fresh faces

Who is the next best creative to keep an eye on? Playgrounds and KONKAV keep you updated! Every month, we highlight a one-of-a-kind artist that creates dazzling films and images. For our second feature of Fresh Faces we asked stop motion artist Raymon Wittenberg to give us some insight in his work and inspiration.  

Raymon is a specialist in the beauty of analog animation and puppet mouldmaking. In 2015 he graduated at the AKV St. Joost art academy with his stop motion animated film Turn the Tables. It has been screened at various animation festivals all over the globe. He now works as a freelancer at studios such as Rogier Wieland, Pedri Animation, Woodwork, and visual artist Vera van Wolferen.

We asked Raymon to respond to three quotes by some masters in the industry.

“Making films is a pleasure for me. Many of my friends are directors and it’s very heavy work for them, they suffer a lot. I don’t suffer.” (François Ozon)

The opposite of this applies to me and my work. I’d rather give someone else the director’s role, just to benefit the project. As a freelance stop motion artist I usually work with different disciplines and a lot of different animation studios. My work is centred around a team. A team of other technical and creative image makers, directors and art directors. I believe that this way everyone’s specialty is fully exposed and implemented and this, in my opinion, will lead to a complete and finestend result in a short time span.

“Life is a 24/7 movie. There are billions of ideas swimming around, you just have to catch them.” (David Lynch)

I find inspiration in daily life. I am fascinated by nature and the non-verbal communication between humans and animals. To see flowers bloom, a group of birds taking a dive into the sea and people with their ownpeculiar behaviour. I also always imagine bringing different objects to life. Details always attract my attention. I absorb them and I take them into my research about movement and my assignments. These daily emotions and impressions tend to be a good reference for stop motion animation with characters that must be alive and kicking.

“Research for me is part of the learning process. No one else could do it for me.” (Charlie Kaufman)

Doing research is a big part of my work as an animator. Not only by analysing animated films and by studying books, but especially researching myown observations and practising all this knowledge. This research taught me a lot about the characteristics of a person or an object and about timing and spacing. My ideas I act out in reference videos. With these videosI analyse the movements and interpret these in a realistic or more abstract way. The results of this research I implementin work and assignments.

Next to movement research I also like to do moretechnical experiments with fluid and solid materials. This applies when I create puppets for an animation and when I make moulds and cast puppet parts. My colleagues gaineda lot of knowledge in this area throughout the years. Sharing this knowledge with one another is vital for your development and keeps your learning curve active. I believe it has a positive effect on your work relationships and also for the final results.