Friday, April 29, 2011
One of my earliest exposures to cool, more independently styled animation was seeing this and other lightning fast clips used in "Natural Born Killers", by Mike Smith. Mike knows a heck of a lot about how to light and color drawn animation, which comes off really well with this twisty "the wall" style clip. But don't blink! it's over really quick.
I was obsessed with this comic oriented sequence for "Tank Girl", but now when I look at it, it doesn't quite hold up, especially if you compare it with the more recent Hewlett designed animation like the Gorillaz. although, i still love the outrageous MTV look to it, and again, the color is fantastic. It's a really solid nice piece of work by Mike Smith.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
"Masks" Trailer/Teaser from Patrick Smith on Vimeo.
I def want you all to see my latest work in a proper theatrical setting, and not just on-line. I hate that my main source of seeing shorts is on-line, and I try really hard to get out there and see them in a more suitable exhibition format!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I often like to watch films numerous times, to see if my initial perception of the films hold up or if I can find more information or qualities in the film that I missed the first time I saw it.
One of the films I re-watched was Disney's “The Sword in the Stone”, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman. I watched the film in Mexico, so I could not really understand the dialogue in Spanish. Consequently, I was not caught up in words, and was able to experience the film as purely visual storytelling. Able to gauge the film as a graphic story, I came to a new conclusion – first, the draftsmanship and design was not that good. Too simplistic and crude. And, the film is very episodic, which I didn't remember from the first time I saw it. Now, I get a lot of criticism for my features being episodic, but “The Sword in the Stone” is basically 8 different sequences that are not really that connected. In other words, there's no build-up of emotions or drama, which is okay in a comedy, but for a drama like this – it's death. So, on a second viewing, I give “The Sword in the Stone” a C-.
The other film I've recently revisited was “Sinbad”, the Brad Pitt adventure film that supposedly almost brought down Dreamworks. As I recall, my first appraisal of the film was somewhat mediocre – I didn't hate it as much as the critics, and I did like the action sequence where the Eagle chases Sinbad and his female partner down the giant glacier.
Well, after seeing it again, I have a much different opinion – the film really stinks! How could Jeffery Katzenberg sink over 100 million dollars into a project that looks as bad as this?
The animation is atrocious – the evil goddess voiced by Michelle Pfeiffer is so badly drawn, she changes design from drawing to drawing. And the mix of CG in the boat, and the eagle, compared to the traditional animation for the humans is jarring to the eyes. Not to mention, the script is just plain flaky.
I think “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” ranks up there (or should stay down there) with “The Black Cauldron” and “Quest for Camelot” as some of the worst animated features ever.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This sexually charged flower scene from the wall is one fine piece of animation. I really think that a good piece of animation has more to do with the overall IDEA than it does with STORY. Story is nice if you're telling a long tale to kids, but expressing an IDEA is acting more of a painter, and less of an entertainer. Leave character antics aside, leave jokes, gags, all that crap. it's the concept that has the punch. It's also the visual display that works here. People have asked me where I got the idea for "DRINK", and honestly, although this may be a let down, I simply wanted to draw something cool, something that would express a simple idea and would look rad. This piece from "The Wall" is interesting to me personally because i usually shy away from overtly sexual content, i think it's easy. But this goes beyond simple sex content, and really explores the STRUGGLE that is always inherently present during a sexual relationship.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
(between Park and Lexington Avenues)
New York, NY 10065
The second event you shouldn't miss is our Open Studio Starving Animators Sale!
On Monday, May 2, 4-8 pm, the brilliant artists at Bill Plympton'
piece of animation art from "Your Face" or "Idiots and Angels" or
"The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger"? Well, now's your chance!
The art will be priced to sell (How do we do it? Volume, volume, volume!)
so you can proudly display your original drawing from a masterpiece like
"How to Kiss", or give a drawing from "Guard Dog" as a gift to your favorite
pet lover. The sale will be held at 153 West 27th St., Suite 1005, NYC.
Sorry, no credit cards, but we will take PayPal! Also, every purchase of
art will get you a free sketch and an authentic animation collectible! Wow!
See you there, art lovers!
Name Dropper is going to be a new item on Scribble Junkies, especially since bill does it so often:)
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
For about 10 years I've been receiving sketches from the great Oscar Grillo via the net. It always amazed me how he was able to do a wonderful drawing every day and send it out to his fans. In fact, they are so wonderful I've been collecting them over the years. Then I realized: I do tons of sketches every day. Some are very interesting. I could send them out on a daily basis.
So that's what I'm inaugurating as of today. Check out Scribble Junkies daily and you'll be able to see what I'm drawing that day. Sometimes it's a random sketch I did in front of the TV, a drawing from a life model in class, or a piece of art from a new film I'm working on. I can't guarantee it's going to be a masterpiece every day, but it will be an interesting look into my art routine.
Also, I'm interested in hearing comments on each drawing. In fact, most of the drawings will be offered for sale for any collectors out there – just e-mail the studio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoy this experiment.
David Hale is an artist that currently lives in Athens, GA. He co-owns "Anchor Tattoo", and you can see the heavy tattoo influence in almost all of his work. Along with Tattoo and Painting, he also is an experienced Illustrator, Designer, and Muralist. Some cool stuff. Enjoy!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Luis Ruiz is an artist from Málaga, Spain who draws wonderful location sketches, particularly of architectural subjects. He also has a “Meet the Correspondents” page on Urban Sketchers, which is awesome. You can view posts marked with his name on Urban Sketchers, or visit his extensive Flickr sets, which seem to be his only formal web presence. Ruiz has a light touch, sketching in pen and ink with touches of watercolor. He has a particular skill for suggesting enough of a structure to give it weight and solidity with just a few lines. Thanks Charlie Parker:)
Sunday, April 17, 2011
We all work in a visual medium, whether you're animators or filmmakers, drawing is the language of that medium. To develop this language, drawing from life has been proven over the centuries to be effective. Also, it's a great way to relax.. unplug your brain.. get away from your computer.. meet some cool people, and participate in a ritual that is just about as old as art itself. Last night was our second session! After we break for the summer, we'll pick up again in September.
When I was living in New York City, I often attended sessions at Minerva Durhams Spring Studio in Soho, and I've modeled my sessions after hers... Back in the 90's we used to go over and draw with Minerva for an hour during lunch (we worked across the street at Jumbo Pictures, doing "Doug"), and they were very formative years for me. I want to try to create that atmosphere here. Hope to see you!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
This long, cold winter in NY has been a very productive one for me. Because of the inclimate weather, I've been able to stay in and get a lot of work done. Four short films!
The bulk of “Flying House” is done, and we're close to completing this wonderful restoration of the Winsor McCay classic.
“Guard Dog Global Jam” is finished and now making appearances in festivals around the world, starting with the opening night at SXSW.
The as yet unnannounced new music video for Weird Al Yankovic. The film is done and it looks great, but we're waiting for Mr. Yankovic to finish the album before releasing the short.
And finally, a pilot episode from “Tiffany, the Whale”. This is an excerpt from the planned 3-hour feature that may or may not be broadcast as a webisode series.
My hope is to entice some big TV channel to bankroll the series and then after a year or so of broadcasting all the episodes, I want to release “Tiffany the Whale” as an animated feature film.
Here are some samples of the art:
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
A few days ago, I had a successful appearance at Boston University where Signe Baumane and I did our big smash “Battle of the Sexes”.
Upon arrival at the luxurious Commonwealth Hotel. We walked through the rain and snow to Harvard to meet one of the animators in the Battle of the Sexes show, the great Ruth Lingford. We also did a visit to probably the shortest street in Boston – Plympton Street.
Then Signe and I, after dressing up in our formal attire, rushed to the auditorium to make our show, only to find out that it was booked. Then the whole entourage moved across the street to another venue where we displaced a religious meeting.
When our audience finally arrived, Gerald Perry, the organizer, was forced to warn everyone that the “Battle of the Sexes” show contains explicitly sexual material and told anyone with very sensitive tastes to leave the room, to protect against any kind of lawsuits from religious nuts.
Me, “Fifi L'Amour” played by Sandrine Flament, Gerald Perry, Signe
After that, the show proceeded swimmingly. The Boston legend David Kleiler was the “Mad Professor” while the beautiful Sandrine Flament played “Fifi L'Amour”, our hostess and Vanna White stand-in.
Naturally, the women won the battle (again!), but everyone loved the films and the spirited debate after each short.
Signe and Ruth Lingford, creator of the film “What She Wants”
With David Kleiler, the “Mad Professor”
Signe and I have done this show numerous times and out next appearance is in May at the Planet Doc fest in Poland.
If you're interested in bringing Signe and I and the “Battle of the Sexes” to your town, just send me an e-mail and we can talk. The show is a smash success wherever it plays.
When I worked with Bill's Pressing back in 1996, I realized that I was working with one of the best draftsmen in New York City. A lot has happened to him since then, and I stumbled upon these images the other day. It's great to see he's still pushing it, and his beautiful lines continued to get better and better. His girls are epic. Enjoy these great playing card designs. Such sweet simplicity of shape, contour and form.
Josh Cooley, who collaborated with Bill on the project.. I will post more of his work soon.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
“May God deliver us from the worst of all sins: Man's own religious hypocritical self-righteousness, evil knowledge, and greed for power through every form of cruelty, including war!” -Norman Rockwell
Despite the hostel reception to my past praise of Norman Rockwell, I wanted to share with you a painting that exemplifies Rockwells skill and social insight. "War News" was completed in 1945, but never published. Critics often dismiss Rockwell paintings as "Simplified unmercifully and reassured inappropriately", but I see him as a master that captured a great era with great skill, perhaps idealistically, but I think that makes his work even more important in this age of cynisym and elitism (especially within the art world, excuse my generalization).
This piece is wonderfullly constructed and composed. Through expert characterization Rockwell captured an apprehension and severe concern in the figures. I appreciate this work even more so as an animator, i almost see them as actors within a story. As far as content ... it's dead on. we've all experienced that severe concern to war news. In this same year Rockwell painted other great pieces like "Thanksgiving: Mother and Son Peeling Potatoes" and "The Homecoming". For the cynics, it's interesting to point out that Rockwells "Four Freedoms" was viewed by 1.2 million people, and raised over 135 million dollars in war bonds. If this isn't an example of how art is an integral part of the world, I don't know what is. It's great that the humble master felt he "held a low rung" on the ladder of fine art. He considered Pablo Picasso the greatest, going so far as to add a bit of cubism into several of his paintings. He also held Mondrian in the highest regard.