An ongoing research series investigating animation with organic materials

organima 3 - leaf galls

When insects create homes on a maple leaf.

Inspired by the Maple Eyespot Gall and its circular formations, we explored storytelling through organic mark-making and attempting a narrative on a single leaf. We began by carefully stripping away the leaf's pulp to reveal a scaffold. The removed pulp was then repurposed as an ink and reapplied onto the leaf skeleton. This allowed us to animate the story of gall formation on a leaf using exclusively its own plant matter.

Galls are intricate growths on plant tissues made by burrowing insects. They become habitats for these insects, offering protection and food. They are often thought to be a disease, but are a crucial step in the lifecycle of some insects, and leave beautiful marks.

Made in full collaboration with Emi Takahashi

Music by Hinako Omori

organima 2 - wood eels

Over the last 4 months I’ve been chiseling thin layers off of a small piece of maple wood. Looking at this block at my grandpa’s wood shop, I realized that woodgrain will animate if you slowly reveal new layers of wood. After removing a handful of layers, I noticed that the grain moves like trickling water. I wanted to work with this feeling of water, so I developed animated eels based off of the soundwave of my wood chiseling, and drew them onto each new layer. Eventually after nearly 100 layers, I reached the other side of the block.

Music by Jonah Yano


organima 1 - snowprints

Seeing a print in the snow feels right. It is a sign that someone was there, but one that is buried, melted, or trampled with the rest of the snow around it. A perfect print is conditional — a sunny day after a snowfall.

Music and sounds by Ghost Orchard