I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Oh, Canada!

Impromptu musical?
Originally uploaded by Biscuit Maker.

Just a preview of what I did this weekend. I was at Lake Louise in this photo. Pete Hansen and his lovely family had generously given us a tour of Banff and to Lake Louise before my talk later that evening. The views were magnificent and we--along with the Woodmans, Woody and Maria--had a marvelous time.

More on the Banff Centre and the magical people I met there next post. Still just acclimating to being back and working. Sort of.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Banff Center this weekend: I'll be giving a talk on Story

From March 24 to 28, 2005, The Banff New Media Institute at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, is hosting a workshop entitled, “Boarding: Stories and Snow”, which will feature several story and storyboard artists from world-class, industry leading studios in film, television, interactive and game development across North America. Participants from across Western Canada will converge at the Banff Centre, Canada’s only multidisciplinary arts environment devoted to professional career development and lifelong learning in the arts.

Dinner with Pixar Story artist, Ronnie del Carmen
Saturday, March 26, 7 p.m.
All tickets $53.50
Banff Centre Dining Room
The Accelerator Program presents a banquet dinner with Ronnie del Carmen, Story Artist and Story Supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios. Join us for a discussion on the feature story process, including a comparison of different artistic approaches, and the role of the story artist.

Banff Center website.

The Banff Centre is a beacon attracting exceptional creators and thinkers from around the world to our powerful, inspiring campus. We are recognized world-wide as an essential destination on the career pathway of highly creative individuals.

The Banff Centre enables both emerging and established individuals to interact within a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment, allowing them to push boundaries, to experiment, to share knowledge, to create and showcase new work, and to develop new ideas and solutions for the present and the future.

The Banff Centre offers a deep, intensive experience for all who come here, developing potential and transforming careers.

I hear it's going to be cold but the location, I'm told, is breathtaking. I won't be snowboarding but will be dutifully sipping coffee and cheering on those who will. Been working hard on a sample story to illustrate my main argument about storyboarding. Sleep optional these days but having a ball.

Looking forward to meeting the good people of Banff and all the attendees. I'll post a post talk report here. So watch this space.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Uesugi Gallery

Tadahiro Uesugi has a gallery show in Japan and we can't go! Bummer! So, I know we get a healthy dose of his work from his website already--it's never enough with us, isn't it?--and we did meet the man himself (need a refresher on that event? Here). But the unique thing about this is that it is his work with actual media with some (or all, I'm not sure). Aww, heck, I really don't need much of a reason to want to hop on a plane and see his work in person again. So, it kills me that we can't go. Big baby that I am. And I can't read Japanese. Lucky for me Enrico does. See what he found out about it here.

Dazzle Gallery link for the Uesugi images here.

Howl's Moving Castle News

The Shinkong Mitsukoshi department store in Taipei recently hosted an exhibit of artwork from the film, including beautiful sculpted sets.

"Howl's Moving Castle will be released in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York on June 10. An expanded release will follow domestically in 700 to 800 theatres. In comparison, the general release of Spirited Aw

ay was extremely limited and only expanded to 700+ theaters after it won the Oscar for Best Animated Theatrical Feature.

Via Boing Boing>Bing and nausicaa.net

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sketchcrawl in SF

Pencil on Fabriano sketchbook paper. Photoshop spot color on the figure added for this post

A grand day out. Sunday, March 6, 2005 was the Second worldwide sketchcrawl. And what a day it was! It was the morning after the gallery opening at Super 7 (see below) and though Enrico and I wondered about the wisdom of meeting at 10 a.m. after the week we just went through I'm happy to report that I wouldn't have had it any other way. The day was beautiful! And it didn't take long for the sun to work its magic and made the locations all the more inviting to draw. I was having the most relaxing time I've had in a long time. All through the day there was this common report from participants, "I really should do this more often." Here here.

Pages from the sketchbook of that day.

Everyone on the crawl was very motivated and experiencing the very reason to go on one of these jaunts: It is a--pardon my gooey effusiveness here--life affirming task to be sketching what's around you. You were there and your pencils and watercolors made a record of the moment to lock it in place and time by your hand and spirit (I'm getting carried away, no?). Another thing is the rather barbershop mirrors hall of observers you have with other crawlers drawing the same thing from their experience or each other. Okay, we brought cameras as well to document what we're too slow to sketch in--we ain't luddites.

The Coppola Cafe from the street below. Apparently cars were missing me but just barely. How's that for concentration?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, The Sketchcrawl ranks of March 6, 2005! They came from everywhere and were so game for what the day offered, like, well, there was coffee in the morning and chinese food in Chinatown (first meeting spot). More Coffee at the Coppola Cafe (second meeting spot mid afternoon). And, finally to end at Japan town for a class picture at Super 7. Of course we sketched all along the way, silly. We also ended up drawing (I mean, all of us) those Chinese guys with the thin Chinese lutes because as street performers and sketch subjects they were just too inviting. We all observed people sneaking a peek at what it is we're drawing--art critics and patrons are about, eh? And we all exchanged sketchbooks to look at all the work done that day. I had the most fun doing that. All the varied points of view and styles. Amazing! Congratulations again to all who participated. Thank you so much for making this Sketchcrawl a resounding success. We didn't do a strict count but we estimated that around thirty of you showed up for this day in San Francisco and that is so awesome in my book. Take a bow!

We hope to do another one before the summer (cross yer fingers) and this time we'll have printed itineraries and directions and perhaps a souvenir for those who make it till the end of the day. Perhaps have it that we end up having dinner at a place that can hold a good sized sketching rabble such as we. Check out Enrico's Sketchcrawl site for updates. And here at Tirade as well.

World wide Sketchcrawl drawing posts
Worldwide Sketchcrawl photos
Enrico's Journal for more photos.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Gallery Opening: Rocked!

What blast! First of all let me take time to thank Super 7 for making all this possible. I'm still in the clouds about the whole thing. Enrico and I had mused a few years back that it would be great to have a gallery of our drawings to show, well, somewhere. Well, since no one was asking, we decided to do the next best thing: we printed our own. And then the amazing wistful notion of the gallery show started to wind its way towards us. Our first show of the Fragments material came last year in the nexus of comix in L.A, of Meltdown Comics (Gaston and Felicity were such gracious hosts of that amazing store and we'll never forget that they were the first!).

Then came this magazine and store. Super 7 is Mark Nagata, Brian Flynn and Mark Miyake. It started as a magazine over two years ago (there are a couple of origin stories staff member Devon Morf informs me and one of them involves the top seven Japanese movie monsters) and then the store just a scant eight months old now. The passion of all involved is very apparent in both ventures and the people are so welcoming and empowering that we knew we were in good hands. Thanks to everyone there for making this a success, including Lemi, Dora Drimalas of Hybrid Designs, and Jing Bentley for setting us up for success (and personally, for maps of Japan on my recent trip).

We knew the gods were with us when our set-up of the gallery ran so smoothly. For all the unknowns about how to present our mish-mash of framed work we somehow managed to have fun as well as pull of the task of making the gallery look cozy and rather organic. A testament perhaps to how Enrico and I seem to work intuitively with each other over the years. When people started arriving Saturday evening we were confident that we had a good show. By the second hour the store was packed with people that more than once I got nudged outside to make more room. The pieces for sale moved briskly and the one lament I got--both friendly and frustrated--was, "Are you being a tease? What's with showing us artwork "not for sale?!" I meekly disclosed each time that I wasn't ready to part with some of them yet. But perhaps by the next gallery.

People from Pixar came by in force to grace the opening as well as friends online and new faces from all over. It was so amazing to meet so many people and watch them all visiting each framed piece. I am like a proud papa displaying my talented kids. One of the notable visits is by Jeff Smith of "Bone" fame. Jeff and I met ever so briefly at the Eisner Awards back in '95 and when he came by to Pixar to visit our Michael Johnson, I re-introduced myself and handed him my books. Enrico slipped him a postcard to our show hoping he could make it. Jeff's in town doing Bay Area signing for the Bone collected stories for Scholastic. He showed us a copy and it is a lovely book. Unless you've been shot out to space for the last decade you probably know about Jeff Smith's towering achievement in Bone (check here). And wouldn't you know it, he showed up! And got more books! Great guy, huh?

We took photos with Jeff but after a few of these you are likely very stiff and I mentioned this, to which Jeff and I spontaneously mugged for the camera--as you can see above we're the bestest of pals right away. The night was a steady stream of great guests and fun conversation--like a double birthday that Enrico and I had thrown for us that it was kinda sad to see it all end so quickly. Just as well because we were going to need it the next day. Sketchcrawl starts the very next moring at 10 a.m.

Thank you all again to everyone who made it to the show and for all the wonderful comments about the work. It only makes me we wish I can work on that portal to another dimension where another set of 24 hours was there for me to do all the things I can't fit in this world's day. Sigh.

Enrico's Journal here.
Super 7 Magazine personages here.
Super 7 Store personages here. Click "Information."