Shawna Koski attended the “California Institute of the Arts,” majoring in Experimental Animation. She loves creating short films and is most fond of puppet stop-motion. Shawna was part of the Okotoks Arts Council for a number of years and worked tirelessly with the youth filmmaking contest called “Zooom” and conducted animation classes to inspire young, eager, filmmakers. Her other interests include writing, she illustrated a book along side writer Katie Fournell (from O.F.F.) called “Lydia’s Monster Under the Bed.” Shawna entered one of her films that was sponsored by the Okotoks Arts Council and it won best animation at the Okotoks Film Festival. She has just received a AFA grant to create a new stop-motion film. Way to go Shawna!
“I am a lover of all things stop-motion. In general I gravitate toward a tactile, textural style in my animated films that embrace the idiosyncrasies of art. I specialize in wire armature puppet stop-motion, but I also enjoy paper cut out animation as well. My other interests include vaudeville, jazz music, silent films, Jeeves and Wooster books, writing, pumpkins and chai lattes.” http://www.shawnakoski.com
I had a great deal of fun creating this film, and is my favorite one so far. I wanted to portray an ambiguous artistic space that represented the psyche of an individual. The character occupies this internal stage and performs without reservation, that is, until she messes up. I wanted to explore the sometimes self-conscious state in which people, especially artists, find themselves when they fail. This was a film generously funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
"Okatok" is based on an old Blackfoot legend about Napi and Big Rock, which offers an explanation about how a giant rock wound up in the middle of a prairie miles away from the mountains. This film was narrated in Blackfoot by my grandma, Pauline Dempsey.