These Stop Motion Clips Combine Reality With Animation To Create Something Truly Mesmerising Stop motion animations are like sunsets; no matter how many times you’ve watched them you can’t help being transfixed. Even when you know how they are created it doesn’t take away any of the magic from the final creation. Mabel dabbles in all kinds of art but ,for us, her most mesmerising pieces are the stop motion graphics she creates which combine animation and 3D reality to create cookery videos with a difference. By using the cinematographic technique, interior designer by trade, Mabel uses her own hands to mix illustrated ingredients and create delicious looking, animated concoctions. The mixture of 3D and 2D, reality and fiction, that give the short clips a surreal air. The human hands seem to work seamlessly with the miniature representations of objects, from the milk cartoon being pinched between forefinger and thumb to pressing buttons on a microwave. From Mabel’s Instagram her love of real food, baking and art is clear – and all three have creation in common. A piece of art is like the chocolate cake topped with cherries, seen on her social media account, it is about trial and error, about combining different components and intertwining them so inextricably that it is impossible to believe they all started out individually. We spoke to the ‘Artsy Bits’ creator to find out more about stop motion, self-teaching and similarities between art and baking. The Plus: How did you first begin creating stop motion animations? Mabel: I created an Instagram account just for my art in 2013, which was only a hobby. Most of my posts from earlier were food art and sketches. I first began creating stop motion animation when Instagram introduced the 15-second video feature on their app. I really don’t have any animation or art background but I love art and video making. I just thought it would be cool to make short animations. I was greatly inspired by Rachel Ryle’s work who is an amazing stop motion animator. From then on, I’ve already created more than 100 short stop motion animations. TP: Talk us through the process of creating an animation. M: Stop motion is the most simplest and fun animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears to move on its own. Any object can be used to create stop motion. You only need three things – a digital camera, computer, and imagination – and you’re on your way. Let’s say you already have an idea. Create a storyboard first. It is a sketch of how you want your video to unfold shot by shot. Sketch and cut all the drawings you’ll need. After cutting the drawings, set up your tools, camera lighting, canvas and then take shots of the sequences. Finally, edit the shots. A 15-second video is usually composed of 60 to 120 sequence shots. TP: Where do you find your inspiration/what inspires you? M: I find my inspiration everywhere especially on social media. I read a lot of art and food blogs. TP: Many of the animations are linked to food – why is this? M: I’ve recently taken up baking as a new hobby. Again, I’m a self-taught baker. So a lot of my videos are largely influenced by baking. I think food is always a good subject. There’s a lot of potential animations in food. Who doesn’t love food? TP: How do you think art and baking are similar? M: I think art and baking involve passion. I find myself passionate about baking as I am passionate about art. Both also needs patience. It is time-consuming and challenging to do art and baking. It is methodical yet there’s also a sense of free spirit. TP: How would you like people to feel when they watch your animations? M: I always want my animations to put a smile on people’s faces. Some of my Instagram followers commented that my little animations bring them joy. It’s great to know that it brings a little sunshine in their day. TP: You are self-taught, what are your tips for anyone else learning their craft? M: I never went to a formal class for art and animation. With everything pretty much on the internet nowadays, it’s a very good and useful learning resource. I spend most of my free time reading and watching art and animation tutorials. TP: Which is your favourite animation, and why? M: I have two favourites. First, the tea animation for my mom and second, the homemade doughnuts animation. TP: What’s next for you? M: Hopefully, I can take on more exciting and big art/animation projects in the future. I also want to set up a baking business real soon.