Alan B. Baker is a well known illustrator winning several awards for his whimsical characters. He has also written and illustrated over 40 books of his own, six of which have been chosen for the book of the year list. These include the Little Rabbit series which have sold over 750,000 copies to date worldwide. But what many people don't know is that Alan B. Baker is also the man behind the knitted lens of Royal Wedding; A YouTube smash with a combined view of over 50,000. I was lucky enough to ask Alan a few questions on this fabulous film technique.
(GCG) Alan, how did you get involved in these video projects? (A) I was working with a local publisher, Ivy Press, and we were trying to come up with novel ideas for books after seeing some of my ex-students films on YouTube. I was asked if I would be interested in doing a promotional video for A Knitted Woolen Christmas book. This type of animation involving a digital process was new to me, so it was a bit of a learning process. (GCG) How many videos have you made? (A) I have done 5 knitted videos. I think the versions on my YouTube Channel are slightly longer, in particular steampunk and the royal wedding. Steampunk was not knitted, but made from found objects. My videos in order are: Knitivity, Steampunk, Royal Wedding, The Knits Before Christmas, and Noah’s Knits. I think there may be more in the pipeline. Of my earlier films I have made about 15. (Super 8-all on YouTube) but these are quite different-A Little Weird! (GCG) Were you commissioned by Ivy Press to make all of these knitted videos or did you make them on your own? (A) For all the knitted promos, I was commissioned by Ivy Press. They gave me a free hand and made a couple of useful comments at the end which helped improve a couple of them. I have also produced other videos for a different publisher. (GCG) The Royal Wedding video had a combined view of 50,000 views across several sites. That is incredible! What advice would you give other video makers in attracting views? (A) A lot of it was because of the subject matter. Anything to do with the Royal Wedding was going to attract interest. So, I guess choose a popular subject or something that is going to be in the news: Royal Jubilee, Olympics etc. (GCG) Do you have any other projects planned for your knitted video making? (A) I hear there are a few planned, but as yet, I don't know the subject matter. (GCG) Are you currently working on any other projects? (A) Not other animation projects at the moment. Most of my time is spent on illustration. I like doing the animation, but it is quite time consuming, but that is similar in nature to my illustration work and in many ways what I enjoy about it. It is a sort of therapy. You are doing something that often allows your mind to wander, but at the same time it is your job and you are being paid for it. I count myself as very lucky. If people like what you do, it’s an even bigger bonus.
After one too many egg nogs, this January is all about eating better and catching up on your sleep. I just love this sleep mask tutorial that I found on whipup.net. http://bit.ly/A189n3
These are absolutely amazing!
So long old school gingerbread house. Trees are the next big thing. Check out these 3D Christmas tree gingerbread cookies and tutorial from Megan at Not Martha. Imagine the look on your guests face when they see these!