Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Medley!

Rich Dworsky performs his brilliant Short Attention Span Christmas Medley on A Prairie Home Companion

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Insects' Christmas

This is one of the most beautiful stop-motion films I've ever seen, and it was directed by Wladislav Starewicz a hundred years ago!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


This news report about news reports cracks me up!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rose Moon Studios

Susan Roseman is not only a kind and generous person, she's a great artist in both 2D and 3D realms.  "Artie Art" was inspired by her dog, Artie, a therapy dog with tons of personality who brightened the days of many elderly people in a nearby nursing home.  Susan carves erasers to make stamps to make beautifully layered cards, magnets, gift tags, and more.  Her stuffed animal dogs are just as charming, and I just love the one she gave me whom I named Humphrey! You can order these wonderful items through Susan's Etsy shop and call her for custom orders.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

doodlin all day

I made a new Instagram account for some of my doodles, the misfit sketchbook characters who need a home.  I like to draw new characters every day, and when a personality sparkles and inspires more of a story, it gets developed and colorized.  Some of the more polished ones can be found on my website,  I have a zillion creations in limbo, and I'd love to find a writer or animator to help them evolve.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hesse's best

I have read many Hermann Hesse books, some more than once, and this one was always my favorite.  A big theme in the beginning of the story is how misunderstandings and different perspectives on events can change the course of lives and damage relationships in seemingly irreparable ways.  Emil Sinclair gets into trouble with a bully at school and is plunged into a world of covering up his problem with more misdeeds.  The details of the reasons for his behavior can never be fully understood or explained without the kind of in-depth communication that is seen as inappropriate by those around him.  Sinclair meets Max Demian and feels a strong connection to him because they do explore thoughts about relationships and the two worlds of light and darkness.  Demian thinks differently than most people, and it is especially apparent when he explains his take on the story of Cain and Abel in a way that favors Cain.  Demian's unique thoughts influence Sinclair to explore truth beyond preconceived ideas and to look deeper into things he thought he knew. They share a special sort of conversation and drift in and out of each other's lives, but Demian is always in Sinclair's thoughts and dreams.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wake up to Life

 I found this storyboard I drew when I was sixteen.  I never 
entered the contest but still think the idea is pretty good.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Badass Blondie

Thanks to Ralph for giving me this cool paper doll book starring Debbie Harry.  The outfits you can cut out are fun and well-designed by artist Mel Elliott.  She has made many products featuring celebrities including coloring books, jewelry, t-shirts, and stationery.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

out to sea

Fisher is a beautiful short by animation studio One Eyed Robot.  The illustrated 2D style with simple outlines and watercolor fill appeals to me more than most animations, and elements like the rectangular raindrops and Fisher's mole and peg leg add amusing details to an otherwise somber atmosphere.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooktacularly Silly

Here is a fun Halloween video animated by Adam Osgood, Spooktacular: An Animated Alphabet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Poppin' Rockweed

My funny cousin, Hillary Dionne, made this cute stop-motion film called Poppin' Rockweed with things she found on the beach at the Little Kaffel on Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

speed demon

Rhiannon Dionne asked to borrow my phone and came back in a few minutes to show me her adorable three second stop-motion animation.  She made up this story and figured out the Stop-Motion-Lite app all on her own, clever girl!

Friday, October 10, 2014

hazyanimations' lonesome dogs

This is the second stop-motion animation my cousin Hillary Dionne and I made together this summer.  Hillary is the voice of the first hot dog, and her daughter Rhiannon is the voice of the second hot dog.  A sequel has been requested by some, which could be fun, but it would take a lot of hot dog auditions to find similar looking actors!  (They could be aged possibly.)  Working with Hillary this summer was such fun, we bounce ideas off each other easily and love to laugh at similar things. 

relationships of confidence

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


For over twenty years, I've been collecting items for my nature lab after being inspired by the fabulous one in the Waterman building at RISD.  Curiously, sometimes it's easiest to find things in cities where people tend to have great variety in their gardens.  Every object is unique and amazing in form.  My cats have occasionally contributed with bird skeletons, and my own wisdom teeth are in the medley.  After a few weeks on Big Tancook Island, a paradise for rock hunting, I will definitely need another cabinet! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

mindless entertainment

My cousin Hillary Dionne and I made a stop motion film called "mindless" about a rock and his pet brain.  After days of combing the beaches of Big Tancook Island looking for the perfect actors, props, and set locations, we had two insanely fun days of shooting, recording audio, and editing the film.  I hope this is the first of many collaborations with my beautiful genius cousin!  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

An inspiring dream

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case ten thousand, but which words?  The Dream, illustrated by Kim Palmer, is a beautiful rebus full of meaning and "a grate tail four hour thyme."  It's not easy, but I can't wait to get to page two!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jodorowsky's Dune

I just saw a screening of the documentary film Jodorowsky's Dune and found it thoroughly inspiring.  I've read Frank Herbert's brilliant book from 1965 three times and saw David Lynch's 1984 movie version at least fifty times, but I never knew Alejandro Jodorowsky began his own movie adaptation between those years.  Dune has always been a special story to me, and seeing how much of an obsession it was to Jodorowsky is completely understandable.  He and his team of "spiritual warriors" spent years working on his ambitious vision which was eventually turned down by Hollywood, but their intense passion is encouraging for anyone working on a dream masterpiece of their own.  Colin Geddes from the Toronto International Film Festival summarizes the history of the process and the lasting impact it had:

This fascinating documentary explores the genesis of one of cinema's greatest epics that never was: cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky's (EL TOPO) adaptation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic Dune, whose cast would have included such icons as Salvador Dali, Orson Welles and Mick Jagger. In 1975, following the runaway success of his art-house freak-outs EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN, Alejandro Jodorowsky secured the rights to Frank Herbert's Dune - and began work on what was gearing up to be a cinematic game-changer, a sci-fi epic unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Jodorowsky enlisted an elite group of artistic mercenaries, including French comic book artist Moebius, who illustrated the storyboards; screenwriter Dan O'Bannon (DARK STAR, ALIEN); artist H.R. Giger (ALIEN); and sci-fi paperback illustrator Chris Foss. For the cast, he lined up icons ranging from Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger to Orson Welles, and even his own son, who was put through two years of gruelling martial arts training to prepare for his role. Unfortunately, the film was never made.

Director Frank Pavich tackles one of cinema's most enthralling "what could have been" stories, weaving interviews with the charismatic Jodorowsky, his collaborators, and supporters (including DRIVE director Nicolas Winding Refn), together with animation to bring Moebius' storyboards to life. Even though the project exists only in the imaginations of its creators, and as the hundreds of illustrations they left behind, Pavich's documentary chooses not to dwell on failure, but rather celebrates the ways in which the creative dreams of Dune planted seeds for many other iconic films that came after it, from STAR WARS to ALIEN to countless more. This is an inspirational story about the power of the creative spirit, one that establishes Jodorowsky as a master of cinema and a true visionary of our time.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Dad!!!

My dad, Paul Helgesen, is an incredible musician, artist,
handyman, and dad.  He's been playing the piano since he
was four years old and still does not read music!
Here is a very pretty song, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square."
(He had just explained what a bridge is to me.)

My parents had insanely fun parties as we were growing up with the
living room packed with people singing and dancing.  When we were
really little, he'd play "The Elephant March," and we'd sway our
hanging arms with locked hands like they were elephant trunks
as we tromped around giggling.

Whenever Dad asks what to play, I always answer "Boogie Woogie!"

An original creation, always experimenting...

Here is my brother, Nick, playing one of his own songs 
with my dad improvising very well as a third hand. 

Tickling the ivory till it almost pees its pants!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Rubber face

 goofing with my brother Nick