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.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Totoro Forest Project

A thank you for inspiring us. This has got to be the auction/fund raiser to beat all. Hayao Miyazaki has been the singular filmmaker who's movies continue to amaze and inspire me over the years. In an animation world that's gone 3D specific (and even going 3D, as in glasses necessary) Miyazaki's movies connect with audiences around the world and holds up even after decades and styles move onward.

The singular, most loved movie of his oeuvre is "My Neighbor Totoro." The forest creatures of all our childhoods come alive in this one simple tale. Miyazaki had an actual forest in Tokyo to serve as his inspiration: Sayama Forest. Today all is not well in this real life forest.

Sayama Forest (approx 8750 acres) is located right outside Tokyo. Urban developement over the last three decades means the forest is losing its land. In 1990 Hayao Miyazaki set up the national trust,Totoro Forest Foundation to preserve the environment in the forest.

To help this cause we have The Totoro Forest Project, a fund raising/auction to suppport the foundation involving donated original art from over 200 internationally acclaimed artists, designers and storytellers from across studios, disciplines and media. All the proceeds will go to help the foundation in preserving Sayama Forest.

The event will be held at Pixar on September 6, 2008 where all the artwork will be on display for a silent auction and live auction following. We expect this to be an amazing day to celebrate and show our gratitude to master Hayao Miyazaki as well as come together to support a cause that can help avert an environmental tragedy.

A high-end catalogue featuring all the amazing artwork in the show is currently being prepared to be available for this night. Along with that the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco will host a special exhibit of this show running from September to December. Watch this blog for further details.

The work-up to the finished piece. More relaxed with this one than the first painting I did. The finished work is 15"x 20" and can be seen on the Totoro Forest website roster. Or click on the image above.

A monumental effort to bring this all to fruition by Dice Tsutsumi, who had the spark of the idea to help the forest after a visit to his home in Japan and hearing of the forest's plight, dedicating all his spare time (and then some) to make this all real for us. My thanks to Yukino Pang of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco's tireless efforts to realize this dream as well my partner in studio, book and art crimes Enrico "No slow button" Casarosa.

Please check out the official Totoro Forest website to take a gander at the donated wonders from a roster of great names in art, illustration and animation.

Totoro Forest Fund

Totoro forest Project
Dice Tsutsumi
Yukino Pang
Enrico Casarosa
Cartoon Art Museum

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Blogger steve said...

This looks awesome--wish I could see it in person! Excellent post!!

7:53 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Your piece is so beautiful! Wonderful writing about the project too.

3:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totoro rocks. Good to see a creative fund raiser like that.

9:28 AM

Blogger chuck pyle said...

Ronnie, beyond being so crazy talented,m your heart is in the right place. it was great talking with you about the greats on Saturday AND I may have lined up that tour for you!

5:05 PM

Blogger Ronnie said...

Chuck--No way? You did? I did a cursory search on that place to see what I can learn, there was rather hurried walkthrough--obviously done on the sly. But I did see lots of framed art; even if they were hurried, blurred glimpses.

It was great to geek out on illustration luminaries. Gives me an opportunity to fill the huge gaps in my spotty knowledge about them.

Thanks so much for helping us out last Saturday. It was awesome seeing it all arrayed in front of us. And to spend some time to regard each of them was very nice indeed. Thanks again.

Chris--It's a wonderful way to celebrate art and help out a good cause. Two things we could all be doing more, eh? Thanks for posting.

Eric--Thank you for the kind words. Writing these blog posts helps me refine the way I write. Makes me think better, too. The Nina piece looks even better framed, if I do say so myself. I hope to do more larger pieces like this soon.

Steve--Thank you. Maybe you can see it in person come auction time. Thanks for reading and spending time. All the best.


9:13 PM


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