Thursday, 23 July 2009

Some Great Interviews

A friend introduced me this website recently:
It has quite a few interesting interviews with some of the best artists working in the field of animation today, as well as with a few legends from the past.

Clicking on their names here will link to the interviews.

Alice Davis talks about her husband Marc Davis' work.

Burny Mattison also talks about Marc Davis' work.

Joe Moshier talks about his work at Disney and his move to DreamWorks.

James Baxter talks about working on "Enchanted".

Pete Docter talks about "Up".

Jan Pinkava talks about his history of working at Pixar on "Geri's Game" and "Ratatouille", as well as his future.

Enrico Casarosa talks about storyboarding on "Up", "Ratatouille", and his personal comic work.
Part 1
Part 2

Henry Selick talks about Joe Ranft, "Moongirl", and "Coraline".

There's a lot more on the website. Please check it out.

Monday, 20 July 2009

The Fine Art of Marc Davis

One of the nice things about living in Los Angeles is that there always seems to be something interesting going on, especially events which relate to Hollywood's rich history of cinema and animation. Recently there was an exhibit of the legendary Disney animation artist Marc Davis' Fine Art work at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale. It was amazing and very inspiring. I went there twice to see it.

I was fortunate to get one of the last few brochures that commemorated the exhibit. The cover is posted above. Inside the brochure there are quite a few gorgeous reproductions of some of his paintings in the show. Here are a few of my favorites.

I fell in love with this Harlequin piece above at the gallery. It was awesome to see it in person.

Unfortunately the brochure doesn't feature everything that was in the exhibit. It only has about 25%-30% of what was actually on display. There were sculptures, sketches, and some wonderful abstract compositional studies-- a very large and diverse variety of his work was presented at the show.

I asked a friend to take some pictures for me with his iphone, since I don't own a digital camera yet. I was particularly inspired by Mr. Davis' Life Drawings and Paintings. There was an amazing variety and sensitivity to his work, but most importantly it was clearly evident that he really enjoyed making them. Here are some photos of a few, unfortunately there's some glare, but I still think they are worth seeing.

The paintings on the bottom here are super loose and spontaneous. Very cool to see. He probably did a few of these from a live model at Chouinard, the art school where he taught. It was clear to me from the exhibit that Marc Davis loved being an artist, and that he really took his time to explore creating very personal artwork outside of the studio. Hopefully seeing his work here can inspire more of us to do the same.

(Update: I guess the Marc Davis show is still up through July 26, 2009. For some reason I thought it is was over when I wrote this. I highly recommend going to see it if you are in the L.A. area. I'm going to try and make it over to see it again myself. One of my fellow co-workers at DreamWorks, Jason Scheier, also made a post about the show on his blog. Here is the link:

Friday, 17 July 2009

House of Cats

Many of my fellow graduates and friends from CalArts worked on this. It turned out really well. Congratulations to everyone involved.

I remember when my friend Sean Jimenez told me that Court Lomax had invited him to go to Austria and France for a few months to help develop a commercial for Swarovski, I thought it sounded like an awesome opportunity and would be a great experience. When Sean came back and showed me some of the story boards and animatics he had done with the ideas that he and Court had come up with for it, I was really impressed. They were for the first cat Emily.

House of Cats from Courtland Lomax on Vimeo.


Co-Created by Courtland Lomax and Sean Jimenez
Directed by
Courtland Lomax
Music by
Brian Young
Compositing by
Ethan Metzger
Backgrounds and Designs by
Brigette Barrager
Storyboards and Layouts by
Sean Jimenez

Adam Muto
Jules Soto
Shiyoon Kim
Bert Youn
Matthias Bauer
Erik Fountain
Courtland Lomax
Leo Matsuda
Matt Pugnetti
Jennifer Hager
David Nam

Sean Jimenez
Esther Shin
Jinyoung Park
Juliana Park
Kelli Kuest
Matt Pugnetti

I attached links to everyone's name that I could. Please check them out.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Hayao Miyazaki: Going Rough

If you haven't bought the book "The Art of Kiki's Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki" yet, please do yourself a favor and buy it. It is my absolute favorite "Art of..." book that has been published out of all the books released for Miyazaki's films. The drawings in this book are phenomenal. All the drawings that I've posted here so far are from it.

I wrote about going rough before in a post about Chuck Jones last month, but I'd like to revisit the subject again here with Miyazaki. Especially since I just recently finished a post about Life Drawing.

Most of these drawings were studies done for the characters in the film "Kiki's Delivery Service", but some of them almost look like observational sketches. Very much like the kind of drawing an artist would do if they were out at a coffee shop or at a park, observing and sketching people. Even if these sketches weren't done from life, I personally find them particularly inspirational for that kind of drawing. Miyazaki certainly seems to be channeling things he has observed from life in these drawings for sure.

I apologize for the graininess of some of these images. Alot of these drawings were very small in the book, so I blew them up quite a bit in order to feature them better.

It's amazing how rough these are, but how well they read. Miyazaki's shapes are so descriptive and his attention to the character's emotion and pose is pretty much unmatched these days.

It's incredible how Miyazaki can indicate a leg, or a dress, with just one or two simple lines and create a beautiful shape in some of these drawings, but there are also others here that are very rough and indicated in a looser, less perfect way. I hope that these drawings can all be yet another reminder that it's okay to go rough. It's not all about the fancy draftsmanship or cool stylization, it's about the idea and the character. The poses in these drawings feel real, and the character is alive.

Some of these charming, childlike poses Miyazaki drew in his explorations of the girl I posted here, are somewhat of reminiscent of the work of E.H. Shepard:

Well, I hope that everyone finds these drawings as unique and inspiring as I have. I will definitely be doing more posts about Miyazaki in the future.