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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sketchcrawl 18

Pencil and watercolor on Moleskine cahier. Both images link to full spread pics.

Ghirardelli Square. It started out a gloomy morning last Saturday, March 29. The night before it rained. Enrico and I always remark, tempting fate, that it's never rained on a Sketchcrawl. Well, a sketchcrawler's luck is hard to beat--no rain. It was cold, but no rain.

Parked at Fort Mason, a ways from the square but the parking was free. I wandered back to that side past noon and had a serene couple of hours of sketching these two pages shown here.

The afternoon got colder but then the sun came out to warm us. Don't move into the shade if you're getting too hot 'cause it's still cold in there.

My thanks to all who stuck it out for our favorite sketchbook sharing ritual at the end of the day. There were a good number of new faces who were uncertain about handing over their drawing books over to these well-meaning strangers to peruse. But they all broke through and had a grand time with it all. You just gotta jump in. We're there for ya, you'll survive.

Thanks for all the wonderful positive energy, folks. I'll see you in two months!

Sketchcrawl 18 forum
My Flickr photos of SC18

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Justin Wright 1981-2008

Justin with girlfriend, Ashlee

It was a shock. I read the mail late last night and it kept me up. This morning we gathered in a small screening room as a Story department for the formal announcement before the news goes out to the studio. Justing Wright passed away last night.

Justin was a very enthusiastic person and full of energy. You'd never guess that he had already gone through so much in life.

Justin’s journey to Pixar has another plot twist. He got introduced to the famous studio because of a heart transplant. When Justin was born, his heart had all sorts of complications: cardiomyopathy, a complete block, a hole between the upper two chambers, a hole in the mitral valve —the list goes on. Finally, when Justin was 12, his heart had been through too many surgeries and procedures to be of much use, not to mention that it was the size of a deflated soccer ball inside his slight 70-pound body. It was time for a transplant.

With a lot of time spent in hospital beds recovering, Justin drew pictures (a hobby he says he started as a kid when he got bored in church). His doctor at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children's Hospital noticed Justin’s interest, and one day, after Justin was fully recovered, took him on a tour at Pixar, where he had some connections. Justin was enthralled—this was what he wanted to do.

I didnt get to work alongside Justin and my memories with him are few. I do remember the day we, the Story Supes, met to decide on accepting Justin to the Pixar story crew as a full story person, no longer an intern. We put on long faces to fake him out and Mark Andrews said that it wasn't going to work out but we couldn't really continue with it and we just said, "Welcome to Story!"

He was so happy. He could hardly contain the energy in his lanky body and even promised that he would work hard and prove us right. He didn't really need to say all those things, we knew he had it in him and the months since then proved it all. I wish we had more time with him.

Our sincerest condolences to his family, our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I'll post more details on this post as I receive them.

Justin Wright's blog Charlie, a deck hand

Pacific Union College Alumni: Justin Wright

Remembrance Blog Roll

Think Radical

Ted Mathot

Yarn and Coffee: Justin

Jeff Pidgeon

John Sanford

James Robertson

Bill Cone

Enrico Casarosa

Alex Woo

Nick Sung

Scott Morse

Cartoon Brew

Austin Madison

Kyle Shockley

Kelly Matten

Rainbow Zookeeper

Phil Rynda


The Animation Blog

The Pixar Blog

Update March 24, 2008

A drawing I contributed to honor Justin last Friday when his family came to Pixar to visit with us. There were boards of his drawings, a sequence he did and caricatures of Justin. A Dave Matthews song (Justin was a huge fan) rendered by Plot Device, the Story band. Family, friends and co-workers spoke--Andrew Stanton spoke as well as John Lasseter himself--about the best of what Justin left us--his optimism, disposition to have fun and willingness to engage in all manner of debates (who will win, Superman or a Jedi?). We were his work family and we miss him.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Coffee boots drawing

This scan's color is a bit off. It's warmer than this, I swear. Too lazy to color correct. Sigh

Happy Birthday. It was Don Shank's birthday (an old man. I'll let him disclose it hisself). Raquel, his beautiful wife (and expecting a little bundle soon), invited a bunch of us over at the Emeryvillle Trader Vic's for some Mai Tai's and good company.

I've been meaning to give the Shanks a gift and this is a good opportunity. I used a gray pastel board for its tooth and then leafed through a design mag for color.

I knew she had to be framed by the chair (value call) and then I got the blue (a Herbert Leupin poster) first. I remember a Van Gogh painting of his mother I saw at the Norton Simon years ago that still haunts me. It was a study in green.

I didn't look the image up, not wanting to get sidetracked but went with the green for her big skirt. All the rest was just feeling it through. It could all have fallen flat but somehow it kept together. I really like how this turned out and I had a good time making it.

You know, I came really close to that green, just from memory. I just looked that image, "Portrait of Mother," up for this post tonight and that green...man, I love how this mystical stuff works.

I handed it to an appreciative birthday celebrant knowing it's going to a good home. Some days a drawing just comes off nice and smooth. Wish I could have more of those.

Shank Pile
World of Kane on Herbert Leupin

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fio Giulietta Casarosa

Beautiful Baby Fio! She has arrived! Enrico and Marit are proud parents of this bundle o' joy. The blessed event happened last Saturday and she came in at around seven pounds, ready for the world. Congratulations to my friends, Enrico and Marit (Marit, she sure is quite a champ). Hip hip, HOORAY!

Daddy Enrico's Blog post