Monday, August 29, 2011

The Horror

So I have been pretty lax on posting to my blog. Well I haven't been slipping, I have been busy working on a horror movie. I met some old friends at Siggraph and one of them hooked me up with a company. Not sure how much I can talk about it, but we are doing kind of a Silent Hill sort of thing. I am not a horror movie fan, but I do love film making so I am getting into character. My favorite horror movie is Evil Dead, the first version. A friend and I watched it all the time when we were living in Germany, and this was probably the only horror movie I enjoyed until I saw Shaun of the Dead. I have never really like blood and guts, but I am starting to understand the draw to it. The ability to make some thing look convincingly disturbing is hard work. I was always able to tolerate Evil Dead because the effects were so bad you laughed your way through. Well, this is a good thing for a chicken like me, bad for the special effects team. Now I am on the other side of the coin and I don't want you to laugh, but feel free if you are a veteran and nothing phases you. Here is a still shot setting up the look and feel before we put it into motion. Enjoy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Latest Portfolio

Around the begin of June, in a moment of frustration, I toyed with the idea of going back to school. I paid 100 the dollar application fee and then spent 3 weeks putting together a portfolio for getting accepted to the school of animation at the Academy of Art University. I like the way it turned out, and I got accepted, but I decided not to go back to school, because I needed to earn income. Well that was one part of the decision the other part was that a friend advised me that it was not worth money. What he said was, "School is for people who don't have connections in the industry, and you do." Essentially, he was restating the old adage, "it is not what you know, but who you know." I am reconnecting with old friends, and it is paying off. Well with that all said, here is my latest portfolio.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Aligning your life

hen I was living in Los Angeles work and personal lives were one an the same. What I have come to realize is that most people try to keep their personal and professional lives separate for fear that one will suffer if the two were to intertwine. I am not sure how much I believe this. What I do at work and what I do in my free time have a lot of intersections. I am a digital media developer by day and a digital media vampire by night. Stalking the Internet artist and pulling inspiration into myself. My personal pursuits allow me to put into practice many of the things that we only hold as theory in my day job. Experience is the only way to stay far enough ahead of our customers so that I can provide the best service.

From August 6th until August 11th I attended the Siggraph Conference in Vancouver, BC, one of the worlds largest conferences on computer graphics and animation. During my five days amongst digital media professionals and students I saw a great many things that inspired and depressed me. The highs came from knowing that I can put many of the things I saw into practice, but this was countered with the lows of, "how the hell am I going to get it all done with the time I have?" I spent a lot of sleepless nights at the conference wrestling with the direction of my career. I worried I was losing sight of the mission. What was the mission I asked myself? Well the mission is to create the stories I see and my head and to eventually have a company at my disposal to reach this lofty goal.

Well, after 4 days of being convinced that my current position was not the right path I took a step back, and asked myself what I need to create an animation to present to the Siggraph conference. Well first I would need computers, well I have that at my disposal two fully capable media labs. Ok, well then I need man power, digital artist and technicians to help me construct this monstrous undertaking. Each year I employ 20 to 30 student over the course of a semester and I have not been utilizing them to their full potential. The labs are a learning environment and taking my student through production will provide them with experiential knowledge. Software, I have been using Blender 3D for over 3 years and now it is time to start teaching it to others. The last hurdle to over come is time, where do you get the time to do such a thing. Well you make it of course, you make the time to sit and put together the documents, paper work and structure required to have others help you with your projects then you let their creativity, excitement and ingenuity bring life to your idea. For the longest time I thought I was lost in academia and now I realize I am right where I need to be. I have all the pieces to create this painting I just have to bring them all together and get it finish.

If you are interested in contributing please contact me and lets talk about how you can help.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Drawing from Life

I have been in Tacoma now for a while, coming up on year 7. Since arriving in Tacoma I have taken part in a few ventures. Tried to open an art space, fail. Partnered with a local coffee shop, fail. Joined a cooperative gallery, Grand Impromtu, then the Grand Cinema wanted it space back, fail. So I retreated for the city and have focused my attention on developing my comic art. Since departing from fine art I feel I have also departed from life drawing. Perhaps one of my greatest passions, I love to feel out the human figure with pencil in paper. I studied life drawing with Karl Gnass, he begins his workshops with how to sharpen your pencil. We would carve out half inch piece of charcoal form the wood sheath, and then polish the lead into a bullet shaped lead brush. Line and value were one and the same. Fat broad shadow strokes would refine their way into knee creases and elbow wrinkles. It has been some time since I formally sat and drew from a model. So I was excited to learn that The Cartoonist League of Absurd Washingtonians were bringing in roller derby girls. Although I missed the event I produced this sketch from the images taken of the Derby Dames. As a artist you should always draw from life, whether for a video project, a dance number or installation art, life offers the most peculiarly interesting things to ponder and wonder.

The Internet Archive

What do you do with all the art you have been storing up for years? Boxes of unscanned art work boxed in dank corners of your life decaying never to be seen by anyone but you. I have been actively working to archive my art so that I can causally browse it, and so that others can see the work I have done over my career. There are many different ways to archive and store your work for free, most of them require no financial investment. Blog services like Blogger allow you to surround your with a story, giving it context to users who may be unfamiliar with your work. Content management system link Joomla act as digital repositories for collections of works. Wordpress combines these two ideas giving the user a place to blog, archive and organize thier content. These services and systems allow you to store, categorise and share your work in a way that makes it easy to access. The ability to associate keywords and terms via meta data makes your work searchable and indexable. Allowing search engines like Google or Yahoo to find your work when people search for associated terms. I have begun the process of posting my works on sites that allow me not only to view them my work but also download and repurpose them for creating portfolios, books or prints. The process is slow, but I will eventually be able to stop worrying about losing the work when I no longer subscribe to a service. Sometimes I think the best solution would be to setup my own web server and keep all my content on a computer in your in my closet, but the amount of work and knowledge required to to do this would take away from creating art. The Internet is about distribution and if you put the work out there and people like to look at it, it will have a long life in the digital sea, or "CLOUD," we call the Internet.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Broken Project

The Broken Project began with a sketch, and exploded into a story journey. During my time in LA I doodled a cutesy Bunny and Cat couple walking out of the mall holding hands. Well at the time I thought it was cute and that the people at Nickolodeon and Cartoon Network would be excited about my characters and give me a job. It didn't lead to a job, but it did give me some much needed enlightenment and humility. So I shelved them until I came to Tacoma, and began working at PLU. Where I was introduced to Blender, an Open Source 3D modelling and animation software. Well it had everything that Maya, Softimage and 3Ds Max, so I installed it and decided to make something. Thus began my spiral into the depths of blender tutorials. I learned to rig character, texture paint, animate, and even camera map. It is the effect I used to achieve the push-in effect in the image above. I spent a total of 4 weeks working on it, and when I stepped back from th work it looked lifeless. So I set out to give life to these two characters and thus was born, Kat and Bunnie, Riot Grrrrls. It has since evolved into a comic book which I am using to develop the story before moving into animation again. The plan is to revisit the Broken Project by continuing to post web comics to flesh out the story. You can see these at

World Peace

Can Open Source save the world? I have this naive utopian vision of the world as a place where machines have freed mankind to spend our days in creative bliss. Creating for the pure joy of it. The idea is that by giving everyone an voice through community created, shared and supported technology we can have a more civil world. Sappy I know, but I keep it in mind so that we have one more person who is tilting the balance toward making this fantasy a reality. Unfortunately the reality is that world can be cruel and that cruelty can starts with something as small as being nice to the cashier at the grocery store. We are all neighbours on this planet and the more we talk and demystify one another the more we can bring good ideas together to accomplish something greater. And the best part is we will birth those good ideas together because it's what's best for all of us. Human Beings, The United Earth Brain.