Finding the Balance

With school starting, work, drawing, and life, I've got to reevaluate everything in order to find the balance in a new routine that works. Although it's new and exciting every once in a while it's a little rocky. I'm finding drawing is a lot like that too. Some days you can just whip out a drawing without thinking in only few minutes and it just works. Other days you struggle trying to produce something that's half way decent. Overall you have to keep drawing to try to find that balance of talent, ability and skill vs hard work, persistence and knowledge. Here's to the adventure!

Gilligan hanging out.

Claude and his turtle vaudevilling.

It wasn't long after reaching his proverbial pigsty that the porker hungered for the flesh of our little hero.

Pirate a Day

One of my favorite moments every morning is checking to see what great post Michael Sporn made for the day. One day it might be some great behind the scenes moment or drawing in Disney history, the next its some rare collection of images from some forgotten illustrator, or simply a garden of flowers he found extra beautiful. If you haven't checked out his site yet, bookmark it right now, it really is a treat! Thanks for the inspiration!


Another day, another opportunity to draw!

Felt a little overwhelmed with drawing today. I got a lot done, but I have so many projects I want to work on I wish there was more time in the day. I guess it all comes around to the fact that I have to get faster! I've been thinking a lot lately about different mediums. I really wanna start using color more, but I don't want to spend my free time away from improving my drafting. I also picked up a wacom tablet a while ago and, oh, do I need practice with it. It's totally different not looking at your hand while you draw. Definitely a good exercise for my push too hard overly critical self.

Gilligan circling himself.

:Warning staring at this for too long may cause you to go crazy:

Claude and his turtle having a raspberry off.

After what seemed like an eternity of choking our little hero went limp and the overgrown boar carried away the helpless victim to his lair.

Pirate a Day

I can't believe I haven't mentioned the Character Design Blog yet. It's one of my favorite pastimes these days. It's such a great resource for anyone who is interested in making creative, unique, lively characters. The interviews, images, and insight offered there are unmatched at least to everything I've come across so far. Thanks for the inspiration!

Stay on target, stay on target

Pretty tired tonight, but I still wanted to get an update out before I went to bed. I didn't have hardly any time to draw today so I had to do a lot of my roughs on the go and stay up late just to clean them up. Between Eric Goldberg's webinar about timing yesterday and Preston Blair's bouncing movement I'm starting to learn a lot more about animation. It's really fascinating.
Go buy yourself a rubber bouncy ball from a quarter machine and bounce it a few times. Watch how it moves. When it starts to descend it feels slow, then it really picks up speed and when it hits the floor it seems to squash itself and then the equal and opposite reaction occurs.

Gilligan on parade!

Claude's spinachaphobia flaring up again.

Just when our little hero thought he had escaped the worst and was preparing for his next move, the Swinenstein summoned all his rage and energy into a lung collapsing mystical ring of death encompassing increasingly tighter around our hero's neck.

Pirate a Day

As a little boy I really didn't have that much time to watch TV, but on Saturday mornings I would wake up early, flop on the couch with a giant bowl of Golden Grahams and devour my weekly dose of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The plot is a little out there, the story is just a bit over the top, but I couldn't take my eyes off the characters. Every episode I couldn't wait to see what bizarre, outlandish, fun creature they would come up with for the turtles to befriend or fight. As I'm drawing more and more I find myself looking back at what I love, finding out all about it to try and decipher what I really drew me into it. I think for the Ninja Turtles it really was the character design. I did a little research on some of the character designers for "TMNT" and I came across Elyse Pastel. Her illustrations are still as lively, fun, and playful as the stuff I loved as a kid. Thanks for the Inspiration!


Believe the Character Exists

Had a lot on my plate for today, but I managed to get the bulk of my daily drawing done pretty early. I didn't have too many struggles drawing wise today, just trying to prioritize what projects to work on during the time I had. One thing I did today that helped smooth everything along was to remind myself, I get to draw. I love to draw. Just simply reaffirming what I already knew seemed to help keep my hand steady and my head focused.

Gilligan free-falling.

Claude's turtle forcing Claude to dance wild west style.

Despite his best attempts at being perfectly quiet, our little hero forgot one key factor, disgusting pig monsters have a keen sense of smell. In one swift unpiglike movement the monstrosity summoned some sort of unholy magic force that our little hero only barely dodged.

A new project I've been thinking about working on is Pirate a Day! I usually draw some sort of pirate or pirate-like person during the day so I figured I'd add it to the mix.

In anticipation for the summer session at AnimationMentor I've been checking out every resource they have on their site. Today I watched the Eric Goldberg Webinar. Eric is the genius behind the Genie from Aladdin. I've had his book Character Animation Crash Course for a month or so now, and can't wait to get to it. So this webinar was a real treat. One point I wanted to share was at the end of the interview some one asked him what advice he had for those just starting out. He responded with something that seems so basic and so simple, yet most of us have probably never even bothered to consider it. "Believe the character exists." He says if you do that. Then you will give the character the life it needs to make others believe it as well. Thanks for the inspiration!


In the Zone

I've heard about football players, basketball players, professionals of any type of skill talk about being in the zone. I know I've had that feeling before, while drawing, but I haven't really felt the rip you out of the zone feeling as strongly as I did tonight. For some reason after drawing for an hour or so, everything was going smooth and then I had to take care of some other business and just could not get back on track. Fought through it, and eventually I got over that hump, but I just thought I would bring it up. Maybe some of you have had that happen before. On a happy note, I finally got around to making some of the animation cycles actually move tonight!







Claude and his turtle exploring the deep blue.

Gilligan stretched out the wrong way.

Our little hero hoping the Porkestuous creature having not yet spotted him, leapt stealth-fully from the closest window knowing that the element of surprise would easily turn the tide of the imminent skirmish.

After our latest venture to Borders, Rhys picked me up a copy of "The Art of How to Train Your Dragon". We both loved the movie, but the art is almost better than the film itself. Nico Marlet's concepts are beautiful. He was also one of the lead character designers on Kung Fu Panda, Monster's Inc, and Madagascar! Thanks for the Inspiration Nico!

One last note, Jerzy, Mark, Kevin and Knifeman from the Art and Story (Extreme) Podcast, which is exponentially better with the new soundboard zoo they've got, are really getting excited for the upcoming Kids Read Comics event on June 12-13. If you haven't checked it out, it looks like it's going to be a blast. The concept is pretty simple if you haven't guessed it already. It's basically a gathering of kids, adults, professionals, amateurs, and comic enthusiasts sharing their love for the medium. I wish there was an event like this when I was a kid. Go check it out!


Feeling hot hot hot!

Had to try breaking some of my usual habits today. It was way too hot to work in Turbos Studio North, so I had to move to studio south. Which is also commonly referred to as the couch by the air conditioner. It took a while to get used to after-all, I am a creature of habit, or at least I think I like to be. So today I had to work under strange conditions no close up overhead light, no drawing table. I'm gonna have to try to mix it up a little more. I like the challenge.

Gilligan stretching.

Claude and his turtle letting loose.

Outside the Ham Hock Inn the creature loomed closer to our previously unsuspecting hero. The creature seemed agitated, but considering the name of the inn, one really can't blame him.

Arbitraryjane and I used to watch Pete's Dragon ritually. I really couldn't even pinpoint the reason why. The animation is good, the music is great, the story is preposterous, and for some reason it all gelled together perfectly in our young minds. I was searching for some of Randy Cartwright's or Ken Anderson's work on the picture and stumbled across The Art of Disney Animation Blog. What a little gem of a site. It's one of the best collections of Disney animated film concepts I've seen yet. They even had some of my favorite Milt Kahl sketches and some truely unique Tim Burton Concepts from The Black Cauldron. Do yourself a favor and spend an afternoon checking out all the great images collected there. Thanks for the Inspiration!


In before Midnight!

I didn't have much time to draw today, but I managed to monopolize my productivity on the time I did have and was able to still get a lot done! I'm really looking forward to going back to school. I can't wait to be surrounded by other artists and learn what they have to share as well. I don't know what it is about music that makes me so much more productive. If you're ever having a hard time focusing try putting on one of your favorite albums. It seems to work for me.

Gilligan fopping around.

Claude and his turtle practicing being contortionists.

Just when our little hero thought he had looked under every rock he could think of for any trace of what had happened he stepped right into the middle of what could only be described as disgusting slop. At the exact moment his foot slid into the muck he heard a loud rumbling hiss followed by a series of increasingly loud oinks.

I don't have time these days to play many (any at all) video games, but one of my favorite series that I have yet to mention is the Disgaea collective of games. What I like most about them is how completely outlandish they are. Most of that bizarre style can be attributed to the beautiful art of Takehito Harada. His character concepts are so out there and so perfectly rendered you can't help, but love them. If you like his work definitely pick up World of Disgaea 1 and 2


Draw Draw Draw

Wake up, Draw, Work, Draw, Eat, Draw, Sleep, Draw...the perfect schedule. Lately, I'm becoming a little obsessed with drawing the perfect circle. I have to eventually just move on. I've heard people talking about art being the only "profession" of sorts that you never actually finish a job. You simply get to the point where you need to do something else. Which usually ends up being drawing something else. In order to try to get away from over working my drawings I bought a new sketchbook and a sharpie. There's no real forgiveness with a bad line when you're using a sharpie. I'm hoping that will speed me up a bit. I'm really liking the structure of the walk cycles. Preston Blair really understood movement. I gotta keep learning.

Gilligan continuing with the under the sea vibe.

Claude and his turtle working out and playing space ranger.

Throwing open his rented room door Our Little Hero exclaimed, "What was that?!"

After hearing no response, and seeing no one left in the inn He scoured every inch of the establishment hoping to find even a hint of what might have just happened.

Yub and her pet bee.

Thanks to Twitter everyday I'm reminded to check Skine.art and EatSleepDraw. Both of these sites are great. They showcase random works of art from people around the globe. Some are truly beautiful, and others you can tell are amateur, but a lot of times those drawings bring the most energy and originality. Thanks for the inspiration!


Finished the Roughs

Yay! I finally got the time to finish the roughs for the children's book I'm working on with arbitraryjane. Now I just have to wait to see if there are any revisions. Starting to mix up Preston Blair's walking cycles a bit more and I'm loving it. Still challenging, but it's worth it. I'm learning a lot each day.

Gilligan under the sea.

Claude can't help but notice his hat changed shape in the dryer.

In that place where your sleep is the sleepiest and your dreams are the dreamiest out of nowhere came a loud crack that threw our little hero out of bed faster than an elephant in heat.

Slowly but surely I'm getting through Walt Stanchfield's Drawn to Life Volume 1. It's a great read. I almost don't want to read too much of it at a time and just soak up every little bit. Today Walt talked about osmosis. Surround yourself with inspiration and it will challenge you to be better, keep you focused and maybe just maybe your subconscious will drive your conscious. On that note I think I'm gonna plaster my room with Milt Kahl drawings. Thanks for the inspiration!