What Is This Sorcery? It’s Nancy Liang’s Animation Art

There are those who draw, and then there are those who create magic. Nancy Liang belongs to the latter. Her illustrations and short animations might very well put a spell on you. With themes that include houses, the night sky, and plants, her work sparkles and glistens, the sum being greater than its parts.

Based in Sydney, Liang graduated with a Bachelor of Design at UNSW Art and Design and has no formal training in animation. As such, her animation, often experimental, pushes the boundaries of more traditional forms, incorporating mediums like drawing, painting, and paper cutting with digital programs like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Aero, and Processing.

Liang explains that the elements that make each animation piece have all been hand-drawn or handmade frame by frame, which naturally takes a lot of time and patience. Using kraft paper cutouts, she arranges her pieces in the visual form of a diorama “The objects in my work have hundreds of layers down to the shadow under window pane,” she explained once in an interview with Brown Paper Bag.

“For me, everything must be separate. That way I can move or redraw single elements frame by frame rather than create hundreds of finished collages frame by frame”. In order to do so, she draws, cuts, pastes, and shifts all the elements around. “It is a reiterative process,” she admits.

After playing around with the different pieces, she then scans all of her finished layers into the computer, arranges them in Photoshop, and only then proceeds to animate. The end result will most definitely mesmerize you.