Silvy Zhou ’21 created this fascinating animation on “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot for her 8th grade English class with Ms. Alexandra Mahoney. Silvy used more than 1,300+ layers to create the gif.
According to Silvy: “This animation was created based off of “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S Eliot: a fairly pessimistic poem that mentions on the progression of time and the concept of aging. The main focus of this animation is on the line, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;”, which puts emphasis on the fact that the narrator has ‘measured out’ each day with brewing and sipping tea. The process seems enjoyable and lighthearted, but is very habitual and, in the narrator’s mind, insignificant. The narrator feels he has wasted his time on things of little significance. The steam from the teacup was inspired by the line, “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes”. The yellow fog is, again, something that seems beautiful, but it comes and goes, and serves little significance. I chose to animate the fog to mimic the action of a cat, because of the way the fog is personified in the poem: which mimics the agile nature of a cat. A few other details include the reflection in the tea, which shows an aging face, as well as the text on the bottom right corner. The text is taken from “anyone lived in a pretty how town”, by E. E. Cummings, and focuses on the progression of time as well.
“The process of creating this animation was done on a digital art program called “FireAlpaca”. I had sketched out the basic concept in my sketchbook, and then traced/animated the basic outlines using 5 frames. I then colored, added fog, reflection, and text, which were hand drawn using around a thousand and three hundred layers. The end result is a 16-frame gif. This animation was the first fully colored one I’ve done by hand, so the whole process involved lots of experimentation, trial, and error.” ~ Silvy Zhou