We see a lot of interesting projects at Digital Arts, but creating GIFs for a fake campaign for a fake pill that gives you extendable arms is definitely one of the more stranger concepts.
Luca Paulli at Picasso Pictures has dedicated his precious time to producing a series of humorous GIFs for a “brand” called Ugrow - essentially a pill which enables an individual’s arm to extend to “unbelievable lengths”.
Things You Can Do With Extendable Arms, is a truly remarkable personal project by the Italian animation director and illustrator, who now runs a small studio in south east London.
Using a strong colourful and flat style for the overall aesthetic of the GIF series, Luca indulges us in the gloriously comical perks of having extra long arms.
Whether that’s playing table tennis by yourself, grabbing yourself another drink while sitting down or eating a pizza while skiing - these tasks that actually require us to move would suddenly become all too easy, or perhaps if you’re a pessimist, would make us become very lazy human beings.
But you might wonder what would cause Luca to embark on such an eccentric project - that was certainly the first question that popped into my mind. So before conceding the GIF series to be mere frivolous fun, Luca says there’s a little more to it. It’s all about author Nicola Barker.
“She proposed that “we live in a society of spectacles”. Looking deeper into that concept, I want to provoke a reflection on our society and look at how we define ourselves through our behaviour,” says Luca.
"In the Ugrow world made of simple forms and bright colours I have created an essential language with different layers of interpretation. Each character is portrayed in a perennial loop where their actions cross between innocence and artifice, joy and indulgence with a magnetic duality.”
His GIF of a man cutting trees explores how progress can become damaging for our planet, or the GIF of a woman shaving her legs raises the question of body hair and the “never-ending cycle of beautification”.
His use of bold colours cause each GIF to pop and demand attention.
“I love working with bold and close complimentary colours, and I wanted to create a new style for this project that was different from my previous work,” says Luca.
Luca is currently working in a range of style from 3D to 2D and mixed media. He’s been a character animator for more than 10 years, during this time winning the DepicT audience ward at Encounters Film Festival for his short Breaking the Mould. Luca joined Picasso Pictures for commercial work in 2014 as one of their emerging directors, and has worked for clients such as Google and Mediaset.
Things You Can Do With Extendable Arms is not a finished project. Luca wants to release more ideas regularly on social media. So if you have suggestions about what you would do with ridiculously long arms, then feel free to get in touch.