Saturday, January 25, 2014


Sometimes I'll think up a "How To" art related topic, then second guess myself, thinking "This idea is too simple, everyone knows how to do that.."  "That" being any art skill that you can think of.  Recently I had the same self editing thought about Pen and Ink.  Since I finished 100 Robots using old school pencil pen & ink would there be interest out there to see a little tutorial on how I make those pieces?   My energy is coming back, and I was in my home office all of last week.  There's a short step ladder with a pillow on it to support my leg while I draw at my desk.  Then I have created some paths to roll my chair to any point in the studio, so I'm mobile enough to do some more blogging.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014


In my years of character designing there is one issue that always comes up from time to time  when I have designed characters for animation or puppetry.  The best way to describe the issue is through illustration:

This is Hank, he is outgoing and a real story teller.  Phil is Hanks other friend.  Phil is a glass half empty kind of guy, but always there when you need him.  Then there's Julie, the cutest girl in town. She sees the good in everyone.   These would be my initial rough ideas for the characters.

After I turn the art in for approval here is the typical first response from the art director, producer, or network.  “Great we love hank!  Phil is so funny and gloomy!  We like Julie, but how will people know she’s a girl?   Can we give her hair?  Put a bow on her head? Or maybe big eyelashes?

CRAZY MAKING!  This note comes from men and women.   How is this an interesting or good story telling or design choice? Any boy / man character can be a lump, a ball, or a bucket.  The second it’s a girl we must feminize and give sexuality to the character.   In my career I constantly fight against this outdated notion, if Hank and Phil are basically lumps and that is the world we have established then Julie needs to be a lump too, with a feminine character voice thoughts and behavior.  That’s how we know she’s a female.  Even when we were making Robot and Monster an executive wanted me to make J.D. more slim and “Sexy”.  What the exec didn’t get was she already is the sexiest monster in the show, exactly how she is.  The exec was projecting their own ideas of what is attractive into the Robot and Monster world and story.  Needless to say I did not let that happen. 

This whole idea can fall under the banner of “Make Interesting Choices” when you are designing, Illustrating etc.   And don't fall into this unimaginative trap.

P.S. I'm recuperating nicely and starting to ease back into working.  Thanks for all the well wishing!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Welcome to 2014 It feels so futuristic!  The year has started off a little rocky for me, ending 2013 with the Very Robot Christmas Show was excellent.  Thanks everyone for coming out and seeing the show.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there for the closing.  During Christmas break me and family were in Telluride Co skiing and enjoying the snow.  New years day I was skiing an easy run, I was in control not going to fast when i caught an edge and tumbled over.  Normally this is not so bad, a regular occurrence for some of us not elegant skiers.  he problem was I was close to the edge of the mountain and when I fell I went over the side.  Now it wasn't a rocky cliff wall, or like Homer Simpson jumping Springfield Gorge but a steep incline going down into the woods.  My right leg was probably broken on the first big fall, then as I tumbled out of control down the hill it kept getting re-broken again and agin.  All in I think I rolled down about 30 ft and finally stopped when I hit a deep snow bank.  Luckily some people had sen me crash and called the ski patrol. The ski patrol was awesome they had to do some fancy maneuvering to get me down.  My right leg had a broken Tibia and the Fibula broken in two places.  When I was laying on the gurney in the emergency room after they got all of my gear off I saw my right foot was hanging down at the 5 O' clock position, I don't think it is supposed to do that.I got shipped off to a nearby hospital to have surgery, now I have a titanium rod in my lower leg and a month of crunching around in my future.

This  year I have some cool art projects planned and will be loading up the store with more prints an original art for purchase.  Keep checking back, and Happy New Year!