Distraught Teenager, Bastard Baby, Approaching Train

A Six Word Story?

I was assigned to make an animation based on a six word story written by someone else. This is a concept created by Ernest Hemingway, a very highly acclaimed writer. He bet his colleagues that he could tell a story in six words, and those six words turned out to be: “Baby shoes for sale, never worn.” And what a powerful six words they were. You think about it for a minute, and you start thinking well, why haven’t they been worn? And your mind wanders off to thinking about a back-story and what happens next.

My six words were chosen after wading through a long list on sixwordstories.com. Many of them weren’t very thought provoking or were too comedic; I wanted something serious.


I used a Wacom and Photoshop CS4 Extended’s new video layers feature. I later found this to very limiting because it was very difficult (if not impossible) to lift frames and place them back or forwards in the timeline. This meant that the timing of the animation is very poor as it was all done one frame after another sequentially.

In total, there are maybe 800 unique frames and it took me three straight weeks to draw it all. I worked on it every day, for the majority of each day. Traditional animation is extremely time consuming! Very rewarding though.