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A stop-motion maven

Los Alamos resident Allegra Dougherty tied for fifth in the “Create Crafts Challenge 2020.” (Courtesy of Allegra Dougherty)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In life, there are times when the timing is right.

For 19-year-old Allegra Dougherty, it came when she heard a TV on-air spot for the “Create Crafts Challenge 2020.”

The pandemic had already reared its head and Dougherty was doing school work from home.

It was March 28 when the Los Alamos resident heard the on-air spot. The deadline was March 31.

The race against time began.

“I was thinking if I win, I would get some prize money and be able to use it for college,” she says. “I’m super interested in entertainment types of things. I’d like my career to be in that industry in the future.”

This creature made of pipe cleaners was the challenge winner for Allegra Dougherty.

American Public Television’s “Create Crafts Challenge 2020” is a national competition focused on giving Create viewers – both home crafters and professional artisans – a chance to share their ability, knowledge and expertise with viewers via a video of three minutes or less featuring a tip, project, or idea about how to create, or the creation of a craft item using plant, animal, metal, clay, or synthetic fibers.

After a few months of waiting, Dougherty tied for fifth. According to organizers, “scores were so close, that her fellow winners were within three-fourths of one point with each other.”

“Allegra (Dougherty) did a terrific job and the judges were very impressed,” says Jamie Haines, APR, Vice President, Communications.

Martin Amado from Sunrise, Florida, claimed the Grand Prize, receiving $4,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a web series of 10 three-minute videos to appear on Second Prize Winner, Dinah Wulf of Anaheim, California, was awarded $1,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a three-part web series for Create can be seen locally on New Mexico PBS, channel 9.2.

“The challenge caught my eye since I am a 3D artist and can potentially use my skills to earn enough to help pay for college,” she says. “When I learned about the filming aspect of the challenge, I became more interested, since as I stated before, I am interested in the making of TV shows.”

A red dragon by Allegra Dougherty

Dougherty chose to make her video on her process on working with pipe cleaners to create whimsical characters.

It took her hours to complete the video, which was then whittled down to three minutes for the contest.

“Having a good camera person is very important,” Dougherty says. “My brother was the film person and gave it a lot of spirit.”

Dougherty is interested in stop-motion film and animation.

She creates her characters, who then star in her films.

She’s tried a number of different mediums, which include costume making and model painting.

A bush creature made out of pipe cleaners.

“Stop-motion animation is what really drives me,” she says. “I love animated movies.”

Dougherty has created many movies, yet there’s one that sticks out because it was the first she was proud of making.

“It was January and I was doing the stop motion,” she explains. “I was sitting in the snow all day and I couldn’t wear gloves. Despite the fact I was freezing cold, I got all of the characters shot. I even made footprints for the characters with my fingers. All I had is one hand.”

Dougherty will attend college and study animation.

She will continue to create content for her YouTube channel and local advertisements.

“I hope to one day work on movies, TV shows, or video games,” she says. “I’ve learned from this that you don’t always have to talk. Being genuine in what you do is best.”

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