Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Another Alien Girl

Having fun drawing as a student in class at my own school. This is the continuation of the assignment I was working on from the theme established at the previous session. On the left is the initial red line concept sketch and on the right the same image but with black line and some shading.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Alien Girls

Still on a breather from authoring my character design book. Meantime the staff of instructors at my school are doing so well I thought I might take a class with them. Here's what I did in session this week for the assignment we were given based upon the evening's lecture. First sketching I've done in a while.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween art - Hallmark Cards - 1981 & 1982

Here's where I went with the halloween poster art I would create while at hallmark Cards in Kansas City in the early 1980's. By 1981 my painting skills had gotten good enough that this Frankenstein poster was marketed at their stores the next year in 1982. It had these word balloons at the bottom that you could punch out and place in a slot at the top of the poster. There was a blank balloon where someone could write their own remark. A the upper right you can see the sales tab. The art was painted in gouache. The price was $2.25. The poster is too big to scan so I took a photo.

By 1982 I was really challenged with this poster below. The photo shop at Hallmark - which in those days involved cameras and film - set up a window pane with dramatic lighting. It was my responsibility to create a monster and make it look like he was coming through the window into your room. I worked from a small transparency to keep the colors keyed in and then had to mask out the areas where the window frame overlapped the monster and vice verse. It was very technical and I had to be extremely precise. The results were a huge success. It was marketed in 1983 I think for Halloween. This is also a photo of  original poster.

Around this time in 1982 I had been accepted into a training program at Disney Studios and made my way west to Burbank to start a career in animation. It was my last Halloween poster so I went out on a positive note.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween art - Hallmark Cards - 1981

It's a personal treat to rediscover this art. It's the layout for what was called a door-wall poster at Hallmark Cards in the earliest days of my professional career. It was printed around 1981 and sold at Hallmark Card shops all across the country. I'm pretty sure I drew it in 1980 the year before. It was my very first Halloween poster that went to market. The product was something like 7 feet long. It was the size of an actual door as a fake entry and of course it was in color. The floor mat at the bottom had "welcome" on it after it went to the lettering department.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween art - First professional drawing

Hello folks! Taking a little break from working on my character design book to share this ancient art with you. Digging through my archives last night I found the very first drawing I ever did in a professional situation. I was working at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City Missouri in 1980. I had just gone on staff and my first assignment was to contribute a concept design for a Halloween poster that several artists in the department were involved with. I imagined a fiddle playing scarecrow dancing around in a pumpkin patch with field mice framed by a rising moon beyond the horizon which is hard to see but it's there.

This is a copy of the original which Hallmark provided for my records at the time. It's yellowed from age but overall the image held up pretty well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Update - Character Design book

Howdy everyone and I hope things are going great for you. Checking in to see what's happening and I thank you for continuing to visit my blog. Even though I'm not posting much people are still coming around all the time to view posts and I appreciate the attention.

I've been dealing with daily life like all of us and doing what I can to clear time and make headway on the character design book I'm authoring. I've been able to muscle enough space here and there to layout around 220 pages and the count is still climbing with art and information.

Every moment that becomes available I work towards making progress on the book. So far it's looking good and I can say with a high degree of confidence that it could be the most comprehensive book on the principles of professional character design for animation ever published. I've checked out what's available on the market and there's nothing quite comparable. So we'll see how this winds up.

While I'm attending to the project I'd like to again express gratitude for your stopping by. The key to a happy life is in creativity so why not create and be happy.  

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Working on epic Character Design book

It may wind up becoming the best how-to character design book ever published. Certainly one of the best. I'm not aware of anything that can compare to what I'm authoring. It's going to be the most comprehensive educational resource on the subject in the industry. I've got 960 scanned files so far and many of these have multiple images on the page and still I'm scanning. I've accumulated a vast amount of material and have been gradually digitizing it. Much of the content is in the form of notes, lessons and demos created in class while I was lecturing or instructing individual students.

I've got it down to a fine art science. This is going to be a master work. The fundamental basics of Character Design explained in a way that will greatly benefit whoever applies these professional principles. The accumulation of what I've been teaching in the face to face classes at my school The Animation Academy in Burbank over many years. And even before considering that I started teaching in LA way back in 1985 and even before that at Hallmatk Cards in Kansas City in 1981.

These are the lessons that famous character designers in the animation biz use to teach their classes after they took classes with me. A great many of my students went on to lofty heights utilizing what I taught them and now I'm putting all of that knowledge and more into a publication that will have no equal. Much of the featured art will come from professional projects and shows I've worked on and will back up the ideas and methods I describe.

Once the scanning is complete I'll be able to get the art prepped for digital reproduction and lay it out along with text. Then it's off to the blue yonder. I'm confident you rising stars out there will appreciate it when it's ready. Hopefully not too long.

This is just one area that's keeping me busy. But I'm making good progress across the spectrum. Incidentally I've authored 2 books before and they've both turned into collector's items.

Thanks for your attention and wish me luck as I embark on getting this done!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Crash Cash

How many of you wonder who made the big bucks on Crash? Was it Naughty Dog? Universal? Sony? Activision? Others in between? Who wound up with all that Crash cash?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thank You !!

Since the time I started posting on the blog you guys have been great! That's going on 3 years and 4 months now. I've really enjoyed myself sharing art and getting old and new stuff out there. The blog's popularity with Crash fans has been an added plus and I truly appreciate the activity and interaction with many interesting individuals all this time.

I'd like to tell you that I'm working on a Kickstarter campaign for my school. It's taking up a lot of daily hours along with everything else that's going on. So I'm dedicating my efforts in this direction with the hope that we'll have a good response and The Animation Academy in Burbank will level up and we can start to operate as more of a studio and a publishing house along with other things like getting our lessons online. 

The campaign will be ready fairly soon I anticipate and it would be my hope that you great people here would be so kind as to help spread the word through your own networks when the time comes. It'll be a fun project and maybe folks will enjoy the twist it'll have. I've been creating several videos lately that are getting positive responses and are leading up to this. That's what's taking my creative time at the moment. I might start embedding the videos here for something different.

Meanwhile  thank you again for the great experience of building out my personal art blog with content which appears cool people like you enjoy. I'll be back soon with more! Wishing you Joy Peace Happiness and Creativity in your life.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Catching up

Well friends I really do hope this finds you well. Here in Burbank California things are rolling ahead. Just like the Blues Brothers. On a mission from God. I'm very busy with a great deal of positive stuff evolving and emanating from my school. The form it will take is still coming together but it's getting clearer. Especially in light of the changes that are rapidly happening in Hollywood.

It's exciting and amazing. The combination of forces such as the declining trend in TV viewership and the rise of online streaming. The progressing lawsuit against all the major animation studios in Hollywood for colluding with each other to keep artist wages down. The very successful 3 year contract negotiations the animation union has just won. The emergence of crowdfunding and its impact on business. It's all coming together in a perfect storm that's leading to an era of what I'm going to term as the power artist. Or the era of artist power. Something like that.

It's very thrilling and I'm super excited to be here in the heart of and part of all this activity and new thinking. The animation community is experiencing a unique phase right now and my school is in the whirlwind.

That's what's going on. I intend on getting back to creative fun and I want to especially say hello to the Crash Bandicoot fans who frequent my blog and make it special. And to all visitors of course! Thanks everyone and we'll get rockin' soon.