Christmas Cheer: Stop Motion Video Making with Wellspring Living

We had our last event of the year with Wellspring Living. For our project, we decided to make a stop motion video. Our subject: Christmas cookies. We started the morning out with Julie and our two volunteers, Margaret Crane and Sarah Low teaching cookie decorating technique. Sarah baked five dozen cookies for the girls to decorate. Five dozen! It was Margaret's first event as a Paint Love artist! Yay! After the cookie decorating was complete, I stepped in to teach stop motion movie basics.

Stop Motion has always been a hobby of mine. I had the opportunity earlier this year to make short videos for Pottery Barn with the team at Handmade Charlotte. I hadn’t really touched the camera since then, but luckily it comes back pretty quick.

Setting up our story board.
Obviously we are very high tech with story boards.

We started by doing a rough story board. It’s always good to have an idea of where you’re going. This is true in life, too. You can’t nail it all down. You have to leave room to experiment in the moment. But, having a good sense of the things that need to happen can give you the freedom to explore.

Clear direction is important in life and in personal work, but it become even more important when working on projects as a group.


We experienced a moment of tension. It was one girl’s turn at the stage. She would be the one manipulating the dough. Two other girls had very similar ideas of what they wanted to happen, but they were having a hard time being heard over the crowd. As tensions rose, I stepped in. I said, “This happens all the time in filmmaking, right? We have two directors who have similar ideas. We have our actress who is prepared to make it happen. We need good communication so we can start the shoot. Explain your idea, and let’s make it happen.” They explained their ideas, everyone was clear on what their job would be and we got to work.

I didn’t realize what a pivotal moment that was until later. To me it was just the thing that happens when you have a bunch of creatives in the same room!

Conflict resolution is big, but it’s not typically something you think comes out of working with the arts.

We traditionally think of the lone artist creating in their studio, but in this day and age, that is rarely the case. The most creative projects come from a team. I was so lucky to have the team I did on Saturday. We had some amazing creatives in the room! I’m so proud of their work:

All in all, we got to use some pretty fun techniques. We used studio lighting (an iPhone flashlight with yellow tissue paper) to simulate the oven. We played with camera angle, speed and timing, line and pattern. It was such a great project. The team at Wellspring is beyond talented!

This past Saturday was such fun girl-time in the Paint Love studio! I had the opportunity to decorate cookies with some girls from Wellspring. They all seemed to really enjoy themselves and had some yummy creations at the end! Afterwards, we had the opportunity to collaborate and make an awesome stop motion video, based off the girls’ ideas. I left eager to see them again and ready to start filming and creating more videos!
— Margaret Crane, Paint Love Artist

Wellspring Living is an Atlanta based nonprofit helping domestic sex trafficking victims and the vulnerable develop the courage to move forward and the confidence to succeed. We have been happy to partner with them on several projects including an abstract painting project with Ashley Hizer and jewelry making workshop with Corrie Ladd.