Sunday, September 26, 2010

Animate Me!

"Why Animation?"

A friend asked me recently what I was working on and I told her "I am learning to animate." "Animation, that's a lot of drawing!" she said. Hehe, yep but I like it!

I have always had a love for animation. It was a path I considered after high school but the process of drawing hundreds and thousands of pictures for months to get to a finished project did not appeal to me. Fast forward 25 years later and we have all these amazing animation programs that cut out the middle man (in a lot of cases) Okay cut out is maybe the wrong word. Simplify and speed up the process might be better word choices.

I know there are purists who say "Hand drawn is the best!" Yes, you may be right! But is it the best for me? Everyone has a different way of doing things, it is the final result that should be celebrated. I'm not saying the process shouldn't be celebrated too. I love hearing about other artist's process. I always will. But what works for them may not work for me. Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd always prefaces his discussion of his process by saying "it is what works for him," and is "not the only way to do it." I like that. Also experimenting is what leads to different results. Sometimes better!

"My Art Week"

Reading more about animation (see last post).

As for drawing, sometimes the big projects can get tiresome and I need a break. I did pencil a page of my mini comic (not ready to show it) and I storyboarded an idea for a short animation but the rest of the week was spent mostly doodling. I did some quick sketches while watching Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes and doodle to music on the puter.

"Stuff to Show"

I did a comic for an art challenge that lost steam last month but I need something other than scribbles and doodles. It is based on a character from Kevin W. Cross' Monsters Are Go! and it is the first pencil some inks and I want to colour it but it ain't done yet...

Keep on creating!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

All the Possibilities

This is a shout out to all my homies. My art buddies and super frenz who find the strength to keep going even when they feel like a "bag of turtles".

This has been one of those weeks for me. I have had a variation of some sort of cold for the last 7 days and I haven't felt like doing anything but sleep. I did find the energy "somehow" to work, come home and sleep. OK. I went to my first league hockey game but before you bust my ass saying "sure, you found the energy to "play a game"! I went to hockey because I am coach, manager, and beer bringer and we had 6 new players joining us this week (and 2 other guys called in sick!).

So what has this to do with art and creating? Well, It is a complement to last week's blog of doing what makes you feel good. OK. That makes sense, right? Well what happens when you are on a deadline, self imposed or otherwise? How do you make it to the "finish line" when you are sick? I have the "luxury" of having a day job that pays me whether I show up for work or not. That is the glory of working for a government corporation... But, what about those of you out there who are self employed? I know who you are! My wife is one of you. How do you find the intestinal fortitude to push through? Yes. I know that money or paycheck to live is a great motivator but it has to be more... Most artists know they aren't going to become rich doing their art so it needs to be more. That is it! It is need. Not need for the paycheck but the need to be creating. I know, I know. I mention this a lot. A lot! But why else would you do it? The paycheck isn't huge. It isn't always regular. It probably won't ever be. But the payoff is in the process. The payoff is in the completion and the constant motion of creating. Of improving, and all the possibilities...

This week came down to mostly reading about art and reading a couple of trades.

Mouse Guard Vol. 1 is drawn and written by David Petersen and is an epic "tail" of a medieval forest society where Mice live and speak like men and have all of the same problems...

The Guard are the protectors of the mouse society and they must go on a quest to save their way of life.

It is beautifully illustrated and is appropriate for all ages.

Oh and it got me wanting to do a "very quick, very rough, mouse animation.

Hey guys if you're sick, feel better and keep creating!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do What Makes You Feel Good!

So I sit here pumped that two thirds (Mark, Jerzy) plus (Sara "knifeman" Turner) of the Art and Story crew are having a good time at SPXPO! Nothing is better than having some great interaction with fellow creators. Getting positive feedback from the crowd is great and selling some books just tops it all off!

So if you follow what I say not as I do ;) then you know I have a love for comics, animation, drawing and writing... I began 2010 with a goal of completing a comic, actually a graphic novel I have been planning and working on (actually off and on) for the last couple of years. I have been lucky enough to get support from a collective of artists that are members of the Art an Story Supreme family or as they are affectionately known "Storriors". They have their own projects they are working on but whenever I have a question there are more than a few ready to help.

So where am I going with this? Well, I'm not sure... When I have some spare time I find myself working in Toonboom Studio and loving it. It is similar to cartooning but very different at the same time. I have spent a lot of time learning to draw a proper walk sequence and I still haven't got it down. Not surprising since some animators work their whole life to master a good walk sequence! I may post some of my trials soon...

As for comics, I still have my comic ideas and I will finish that mini! Just not right now... I am doing what makes me feel good and isn't that what life is all about!

I am reading:

Get animated! : creating professional cartoon animation on your home computer by Tim Maloney

It's got some interesting ideas in regards to creating animation on your home computer. I think the book suffers from spreading itself a little thin by trying to cover too much. A worthwhile read for those just starting out or interested in creating animation as a hobby. Students considering animation as a profession could also benefit from this book...

Keep Creating!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Economy of Line or how "Less is More"

On this wonderful labour day weekend (OK it is cold and rainy but it is a extra day off from the daily grind), I sit at the 'puter and think about the September art Challenge on the Art and Story Supreme Forums.

Art and Story Supreme is a worthwhile collection of extra podcasts and forum access that is hosted by the Art and Story crew. You can get a free 15 day trial (well worth checking out). There are many "tasty nuggets" that you can grab from these podcasts and even if you choose to subscribe "only" to the forum, you are in for a treat, as members critique, support and enlighten each other in their daily search for the path to comic book creativity... Or something like that ;)

So this month's challenge is about drawing your favourite cartoon character. A reference shown is the cover of "Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation",

This style appeals to many and though the line work seems simple, there is an elegance to it. And the detail in the lack of detail is great! It is not something that everyone can do from day one as the animators using this style have a classical animation background. But with practice I can see it being a worthwhile endeavor...

I haven't been up to a whole lot this past week as personal life sometimes has a way of taking all of your time. If only I didn't need sleep!

I'm reading a book on timing in animation right now and I'll post a review of it next week...