Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ryan Larkin

I was flipping through an old sketchbook today and the tiniest note "Ryan Larkin - Walking" brought back a memory. When I was in first year Visual Arts, in about 2006, one of my professors showed me this animation by Ryan Larkin.


This video, make in 1968, is one of the best animations I have ever seen. It captures fluidity of human motion so profoundly in so few brushstrokes. It expresses emotion through body language. It captures the movement of muscle and bone people are made of.

My professor told us the story of Ryan Larkin.  A few years after making this and working with the Film Board of Canada he fell hard into drugs and alcohol and eventually became a pan handler and was forgotten.

Decades later he met Chris Landreth who made a film about him, Ryan. This brought him attention and in the 2000's he cleaned up and began working with animation again.

The tragic part of the story is that two years after I saw this for the first time I learned that before he had ever really finished anything Ryan Larkin passed away of lung cancer.

This story always lead me to wonder what paths take us where and why. He may have gone on to do so many amazing things and his path took him somewhere else. What is the deciding factor of all of these things? Many of us start out in the same places. It's good to remind ourselves to keep on a path worth travelling.

I hope you enjoyed the video.

<3 Lenore

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