Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Silly Strangers

Is it just me, or is animation one of the least understood art forms out there? Here is a list of common phrases I hear from people when on the subject of what I study:

"So you do, like, Disney?"

"So you draw Mickey Mouse/Donald/any Disney character?"

"Oh, like, all that kid's stuff"?

"Sounds kinda easy."

"You draw cartoons all day?" (Usually combined with the above phrase.)

I'm sure any animators reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about. This will usually come from a stranger, coworker (in a non "art" job), or an old family member. I don't often "do" Disney, nor do most animators sit around drawing Disney mascots (well, except one, everybody knows one). I think it goes without saying that animation is very time consuming and difficult as well.

I even once had someone I was sitting next to on a train absolutely refuse to believe that any life drawing was involved in animation. This woman disagreed in what was almost an angry manner and accused me as a liar. You would think I was talking about a Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory.

Yes this is all just one big excuse for not posting any real artwork. But it isn't for lack of drawing. I draw more than I did when I started this podcast, and right now I'm working on patching up my figure drawing, which was horribly lacking, especially when drawing from memory. A month ago I just could not recall the figure in my mind. Too bad it isn't still 2002.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Mobile Apartment With No Rent!

Ok, I'm a sucker for airships. But, who would not want to hover around in their own pimped out mobile apartment, which would surely run on some convenient, dirt cheap fuel, like dirt! Plus, have plenty of mounted weapons, and - if you're a Final Fantasy fan - a casino on board.

Layout and Design at SVA was not exactly my best class, but it was taught by one of the best teachers. I improved more quickly in that class than any other. This was just an attempt to revisit the techniques, do's, and don'ts taught in that class. I kind of rushed at the end, because I was starting to run out of ideas. With that said, you can tell the ship itself was the last thing to be painted. This was actually done back in January, I'm anxious to try something like it again.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Let's Revel!

My computer is pretty much busted, and was in shop for a bit. I got it back the other day and could not wait to break out the wacom. I raced home from work to use it, but this was the best I could do. Oh well.

I don't know what it is about faces. I love drawing them so much that I often ignore the body. Must emphasize full body gestures in my sketchbook!

The grass is always greener, even on the other side of time. This young man looks into the mirror and sees just that. In the process he inflicts on himself the greatest tragedy a young man will ever remember.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Peter Pan and the Unchecked Ego

Peter Pan is, as we all know, the boy who would not grow up. Instead, he would lead a company of children into battle with grown men, whisk into the sky without anything more that dust and happy thoughts to fuel him, and hang out with half naked mermaid babes on the beach. In some ways, that is not the life your typical ten year old leads.

Peter Pan is seen as a classic and quintessential piece of children’s literature. It also might be the personification of what most often separates children’s literature from any other kind. Peter Pan is the hero of his own story. After all, the only reason he ever came to see Wendy was to hear about is own heroic deeds. He exemplifies one of the most common gaps between adult and child: ego. Of course, many adults have big egos; however, most children are born into a world that seems to be made just for them. Nearly blind, their first years on earth are spent totally dependant on others. Family comes rushing to their every cry. Much of children’s rambunctious behavior can be attributed to ego. It is untamed and free, newly released from the world of infancy where they are the most important person. This is often the stage in parenting where manners and civility are taught – the antithesis of the youthful realm.

Maybe this is why Peter Pan is beloved by children over 100 years after he was first portrayed on stage. I guess children were as enticed by this prepubescent, hot shot and his disregard for rules as today’s children.

Magic powers and adventure is always a lure for kids, but there is nothing like the child-hero with an ego. A large ego is something children seem to gravitate to, while adults often view it as a turn off, especially if seen in a child. There is another classic kid’s tale that exhibits an egocentric child and his resulting mischief. One that is often regarded as the first modern children’s book: Where the Wild Things Are (1963). If you read this one years ago, you know that this kid is bad. After attacking his dog with cutlery, devilishly dancing in a wolf costume, he is finally sentenced to bed with no supper. To stave off boredom, he finds himself in a land of scary beasts, where he conquers and becomes king. In another story, all absurdity breaks lose in the most amusing way possible when a cat in a funky hat shows two bored kids a wacky time.

As a side note - If not a person, it is often a place that defies the rules. The noble Harry Potter has the only schooling any child would gladly endure. And both Alice and Dorothy plunge into worlds that defy all logic, only to get sick of it and wish to return home (something I don’t think many children could identify with without having been there to get sick of it themselves.) In a time where the most common film critique heard from adults pertains to how believable or “realistic” the film is, this is worth noting.

This may help illuminate some peculiarities of the genre. What exactly is children’s literature? Yes, they are stories targeted for children, usually containing blindingly bright colors, and a touch of fantasy. However, the line between manufactured tastes (though often researched for effectiveness) and true child appetites needs to be continuously observed. Children do not write what we know to be children’s literature. It is worth examining whether the unchecked ego of child-heroes is naturally admired by the powerless young people in our world. However, the observation that children often fight to remain in their wild world, where they are king/queen, may be a helpful clue.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


We all experience the desire for someone unnattainable. Left uninvestigated, these affections ferment, then solidify into a perfect vision of someone who simply bore a likeness to a person you never knew.

Much like my little faun friend here. He still maintains the optimistic certainty that
optimism is all it takes. To him, she can be anything and everything.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Third

The background is bugging me. I eyeballed the perspective. I had a lot of trouble with this one, but I wanted to finish what I started.

My computer has been freezing randomly, somthing to do with a USB port I think, so I just wanted this thing done. My beloved computer is on its last leg though. :( I think we all know how hard that can be. As for the subject, I was drawing a lot of men lately, I needed a change. Is it just me, or do you have very compartmentalized drawing days?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sad Dad

This isnt finished, but I got tired of it and I'm not sure if I'll continue. He looked handsom at first, but it bored me, so I aged him and he ended looking like a character I've designed before.