May 192011


At this month’s Spins & Needles special CoMotion installment, we’ll be collaborating with Winnpeg-bred, Ottawa-based artist A. Megan Turnbull (, a new media artist and director, in a variety of mediums such as; video, paper sculpture, stop-motion, animation and illustration. We first met Megan when we came across her CoMotion project at the Ottawa Mini-Maker-Faire last November. We were so inspired by her paper worlds and that we knew a party devoted to stop motion and her collaborative work was in order! Here’s what Megan (also a serious hula hooper) had to say about her project, her inspirations and collaboration with Spins & Needles:


1. Spins & Needles will be collaborating with yourself to present the stop motion project COmotion. Can you tell us about the project?

COmotion is people working/playing together to make a short video. If you are a maker, mover, doer, actor, director, participator, or observer… you’ll have fun at this event!

There will be stations to make pieces of a mini paper set (with templates if you want). There will be a collaborative collage, and there will be two paper sets that you can help animate… Last but not least, there will be robots (or boxes for you to transform into your own robot) so you can star in the video as well! Be sure to bring your cameras or camera phones so you can make your own version of the COmotion. A few weeks after the event, the video will be posted online, so you can see what all your hard work created.

I started the COmotion project last November at the Ottawa Mini-Maker-Faire, and it turned out to be a blast! So, I’m really excited to see what creative wacky ideas come out of this installment.


2. What inspired you to develop COmotion?

COmotion was inspired by my desire to work with others, and have fun making. I have been working in paper and stop-motion for years, and knew that 24 frames per second would be a lot more fun if it was a party, and there were 24 people to move things! I love the ideas and creativity that flourish in a collaborative environment. I was at the Pompidou in February, and was really excited about Michel Gondry’s participatory exhibit. This exhibit inspired me to incorporate the opportunity for participants to star in the COmotion video, as well as collaborate in the animation of it.

makeAWESOME from Jacquelyn Hebert on Vimeo.

3. Tell us about your background and artistic practice. What have been some other projects you’ve created? What have been your creative influences? Are there are other ways you get creative?

I started building models during my first degree, Landscape Architecture. When I went back to school 5 years later to take Video Production and Animation, I kept playing with paper as a means to escape the computer. Since then I have made several paper stop-motion films such as: Frolic, Make Awesome, Evolucity, and also my National Film Board (NFB) stereoscopic 3D film Unlaced-Délacé. The films have been screened at festivals and screenings in Canada and internationally.

My friends are my greatest creative influences; from making a series of paper hats with Roberutsu, to wandering the streets of Ottawa with Firuz Daud looking for camera action, and always finding a new ‘design challenge’ with Jacquelyn Hébert.

Frolic: A Stop-Motion from amturnbull on Vimeo.

4. If you could put together any collaborative project and had all the resources to do it, what would it be?

It would be similar to the COmotion projects, but on a much larger scale. Having the miniature sets enables all sorts of shot/angle opportunities, but it would be even more engaging if there were human scale sets, so people could get involved with acting in their own videos. Really I just want to encourage people to be silly and play, no matter their age.


5. What’s on the horizon for Megan Turnbull e.g. upcoming projects?

I am starting a project with my longtime friend, Gt. Dane. It is to be a music/video collaboration. It will be great to work with him again, as we haven’t worked together since I sang with him in the Winnipeg band, All of Your Friends. Other than that I am in pre-production mode for a personal project, and I have a lot of travel plans between now and August. So, the horizon looks pretty fun from here, although I always like the horizon in summer!

  3 Responses to “COmotion Artist Profile: A. Megan Turnbull from”

  1. [...] read a bit about me on the Spins and Needles Site, go to the Spins and Needles Interview. from → Uncategorized ← COmotion @ Spins & Needles LikeBe the first to [...]

  2. [...] the Spins and Needles blog Megan spoke about the motivation behind the project: COmotion was inspired by my desire to work [...]

  3. That was so fun!

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