Archive for November, 2008


Click on the image to see it bigger.

The digital TV monster out to destroy old antenna based TV delivery? No. Just a quick sketch I did a while back and I recently painted it. I have no idea what it’s about. Actually, I have a story in mind now, once I started to tighten it up and paint it. I almost have to in order to paint a piece. Otherwise I have too many questions and can’t find the right tone for it. Painting sketches is tough that way. The doodle is perfectly good as it is – Pure innocence. No reason to be, other than it was dumped on paper when you sat down. Once I start painting however, issues start coming up. Color palette, time of day. Emotional tone. What world is this taking place on.

When I am painting and drawing just for myself (vs. an assignment) I  try things out for fun. Some leaf textures found their way into this. I played with colors several times, added a space suit on the monster/alien/one-eyed-orange-thing at one point. But the doodle seemed to work mainly because of the simplistic nature of the action. Monster breaking antenna. Guy yelling at said monster. And they all lived happily ever after.

And I think this painitng says Happy Thanksgiving like nothing else.

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Sorry for this off-topic, topic but I find it hard to believe that among all the well manicured, blue suited CEO’s, Federal Banking officials and Hedge Fund dictators ‘no one saw this crisis coming’.

Plenty of people did. Many economists certainly did. And us regular Joe-Starbucks certainly did. When houses started costing so much that it would take two people making six-figure plus salaries to buy an ‘average’ house, something seemed out of whack. In Los Angeles we watched as the average house was no longer able to be purchased by the average worker. Geez…that seems, ah, something to look into. When the average priced house could only be purchased by about 19% of the population.

And now that the first tiles have fallen from the house that Greed built and no elected official, no CEO of a publicly traded company had any idea this would happen. Perhaps not the speed with which the ‘deleveraging’ has come on, but certainly almost anyone with a heartbeat and a brain signal in finances knew things were not right. But their was money to be made.

Here’s an excellent article by Michale Lewis that anyone with any interest in what has happened and what we are in for should read. It clearly spells out the culture of pathological greed that runs the financial sector of our economy. And now that we face depression like circumstances, isn’t it interesting that Government backing is handed out to the one sector in an economy that doesn’t produce a single tangible item in the economy? The financial sector doesn’t build cars, they make interest from the money they lend to the car-makers and loans to people who buy cars. They don’t innovate electronics, they make huge profits from taking an innovative company public. They don’t develop new methods of green power generation, they make vast sums of money from betting against companies that try and establish new methodologies.

Along the way they have passed off a pathological condition (a greed so ingrained, a lust for money so overwhelming that it would have to be defined as a mental illness.) as part of the American dream. These folks aren’t trying to find a comfortable way to make a living, pay for their kids college and not worry about the cost of car repairs. They let their desire for a completely ridiculous level of wealth drive them into lies and scams so big, it very well might bring down the entire world financial system.

The financial sector gets bailouts while companies that actually produce goods get nothing. The tax payer saves all these amazing, free-market celebrating seven figure CEO’s. Welfare? More like a hold-up.

So much for modern American capitalism. Get ready for the ultimate Reality Show. How to survive the next 8 or 9 years.

And this just in – Citigroup might fail. But wise men, very wise men (?) are saying they are too important to fail. Where did we get the ‘They can’t be allowed to fail’ mantra from and how do I get in on that!? I wasn’t aware the free market system had companies that were placed outside all other business with special ‘No Chance to Fail’ backing. Especially when they are 100% privately owned, publicly traded companies that have fought against regulation for years. Citigroup never seemed to give a damn about me failing if I ran up a debt with billions of their never ending credit card offer junk mails? And I would guess those ‘business leaders’ at Citigroup were BIG fans of cuts in Estate Taxes and Capital Gains taxes.  I mean really, what god is the Government? If we had higher taxes at least they could take more of them so as to avert their failing.

“There is no question that Citigroup will not be allowed to fail,” said Wallison, who was Treasury Department general counsel under former President Ronald Reagan. ‘

Well so much for the free market right? After they lose 20 billion in the past four quarters, the American people are expected to help them out so they don’t pay a price for being really bad at their job. I want that deal.

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The election is over. Thank god. It’s a relief to stop searching the news sites and blogs for election stories and checking the polling sites 50 times a day. Minnesota is still out. That’s a bummer. As a former Minnesotan I find it hard to believe that in the 20 or so years I have been gone the state has fallen so far to actually elect and possibly reelect a candidate like Norm Coleman. Must be the global warming…

Anyway, when I am not drawing, painting or writing I  tend to be taking care of my 2 year old daughter. A few nights ago we asked her who she wanted to be President. McCain or Obama? Now she has heard plenty about Obama in our household since the Iowa caucuses and learned early on to say his name when she saw him on TV. I didn’t expect a surprise when I asked her the question. My daughter paused and started to say, “O-bah-“, then she stopped, looked directly at me and said, “Santa.”

Can’t really disagree with that choice for a third party candidate. Especially this time of year.


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I am adding a link to this blog and I recommend everyone interested in animation art/backgrounds/production design and art direction for film check it out. This is a terrific site. It’s put together by a marvelous artist named Hans Bacher. I own his book, Dream Worlds and it is filled with great Dev. art and samples from his career. When I need color inspiration it’s one of the first places I look. His blog is much like his book for me. It’s inspiring and depressing. How so? Well, there’s so much amazing work that if I look too much all I do is beat myself up for not being as good.

Anyway the site features tons of great links (days and days worth of links to follow) and inspiring work from Hans and many other of the finest animation artists who ever worked.

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Another of my all-time favorite illustrators is Quentin Blake (I bet the headline gave the topic away?) I’m providing a link to his website as there is some useful and interesting info there. It’s got a Flash preloader (ugh..) and my first visit there I was kind of confused. As in, ‘I just want to see some of his art!’! But once you kick it around a few times it makes sense and contains a lot of materials.
He has a walk through of how he works on a book and provides his thumbnails and roughs through finished work.

His work is so fresh, lively, active and FUN, it’s hard to imagine someone sweating over it. But as you learn when you draw, making it look easy, simple and FUN is where all the work comes in. Amazing work.

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