This is my most recent animation project, “Kurokage and the Mud Puddle,” featuring my character Kurokage (Koo-roh-kah-gey), his girlfriend Whispers, and a mud puddle.

The Mud Puddle project is just one of a few animation projects our class has done this year. We were given something of a “prompt,” like one would get for an essay; Create a story that involved a mud puddle somehow, and a situation for your character, and bring it to life. We could have been as boring and plain as we wanted; having a character walk along, come across a mud puddle that is blocking their path, and, as a solution to their problem, they walk around the mud puddle and continue on their merry way. Or we could have come up with something creative; say, a character coming across a mud puddle, accidentally tripping into the mud, only to discover that the mud puddle is really a strange portal into another dimension, filled with mud puddle portals. Or we could have had something cute and funny, such as said character walking along, coming across the mud puddle, and while he is thinking about how to go around the mud puddle, he is unexpectedly tackled from behind into the mud by his giggling girlfriend.

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That was what happened in my animation, Kurokage being the said person being pushed into the mud and Whispers being the said girlfriend to playfully tackle him into the mud.

I came up with the idea simply because I wanted to continue on with what I had been doing with my previous projects, when given the freedom to: having the animation’s story center around Kurokage and Whispers’ relationship, two characters of mine that I’ve had for a while and mean quite a bit to me. For artists who like to create characters, like myself, there’s something about being able to animate your characters, especially your most favorite of your characters, to life, to be able to have them walk, to move, to wave, to jump, that just makes you feel very overjoyed, to feel like you’ve gotten closer to having your characters be “alive” in a sense, rather than just still images and poses drawn on paper.

Not every “animator” here in this class necessarily feels this same way, but it’s easy to see the excitement in many of their eyes as they learn to create animations, the pride in creating something that other people enjoy, and the joy of being able to put their creativity to use as they come up with stories and ideas for animations.

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