Thursday, June 21, 2007

When creativity strikes

Well, I haven't posted anything substantial lately, & that's for a variety of reasons. Mostly I've been tied up with renovations & odd jobs around the house, which is a valid excuse, but only to an extent. I've had time to draw & such but I've been using it to go fishing myself instead of making toons about it (maybe I should start doing both at the same time, could probably hammer out a few drawings when the bite is slow). Lastly, I work at a University, so since we've been on our summer "down time" schedule, it's a bit tougher for me to find a corner to hide in & draw at work. During the summer all three of our buildings operate out of one spot, so there is an overabundance of chiefs & relatively few indians, & while there's not much to do, you always have to look busy...

Anyway, today I got hit with a creative spark that I haven't felt in a while. I can't say what brought it on, but I hammered out rough sketches for 8 still panel strips! Some 3-4 panels & some just single's. They are VERY rough right now, but it won't be too much work to tighten them up when I get home. The important part is I'm pretty happy with all the gags, & I may have deveolped enough of a concept to make a series out of with a couple of them. While it will also be loosley about fishing, I've got a few strips focusing on a father/son duo in which the father, while mostly a responsible parent, finds great ameusement in teaching his son all about the things he can get away with when mom's not around. It won't be entirely dedicated to father/son stuff, I've already got a couple just involving Dad & his buddies, but I think it will be a theme that pops up more often than not.

I've been wanting to do some still panel strips for a while now, & I'm glad I finally started. As I've learned from my pal Rob Campbell, still panel strips are a great way to get frequent content on our sites & are much quicker to produce than even a short animation (especially for us one man studios out there). This helps bring return traffic to our sites, which is always a plus, keeps fresh content available, and working on a couple still strips can even be a nice break from several hours of key framing :)

All that said, I'm excited that I actually started creating again, & I will have a fair amount of stuff to show in the near future. I haven't decided how/if I'll space out the releases of each toon, but I'll worry about that when I finish them. Anyway, keep checking back, I promise there will be fresh material soon!
Cheers for now

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lessons for the aspiring cartoonist

My Mom was talking about starting to draw again (she did a lot once upon a time) and I told her I'd try to dig up some lessons for her to get reaquainted with the basics. While her interest is not in animation, I found this excellent site that gives short lessons on cartooning. As I read through it, I had a hard time pulling myself away from it. The lessons are very brief, just a page each, but it's laid out in a very fun to read/do way. There isn't much in the way of how to, rather it tells you what to do. Replicating each step is up to you, but there's nothing that someone with basic drawing skills can't do, and the lessons build upon each other in a very logical & well thought out way. Anyway, without hyping it any further, give these lessons a look if you need help getting started, or if you just feel like you could use a refresher. I found myself doing a handful of them just for the hell of it as I was reading along. You can find them at karmatoons Enjoy!And here is the rest of it.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Still Alive

Howdy all, I've got nothing major to post, just a note to let you know I'm still breathing. I have nothing cartoonish at the moment, the last few weeks have been extremely hectic & when I finally got a couple days off, I took the opportunity to go camping/fishing instead of animating. I'm gonna go ahead & say that's alright once in a while, we all need a break from the world. I got to sit by a fire, sing a few songs, catch a few fish (nothing to write home about unfortunately) & enjoy a great weekend full of good friends, good times, and perfect boating & camping weather. Hey even a bad day of fishing beats a good day of just about anything else, so I'm glad I went.

Now it's back to painting my room...*sigh* We picked about the most meticulous & tedious paint job we could find - stacked sadnstone to be exact. I've drawn so many parrallel lines lately it's not even funny. You want to know how many 9" x 18" blocks fit in your walls? A LOT! But I'm almost done that part, then it's a matter of taping off each color, one at a time (we're using 4) & painting the blocks in and giving them some texture. My room is on the third floor so the ceiling comes down at many different angles in different spots. I thought straight angles would be boring, so I made the wallas appear to be crumbling at irregular angles allong the slants, & allowed the ceiling paint to overlap onto the walls where the stone is crumbling away. We did the ceiling in sky blue & let it come down along the slants just a bit so when we're done it should give the illusion of looking out over a crumbling stone wall. (I hope) I think in the end it will be worth the work, but it sure as hell is a lot of work. I don't think I'll be painting this room again any time soon, but I'll be sure to post some pics when I'm finished & then I can finally get back to cartooning. Cheers for now

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