Animation : The Secluded Eden of Monachopsis

in steem-cartoon •  last year


John Koenig in his "Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows" (a conpendium of invented new words to describe emotions that we might experience but don't yet have a word for), has coined the word 'monachopsis', which means:

n. "the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home."



It's nearly in the afternoon when Dameera came upon an opening. She barely noticed that she had lost her way a good half of the time she was in the woods. Her foolish bravado, accompanied by the opportunity to rebel had often led her to pleasant surprises, keeping her in her hopeful naivety of her age. Though it's hard to say whether she was optimistic or just plain unconcerned about her directions. Conjointly, her whole young life up until that point has been like that; dazed, neurotic and with short attention span. The future was still a shapeless and faraway concept to her. Her oumi had said her 'que sera sera' behaviour probably came from her father's side of the family, in which abhi took it with a wide grin across his face. Indeed, It was abhi that took her around this, as he proudly called it, his childhood playground. It was only yesterday, or about the same month of every year since she could remember, she had visited this place. But each time was a unique and new experience to her, despite the reoccuring deja vus. Like some inherited photographic memories, distant and older than she was.

As leaves shuffled slowly in the wind, Dameera looked at her surroundings. There was a small body of water, a big moss-infested rock, some trees, and undergrowth. Here, she found peace and tranquility. And yet after a while, she finally let out a small sigh. She could never understand why her parents ever wanted to leave this Eden. But a sudden sinking feeling came over her. How ungrateful and even blasphemous of her to disregard the fact that her chance existence was the byproduct of her wedded parents. Her father had traded this for her.

Her contemplation was broken by a small but distinct sound. An insect-like sound came from the jutted out flowers in the middle of the wide clearance. She tried to peer through its leaves and flower petals but could not see anything out of the ordinary. She could swear the flowery plant was communicating with her. She pretended to be looking away from it for a number of times but the call had ceased. Or was it only in her head? She looked at it with such fascination, she began to muse how the flowers and she were very much alike. Distancing themselves away from the rest, but still in the midst of it all. Happy in disconnection, split about their sense of belongingness. She blushed at the self-absorbed thought of comparing herself to such beautiful and flourishing red flowers. But the thought, it was hers alone, so surely she had the right. Not like when grandma said that she was in her prime age to find a man in her life. She blushed even more, this time with a scowl. What good were men for, except maybe for reaching Nutellas in high places, instinctively acknowledging her height and her first world problems that got in her way of devouring chocolates. She might as well get a stool.

Despite her grandmother's blunt assertion, Dameera always thought of the old woman as one of her favorite persons. Grandma was the personification of contradiction and paradox, the essential formula that became the bedrock of every good story. This was apparent when she had also mentioned her honest concern about Dameera's weight gain (that might hinder male courtship) since the last time they met, at the same time offering her delicious home-baked cookies. Her energy was also disproportionately high irrespective of her age. She was independent and would candidly complain about grandpa in front of him. Yet, she once admitted that she could not live without him. But for Dameera's story, she was still happy being with herself, or just with close friends, some of them cats. Nothing is etched in stone. Or bedrock. "What is bedrock anyway? A rocking bed? A bed made of rocks?" She thought, as she finally realized she was lost, and alone in the woods.

RiaJ progress p.jpg

Original still image before it was turned into simple animation.

The breakdown:


This time I tried to make a simple frame-by-frame animation. there are about 15 frames of the girl, 5 frames of water stream and ripples, and 2 shapes of fish. For the fish I just used the tween option and repeat the movement three times.


The background was painted with lush blue and green with some streaks of warm hues. The water stream was actually transformed from the huge rock and repainted to form a riverbank. I envisioned the end result would feel like a page from old/ children illustrated book or from a 2D animation. The upper part of the illustration was meant to have a title or a text on it but I had no idea what to write there. Perhaps for the better. You should always leave some space for your viewers' breathing room.

RiaJ breakdown a.jpg

Eventhough the contrast might help in catching the immediate attention of people, I reduced it. I preferred an intimate and calmer approach, for my own eyes primarily. Finally I blocked some dark silhouettes and gaussian-blurred them to established a foreground. If you want to make an environment painting, don't forget to create this depth of field illusion with foreground, middleground and background.

RiaJ breakdown b.jpg

So that's it for today. Thanks in advance for all the support. See you guys around. :>

  • Afique

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I am an artist and trying to get into occasionally doing more animations like this. However, I have only been able to use a free gif maker online to show my painting process, as I failed at trying a photoshop tutorial, oh well.

Your piece is so lovely and it really draws one in and then when I read the story so moving. I really like art that tells a story by itself and yours surely does that. With animation as part of our screen life I wonder if more fine art will be moving to animated moments in time?

I just found you as well, so I'm going to be following you and going to go check out your other animations. Thanks for this!


Hi @donnadavisart. Thanks for making my day!
I symphatize with your difficulty on photoshop, which is the only medium I mostly returned to these days from my failed attempts in other areas, such as watercolor, or any other traditional medium for that matter.

To answer your question, I once heard that concept artists talked about how they had raved about the trending of animating concept art as the next hype. Apparently it did not stick for long as it defeated its purpose in terms of idea limitation and speed practicality. But for animating fine art, I can see it is possible as long as it being just one of the forms of its expression. In my understanding, people are still making more still sculptures than moving ones. Because for me personally, still forms offer more mysteries and uncertainties, which consequently gain more fascination and interesting interpretations.

I'm not sure I answered your question correctly. But if you really want to see an animated fine art paintings as a movie, I highly recommend this:


Oh, wow, thank you. I am going to watch this for sure.

Nice story


Thank you, you're too. :)

So deep. I can't even.. Urgh!




I thought this post is pretty straight-forward. ==
sorry i make u die of deep thoughts, bruh.


owh, really? maybe I should read it first.


Flips table*

pehh..lawaaaa..jadi animator la gini pik..


Heheh.. Thanks Mr. @rambai.

gila detail..terbaik afique 👍


Thank you, Mr. @aurah 😄

aduh lawa sangat ni bro xD


Trima kasih @zhafiqkun! 😁

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