Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Get Lost

**In case you haven't noticed my new icon to the right I have started a tumblr.  Most of the art on there is different from what I post here so check it OUT!  It is also a place for me to post pics and whatever the heck else I feel like.**

With this failure challenge I have been experimenting a lot and working through a lot of my own problems.  I've been breaking out of the cage of my mind and doing new things.  This has been fantastic.  Sometimes when I try something new I can't wait for it to be over and I hate it.  That in itself is some form of progress!  Yet more often than not I find that the hours fly by and any noise of the outside world receded to an imperceptible buzz.  All of my worries and emotions quiet down as if they know something important is happening and they must now wait their turn to be heard.  I am lost to the outside world but during those moments I have found myself completely and I know who I am.
When hunger or phone shakes me out of this I am often startled by how much time has passed.  I take note.  When I Get Lost....I know I have found something important to me.  Something worth doing, something worth learning and pursuing 
When I sketch at a cafe, I am lost.  When I sculpt, I am lost.  When I animate, I am lost.  These things I knew.  What I did not know is that I would so loose myself in painting, and designing.  In finding those moments that I can shake the world loose and have only myself to dominate my awareness, I have stumbled onto new paths I never thought I'd cross.
So I think the thing I have taken away from all this is the only way to find yourself is to Get Lost.


Painting during the day and at sunset from my balcony facing west for the purpose of studying the changing light.  I used Acrylic and spent about 5 min on each painting.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I've been doing 20min copies of some of Nathan Fowkes work.  I'll do it either before I got cafe sketching or after and it's become a really nice part of my day.  I just set a 20min timer and forget the world exists as I paint.
That man knows his colour.  I've already learned so much since I started doing this.  Again this is a thing I have thought about doing for years.  It is something I've been told to do for years.  Why I haven't done it until now... I can't say exactly but fear is a part of why.  I know I sound like a broken record by now but it just goes to show how much of a part of my everyday life fear played a part in.  Life is too short to be afraid everyday, even if it's only the little of stuff.
I've been doing these copies for about two weeks now (these aren't all of them) and I feel like I'm really starting to understand some of these colour concepts.  More than learning something new I find that doing these copies has reinforced knowledge I knew on an intellectual level and made me understand it more on an emotional/personal level.  It's just the difference between memorizing facts as opposed to discovering knowledge organically and letting it become a part of you.
I said it once and I'll say it again.  This failure challenge is one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

FAILURE CHALLENGE #15 (halfway!)

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Value of Values

I've been really trying to get a handle on colour for a really long time.  Whenever I see an amazing composition of colour by another artist (Nathan Fowkes!!) I get super excited.  And I really want to be able to capture colour and mood in an exciting way.  So I've been putting a lot of time into understanding colour.  I have this amazing book that really breaks things down well about colour.  One of the driving principles is how we measure colour.  One of the way we measure it is in values and although I had heard that many times before I didn't really understand it until now.  So I went and go myself some greytones markers and started putting down the values in drawings from observations.  The result was a huge learning experience for me because it helped me understand some of the mistakes I have been making.  I HIGHLY recommend that book and also do yourself a favour and just stare at Nathan Fowkes art for a while.  It's so freaking beautiful!  Another bonus about marker?  YOU CAN GOUACHE ALL OVER IT!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Maybe it's something in the air, maybe it's because my 8tracks playlist just started playing Backstreet Boys or maybe it's because I'm about to move into a sweeeeeeeeeet new apartment.    Either way this is how I've been feeling lately.  Also me and photoshop have really been getting along lately.  I took some time, put some work into that relationship and we haven't fought in WEEKS.  A new record.

I'm counting this as a failure challenge even though I didn't set out to do this as part of it.  I just sat down and wanted to experiment and this is what happened.  It's worth noting though that before I started the failure challenge I would have been too afraid/anxious to just freely experiment like this.  Progress people, PROGRESS!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Things are quite busy over here.  But most importantly: Look!  Marker!  I tried sketching with marker a while ago and wasn't crazy about the result.  I kind of gave up on them at that point.  I think mostly it was because I still didn't have a good grasp on colour.  Since I've been working a lot more with colour and studying it more consciously I thought I'd give markers another shot and I'm really enjoying them this time around!  I started a new sketchbook about a week ago and every page so far has marker on them.  This is a really great way for me to get down colour ideas on the spot.  It's worth noting that I felt my usual amount of fear/anxiety about trying something I knew I'd failed at before but the difference is that I ignored that feeling really easily and was able to just dive in without worrying too much about whether or not things would look good or not.  Hurrah for the magic of the Failure Challenge!!!

As I was drawing this the woman came up and asked to see it.  I was worried she would be offended at the way I drew her.  If she was she didn't let on so bullet dodged!!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Loving It

Ever since I took a chance and used oil pastels at the last Dr. Sketchy event I've really fallen in love with them.  They are super portable and good for getting colour down fast.  I have been wanting to paint landscapes for years now and have struggled with the portability of paint.  So here is a much simpler solution that has allowed me to make colour observations and sketch in the great outdoors!  This is something that (again) I've been wanting to do for years at this point but was too afraid to do it.  Well look at me go!


I also just want to say a quick thanks to those of you who have been following my failure challenge and encouraging me!  It means a lot and helps me keep my momentum so thank you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



This failure challenge was really a catalyst for change that started with my art but then spread into other areas of life.  Something that I read recently that really stuck with me is "routine kills creativity".  Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while may have picked up on the fact that I LOVE ROUTINES.  I go to the same coffee shop every day at the same time.  I sit in the same seat and order the same thing.  I draw the same thing with the same pen.  Every day.  If one of these things changes slightly, I get instant anxiety.
Well since pushing myself to explore new things I've realized just how much my routine was limiting me.  It basically guaranteed that I would experience the same thing day after day and it really left no room for surprises.  So I took a little break.  And when I started up again I brought pens and pencils with me.  I went to a different place to draw.  I drew people and anything else I saw.  Then I stopped looking around and drew what was in my mind.  The first few days were really scary but I knew that what was even scarier was the thought of repeating my routine for even one more day.  The world is always moving and changing and sometimes you have to grow just to stay still.

And something else happened.

My anxiety went away with my routine.  I don't have an internal freak out if things don't go as I expect.  I'm able to actually take in what's different and enjoy it.  I have so much changing and going on right now with my art and I can't wait to share it.

So here's a start:

(One third of the way through my challenge! Yay me!)

Dr. Sketchy's - Oil Pastel in my sketchbook

Normally I'd try really hard to get a realistic skin tone and try to stick with pure primary colours.  Also I'd normally use my go to medium which is gouache.  This time I didn't and I think it has a WAY more interesting result.  I used oil pastel and really just tried to have fun with the colour and do something interesting while trying to remain true to what was in front of me.  It was a good night.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Water World!

I've been stuck on the problem of water.  My short film involves a lot of water and although there are many different ways I have seen this achieved in studios (resin with cling wrap, KY, hair gel etc.) I wanted to go a different route.  I don't necessarily want my water to look like just water (clear, glassy, reflective).  I want it to have some extra life and texture.  So I've been experimenting a lot with beads threaded on animatable wires to animate waves of water but it just looked to stringy and not quite what I was going after.

Last night I was experimenting with different textures for another part of the set when I had a brainstorm.  I got a small tupperwear container and filled it with 70% table salt 10% water and 20% different shades of blue beads.

Somehow the sum of these parts created a very animatable substance.  And because it was made out of very small particles it was easy to animate in some of the subtleties of water.  I did a quick test animation last night and was very pleased with the initial results.  I feel that the next round of tests will be even more successful   This is a HUGE step forward since the water solution was really holding me back.

I'm really excited to test some more with this.  Last night I just threw in whatever beads I had but I feel like some of them were just too big.  Next time around I'm going to keep it smaller and work with different tones a bit more.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Done Did It

Well this was a big one.  I finally redesigned the old blog!  I had really been holding on to that last design for far too long and I'm very happy to have accomplished this change.  This new look is not only for the blog though, I've expanded it to my demo reel and I'm having new business cards printed.  I've been playing around with the idea of a monogram for years.  The past few weeks have been kind of amazing ever since I started my Failure Challenge.  I have finally gotten around to pursuing some interests that I had been putting off due to some sort of manifestation of a fear of failing.  Doing this challenge has really allowed me to face that and I feel like I'm entering into a new creative era of my life.  I'm really excited to see what comes next.


For your comparison:

Previous Blog Design:

Current Blog Design:

I'm working on a website where I can have more of an online portfolio so that I can keep this blog for my ramblings.  I'm excited to incorporate these new design elements into new things!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I went for a walk the other day and came across some awesome busking.  The musicians switched every 20 min and they all sang different genres.  It was amazing how the way they dressed and presented themselves was so cohesive with their genre.  I want to work with the blues guy and flesh out that illustration so I've started with some gouache studies.  Well, thats a lie.  I started in Photoshop but felt so disconnected the I just switched to gouache.

This failure challenge has been really amazing so far.  I'm really pushing myself to do things I was so nervous to try.  I've been painting way more and also drawing a wider variety of things as well as experimenting with the way I draw.


Monday, March 4, 2013


So we went to Dr. Sketchy's last night and I failure challenged myself not to use any lines.  Instead I brought my gouache and took the opportunity to paint from life.  At first, I was scared.  But the thought that I already knew how things would look if I just used a pen was so overwhelmingly boring to me that I couldn't bare not to do something different.  At first it was definitely a struggle but the constantly changing poses let me start over and learn from my mistakes every few minutes.  I learned a lot about the optimal texture of gouache for this kind of work and also found a workflow that really worked for me.  I found a thin underpainting to block out the form and then rendering it lengthwise really worked for me.  Ultimately I learned a lot in those three hours and I'm so glad I stared fear in the face and shrugged.

Here is a page from the beginning of the session when I was still trying to get my bearings:

Here is a page from closer to the end of the session when I started to feel more comfortable: 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Handsome Man!

Well well who's this?

If you recall I was getting quite frustrated with the thread lock giving out on my old ball and socket armature.  Heck, I even gave it one last chance and cold welded the armature together.  However when I did that one of the balls snapped off and I didn't have a spare.  So I took it as a sign that I should really consider making a wire armature like the ones I used on Beforal Orel and Robot Chicken.  I sooooo enjoyed animating with those so it's not like I'm settling here.  This current armature is made of Apoxie sculpt and aluminum armature wire.  The Apoxie sculpt is great because I can sculpt the shapes into their general form and then when it cures I was able to go back with a dremel and refine the shapes a bit more.  

Already this armature is holding up a lot better than the last one.  During fabrication of the ball and socket things kept coming loose and I'd have to backtrack, cleaning off parts and then setting them again and again.  

So now I'm pretty excited to see if he will last through a walk cycle (another area where the last armature came up short).  Then some movement tests.  I pretty much want to see how far and how long I can push him until he breaks.  This is by no means my final armature, I'm just testing the method.  There are already some modification I know I want to make as far as the placement of the neck and other miscellaneous details.

If I'm able to animate this guys for a while I'll take the next step and cover him with foam and test the movement with that.  Although I know I shouldn't be getting ahead of myself in case he breaks too fast, I can't help but plan our future together!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Beating Myself With A Rock

Today I did something I've been thinking about doing for about 3 years.  I went outside and painted.  Such a simple act and yet somehow, before, I could never "find the time".  Well today the sun was shining and my brain kept poking me with the words "why not today?".  So I went!  I found a rock in a quiet place and I sat down for about an hour painting it.  I hope to build up to painting complete environments but I wanted to set an attainable goal for today so that I wouldn't get discouraged from going again.  And am I ever glad I did.  We had another lemon situation on our hands today.  I still did not get the rock to a place I am totally happy with but my fingers were starting to freeze so I left it.  I plan on going out again (maybe tomorrow if the weather holds up!) and making that rock my slave.
Anyways I'm super proud of myself for just "showing up".

My first attempts at the rock

My final attempt of the rock.  All in gouache.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Back Baby

I have mostly recovered from my most awful cold.  Being sick caused a lot of my momentum to come screeching to a halt.  So now I'm building it back up again!  I can't believe March is just around the corner.
I've worked on this just a few hours this week.  Looking forward to devoting more time next week and finishing it!  Hurray for moving on!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Breaking Point

I'm sick!  And I have a houseguest for the week!  And there is a long weekend here!  The perfect storm to getting no work done.  So I am taking a blogging break for a week.  I will see you all next week, have a great one :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

From Life

I went life drawing last night.  I realized I hadn't been life drawing since I was in New York.  So that would be... like almost a year and a half!  ICK.  I love life drawing and it was always in the back on my mind to go.  I'm so happy I finally went!!  I had a great time and we had a fantastic model.  We went to Dr. Sketchy which if you are not familiar with uses burlesque performers for models.  This makes for interesting poses and a fun atmosphere.  I haven't used conte in YEARS.  The last time I did life drawing I just used my sketchbook and pen.  I have really missed drawing with my entire arm.  Those first few gesture looked rough.  However I persevered and finally got back into the groove.  In the second half I switched to a blue col erase to see if I could pick up more detail for the longer poses.  Success!  It has inspired me to perhaps take a pen break from cafe sketching and try to work in some tonal values by using a pencil.  I know the blue col erase didn't photograph well (obviously lol) but in person I really like the way it came out.  I'm excited to see what cafe sketching with a pencil will bring me.


1 min warm up poses (ROUGH start!!)

5 min in conte

10 min in blue col erase

Friday, February 1, 2013


I was feeling pretty disconnected and blah about my digital piece.  I realized it's because I didn't really care about it.  So I decided to take my own advice and find something to love about it.  I decided to redraw it but instead of just drawing what I saw in the photograph I allowed it to filter through my mind and my own perspective.  This is what happened and now I'm actually excited every time I sit down and work on it.  I'm not rushing through it.  I'm exploring and playing and having fun.
This challenge has really helped unblock me mentally and creatively and I'm now working on other ideas.  Ideas that were totally stalled as I was paralyzed by the potential failure they might be.  YAY!  This is working for me.


Anyone want to join in?  What are you afraid of doing because you might fail?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

For You.

I actually think that kindness is one of the most powerful things in the world.  Kindness to ourselves and kindness to each other.  When I am feeling down about myself or my work sometimes I feel like it would be weak to be kind to myself.  Like I would be encouraging or endorsing the things about myself I wanted to change.  Truthfully though I was just kicking myself when I was already down.  When I couldn't find the strength to be kind to myself I was and am lucky enough to have people in my life who could see past my self loathing to see just me, a person who was hurting.  When I couldn't bear to be kind to myself my family and friends were.  It was their kindness that lifted me up.  If I had surrounded myself with people who believed like I did that the only way to change or help myself was to be cruel and point out my flaws (as if I didn't already know what they were!) I don't think I could have survived it.  I count my blessings every day that through the darker periods in my life when I couldn't show myself love or acceptance I had people in my life that gave me a soft place to fall and a refuge from my own internal self flagellation.  Now, years removed from those times I find it easier to be kind to myself in the hard times.  I remember a few parts of last year when I felt particularly low that I couldn't find one good thing to say about myself.  It was then when I was internally searching for something, anything that would keep me moving forward I heard my sisters voices telling me that they were proud of me and that they believed in me no matter what.  I listened to those voices and replayed them over and over in my head until I believed it and I could say it to myself.  Of course I could have chosen to listen to the other voices.  The ones who doubted my choices and discouraged me from taking the risks with negativity and fear.  If I chose to recall those voices in my fragile state I think I would have just fallen to pieces.
Not everyone is going to believe in you.  But you owe it to yourself to find someone who does.  And you owe it to yourself to believe in the way they believe in you until you can believe in yourself.

While we are on the subject, who is it that you believe in?  Who can you offer kindness to when they are feeling low?  Give that person a soft place to fall because you may be the only person in their life who can.

Look a little different?  I'll talk about that on Friday :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Self Aversion and Lemon Party

I read something recently on the subject of how we often try to avoid ourselves.  Desperately seeking TV or something to read or mindless tasks to perform, anything to allow us not to have to be alone with ourself.  I know that I have done this more frequently lately than not.  Knowing that I will have to go on a 15 minute walk to Whole Foods prompts me to nervously check that I have my ipod in my pocket so I can listen to music. If I should already begin walking and realize that I had left my ipod at home I will silently curse and immediately pull out my phone to check.....something, anything.  Anything so that I don't have to be left alone with myself.  It is such a knee jerk reaction at this point that it takes deliberate and conscious thought to actually reconnect.
But then I remember, those warm nights while I was working in Burbank.  I would walk 40 minutes home from work every day.  After having listened to my ipod all day while animating I needed a break and I would walk home in silence, just myself and I.  I remember thinking how beautiful the sky looked and how long it had been since I had heard crickets chirping.  And that maybe it was a good think that I was stuck in the Suburbs of Burbank because it has the smells and sounds that reminded me of my childhood.  I remember feeling really grateful at that moment.  The crickets and the grass reminded me of the barbeques we would have in our backyard growing up.  The setting sun amongst the houses reminded me of the time before I moved to the city when I could watch the sky turn colours from my driveway unobstructed by tall city buildings.  Walking the streets of Burbank and being comforted by familiar things in an unfamiliar place was really a special moment for me.  I don't think I would have had those experiences if I was listening to music or a podcast.
So why do I avoid myself now?  I think I know it is because on some level I am not being completely honest with myself and perhaps I am afraid to be faced with the truth.  There are things in my life I have been avoiding and because of this I am avoiding myself.  Doing this Failure Challenge has helped me come face to face with some truths.  It has also given me the courage to face other parts of my life I have been avoiding.  But I'll get into that another day :)

I've been getting some requests for my previous lemon attempts so here they are in order.  

These were all done on the same day.  I was determined not to let this lemon kick my ass completely!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Work In Progress

Well the titles says it all!  I'm working on a small digital piece for fun.  It's weird doing something you don't usually do and having the feeling that you have no idea who you are.
Here is a preview:

Digital Painting in Photoshop.  Referenced from a picture.

Also I've been getting some requests to see the other lemons I painted so look out for that on Monday!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Lemon Law

Today I painted the same lemon.  4 times.  In varying degrees of success.  The first two I painted made my heart hurt.  They punched my ego in the face and pulled down its pants.  I know that these are feelings I have to feel.  They are OH SO uncomfortable.  But this is the whole point of everything.  Knowing that I have a second sketchbook that I have started that is being filled with anything but cafe sketches lets me see through the haze of discomfort and steadies my heart.  I'm on the right path.  It hurts, but I'm walking it.

Lemon painted from life.  Gouache with a blue underpainting.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Somewhere Along The Way

When I started this blog I had been working for a few years as a stop motion animator and found myself to be laid off indefinitely   During those few years working I had completely neglected to draw.  When I was growing up and all throughout high school and college I did nothing BUT draw.  But what can I say?  I was swept off my feet by stop motion and was completely engrossed in it.  Still the nagging feeling that I was missing something stayed with me and when my job disappeared the feeling was all I had left.
It was amazing how....well how BAD my drawings were when I finally picked up a pencil again.  Comparing it to my high school and college art it seemed I had actually regressed.  This was a gut wrenchingly hard fact to face.  However I knew that the joy I used to feel from drawing was something worth fighting for.  I learned to turn off the part of my brain that cried in despair every time I drew something that did not look the way I thought it should.  It was only by sheer force of will that I was able to get through that part and rebuild the connection with my mind and my hand so that when I envisioned the way I wanted to draw something it actually came out that way.  This of course took YEARS and is still something I'm working on.  
Now that I've decided to take the leap and move onto different subject matter I find myself back at square one.  My brain and ego are taking a beating.  I think in the back of my mind I knew this would be the case but I was hoping it magically wouldn't.  At least this time around I have total proof in the fact that I can overcome this particularly discouraging part of the journey.  Although this time I am going through it wiser and more optimistic.  I can feel the slow and painful rebuilding of communication with my mind and my hand.  It is a brick by brick operation with no technological shortcuts.  I must do the dirty work.  And the fact that I have even started this journey (finally) makes me feel amazing and powerful.

Gouache and China Marker

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Don't Forget About The Love

Lately I've been in a real rut with my cafe sketching.  The last week or so nothing seems to come out right.  I see people, I draw them, but then I don't like what comes out on the page.  Something is missing and I know I've gone through periods like this before but they don't get easier.  I always continue drawing day after day until some mysterious switch gets flicked back on and I enjoy it again.  Today while trudging through an episode of "i don't feel like drawing" mornings I felt especially desperate.  It's not just that everything I drew seemed ugly, it also seemed foreign.  Like someone else had drawn the faces on my page.  Nothing about them had any part of me in them.  Then I kind of realized that that was it.  That was my problem.  I had become disconnected with the people I was drawing and the feelings it could bring out in me.  When I am "in the zone" I am unusually completely smitten and in love with the people I am drawing.  The way there hair falls, the degree of which there nose turns up, the lopsided way they smile or talk.  So I decided to start loving them again. I looked up at a person and allowed myself to be completely charmed by them.  Their double chin that formed when they smiled, how short their hair was that it curled right under their ears.  When I allowed myself to delight in this I found myself in love again and once again I was reflected in my drawings.  It was actually amazing the immediate difference I saw.  I was no longer rushing through drawing, nor was I over thinking things in my head.  I took my time, lingering over the drawing and adding little touches here and there.  Because I wanted to, because that's what I love to do.
The thing I really took away from this was just.... you have to love what you are doing.  No matter what it is.  You have to feel love and feel connected so that your natural inclinations are to spend time, connect and love the details of what you are doing.  Whether you are an artist or anything else.  If you love what you do you will love the things you do.

Failure Challenge POST 2

A sketch I did purely out of my head.   It is something about love.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Failure Challenge - DAY 1

Lately I feel like I've hit a wall with my sketching.  I find myself all up in my head with all kinds of negative voices while I draw.  I don't like this.  I think a lot of it has to do with not doing improv anymore.  When I was doing improv regualrly it gave me the opportunity to really publicly fail but then have to get back up and try again.  It also always encouraged me to make mistakes and then invest in those mistakes to turn them into gold.  I miss improv.  With the craziness of my travel/work schedule over the past year it has been impossible to get back into it.  The closest I got was when I moved to SF and I thought I would be there for a while.  I emailed the local improv school and was all set to start classes there.  I was REALLY excited.  And then we all know what happened next.
I know I will find my way back to improv... it's just a matter of when.  I actually found a pretty great school here in Vancouver but they ask for you to commit to a certain number of months and at this point I really can't commit since I may be going back down to California at some point.  And I wouldn't want to leave anyone hanging if I had to bail on an improv group.
So it's time to take trying and failing and succeeding back into my own hands.  I will begin using this blog more for its intended purpose.  When I started it back in 2010 it was so I could get back to drawing.  I chose cafe sketching and I posted the results publicly.  No matter how awful they were at times.  Because the point of this blog was not to post beautiful drawings.  It was to post, to share, and to not be afraid of showing people that sometimes I make bad art.  I knew that if I could accept the fact that I failed sometimes then I could take the fear and the power away from failure.  Whether this meant someone would come across my blog and NEVER return because they were so highly unimpressed with its contents was and is not for me to worry about.  The main focus on my mind is just; am I trying?  Am I making?  And  posting on this blog is a way to say YES.  I know that as long as I keep producing art, good or bad it is always a step forward.  A step forward in the education of myself and who I am as an artist and a person.  To figure that out is my main objective in life.  I'm truly not trying to impress anyone.  I'm just making this a space, my own space, where I can go to and accept myself for the good and the bad.  I think everyone needs that safe space in order to grow.
So with that being said here is my challenge to myself.  For the next 30 posts starting from now I will not be posting any cafe sketches (although I will still be cafe sketching every day).  I may sketch and post ANYTHING else, including household objects, landscapes, or just things from my imagination.  I need to get comfortable with failing again and this is the best way I know how.  If anyone wants to join me on this challenge of 30 days of failure I would love it.  Thats not to say you should expect to fail everyday.  It's more in the spirit of - Do something everyday that normally you would not do/be afraid to do because you think you might fail or not be good at it.
But that's just the first part of the challenge.  The second is to look at your failure head on.  Look at it and accept that this is a part of you right now.  It may not always be this way but right now it is and that is OK.  If you're feeling extra adventurous tell someone about how you failed!  Have a laugh about it or have a serious talk about how it made you feel.  Do whatever you want with it because it is your failure.  Let's do this.

A gouache painting from life of the chair in our living room

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Want It That Way

Quick note - I will be getting back to a somewhat "regular" blogging schedule of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  So come on by!

Lately I feel that I am forcing a real fork in the road.  Well several forks.  And when I think about it, it all becomes very overwhelming.

I don't know what lies ahead, I don't know how one choice will affect my other choices in the future.  I can guess, but I can't know.  
Sometimes I stop and think why I couldn't have chosen a more mainstream career.  One where you get to a company, work your way up and feel somewhat secure.  But if I did that I think my life would be a little more 

When I look at that I know its not the right choice.  I know that even if I haven't quite figured out who I am I know at least what I don't want.  With all of the craziness and uncertainty at least I have more options.  More chances to do or experience something that I don't even know exists yet.  My life has been full of surprises.  In the midst of it it was all very stressful with dizzying highes and bottomless lows.  But it's been interesting.  I will take an interesting life over anything else.  I think I'd rather live in the extremes than be in the middle all of the time.  When it comes right down to it I just really need to keep that in perspective so that I can weather through the uncertainty until it carries me on to the next adventure!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So here is whats up.

When I returned from my most recent work trip I picked up work on my short.  I got SUPER excited and was so super motivated from the energy I had felt working on Robot Chicken.  I decided to do a walk test with my ball and socket armature.  I set it all up and had him take a step.  I felt totally alive and thrilled as I finally animated my little man.


The thread lock came loose.  For like the THOUSANDTH time.  I had 9 joints in the neck alone and the thought of one or all of them going while I was in the middle of animating gave me a headache.  Have you heard that saying "to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results is insanity"?  Well I realized, I could re-clean  the joints, reapply thread lock AGAIN and maybe this time it would stick.  But louder than that voice came another one that had been stirring ever since I worked on the Moral Orel special.  I really loved those armatures.  They were wire armatures but the way they were made was amazing.  I could animate it as hard as I wanted and they never broke.  When I returned to Burbank later in the year to work on RC they used the same armatures.  And again....  I loved them.  Before I made a decision I asked myself a question:
- if the puppet broke while I was animating it would I have fun in stopping to take the time to fix it?  Or would I be annoyed and impatient and want to get back to animating?
Answer: I would be seriously annoyed and impatient.
So I've made a decision.  I'm going to remake the armature out of wire.  I don't want it to break while I'm animating.  I care more about animating than I do building.  There is just more joy for me there.
When I came to this realization I felt both relief and panic.  I had spent MONTHS of time working on the ball and socket armature.  Had I really wasted all of that time?


When I look back on the time I spent in my cold studio with my fingers freezing trying to piece together the steel armature what I recall the strongest was how happy I was.  I love building things.  I always have.  I love using my hands.  This is really why I love stop motion so much.  I had fun building that armature.  I can't think of a better way of spending my time than by doing something I truly enjoy.  The sum of that time is not a useful tangible object but rather bits and pieces of knowledge that I gained while sorting through the many small obstacles I encountered.  To me this is priceless.  What else is priceless is knowing that I worked on the things I thought I wanted most - a ball and socket armature.  And to be shown that when I thought I had to choose between A or B there was actually a C I didn't even know existed.  I love being surprised, especially when it changes my mind about something I was so sure of.

So I happily pulled out my original sculpt.  I measured it and made a scale drawing, shrank it in photoshop and am now using it as my template for my new armature.  Using wire will enable me to get back to the proportions I had first envisioned.  Smaller joints, thinner limbs.  I'm excited.

Monday, January 7, 2013

So Much

So much to talk about.... So many decisions have been made.  Too much now to go over, I just really wanted to get a sketch up!

Stay Tuned!

Also!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  What will 2013 bring for you?