Saturday, April 25, 2009


Taco Bell PSA

This "PSA"(Public Service AGENDA) really pisses me off. How can anybody else tell you how you're supposed to live your life?

First off, this PSA equates success with "playing in front of thousands", so by it's own insinuations only a handful of people on this planet could be considered 'successful'. Also, the implication "then I dropped out of high school" is left unresolved. Are we supposed to believe if she finished high school she would have gotten a record deal?
By it's own demeanor this PSA is implying that wanting to be a musician/artist isn't a "real job".

Secondly, I don't see anything wrong with this picture? Clearly she's doing ok for herself, i mean, look at those stylish threads. She gets to do what she loves, which is more than 95% of this country can say, and that is the definition of success.

Thirdly, if you listen closely to the lyrics of her song, she clearly states "lucky to
be where I am"... quite a juxtaposition to the paradoxical message its unsuccessfully trying to convey.

Fourthly, dropping out of high school to pursue a career in music is incredibly courageous, and shows a level of ambition and character unmatched by any high schooler I've ever met. I would pay to hear what she has to say.

Taco Bell believes it's more respectable and appropriate for you to work the cash register at one of their restaurants for minimum wage than it is to pursue something you're passionate about.

Success is doing what you love, whether that means (in this case) playing for 2000 people, or playing for strangers on the street. Don't ever let anybody else tell you how you're supposed to live your life. Society wants you to fit into a cookie cutter mold of a mundane existence because it fears the 'different'. Make your own path.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sum of the Manny and Khan artwork I've been workin' on. These 2 pieces I made for my mom, she's awesome.

I think our character designer Danbob Thompson ruined my life. I can't draw anything now without having all the lines overlap on top of each other... it's a really bad habit.

Below is a piece of artwork from Danbob's portfolio that both Joey and myself saw and instantly said "we need to steal that style for Manny and Khan!"

Property of Dan Thompson

The folks at Cartoon Network, specifically Craig McCracken and Rob Renzetti, really liked the youtful energy of the short and it's childish nature. So we tried to capture that "charm" in the art direction, and Danbob capitalized on the philosphy by implementing a "crude" stylistic approach to the character designs. The overlapping lines and jagged/uneven thick-and-thin linework really enhances the characters' personalites simply in design. Danbob did an incredible job capturing the energy of the short by making the characters appear they'd actually been drawn by kids. The short wouldn't have felt the same way without his masterfuly "poor" drawings. (Danbob is one of the most talented and diverse artists I've ever met, and this is in no way a stab at his abilities. In fact, it's actually harder to draw "poorly" than it is to draw "good" which is a testament to Danbob's skills!)

Everyone we brought on to help us out with the short, we always told them the same thing, that the feeling we were going for is "you should be making sound effects while you're drawings."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009


100th post!!! My Blog-Centennial.

In honor of this electronic occasion I thought I'd post a collection of some old artwork, a time-line of my artistic endeavors. (Also because I'm taking some time off, and traveling, so I don't really have a scanner... or anything new to post anyways).

(11 years old) I remember drawing these on my Dad's laptop with Microsoft Paint and a mouse.

2001; Some early caricature type drawings I did for some family members.

2003; Spongebob came out when I was 12 (1999), and that show pretty much changed my life. I'd always liked cartoons, but seeing Spongebob was really the first time I said to myself "that's what I'm gonna do."

I sent Stephen Hillenburg (creator of Spongebob) a letter with this picture below and also a whole bunch of cartoons I drew. He was kind enough to write back and even gave me an autographed Spongebob drawing. I didn't care as much about the autographed pic as I did the letter he wrote, encouraging me to keep drawing and studying old animation. That letter is a great part of why I am where I am.

I like that on my desk I have a textbook right next to a 'how to draw cartoons' book. The textbook was just for show. PS; I was kind of obsessed with Spongebob.

Some cartoons I sent him;

2004; This was a pretty significant year in terms of my animation career. I got accepted to CSSSA (California State Summer School for the Arts) held at Calarts. This was my first formal education in animation as well as art. I never really took art classes in high school, I would just spend most of my time in other classes doodling in the back of my note books. Because I had no formal art training, I was pretty far behind the rest of the kids, and struggled with life drawing. These are some of my first few figure drawings ever (albeit from the drawing session a lot closer to the completion of the program). The first few sessions were pretty rough...

2005: I graduated high school and, if it were up to me wouldn't have gone to college, but my folks made me (which was ultimately the right deicision (although I only spent 2 years there and dropped-out, I think 2 years in general is enough for anybody)). I was putting my portfolio together to send to CalArts, and realized, with the exception of a few figure drawings, I had absolutely no 'artwork', just a whole bunch of cartoons. I remember doing these drawings all in one day basically, hoping I could trick them into thinking I could actually draw... it didn't work.

Deep down I pretty much knew I wasn't going to be accepted, and the funny thing is, based on the portfolio criteria, I still probably wouldn't be able to get in. So I ended up going to SCAD, the only other school I applied to, and the only school I got accepted to.

Here's a drawing I did based on a novel I wrote;

2006-2007; College. I was pretty miserable at school, all I wanted to do was make cartoons. The first year or so of any art school is going to consist of primarily 'foundation' classes, where you have to take all sorts of broad art classes. I definitely learned a lot, and wouldn't change those 2 years (and although I despise the school I had a couple really great Professors), I was just frustrated a lot.

Self pore-traits;
Some shitty piece I did for 'color theory' however, there's too much color and not enough theory.
Below is probably one of the most 'artistic' pieces I've ever done. It was a study of a Michelangelo sketch I had to do for one of my drawing classes.

2009; Now I get paid to draw on post-it notes

Hopefully this post also proves that you don't have to be able to draw to make it in the industry. At every phase of my career I've always felt as if my passion for animation greatly outweighed my talent, and continue to believe so to this day.

I'm gonna be starting a new gig at Dreamworks soon, doing storyboards for an upcoming feature. Other than that not much going on at the moment. I'll try to post some new stuff soon.