Happy New Year 2014!! Here’s my first illustration of the year, and I hope it will be one of many. Cheers, everyone!
This is a treatment for a tv show that I’m kinda putting on hold for a while. Pitched it to a couple of places, but I think I need to come back to it when I have a clearer vision, or when networks are looking for this again. It’s a more developed version of my previous storyboard shorts “Hollywood Star FAIL” which reached their peak on this story:
So yeah, just thought I’d share to see what you guys think.
Here’s something that I did last year, that I’ve only been able to release now. It’s probably one of my first charity art works, and I had a lot of fun doing it. The charity organization is called Drawing Dreams Foundation and they provide coloring books to children’s hospitals around the country. The theme for this year’s edition is genetically engineered animals, which sounds a little rough for a children’s book, but I think I put a cute spin on it. Enjoy!
Am I gonna talk about the band Buffalo Daughter? No (but they’re good too) I am of course referring to the herculean task of raising a child that I’ve acquired recently when I became a father.
People told me all sorts of things before she was born, and I could list them all, but to keep to things pertaining to this site (it’s professional, remember?) I’ll say that yeah, she has brought me good luck. But, that good luck comes at the cost of time, which I almost have none as I’m barely managing to write this post (and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s been again over two months since my last update.)
What that good luck has become is a slight change in my career. I’m taking a break from the independent commercial animator side of things and trying out tv animation for now; it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and those who know me understand that I’m doing this for a variety of reasons, but probably none more important than my daughter and my wife. Sure, it’s nice to be able to hop from one studio to another and work on very short projects (with a unusually high level of quality,) but at the end of the day the motion side of the industry was never really for me, and not being part of a team as staff made me feel kind of lonely after while – ironically, I think I’ve made some of my new best friends after bumping into the same crew of animators in different commercial houses, but my relationships with the actual projects still remained detached. And while tv animation is certainly more geared to children in general, the appeal of being part of a team is still very strong in me, and something I’d been yearning for since my days as a story artist on the feature “9.”
So, have I arrived? Have I made it? Am I living the dream? I don’t know if I should think in hyperbolic terms as those, but I do think I feel relieved somewhat. Relieved that at least I know I can do this again, and that no matter what kind of project I’m working on, (as a story artist, concept/character designer, or animator,) I can still manage to make the experience my own.
Of course, when you have kids, all your priorities get in check and I think I’m finally understanding what unconditional love is; coincidentally I am listening to more John Coltrane, as his music puts my daughter in such ease as I cuddle her to sleep. “Sacrifice” is the other term usually thrown around when talking about kids, but I think the only thing that I can really feel that I am sacrificing is time – everything else that she has brought to my life and my wife’s is complementary, and we can’t really imagine how our lives were before her. I had a similar feeling last year when I adopted my dog; pets do make good “training wheels” for having kids, and luckily ours gets along with our kid just fine. Whether it’s waking up in the morning to walk the dog, change a diaper or two, and hold one in one arm while petting the other, I cherish these moments as an artist just as much as when I’m working on my own projects. They are the ones that bring meaning to my art, and while nowadays I may not have as much time for mindless sketching, I feel that when I am working on my own work, there is more focus, and I get more satisfaction out of even an hour of just brainstorming ideas, writing scripts, thumbnailing comic pages or working on character illustrations. Finding those moments is still hard since my daughter is still so young (over 4 months old now) but, after all, I’m still managing to reflect upon it here on this blog.
It’s been over a month since my last update, and a lot has happened, and a lot hasn’t happened. C’est la vie de le “freelancer”. Alors, voilá! L’art! (What’s up with all the french all of a sudden? Je ne sais pas…)
Each year around this time I gather all of my work together once again for my yearly pilgrimage to CTN EXPO. This will be my third time going to it, and I’m glad it’s still going strong because with each new convention, I seem to make new friends and I have more fun than the previous year. So hot off the renders, here is my new animation reel, concept art, and storyboard portfolios. Enjoy!
Studio CATCH! Animation Reel 2011 on Vimeo
Studio CATCH! Animation Reel 2011 on Youtube
I’ve been getting back to reading Hayao Miyazaki’s book “Starting Point” and coincidentally with my work, I too have gone back to my starting point this past week. I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly talked about it here, but it’s pretty obvious from the rough sketches I post that I tend to think visually with a simple red pen and newsprint paper. There’s something about the color and texture of red ink that just allows me to sketch so freely and endlessly; maybe the red just isn’t as absolute as black or blue, and it just feels so malleable, whether in tangible or digital media. This time, however, the difference is that I was finally able to emulate the same look of the pen and paper onto a Cintiq and Photoshop (with my own custom brush and scans of actual smooth newsprint paper for texture).
Also, I realized I really needed to update my character and concept design portfolio with new work, so this Photoshop brush/paper experiment really paid off – (though coincidentally, on the day that I finished customizing these brushes Photoshop, was the day that I went to the local art store to buy more sketchbooks and markers, so go figure).
Of course, these pages are just a small filtered sample of what I did this past week; I wouldn’t wanna just let you eat all the cake before it’s done, now would I? These sketches won’t go into my actual portfolio, but it’s a good indication of what’s to come: I’m working on two ideas: one within an old dark fantasy world, the other in a sci-fi/steampunk future. Hopefully soon I’ll have some new portfolio pages with finished work so you can see the end result of my thought processes. Enjoy!
When was that last update again? Over 2 months ago? Nice! I like to keep things current and fresh. ANYWAY, this is what I’ve been working on for the past few months, and as the title of the post says, it is very Rated-R and NSFW, so please, don’t come complaining to me if you’re offended by this, or your kids are offended by this, your grandma, your dogs, etc… And yes, it is also based on a true story. Maybe something that happened to me many, many years ago. But, I’ll let you decide which parts are true and which aren’t. Enjoy!
Click on the thumbnail below to see the boards.
Last December I attended the Scott McCloud Theory and Practice 2-Day Workshop at LAAFA, and after 2 days of lectures and exercises, Scott asked us to pick a random word from a hat and make a story about it in 90 minutes. The word was CANOE, and that is all I was given. It was a really good exercise and it made me realize that I should do more short stories more often, really quick and dirty, just to see what comes out. Of course, this is a VERY revised version of the original, but the paneling and the dialog are virtually the same as the one I presented. But, seeing as I only had 5 pages, I decided to try some color for a change, and this is what I came up with. Enjoy! Ré.