Animation Meditation

Posted on at

I was once asked how I would describe the reward factor of animation vs the time and effort put into animating? 

Well, personally for me, the reward is animating.  Animation for me is a very meditating process.  I actually coined the term ‘animation meditation’ after creating my 2007 classically animated Post-it Note film, Yellow Sticky Notes, since it was a subconscious approach to animating a stream of consciousness.  Therefore, whenever I animate or draw, I treat it like meditating.  I feel a person should be in a very zen like state of concentration to be able to create animation.  I animate stop motion the same way as I animate classical animation.  It’s all a straight-ahead technique where I’m animating from one drawing to the next, always counting frames and timing in my head.  This is the same as stop motion because there are no in betweens, it’s all straight ahead animation.  So you really have to know your motion, movements and timing as you animate…it takes great concentration and meditation. 

I love old school animation techniques because they challenges the animator to really appreciate and love movement and motion.  To count in frames to correspond with seconds.  There’s no computer to fill in the inbetween movements.  You can really capture true animated magic and motion this way…Unexpected moments of true animated lifelike greatness…and of course major screw-ups if you’re not in the zone.  Of course seeing your animation move and come to life is the true reward and sharing your work with an audience is the greatest enjoyment spent from countless concentrated hours animating. 


Watch Yellow Sticky Notes here on my WebTV at:

A still from the upcoming short animation, Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam.  This still opens the film with me on the phone calling up the animators to participate in the animation jam and asking them to use some animation meditation! 

About the author


Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy® nominated and Webby award winning animation and documentary filmmaker. Born in Kelowna, BC, of Japanese and European heritage, he graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design with a degree in Film Animation in 2001. Soon after he founded Meditating Bunny Studio…

Subscribe 0