable Travel Bug.  I can’t begin to describe the joy and wonder I felt learning about the culture of Japan, but most importantly, I found myself in the company of a group of international exchange students. For once, it was ok for me not to be categorized as a specific nationality.  Instead, we were all International and Citizens of The World.  It was outside of Australia that I felt… Australian.

From that trip, I met my first international friend. Eliza was from Canada and we kept in contact as email pen pals for the next few years, and in time, my international friendship circle would grew.

I had always had a longing that I belonged ‘somewhere else’.  I would follow the stars at night and feel home sick for a place that I’d never been.  I was determined to explore the world and find the place where I belonged. Since then, I went back and studied in Japan, France, Italy and Spain to name a few places, where I met so many wonderful people, who would become a part of my life.  It was like a became a different person when I was abroad.  My soul soars when I travel, and I feel a great power and sincerity to connect with others.  Just the idea of it makes me feel so elated to learn of new cultures and to make friends and speak to them in their own languages.

IMG_7327

I’ve come to understand that there is no one ‘place’ where I belong, nor one particular nation that calls to me.  Instead, my heart sings when I connect to all the places that I go.  It is within this international community that I feel comfortable and accepted to embrace and express the multiculturalism within me.  In fact, I consider all of these experiences to add to me and my identity, instead of just identifying with the genetic heritages that I was born with.  I feel that there is a level of importance and kinship that is born through my selection and assimilation from meeting people and experiencing their lives, and with that, I’ve become more.

I call myself an artist and I believe that the arts have a power to emote, question and connect with people beyond borders.  I have always had this desire to connect to the world.  I want to inspire and help people and leave the world better than when I arrived here on this planet.  This is a vocation and personality trait that I have within myself, yet I wasn’t sure what work opportunities exist that would allow me to pursue this path.

This coming year I will be going to the Australian National University in Canberra to study a Master in International Relations.  This will be a new experience for me, but I feel inspired.  My new dream is that I would like to use the skills and knowledge of my artmaking as a vehicle to communicate concepts, ideas and influence on a boarder international scale for the benefit of others.

How Does One’s Hair Affect Their Personality?

Jessica McLeod-Yu

"I am who I am", Photoshop, Jessica McLeod-Yu, 2019

I just wanna be myself
And I want you to love me for who I am
I just wanna be myself
And I want you to know, I am my hair

Lady Gaga

My name is Jessica. I am an artist, storyteller and animator.  I take inspiration from street art, nature, architecture and fairy tales.  My artistic aesthetic is bold, colourful and full of zeal and vitality. Its eye catching, engaging and fresh.  I am so incredibly passionate about expressing myself that it goes beyond the canvas and into my how I dress, and the way I choose to live.

Those who know me will recognise my Blue and Pink hair.  It’s part of my brand and how I choose to represent myself.  It’s such a playful and distinct way to represent myself and make myself memorable when meeting people.  It gives me a lot of joy to express outside, how I feel on the inside.

I’ve always been a tomboy and I’m fit and athletic.  When it comes to clothes, l prefer to wear clothes that are comfortable and sporty and choosing what I like from the Male and Female sections, as opposed to being limited in my gender.

From a young age I noticed that some people judge how one looks without really knowing nor understanding the person, especially towards gender stereotypes.  On occasions when I dressed up ‘fancy’ I noticed some boys would treat me better because I was pretty yet treat others who weren’t as dolled up badly, and on the other hand that some girls would get jealous towards me and treat me badly.  I always wanted to show my worth though my personality and that which I do.  Yet, I found this insincerity disturbing. How these people would behave differently towards me, and others, based on whether they thought we were attractive or not.  Therefore, I found that dressing in a more casual androgynous way allowed me to get to know people better, and to learn whether we liked each other or not based on our personalities and abilities, without the burdens of attraction or jealousy interfering.  Human beings are fascinating creatures.

I feel as though there are contradictions within society.  Now more than ever there are more options for online shopping, and greater varieties of clothing designs, and the opportunities to express one’s self through social media.  There is a greater push and trend to express one’s self, yet at same time I find that the opposite exists.  Stand out, fit in.  Look unique but follow the dress code.  There’s a fear to keep up impressions, to get more likes online.  Then, there’s the fear of being judged for standing out and being the nail that gets hammered down.

It’s such a confusing world for me, and I often find it hard to know where I fit in.

I think a lot of women feel pressure to wear makeup in their lives, and even feel ashamed to go out in public without it.  Or they feel pressured to dress up and be sexy and wear uncomfortable shoes.

I like dressing up everyone once in a while, and I like wearing costumes.  However, I don’t like that it’s an expectation for some people.  This is the face that I was born with.  Even if I was ugly, I feel as though I should be able to go out in public with the face that I have, because that’s the way I am.

I like being different, and like the choices that I’ve made for my personal appearance.  Yet, I still feel the pressure sometimes.  Sometimes I wonder if I get disqualified from job interviews for dressing in a non-conforming way.  I don’t know.  I get anxious when I think about it.  I can’t change myself.  I am who I am, and I can’t pretend to be ‘normal’ or like everyone else, because I am not.  So much of who I am is driven by the desire and will to change the constrains that exist within society that people assume to be ‘normal’.

I sometimes wonder, what would happen if I dyed my hair black again, or dressed differently?  I would still be the same person on the inside, wouldn’t I?

The truth is, I love being who I am, and having the courage to express myself though my own style and artistic creativity.  I think it’s a beautiful thing where one is able to be themselves and to be the change they want to see, and to inspire others by showing that it’s Ok for them to be them.  What I would truly appreciate the most in the world, is finding a place where I have the freedom to be me.

Writing this reminds me of Lady Gaga’s song: “Hair”, I think it’s a good example of how something so cosmetic as their hair can represent so much of who they are as a person.

MIAF2018 – Festival Video

I work as the Assistant Director at the “Melbourne International Animation Festival“, which just ran for 10 days last week. Out of over 4000 submissions, we screened +400 films in 45 curated programs. MIAF is the greatest hub for screening independent animation in all of Australia.

My role was to lead the crew and run the festival, which included organising special presentations from Filmmakers and industry professionals, liaising with special guests, Filmmakers and festival attendees, general administration, and more.

This video is an overview of MIAF2018.