Clay the Elf
January 21, 2014
Clay the (GAY) Elf
Animation, Illustration, Sculpture, 2015-17
Clay was originally developed for a children’s book (still a work in progress), called Jasper and Clay Save Christmas Day. The premise of the story, without giving away too much, is that Santa Claus outsourced his toy manufacturing to big corporations that were sabotaged just before completing Santa’s big order. All the elves of the North Pole were disbanded and spread out across the globe, and Santa has to find help to design, manufacture and deliver toys that meet all the children’s requests. Enter Santa’s last resort for help, Clay.
Clay’s dream was to be a master toy maker in the North Pole, but because his toys were so unusual and had a tendency to cause calamity, Santa had Clay take an extended vacation to the South Pole with his best buddy, Jasper. Clay had given up on his dream, but Jasper never gave up on Clay. When Santa suddenly shows up begging for help, the two must work together against all odds to overcome their personal conflicts and save Christmas.
The story has changed a bit since it’s original inception, now including another character currently in development for a larger series of children’s stories, but the characters have remained mostly unchanged.
As I was developing the story, I was eager to see Clay in animated form. I was teaching myself lip-syncing using Adobe Aftereffects and used Clay as my first animation test.
Then life got in the way, and I was distracted by work, classes, and everything in between. In 2017, while taking a course at IRSC to finish my bachelor’s degree, I had the opportunity to revisit the story for a project and ended up making Clay into a 3D sculpture. It’s my hope to finish Jasper and Clay’s story, along with the new series of books I am working on, within the next year.