High praise / Tough Love

Prior to now, every time I saw a flipbook, I would be annoyed with myself for never having made one myself. I can draw, I can animate, I have access to an industrial printer, binder and cutter and software I can noodle with while watching TV. The only two issues I have ever had to figure out were: “what would it be about?” and, “can I remember that this is a magic I have access to?”
I finally managed to get one together! I produced High Praise / Tough Love for the AGA zine fair.

The concept I landed on was to make my flipbook a kind of friend someone could keep in a drawer at work or in their nightstand. Then that someone could take their friend out whenever they need a bit of encouragement, “YOU’RE AWESOME!”.

Flipbooks can have two sides, though, I gave this drawer friend two messages. I never for a second thought both messages should be blindly encouraging; that wouldn’t be a true friend. No, message #2 needed to be something ELSE that a friend might say. Not something hurtful, but something you might need to hear.

This took longer to figure out. At first he was a drill sergeant, saying “BACK AT IT, MAGGOT!” but that was far too pushy. The next idea was “You could do better…” This one got as far as being animated, but when I showed it to my wife she rightfully pointed out that it was kindof mean, and also not always necessarily true.

I landed on “Be nicer to yourself.” A very friendly demand, and almost always something people need to hear. It can be taken a couple ways: “Give yourself a bit of credit,” or “try harder on personal growth.”

These buggers are now available on my etsy! They make great gifts. Can’t have too many friends, and these ones aren’t at all needy.