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Jeff Chiba Stearns

Discipline: Film/Video
Homebase: Burnaby
Regions Available: Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley &, Howe Sound, Interior, Remote, Virtual
Languages: English
Grant Eligibility: Eligible to apply for AIC

Jeff Chiba Stearns is an Emmy® nominated and Webby award-winning animation and documentary filmmaker. He is also an accomplished illustrator and artist. After graduating from Emily Carr University with a degree in Film Animation, he founded Meditating Bunny Studio Inc in 2001. From viral video ads for companies like Sharpie and Post-it Note, to short and feature films including Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2010) and Mixed Match (2016), Jeff's work has broadcast around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals and garnered over 40 awards. He also has a Bachelor of Education from UBC and taught high school animation. He was the senior classical animation instructor at the Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna for over four years. Jeff has also written and illustrated the children’s books Mixed Critters (2018) and Nori and His Delicious Dreams (2020) and has just released his first graphic novel, On Being Yukiko (2021). Jeff is also the host of the upcoming animation podcast, Animation Meditation and the creative director for the pre-school animated series The Treebees.

Classroom Residency(ies)

Contact Me: Email, Web

Animation for Any Classroom: Low Tech Animation Techniques

School Year: 24-25

This workshop will showcase various low-tech animation techniques and show students fun and innovative ways to create animation without any special animation equipment. Students will be taught the principles of animation and animation drawing techniques through demonstrations and warm-up exercises. Students will then create animation using stop motion animation techniques such as pixilation and drawing with light. With the "lightning doodle" project, students work together to create an animation using only flashlights. This is an excellent way to foster creativity and collaboration and inspire students to continue creating animations without needing any special equipment.

Capturing Family History and Identity Through Graphic Novels

School Year: 24-25

Jeff Chiba Stearns, Emmy-nominated and multiple award-winning animation filmmaker, educator, author and illustrator, will guide students on how family history can be used as inspiration to explore their own histories through visual storytelling mediums like graphic novels. Graphic novels have been proven to be a great way to teach students culturally responsive teaching and visual literacy, connecting students' cultures, languages, and life experiences with what they learn in school. As well, graphic novels are a great way to help students to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, read, write and create images and visual media. In this classroom residency, Jeff will discuss and explore how graphic novels can be used to capture family history and explore identity through the creation of his latest graphic novel, ON BEING YUKIKO, which explores Japanese Canadian history and identity through an intergenerational story.

Classical Animation Anijam

School Year: 24-25

An "anijam" is a collaborative animation where various animators each create an individual animated segment that all link together to make one larger film. First students will be taught the principles of animation and animation drawing techniques through demonstrations and warm-up exercises. Then students will be given a topic and asked to create a hand-drawn classical animation using Post-it Notes. Students will utilize self-reflection and express their creativity through animation. The "anijam" has students working together by creating a larger animated film which is constructed using all the students' work. No drawing experience needed.

Testimonials & Reviews

Jeff is extremely patient and caring about the students. His mastery of the art form as an established animator and renowned filmmaker has brought our students to a higher level of appreciation of the art form which they would not normally be able to obtain from ordinary school curriculum. His teaching style is engaging and entertaining; and he has a very special way to make the complicated technological aspect of animation accessible and fun for the young kids. Ying Wang, Executive and Artistic Director, Cinevolution Media Arts Society
I am happy and proud of the groundbreaking work being done by Jeff Chiba Stearns. Joy Kogawa, Author of Obasan, Itsuka, The Rain Ascends and Naomi's Road
I have witnessed Jeff's outstanding ability to not only sustain his practice as an artist but also provide leadership for a younger generation. Fred Wah, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary, Parliamentary Poet Laureate

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