Above: "Ella Underwater," a pixilation animation made at Flick Book Studios by student Ella Goldin.
In this week's Woodstock Times is a feature on local artist Keiko Sono, who teaches stop-motion animation to artists of all ages at Flick Book Studio on Route 212 in Saugerties.
Keiko Sono’s studio on Route 212, next to Jolly’s Market in the same complex that once housed Lucky Chocolates, is airy, light-drenched and fun. There’s a chalkboard, a light box, a number of white boards, a sand or paint box, and piles of art supplies…and Legos! Everything’s organized but loose. She says that it can hold up to four kids or adults at each of four or five “stations” around the space, although she finds it better to work with groups of three.
Sono and her teaching partner at Flick Book Studio, Dave Goldin, are passing on what they know about animation to students mostly age eight and up, but including some six year olds, and a growing number of local artists, many of whom Sono got to know in her years as a working artist in town, as well as from being a participant in last year’s New York Foundation for the Arts MARK program for the region.
Flick Book Studio began offering classes last fall, and trains students in the basic tools of stop-motion filmmaking, including claymation, sand and chalk animation, pixilation and editing techniques. On President's Day Weekend, February 18 and 19, the studio is hosting a two-day LEGO Star Wars Marathon.
The studio also offers open-studio time for adult artists to work collaboratively, or just have access to a space for working near other artists. Sono, who is a painter as well as a video artist, writes that working in groups can unleash creative energy:
Being a painter, I had gotten used to working alone. “Two heads are better than one” never applied to my situation. So when I opened this studio, my focus was on the process and the result. But within the first days, something else was grabbing my attention. Group dynamics had a major impact on the mood of the artists and the outcome of the clips. When the artists were having fun—laughing their heads off, goofing around, being giddy—the clips were better, more innovative, and ambitious.