Create clapping characters for this animated balcony challenge

Stay home and stay positive – they sound like easy things to do, although doing both at the same time might be quite the balancing act.

But staying home and making others positive doesn't have to be as hard a challenge, and as artists we know no better way than keeping happy by taking on an invigorating creative challenge.

We're not talking illustrative themes like Inktober or 36 Days of Type, but Stay Home Stay Positive, an animated endeavour by Buenos Aires-based animation studio and motion designer Gabriel Murgue (aka Motion Appétit).

Creatives like Cabeza Patata and Mathieu LB (below) have joined others in animating various figures clapping from a balcony, using a template provided by Buda and Motion to create joyous GIFs like this.

"When we saw the now traditional 8pm balcony celebration spreading across the globe, we decided to team up and create our own building where artists could clap from, supporting in our own way medical staff tackling Coronavirus," the creatives tell me in a joint email.

"We also launched the project to share our passion of animation and art in all forms. I believe this also helps artists, often conflicted souls, to cope with these dark days and get closer as a community, despite the distance."

The aim of Stay Home Stay Positive is to build the greatest and loudest building on Instagram. The project will be finalised with a video once the crisis is over, and anyone can join in. To participate, the only rule is to follow the template downloadable here or from Stay Home's Instagram bio.

"The idea is for everyone to follow basic rules in order to merge together each balcony and create a building in Instagram's feed display," as the Stay Home crew explain, before telling me how the idea came about.

"In France where Motion Appétit is based, the pandemic hit pretty hard and our medical staff is still drowning under intense cases. Therefore, being able to share a celebration with others every evening helps to cope with the social distance. My girlfriend being a doctor, it's really heartwarming to see that from kids to elders, everyone is behind her and motivates her hard work despite the risks.

"Luckily in Argentina, quarantine was applied as soon as the first cases appeared. Then the balconies filled with people and have become one of the main spaces of the home, where you can have contact with others, have dinner; even musical plays, songs and parties have occurred.

"By sharing this project together from France and Argentina," Stay Home continues, "and with new artists joining everyday, we feel like we are a part of something greater and not isolated in our own individual homes.

"Also, we love to see that renowned talents share the stage with new artists, and that together we can create a little something to give warmth and happiness in this world."

Mission accomplished, but I wonder how the teams are keeping themselves positive during lockdown.

"A lot of sport, a lot of food, but most of all, a busy mind to not give space to other thoughts," says Gabriel. "So in a way, this project helps me to cope with lockdown and I'm glad if it can help others too". meanwhile are trying to stay busy and follow routine while generating new projects and ideas like #stayhomestaypositive.

"But the most beautiful thing is to enjoy free time with our loved ones, making many video calls with friends, colleagues and family, and virtual dinners eating much 'asado' (typical Argentine barbecue)."

Just as diverting are all the balconies that come to life by night.

"Everywhere on Earth, even since before coronavirus, people used to clap and have balconies. The pandemic just linked the two together, and I think it is beautiful that, without noticing, people have found a way to say thanks in a universal language."

Artist credits from second GIF onwards: Cabeza Patata,, Lady Caballo, Pablo Cuello. Follow Stay Home Stay Positive here.

Related: Tips on making animated characters dance realistically

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