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Work Samples

World Work I (Digital Animation Still I)

Still from an animation titled World Work I. Two air-ship operators can be seen through a latticed window.

World Work I (excerpt)

An excerpt of an animation from a series titled World Work. The figures in the animation are a collective of craftspeople harvesting greenery from their land. They are preparing to send it off for sale in a far off market.

Valley (wip)

Valley is an excerpt from an in-progress animation. A figure crouching in a valley packs small pieces of vegetation he has harvested from his surroundings into a silver pot.

A Florist: A Coat of Mail (Excerpt)

A Florist is an animation focused on a busy evening at a Florist's workshop. Two florists busy themselves as a delivery arrives through the shop's skylight.

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About LAUREN

Baltimore City

Lauren Howie is an artist working in digital painting, animation and game design. She is based between Baltimore, Maryland and Fès-Meknès, Morocco. She obtained her BFA from The Cooper Union in 2018. Her work focuses on questions of  home, nation-building and ancestry.

World Work I

World Work I takes place in the fantastical world in which all my work is based. It follows two groups of characters. The first is made up of two air-ship operators passing by a farm. The second group  is collective of craftspeople harvesting greenery from their land. 

World Work I, A Florist, and A Delivery are three animations done in quick succession in 2020. These works center around the task of reconciling exterior narrations of community, nation and ancestry with my interior experiences of those same subjects. These animations follow the purveyors of goods and services in a fantasy world, which is built around themes of Islam, Arabization, community, Blackness, and unreachable homelands. Choreographies of colorful masked beings working and socializing investigate the relationship between the individual and the collective. The characters sometimes center their ancestry or their ties to a plot of land in their movements. In other moments they allow market forces or songs stuck in heads to guide them. Through depicting these little workers cultivating land, maintaining homes, communicating with trade partners and extracting resources from their environments I ask viewers to question the structure of the world I am depicting. When and how does land there become "owned" there and when and how one becomes native? How does information travel and how are investor-state dispute settlement agreements reached? The Aesthetics and movement of the world are pulled from some real world sources. The regalia is inspired by hijabi fashionistas, Egungun masqueraders and 90s hip hop. The camera movement in the videos is reminiscent of side scroller video games and the movement of the characters at times is reminiscent of African and Afro-diasporic dance. The environments are mixes of imagined West African countrysides and The American South, famous ancient ‘worlds’ such as The Indian Ocean World, and trade routes such as The Silk Road. These elements coalesce into short looped videos and stills focused on video game-esq approaches to environment art and vibrant regalia.​

Process/Materials: The animation was created in Blender, a free and open source 3D modeling, VFX and animation software. I built the environment, animation rigs and character models in Blender. I connected the models to the rigs and began animating. The Textures are a mix of hand painted digital paintings, procedural materials I created in Blender's node based shader editor and Photo-based PBR textures from Textures.com.

Textile Pliability

Textile Pliability is an in-progress animation focused on harvesting and shipping. The main figure is collecting plants from his environment and packing them in a small silver pot.

  • Valley (wip)

    Valley is an excerpt from an in-progress animation. A figure crouching in a valley packs small pieces of vegetation he has harvested from his surroundings into a silver pot.
  • Valley (Digital Animation Still I)

    A pot is lowered toward the groud. A figure crouches, while looking toward the sky.
  • Valley (Digital Animation Still II)

    The figure stands up after packing his products into the pot.
  • Walk Cycle (Vis-Dev)

    A quick visual development test of the physics simulation for cloth rendered in the Blender Cycles Engine.
  • Character Sketch

    Early drawings of the main figure, mostly used to test color schemes.

A Florist

A florist enters her workshop at dusk carrying an intricate flower arrangement. The greenery being harvested in World Work I can be seen being delivered by two workers on the roof of the shop. A second florist gathers the materials into her underground storeroom and the cycle begins again. 

A Delivery

A small business woman awaits a delivery of painted bowls in her shop.

  • A Delivery

    A Delivery is the first full 3D animation I created in early 2020. It was also the beginning of my experimentation with loops. The rigging, animation, texturing, enviroment modeling and character modeling were done by me, the ground texture is from Textures.com. The back drop is a photo taken by Johannes Rappich.
  • A Delivery (Environment Render)

    A high quality render of the environment for A Delivery.
  • Character Render

    A close up view of the character design and character model used in the animation.

Lauren Howie x Refusing Refusal

Lauren Howie x Refusing Refusal is an artist talk focused on the body of work leading up to the World Work series. It was presented as a part of Refusing Refusal, a show curated by Baltimore-based artist Divya Nayar.  

  • Planet (Digital Animation I)

    A still of an animation of a planet. The animation was created from crayon drawings digitized and edited in Adobe AfterEffects.
  • Planet (Digital Animation II)

    A still of an animation of a planet. The animation was created from crayon drawings digitized and edited in Adobe AfterEffects.
  • Character Sketch

    A character design sketch with color and shapes inspired by Egungun Masqueraders. Drawn in MS Paint.
  • Character Sketch II

    A character design sketch with color and shapes inspired by Egungun Masqueraders. Drawn in MS Paint.
  • Character Sketch III

    A digital character design sketch drawn in MS Paint. The shapes are inspired by Egungun Masqueraders and modest fashion popularized by Instagram Hijabi fashionistas.
  • Character Sketch V

    A digital character design sketch drawn in MS Paint. The colors and shapes are inspired by Egungun Masqueraders and modest fashion popularized by Instagram Hijabi fashionistas.
  • Surface Study

    A MS Paint drawing exploring drawing techniques and environment design for the animation.
  • Boat Design

    A still of the air-ship asset used in the animation. It is a mixture of drawings and collaged manipulated photographs. Created in MS Paint and digital painting and photo editing software GIMP.
  • Air Ship Study

    A still of an alternative design for the air-ship asset. Created in MS Paint and digital painting and photo editing software GIMP.

Connect with LAUREN

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LAUREN's Curated Collection

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