by Leszczynska


I'm an artist and freelance animator living in Edinburgh, Scotland.
For the portfolio of my work visit:



sorry for no updates recently, I'll be back in Edinburgh in January, hopefully full of enthusiasm to start working on my new, and what would seem the last film I'll make in Edinburgh College of Art.

This wasn't meant to be a finished drawing yet, but my photoshop went funny, so I stopped working on it. Not sure if anyone would remember (I hardly do), it's the main character of the film I made two years ago, on the second year. It was silly, but got nominated for few interesting things, it gave me more than I would expect it to. When I watch it now, I knew nothing about technical aspects, but I was animating more carefully, that "train" pencil tests are so rough I've got problems with reading them myself.

So that's merry christmas (although it's not politically correct), and good year 2011, for myself and my coursemates who are graduating this year especially. I wonder, where will I be next year this time?



dissertation. i need to say no more.

i don't need glasses. shame...



i'm not supposed to update here, I'm supposed to be working on my dissertation, I - very conveniently - left my notes in college. Oh Welles, what are we gonna do about this meeting this Thursday? :)
I think I'll make some mulled wine now.

Anyway, last week me and Cat finished these animation pieces we were doing for Cindy Derby's puppet performance, the preview's early December, I'm thinking I may go, but I this dissertation... the very thought is really killing me. Anyway, more details if anyone was interested: here.

And here's a bad quality picture of my desk with the very last frame of the train film on the lightbox:

blue went grey, because he's a little upset:



The train, the train, the train. The film that has been keeping me busy for almost a year (I started thinking about it something around this time last year, and got first attempts to storyboards around Chritmas), finally there is some light there: I can see the end. I can at least see it, it's like being lost in the sea, where I can finally see some land, and no matter the distance, I can see it, so it's fine.

I'm happy I managed to stay positive and enthusiastic all that time, well, there's few more weeks of work, but it should be all fine.

I'll do some proper thanks later when it's over, but so far, thanks for the support and help, everyone.

Some stills from the film, pencil drawings I do and finished coloured images that are in the film, I like putting them together to compare:



I've started working on my degree film to be, still busy with the train project (almost there, almost there, maybe I'll post something about that in few weeks). After being all 2D and digital, I decided to try cut outs under the rostrum camera for that. Just so it's different, really, and because my studio in college is really freezing in the winter, so it's nice to hide in the darkroom (yes, these are the best reasons I can come up with to explain my choices about degree film. It is, if someone thought I take that degree seriously - I don't. Come one, I am studying a-ni-ma-tion. How can I be serious about it?). There is a separate blog for this production for the assessments purposes, but I haven't been updating it much.

Here's some pictures for stuff I've been trying for my degree-film-to-be:

(as you can see, there is smoking again, there is usually some smoking in my films, any problems with that?)

In the meantime, because working on two big films and dissertation (ok, I'm not doing the last one, but I should have, god, I should have...) is not enough, Cat Bruce and I got involved in another extra project: helping Cindy Derby on animations that are to be in her puppet performance. You can read more about that on her blog. Here's some pictures from that (not sure if I'm allowed to put them online or not, really, but I like them), animated by Cat Bruce so she did the real magic, but I designed the cut out puppet (oh what a complex design, isn't it?), did some lighting and camera stuff, so there's like 20% of my work there!
I think they look awesome. Well done Cat, she's doing some crazy magic.

So yep, that's how it's going. I find myself thinking of Poland again, can't wait to see Warsaw in December again (first thing I miss about Warsaw is its Chinese, and then my friend there. Ultimately, my friend out with me having Chinese...). But back on Earth: keep going girl, you really have to finish these films!



Bear Bone's new music video "Diving Bell" by Live Circus is out online.
I've been collaborating on that, doing the animation.

also, check the making of, I'm there animating some mice:



I've just put some "work in progress" material online: it's one of the scenes, from the animatic up to the final version stage. I like when people are sharing their pencil tests, and to compare them with the finished animation, so I hope it's interesting:

Also, I have started a separate blog for my degree film progress documentation. Yep, that's another film. There's not much there yet, but just to let you know:

And, here's a drawing I did this evening, feeling down, so I though I should do something cheery and disneyish.



A long long time ago, during the first project we did in the second year, Alan Mason shared some of his legendary wisdom with me: "if you think that something is boring, it probably is". Now I find myself spicing up every little scene I work on, crazy camera movements or other insanities. It's his fault, if anyone wonders. All his fault. If not his support, who know what kind of crap films I'd be making now.

Few news:

My "train" film in intense work in progress, fell behind the schedule so badly that it may go on my big ego :)
It's all looking great, that's a positive, but taking well long. Well, that's probably what you get when you're making an 8 minutes long animation on your own.

In the meantime, I think I mentioned that before, I've been collaborating with Live Circus on new BearBones' video for their single "Diving Bell". It's been good fun, new experience, greenscreen and puppeteering mice. For an animator, it was great to get to go outside my dark closet, see real people. The premiere's planned some time in October, somewhere in the Emerald City of Glasgow.

Also, apparently-hopefully the film I made a year ago ("but it makes me happy") is gonna be screened as a short before two anime features as a part of "Scotland Loves Anime" festival (2nd weekend of October Glasgow Film Theatre and the 3rd weekend Edinburgh Filmhouse). Cool, ay?

Above all that, I have just started my final year at Edinburgh College of Art (eventually managed to get that far, yes, I can't believe it either), they've been bugging me with some dissertations and graduation films to make, or something of this ridiculous sort… such a drag to be honest, but I'll need to give it a thought some time soon.

So yeah, all sparkling and shining.



dying, but not dead yet,
on the road to El Dorado,
in love, but not fallen
keeping it balanced on this roller-coaster,
I'm fine, thank you.



First things first, someone twitted this article and I thought I may have a look, I'm to graduate next year this time, so it's good to know if there's some jobs going on, and… I found my own name there. Wow, how cool is that? I mean, someone bothered to SPELL the whole thing right!
Due to various reasons, even though I almost killed myself animating like crazy, I never managed to finish the TRAIN project for the planned deadline (that would be around now). It's 90% animated, and I'm working on the colouring now, the new plan is to finish it by September so I can concentrate on my graduation film and dissertation. Thanks for everyone who helped, and Claire, my main character number one fan - she says he reminds her of Gambit form X-men. I liked X-men, so I guess it's cool.

I really should update my website, or even make it serious (this article in the list, it made me think: "what if people really are looking at that website and it all looks like I'm a mental 14 years old?"). But I think the film is a priority right now, so the site won't change any soon. I can't even look at it myself anymore.

Right now I'm abroad where it's 34°C in shade right now. I colour my film, where the action takes place in winter, but it doesn't help. I'm to stay here just one and a half month more, so far my main place of residence is the cellar where it's a bit colder. But I share it with way too big spiders. Especially that they outnumber me greatly. And the Internet's only on the attic, where I think one could boil the kettle without putting it on.

oh flower of Scotland, when will I see your like again?



a wee line test i just did, my so called main character, or at least leading male, doing a little dance :)

well of course it's just not inbetweened properly and he's not gonna do it in the film, but i thought it looks funny.

I just discovered a big scene that I haven't done at all... it amazes me how one can miss a whole big scene in the film she knows by heart already...



scene 23, the conductor, line test i did today...with voices... makes me wonder why the hell was i lip synching it when in most of the frames her mouth is out of shot. and i actually drew her whole head... i'm becoming so pro, haha. not really. i'm way behind the schedule, that's sad, from good news: i'm finished with everything else at college so no distractions, and i'm going to see Gogol Bordello in Glasgow soon.

More good news, I'm hoping to recruit an extra animator for the film, my underclassmate Roza. we'll see soon.

There is more progress (or so I believe), but i don't have time to organise and edit it. I'm doing some hard core key frames like I never did before, that's me being organised. I may get some here later. If i have time.



a lot had happened. i'll probably skip some important at the time bits.

so, first Krakow, OFAFA - animation festival in Poland. it was so much fun, I have learned so much about Polish animation and I'll absolutely try to get there next year as well.

then BAFTAs in Glasgow - I did not win, but it was a valuable experience in a charming company.

I have the voices for the train project and i'm pressing on with animating. I was up north in Highlands recently visiting my friend - Cat, whom I sometimes make to animate for me as well. The time there only passes at something like 2 frames a second, but still looks so smooth.

Right now i'm in the process of switching from the pc to mac, i've been using both since i started uni, but now i'm biding farewell to pc. it's also a jump from CS2 to CS4, and it takes me a while to get used to. i only realised to what great extend i customised my old CS2 - it'll take me a while to get all the settings right. so there will be a bunch of odd frames in the sequence I'm colouring right now…

In the summer, I may get to work in my hometown's youth cultural centre teaching basic animation. that should be so much fun! But first I've got the film to finish. and the essay for Jonny Murray, due in 3 weeks, i'll start at some point next week…

there is some festival action going on as well, but my mind's not in it.



significant facts and numbers:
today, on the 8313th day of my life, Jonny Murray said "kind of" 298 times during his talk. one of his highest scores so far. the lecture itself wasn't that bad either.

"Monster in the toilet" got nominated for Bafta New Talent Scotland it's quite cool, isn't it? There's also four other people nominated from my department, so it's gonna be our big eca party!

Next week I am going to Poland for OFAFA (animation festival in Krakow), where two of my films are being shown, I also think that would be fun to look a little into Polish animation, which I know very little about.

listening to Julia Marcell, drinking Stella, which - I think - smells. I don't like it.

And there's also one thing I'd like to do, that I've always wanted to do: get on the rooftops and sit there, look at the Edinburgh city from up there.

In all that mess, I'm tring to get as much animation done as possible for the Train project.



lots of stuff happening around the production. I have found a sound designer (Pete Smith) and a composer (Gareth Griffiths), who so far showed to be really helpful, understanding, hard working, keen and... no, they are real people. or Ms Schizophrenia got me this time.

We did some vocals recording and I hope to have a proper animatic done soon.
It was a really exciting time for me, I need to learn to pretend to be a professional better. And I was depressed by my absolute lack of directing skills - something to work on in the future.
All my unprofessional crew of actors was doing quite well. with the exception of one couldn't help touching the mike... but that's what you get working with almost three years old.

In the meantime, I carry on animating and colouring. I wanted to share this test when I had the sun shining through the blinds, I love this effect :)



little things, like tea, conversations you're forced to listen to in public transportation, time you spend waiting for things to render, shoelances. you've got to tie them, untie them, and they make shoes with fake shoelances already, saves you trouble. but it's that little trouble that makes this time i spend here My Life.

here's some pencil tests me and Will Anderson did for the train project so far, plus one colour sample at the end (the quality here's crap, but in general i'm pleased). the plan is to have the whole thing in pencil done by the end of April, and then colouring - as soon as possible (which could be a while). next week we're hopefully recording the proper vocals so we can have the animatic fixed.

I have found a sound designer, and - hopefully - a composer to do the soundtrack.

PS. my tutors are still doing well entertaining me, that's a recent one: "As everyone knows,animation is a moribund art form which only a fool would want to study - and only a bigger fool would want to teach." Mason, A. (2010)



Seminar. During two hours, Jonny Murray said "kind of" at least 219 times. this is how many i managed to wrote down. and at least 30 minutes we were watching clips so he wasn't speaking. he can do much better, i believe. other than that, i made a drawing of Ben.

earl grey, with raspberry, stirred with a pencil. i was once told that girls who stire their tea with anything that wasn't designated for that particular purpose, they can never get married. and here i know why i will live and die in solitude. we all die alone anyway, an none of us can live alone either. so it's lots of bullshit.

i'm in a big need for
a) sound designer
b) recording studio
c) composer who would do the soundtrack.

i don't have time for anything, and i'm getting very little done, that could be frustrating if i had time to be frustrated.

but above all the every day hussle, i know that i am making an amazing film, and this feeling is wonderful.



Will Anderson's character design for the train project

i'll do something with my life, not only with my films. i hope it won't cost me a lung cancer. i'm a little unsure about the future, and i don't like it for one simple reason: i can't book advance tickets anywhere if i don't know which country i'll be in. and i don't like flying.

we started working on the train projects, the life in college got some meaning for me again. it's a bloody filmic image, and i want to make it. accidently, i found this idea for my gaduation film, which would be something totally different. so i want to do it even more. i'm working with many (more than one is many for us) people on that, it's challenging, overwhelming, yet exciting.

Cat Bruce's character design

oh, i wanted to put some pencil tests here, but blogger's gone bad, i can see. o welles...



we're doing this project at the college: we're supposed to make a short film every day for 10 days. it was the day 8th today, and i'm well tired with it. i'll hopefully have the train project's script done quite soon.

some of the films i made for that 10days project:



some pictures form my next, hopefully, film. the big plan is to have it finished by June. o yeah. i want to look more mature, this one's gonna be hard to counterfeit.

other than that -  i've got some Orson Welles to watch. and some brandy to drink with Cat Bruce and Will Anderson. what more can one ask for?