The Trigger Experiment- February!

Hi Folks,

January’s challenge was SPACE. It was a topic I love playing with and we ended up with two wonderful snippets done by Myself and Levi Schmidt! You can watch them both here.

I decided to take a more focused path for the rest of these, so the rest of the project the topics will be: THE 12 PRINCIPLES OF ANIMATION! These will be a great practice for anyone who joins in with me 🙂

To start us off, February is that wonderful foundation of SQUASH and STRETCH.

For those just joining in- The Trigger Experiment is a monthly animation prompt series for 2015 curated by Artful Raven Studio.

The rules are simple:

1) If you wish to participate please send an email to
2) You must share at least 1 WIP post, be it FB, instagram, Twitter or Google +. Be sure to tag it with#TriggerExperiment2015
3) The final pieces are 4-8 seconds long and either .mov or .mp4 format sent to the email above (that’s it!)

Any animation medium, any style, teams or solo- it all works! Prompts are random, and announced here at the start of every month. They are due midnight the last day of the month.

Lets get going!




Achievement Unlocked- Storytime! 2014 Collaboration Adventure!

This years Collab project took a while to sort out, but one the ball got rolling it became UNSTOPPABLE. It was harder for me as the poem was a more personal one, but the trust I had in everyone to deliver as much as I put in certainly paid off. Once again, I’m blown away by everyone’s creativity and willingness to just play.

Special Shout out to Jon Clay- he stepped in after the first musician was unable to proceed and delivered a wonderful score.

So without further ado, here is Artful Raven Studio’s Second Annual Collaborative project- Drip, Drip, Drop:

Click here for the full project page on our site.

Thanks for reading,


Illustration work for The Portland 48 Hour Film Festival

In an effort to make sure I share more about the goings on here, I decided to update when other non-animation focused work gets done too. I was able to help out Rob Hatch and The Portland 48 Hour File Festival with an ad design for their 2014 entry in the Oregon Production Directory. Here is the final piece:


If you are interested in the full details, you can find them here on the project’s page.

It was a great experience and the fastest turn around I’ve had in a long time- 3 days! Hope you like it as much as I do.





Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: Time to Share

Last night’s ASIFA event was a wonderful experience- I saw this project on the big screen and everyone there enjoyed it. I spoke about how it came about and things I learned along the way. It was great to look back on the last few months and see how this project came to be. The biggest thing I learned was that I loved seeing what others were inspired to create with little direction from me. I feel this style of animation lets you just let loose and play- which is huge. I already have people interested in the next one, and I’ve got possible themes written out. It’s gonna be great to keep doing this year after year.

So without further ado, here is Artful Raven Studio’s First Collaborative project- STORY:

Click here for the full project page on our site.

Thank you, Enjoy, and on to the next!


Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: COMPLETE

We have finished. The last bit of editing is done, the music sounds lovely, and we’ve even entered into the Northwest Animation Festival for 2014. I am blown away. The last thing left is to share!

Since this was done through the collaboration of so many local portland animators, and the timing was right- there will be one screening before it goes live on the web. STORY will be premiered this coming Saturday at an ASIFA event here in Portland OR. It is free to come! If you want to see this on the big screen, here is the full information on the Facebook event:

In addition to showing it, I’ll be talking about the process of getting it done, the ups and downs and the wonderful things I learned through-out.

The next day, it will be live on Artful Raven’s Finished Works section here.

Don’t worry- I’ll make sure there is a blog post to announce it! In the meantime, here is the narration for you to enjoy:


by Sophya Vidal

What good is a story? I was asked.

Well- Once upon a time there was a little girl…

Wait, I’m sorry- that’s not quite it.

Once upon a time there was a valiant knight…

Or… was it a witch? a Prince? a Maid!

No, no… what was it? That subject of narrative,

that first time you heard that phrase at bedtime,

at dinner time, at church, in the library, at school-

on the grass simply cradled in the moment?


It doesn’t matter.

Because Once upon a time- there was You.

You, huddled under the covers, flashlight in hand,

towering over Lilliputians, Adventuring leagues under the sea,

or perhaps, like me, learning about love through tesseracts and

a bi-spectacled lady named Mrs. Who.


We learn our shapes and our numbers,

Our colors and our phrases,

Our Left from our right- Our Right from our wrong,

and everything in-between starts picking up speed,

Racing Memory-Molding and Defining because before you know it,

Once upon a time there was You becomes Once upon a time there I was,

Leading to the inevitable shout that dispenses with all formalities declaring simply:


And when asked, how did you do it?

We give names and facts, anecdotes perpetuating inspiration and animation of the soul.

We share our thoughts and elevate our performance, our perseverance,

Glowing brighter than one thousand suns.

It is in that sudden moment your “Here I am” becomes someone else’s “Once upon a time”

That is the power of Story.


Storytime! Collaboration Adventure: Update

It has been a CRAZY  2 months! There were one or two changes in the lineup of participants, including one last minute loss- but it is finally all together. I thought I would take a moment to share the 3 biggest things I’ve learned in this adventure:

1) Being a producer is no easy feat. It didn’t occur to me that I had landed in that role until the first animation deadline came up. Only 6 people met it. Which meant I still had 9 participants to rally! and lost some, so I had to find new participants with a shorter deadline. At the same time, I had to try to edit what I had and roll with it.

2) Deadlines are goals (only few are absolutes). This was a REALLY hard lesson for me. I had planned for a six week turnaround- this was a quick and dirty experimental collaboration after all. With scheduling participants, editing time, and my own life events, I had set myself up for failure- if all I was thinking about was the deadline. Yes, this was experimental- but I wanted the best quality, from everyone- including myself. A six week deadline, while giving a great push and fire, was not going to give this project the strength to bloom. As I rescheduled, I focused on polishing what I had in the meantime. The project is about a 2 month timeline. This will be my working goal for the next adventure.

3) Speaking of next adventure- I’ve had a number of people asking to be a part of the next Collaboration. This is wonderful to me- I want Artful Raven to be a place where people want to join, want to create, want to tell stories.  This project has made me spread out from my creative island and build some bridges.

This project will be complete in the next few days- All the animation is complete and my sound designer is making his final pass.

I can’t wait to share this with all of you, trust me- it’s lovely.