Am I Right, Ladies?

Sometimes going to the doctor can be all kinds of awkward. I know we’re all just human beings with the same general parts and afflictions, but whether we admit it or not, the whole deal is a bit awkward, no matter how much the nice doctor, nurse, and staff are trying to make you feel comfortable.

If you check the archives of my blog for May, June, and July you won’t need a full hand of fingers to count the number of posts I wrote. Two. One at the beginning of June and one at the end of June. That’s it. The big reason for that was exhaustion. My hormones had been so out of whack for so many months that, among other debilitating symptoms, the best I could do for half the days of a month was to make it out of bed for work and then make it home to the couch or back to bed. The days of the month I did have energy, I had so many life-needs to catch up on, blogging was low on the list.

Finally, my best friend managed to do what many before her had tried to do and failed. She convinced me to find a new doctor and make an appointment. What can I say, sometimes you’ll only succumb to peer pressure.

Not since I had a pediatrician as a child, have I had a regular doctor. I’ve manged to get away with quick care visits for sore throats and the like. (I know. That’s not advisable. Save it. You’re not the first to tell me. And besides, I have a regular doctor now. Stop chastising me and keep reading.)

My appointment was in July, and it was quite the experience. I got through it, the doctor and staff were great, we addressed my issues, and I am feeling better. But, I also got something else out of that appointment that I consider equally life-changing.

Out of that appointment, one of my favorite creative pursuits I’ve ever undertaken was born.

Driving home from work one day after the appointment I was thinking about how I would love to relate the awkward experience of this doctor’s appointment, but I didn’t really want to write about it. All of a sudden it hit me.

Stick figures!

I would tell my story in stick figure animation form! By the time I got home, I had a concept, a title, and an overabundance of giddy excitement for my new adventure.

The first video took weeks to produce. I had to figure out how to get what was in my head into video form. It took a lot of trial and error. I eventually decided on blank index cards and found just the right type of ink pen.

I draw and then photograph each part of a card that is going to be its own frame in the video. Which means, yes, if I screw up halfway through a card, I have to draw the whole card over. This is how I am learning to let go of my inner-perfectionist. I don’t want to start cards over, so if this stick figure head is slightly out of round, or the dot for the left eye is slightly bigger than the dot for the right eye, oh well. I purposely allow my handwriting to be sloppy. I feel it adds to “everyday-person-ness” of the drawings. As long as it’s legible, and sometimes that definition is fuzzy, I let it go and figure people will get my meaning.

I didn’t research how other people do this sort of thing. I wanted this to be my creation, done my way. I PRIDE myself on my low production value. My index card photography “studio” setup involves a stool, a trim painting tray, and a camping lantern.

Each video takes a lot of time to create. Less time now that I have a system down, but still from idea, to storyboarding, to drawing and photographing each part of each card, to editing each image, to choosing and editing sound effects and music, to putting each frame of the video together, it takes at least a full weekend to make one. And full weekend means, other than a couple of loads of laundry and hopefully remembering to eat a meal or two, NOTHING else gets done that weekend. But, that’s just how I roll. Once I get excited about a particular idea, I’m “all in” until either I am finished or I get bored. Whichever comes first. So far, with each of these animated videos I’ve created, I’ve never gotten bored.

How long will I stick with this series? I have no idea. The short answer is, until it stops being fun. But, in addition to the two videos I am posting today, I already have another completed animation that I will release soon, and ideas for two more.

So, here they are.

The situations I am depicting in my series “Shannon in The Land Of…” are ones I feel everyone, or at least a small segment of people, or well, at least somebody besides me can relate to.

So, I hope you laugh and I hope you can relate, but as always, if not, please humor me.

Shannon in The Land Of…Awkward Situations
First Visit To The Lady Doctor
We’ve all been there in some form or another. Going to the doctor is rarely fun. Especially when you’re meeting a doctor for the first time. It’s often a very hands-on, get-to-know-you session. I’d also like to state at this time, for my male readers, don’t worry, there’s nothing graphic here. It’s all about the awkwardness. I’m sure you’ve all felt the same at your various and sundry doctor appointments.

You can view the embedded video directly on YouTube here.

Shannon in The Land Of…Frustrating Days
Humidity Hair Nightmare
My part of the country has been going through a spell of rain and humidity for the last few weeks. Those of you in any humid part of the world, who have hair that recoils at even the slightest mention of the term “dew point”, will know where I’m coming from in this animation. It’s a never-ending struggle between you and your ‘do.

You can view the embedded video directly on YouTube here.

If you are so inclined, you can subscribe to my Maybe You Can Relate YouTube Channel here.

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6 thoughts on “Am I Right, Ladies?

    1. Thanks, Roy! Yes. I, too, feel Al Gore had my stick figure depiction of what the dew point can do to a woman’s hair in mind when he blazed the trail for the interwebs. That and videos of pugs running in circles.

  1. Three words: You are right. My favorite part will always be the record scratch sound. Absolutely perfect as paired with your imperfect drawings. And I hope you know that, as I say “imperfect,” I mean they are still 99 percent better than the most creative thing I’ve ever personally done. Good job!

    1. Thanks, Heidi! And thanks for encouraging me early on when I sent you my first drawings, before I’d even figured out how to make them move, and asked hopefully, “Is this funny?” Once I had made someone laugh OTHER than myself, I gave myself permission to spend as much time as I wanted on this project. 😉

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