Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lil Bit O' Lifedrawing

Lifedrawing is one of those "essentials" you must master if one hopes to achieve the glamorous life of an arteest...The Glamorous life pretty much involves wearing shorts to work and being allowed to have a "toy budget".
Lifedrawing is actually one of the most worthwhile skills you need, it is one of the first things any company looks at in your portfolio. I remember when submitting my portfolio to Disney, all they wanted to see was life sketches, they didn't give two Mickey Mouse shits about looking at your animation, they wanted to see if you could draw.
I know that most non-artists ( at least my friends ) think that it's all about seeing nekkid ladies and boobies, and even though I'll admire it when it's there, drawing the human figure, is really much different then going to strip joints. You really get into the form of a body the pose it makes and get caught up in the details of a face or hands.
We have non-nude lifedrawing at my work, to keep us sketching, especially since most game ( hell and now feature ) animation work is done through computer, and taking it back to the basics of pencil and paper really does help, just in terms of pose, gesture and attitude...Gotta kick it "old school" every now and then!
The sketch above is from one of the first lifedrawing sessions I had gone to after taking a long hiatus..I like the pose and the emotion on her face, but her arm is a bit "rubbery" almost like Olive Oyls, but that's more reason for me to keep up with the sketching.


Friday, August 12, 2005

The Boss

Last week was my 3rd wedding anniversary ( Not an eternity, but hey I've been married longer than all of J-Lo's marriages combined, if you want you can even throw in Affleck engagement time too ) and my wife's gift to me was 2 tickets to my favorite musician Bruce Springsteen.

Now Bruce is an odd musical conundrum, he is either met with " COOL!...You're gonna see the BOSS!" or " Oh, that's cool" ( notice the emphasis on how the word "cool" is used ), my one buddy after I told him where I was gonna be on Thursday night was " Oh, I'm sorry." Springsteen is either someone a person can connect with or can't, I wonder if it has to do from where I grew up. I was born and raised in the Boss' home state of New Jersey, and I notice that many of Springsteen's true fans are either from the East Coast or Mid-America, and you'll find that most West Coasters who like him are transplants from the previous two regions...So bottom line is I think the Boss kicks ass and I still defy anyone who doesn't either sing along or bob their head when a bar plays "Glory Days" before closing. However, even though I own most every album, and am one of the only people here at work who has a Springsteen song on my I-Tunes, I had never seen him in concert...I had heard the tales of the 4 hour shows at Meadowlands Areana, and how he can do up to six encores, but I had never seen it, much like Bigfoot or that chick in high school who everyone said was a "crazy lay"......I had heard the tales, but never got to go...Till last night.

Most people identify Springsteen with the "Born In the USA" album, it had 4 number 1 hits and sold enough for him to buy 3 mansions, or whatever the hell else he wanted...Most people see the image of Bruce doing the white man shuffle with Courtney Cox after he pulled her on stage in the "Dancing in the Dark" video..But he is much more and my favorite album is actually Nebraska where it was just him, a guitar, and a harmonica, all done on a 4 track recorder. I t is one of the most haunting and story rich albums you will ever hear. The reason I bring this up, is because the concert I went to last night was an acoustic performance. Just Bruce. No E-Street. No Lil' Stevie. No Max. No Clarence. Only, The Boss.

We arrived at the Seattle center early to find parking and already saw a van full of people who had driven out all the way from New Jersey, from hearing them, this was an "added" show that was never on the tour list, and a rare acoustic set. We had gone in and our usher informed us, that only the lower deck was open, to keep an intimate feel and that because of the theatre like setting we wouldn't be able to get up after the first song started..."What?".....So this guy was saying that once the set starts I can't even take a piss?, obviously this guy hadn't heard about the 4 fuckin hours shows and 80 encores..How am I supposed to keep from pissing my pants, like a 3 year old?...So before I went to my seat I had to clear all this up with the head usher, because I didn't want to cause a fiasco, because this guy is reading the rules wrong...In the end we were allowed up after a song ends, but had to wait to be seated until the song ended..Cool.
My wife and I went to our seats ,which was the 3rd row from the floor, dead center and already you could hear it " bruuuuuuce" it is a chant that goes on at every Springsteen show and it just got louder "BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE" and then the lights dimmed and the Boss walked out, and what proeded was 2 and a half hours of musical genius. The man is without a doubt, one of the greatest PURE musicians in the world today, he played 4 different instruments, including guitar, harmonica, piano and harpsicord. I forget what an amazing guitarist he is, until you see him in this type of setting, where all he has is his voice and his guitar. The sight of him with his guitar is iconic, and the man WRITES good songs, they actually tell STORIES. Stories of death, redemption or family, of religion and with the acoustic set, you were really able to hear ever word.

An acoustic set is a novelty, and the man pulled it off for 2 and a half hours, there were times he strummed and beat on a guitar to add percussion, it was something to see, because not many professional musicians can get that basic and raw and be entertaining. He had taken a request from a fan that has followed him for years, she actually provided him with the damn sheet music, and it was a song he had never played before. I haven't seen many artists willing to expose themselves like that, and he played it on the piano. Before he started he said " Now, bear with me cause, I'm a bit rusty, and the chords change real fast"..The Boss even screwed up on a single note and said "oops" and just kept going, he actually then later did another song where a father of someone he knew, requested a song.

He is an entertaining musician, and I found out he's a pretty funny fuck as well..All through the set he'd occasionally stop and tell stories and jokes...He told a story of how the nuns at the convent in Freehold, NJ used to make him clean up there as detention, and now they invite him in for beer and to watch the ballgames, when he goes back..He said " Ahhh the perks of celebrity"......One part of the night a woman gave Bruce a mardi-gras type necklace and asked him to put it on because it was her birthday..bruce held it, looked at it and said " Happy Birthday, but this ain't no Jimmy Buffet concert, I'm not that relaxed."...He also told stories about his family and experiences.

Bruce finished his set and then answered the standing O and the BRUUUUUUUUUCE chants with 2 encores..the first one was awesome, the second....wellllllll let's just say that was the one flaw of the show, it was about a 10 minute song with the same 3 lyrics, at some point I was like " Shit, he could've fit Born To Run and I'm on Fire in here, fuck, he even could've sang that shit song from the Jerry Maguire soundtrack."...But he left shaking hands and my wife who's not a huge fan by any means, actually left a fan..She even chanted BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE in the end.

"When I go to these towns, I usually like to walk around and people who recognize me always come up and ask this question the most..What's it like to be the Boss?..I usually try to be humble and answer with some bullshit humility answer like, Oh it's just a job, or it's just fine...But just between you and me...It's great."
-Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


The above is a character concept skecth I had done, which had characters based on different genres of music..I was given Hip-Hop.
I had posted a previous sketch of a Beat Boy and here was one of the girls I had done, or "Shorty" ( I brushed up on my rap terms, thanks to the D O Double G ).
I looked at two models for her, and they were female rap artists "Lil' Kim" and "Missy Elliot". I tok the attitude and stature of Lil Kim and took the clothing styles of Missy..Cause I really can't have leather straps holding gigantic boobs down, like Lil Kim likes to do ( but don't take that as I don't like it ) so in the end, I really liked the way the sketch came out.
I have about 3 other characters that go with the two I have already done, I hope to get them all up here sooner or later.

Enjoi YO-selves

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Gig Posters

Some of you may know that I'm not just an animator, and blogger, but I also moonlight as a drummer for THEE most rockingly obnoxious band..THE DRUNKS OF HAZZARD!!!

Creating such "hits" as Gansta' Bitch Girlfriend , 6,000,000 Grubs , B.T.O.F and Grab Another Beer in the basement, we decided that we had to take our music to the WORLD...Or maybe just a couple of people who'd maybe pay like 3 bucks to see us.

Luckily we have 3 artists in the band, so we were able to make the all important sheet of paper
that describes your band , and what people may be in for when they enter through the doors..The GIG POSTER!!!

Our main poster guy is our bass player Chavez Y Chavez, and he actually designed the above poster for a gig which we actually never got to play..Due to the fact our lead gutarist broke his knee! But we've had some cool flyers done for some of our other shows.

I found a site called GIGPOSTERS.COM and they have TONS of gig posters from all types of bands R.E.M, Social Distortion and even The Drunks Of Hazzard! So check it out by clicking on the hotlink.

A fellow co-worker and great artist Jamie Burton has his own section of amazing posters he has done for a variety of bands..The man KICKS ASS.. Check em all out!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ya! Animated Robots!

I came across a really well made, and very short, animated short recently called "Geweldenaren Van Ver " . As you can guess by the title it was animated in Holland by 3 different teams of animators basically to prove that small animation houses ( like their own ) were able to do kick ass effects on a small budget.

One of the amazing things is that they put this together in two and a half weeks! It's an impressive undertaking for that small a period of time, one of the ways they were able to do this is to cut out all voice recording. In animation voice recording, and animating to that recording is what takes up the most time.

The subject was very " War of The Worlds ", but they also wanted to send up the American disaster blockbusters like "Independance Day" and "Armageddon".

So check out the site and the film at this link http://www.nomads.nl/geweldenaren/main.php