Thursday, December 30, 2010

John Dilworth Likes my Sketchbook...!!!

Every now and then, The School of Visual Arts will host ASIFA events inviting special guests(animators/directors/filmmakers/etc.) to speak and present work for the students and faculty. I've been trying to keep up with as many as I can, each one is an enlightening learning experience. So for one such event, creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog and SVA alumni John Dilworth payed a visit to promote his nutty new film RINKY DINK. He brought along a few other guests like Courage's voice actor, and two of the guys he got to compose his music, who later gave an impromptu musical performance! I had already gotten the pleasure to meet John months before at the Animation Show of Shows in New York City last year. All I can say is he's a great guy who's completely OFF his ROCKER.
During the presentation, I drew a quick doodle of Courage off the top of my head on the back cover of my sketchbook in hopes that he and the voice actor would grace it with their John Hancocks. And wouldn't you know it? They happily agreed! After all, these are two guys that helped define my childhood with such a great cartoon. It's an honor to know them!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My How To Train Your Dragon fan art, and my new view on CGI animation.

After seeing the very first giant cardboard movie promo thingies for How To Train Your Dragon on my way out of seeing Princess and The Frog, I can't say it sparked my interest. Here was me, an aspiring strictly traditional animator coming out of the first hand-drawn animated Disney film in years, satisfied and happy, and now seeing some little CG scene kid riding on a giant black winged salamander-looking thing. I was frustrated. Why can't they give CGI animation a goddamn rest I thought. But then, I got to see some actual coming attractions for it, and it changed my perspective on it a little, until I heard the character's names at least. The texture mapping on the dragons was STELLAR, and the character acting looked solid. I never brought myself to see it when it was in theaters, mostly due to lingering disinterest, until my History of Film Comedy teacher, Roy Frumkes, kindly treated my class to a private 3D showing of it in Times Square, Manhatten. Chris Sanders and Dean DuBlois also kindly took time out of their busy schedules to visit and do a Q & A, VERY EXITING! By the time the credits rolled, I, the stubborn, discerning, 2-D animator, was left in an overwhelming, dizzying state of AWE and wonder. From start to finish, 'Dragon' touched every soft spot in my heart. As an avid fan of all that is epic fantasy, and DRAGONS/fantasy creatures overall, the satisfaction that the film left me with was unforgettable. Hiccup was a very strong lead character, the layout was just SUPERB, and Toothless was the most charming, adorable creature character that I've experienced in years. It truly changed my perspective on 3D animation, mostly due to the charm infused into it by a staff of FORMER 2D animators. All who haven't seen it yet, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Its already in the top tier of my favorite films of all time.

Oh, and here's some fan art by me! Cheers!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Joe Murray's New Book

This has been my bible for the past couple months since I bought it. Joe Murray's book on creating cartoons for television is both extremely informative and fun to read. Its chock full of rare drawings/illustrations/model sheets and concept artwork done by Joe himself in the early production days of Rocko and Lazlo, as well as all the information you'll ever need to make it in the biz. I recommend it to all my fellow aspiring animators as well as artists who are interested in how animation works. Im gonna go read it for the 5th time now.


I am in love with Prismacolor's line of Premier colored pencils. They are so smooth and they lay down just the right amount of color. And they pair PERFECTLY with my Sakura brush pens. It's kind of funny how many of my friends percieved the Cap'n to be throwing up a loser "L" as opposed to the generic Sonic the Hedgehog index finger mannerism.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fiakra: My Other Life as a Heathen Musician

My life as of lately has felt like nothing but a huge accomplishment. Both of my dreams of becoming an animator/cartoonist and joining an awesome metal band have been fulfilled. While animation and art are priority one in my life, I couldn't possibly see myself not being involved with my other passion: MUSIC. When Im onstage with my band, the feeling of mental clarity, and the ability to channel all of my pent up emotions into my guitar playing is indescribable. Here, I compiled some of the best shots of Fiakra and me doing our thing.