Thursday, March 31, 2011

Actors, you can ditch your "day job " now!

Just completed this cool Ebook Project for Actor, Writer, Entrepreneur, "Bones" Rodiguez. According to Bones, if you are a working Actor, you should be a WORKING ACTOR, not a "Waiting Tables" actor. In this soon to be released Ebook, Bones gives gives actors, his proven strategies for consistantly working in the profession of acting. A MUST HAVE book for all you PERFORMERS out there, and YES I do mean ARTISTS too! Will give you the link for this as soon as its available.

This Blog is going to the DOGS! My Doggie Caricature of Butchie Dog!

Well maybe it's not going to the "DOGS" but at least ONE dog, anyway. My dog, Butchie. Butchie is my 13 year old American Staffie aka a Pitbull Deluxe. Butchie dog, as I call him, has been my constant companion for years as I sit in this lonely basement studio that is either too hot, too damp, or too cold, as I crank out caricatures, create cartoons, communicate with clients , or cry continuously because of cranky customers! LOL. It occurred to me that Ive never really drawn the one who is truly, "mans best friend" ... shhhh is my wife listening?....One day, after coming home
from a vet visit, he came into the living room, and was so happy to see his dinner waitiong, that he wagged his tail stuck out his tongue and held this pose for a couple of seconds, long enough for me to get just the gesture drawing I needed to make this great Doggie Caricature

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spotlight on Sergio Aragones

I recently came across this great series called THE COMIC BOOK GREATS where Marvel Comics frontman, STAN LEE interviews the movers and shakers of the comic book industry. In this segment, he interviews Mad Magazines, Sergio Aragones, one of my favorite cartoonists, and the creator of Groo the Barbarian.
View the online presentation HERE
Its a four part series.

Are You A Tortoise or a Hare Online?

When it comes to working style, according to Sonia Simone, Guest blogger on the Copyblogger blogsite at you fall into two categories, Tortoise, or Hare. Unlike the fairy tale, this story has a happy ending for both characters. Find out which one YOU are in regards to your working style online, and discover how you can maximize your particular personality strength. The title of the article is CRITICAL ONLINE MARKETING QUESTION YOU NEED TO ANSWER NOW. There is a great audio podcast you can listen to where Sonia Simone breaks it down in an entertaining way.

If youre wondering which one I am, I would say Im a Tortoise, Hare Hybrid. A Rabbit with a shell! LOL! As a freelance artist, I have to on the one hand, get work done quickly and efficiently as my business is very competitive, and deadline sensitive. As a business person, I also have to cultivate business relationships and friendships, as well as build and maintain my brand, and that takes time and patience. If i was to decide which approach is "better" I would have to go with the Tortoise, personally. In life, and business, you will encounter a few storms. There are times that you can go full speed ahead, but must stop, regroup, and recharge. If you have a shell on your back you always have a sanctuary where you can go to find peace, and also have a defense system to repel the slings and arrows that will inevitable come your way. If you're a rabbit, you'd better watch out for foxes , wo are faster, stronger and more cunning....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Character Design work at Starbucks

! As a character designer, I'm constantly on the lookout for fresh faces to populate the animated worlds that im frequently called upon to draw for clients and for my own comic and animation projects. Drawing from life is the BEST way to get faces that are authentic. people are endlessly fascinating and funny just being themselves. I frequent Starbucks a LOT , as it provides ample opportunity to draw people for great lengths of time. I also have these great free association moments that happen when a particular face triggers a feeling, as in the Monkey boy pic! Innovation is the key and I never really draw the person totally literally. I use what I see as a springboard for other ideas nd thats what makes the picture come alive!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

DRINK AND DRAWN Comic.... Based on a true story..... by Subwaysurfer

Hey Cheesy! What cha got there?   Oh, Nuthin, just my new Action Figure, I call him...


That's right! DRINK AND DRAW MAN! His secret Headquarters is in Jakk Dempsees Pub !

Whoa! What a Concept! Gee....

It gets better! Every month Drink and Draw man meets with all his drink and draw friends in his Headquarters at Jakk Dempsee's Pub to have wacky drawing adventures!

Wow! you've got a storyline, and EVERYTHING! Im impressed!
...Sob.... Gee... Sure wish I had my OWN Action Figure! ...Sniff...

Well, something like THIS doesnt just happen overnight, my boy! Heh... I've been perfecting this Drink and Draw Action figure here for ten years!

Well, Gotta go! Ive got a very important meeting, gotta take Drink and Draw Man here, lotsa people wanna see him! Bye!

....sniff... yeah..... bye....

That Cheesy is so lucky to have an Action Figure and Everything..... I wish I had one too!... sniff..

Bet it doesnt take ten years to build something lke that! ... I bet could make my OWN Action Figure! bigger and Betterer!

That gives me an idea....

Hey Frankie! what cha got there?

Oh, Nuthin, Cheesy! Just MY New Action Figure! I call him....


Yo, Frankie! What's up with THIS!! that's MY IDEA!!!

YOUR idea? how can you SAY that? my character is TOTALLY Different!

Check this out! MY character has this snazzy red and blue costume! YOURS doesnt have a costume, Remember? Also, his name is CAPTAIN Drink and Draw man, as opposed to just plain old Drink and Draw Man!  My character owns the Jakk Demspsee bar, and periodically has top secret Superhero meetings there with his Super Hero drawing friends!  Its even a different plotline!


Listen, lets not resort to name calling, alright? Youre just mad cause someone else came up with an idea too! besides, there more than enough room for more Action Figures!

Look, I'd love to stay and chat, but I got a very important meeting to go to. Gotta take Captain Drink and Draw with me! Lotsa people there wanna see him! bye!


Oh..... Man.... I got a little too overheated here!.... It's the second time this week!!
Er...heh... Anyone out there got a..... SPATULA?

Once upon a Time in New York City, There was a group of comic artists who loved to draw and liked to drink , so Drink and Draw was born.  One member created a group where members got together once a month to drink and draw, and draw and drink. this went on for ten years.... one day another comic book creator type person decided he wanted to create another goup that drank and drew and drew and drank. And had his meeting following a major comic book convention in NYC.

Both groups basically had the same goal, namely to bring a diverse group of NYC Comic creators, writers, and fanboys under one roof to network, collaborate, communicate, and create.

One Party feels another is being unfair in creating his group, which is a similar group, doing a similar thing , under the same roof, on a different day... The other party disagrees.

And here i am in the middle. I admire what both groups have done, and are trying to do. For myself, as a sequential artist, writer and creator, all I want to do is create comics, align myself with a group that  can assist me in achieving my artistic aspirations, and having a good time drawing. I dont drink. That Alcohol, anyway. I also as an editorial artist, know a good story when I see one, and wanted to document THIS one, not to "choose sides" Point fingers, or place blame, but to tell a story, graphically because this is a part, howbeit small,  of comic history, and history needs to be commented on. If any disagree with the stance I have taken or the approach, you are free to disagree,but at least, appreciate the art. For me, this is what it is all about.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Let me ask you a question. What do you think THE most important thing to a professional artist is? if you're like most people, your list probably included things like, The right kind of paper, of maybe the right kind of pencils or pens. Some of you might even have gotten clever and mentioned the word TALENT! which, I admit, you kinda need to have if you're gonna draw for a living in the first place. And while all of the aforementioned things are important for any artist, it gets even simpler than this. The NUMBER one thing any artist needs to work efficiently and effectively is.....


Even God, in his creation of the heavens and earth turned the lights on first!

As a professional caricature entertainer, having proper lighting to do my work is so crucial that I literally write that into my clients contract. For best results, my subject needs to be showered in light from above. Now while I cant bring the sun inside to my party events, Im always thankful when a client uses Pendant Lighting

in their business, or residence to light a room. In you dont know what Pendant Lighting is, its lighting that hangs from a higher vantage point and is usually mounted from a ceiling. This kind of lighting is versatile as well as decorative, but for my purposes I love its functionality, namely it bathes my subject in that gentle shower of illumination that allows me to view the entire face at every angle without having to guess what a particular feature looks like.. In my line of work, you dont wanna guess what a face looks like ! Getting faces wrong has a tendency to get people mad at you. and some of em may be so moved to put out YOUR LIGHTS if you insult them too bad.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


This is a podcast that answers a question that a young student asked concerning what animators do. Rather than simply give her just typed answers which cam easily morph into a sort of egocentric infomercial about yourself, I wanted to give her a really personal answer I hope she shares with her classmates.

As a student myself, I always hated when I asked a professional a question I really wanted an answer to, only to have them talk way over my head and drown me in verbage, or condescendingly give me some useless, " baby answer". I hope in my response to this student, that I did neither. Instead, I expanded on my written answer, and gave her, in this audio. More tips that she could implement right NOW instead of waiting until she grew up. Technology has literally put all the tools in reach. All she has to do is reach out and grab. I hope she pulls back stars.

Here is the original written transcript. The audio follows the same basic format, but since I am speaking/reading I add a lot of additional details in the audio that is not written here, so I suggest interested listeners check out both.  Im posting this because there are a lot of similar questions have been asked of me over the years on my ALL EXPERTS colum  as well as at my live parties and special events. I had been procrastinating for a while of writing something out, and this students questions kinda force me to do that, so hat's off to her.My answers are NOT meant to be "the definitive word" in how to do animation. It is simply my account of MY role in the industry, and what I've done up to this point in my career. Having said that, enjoy the interview, and if you have comments or questions, do not hesitate to write me!

What got you interested in animation?

I got interested in animation as a kid watching a cartoon called UNDERDOG. What I loved especially about Underdog was he talked entirely inRhyme, just like a rapper! LOL! He was always saving his girlfriend, reporter Sweet Polly Purebread from danger, and used to say, WHEN POLLYS IN TROUBLE,I AM NOT SLOW, SO IT'S HIP, HIP, HIP, AND AWAY I GO!

When the show was over, I went straight to my drawing paper!

To watch an animated film, how do you get the film into a device to watch it?

There are a couple of ways to do it now with the technology available, but it usual involved some conversion process that made into DVD. Web animation is done using programs like Flash, and others. You can also make very simple animation called GIF an older technology that still works.

What is your job in animation?

Some people think, that in animation, there is one person doing "everything". The truth is, there are many people involved, each doing their own specialized thing very well , and then handing off their contribution to the next person in the process. My contribution is whats known as a character designer. Its my job to design the signature look of the character. It's up to me to design a character that fits the role of the story he's going to be in, whether as the hero, the villain or the quirky best friend. I have to draw the character in such a way that it will be easy for other animators to draw too, since we work in a team to make the film faster. My skill is specialized also because I specialize in drawing caricature, which is a fancy word for real funny and exaggerated. Sometimes I have to draw celebrities and make them look simple, which is sometimes hard to do!

Can you tell me about how you make animation?

I use, what's known as 2D animation, and I use a traditional approach which involves pages and pages of drawing different poses, each drawing building on the next until I have a completed sequence. At my stage, these drawings are still in pencil, sometimes rough, and put into a pencil test program to see how smooth the movement looks. (monkey jam is a great Free program which can enable you to do your own pencil tests) once the pic is approved they are inked over and colored, and the cycle repeats itself.

What is the science behind animation?

Gee, they said there would be no math in the interview,,,, I will say the most important bit of science I learned while animating is that 24 frames which equal 24 individual drawings equal one second on film....ONE second. Get out 24 sheets of paper put them side by side, and you get the idea WHY you NEED a TEAM of people to help you complete even a short 10-15 minute animated cartoon!

How long does it take to complete a film?

There is no cookie cutter one size that fits all answer. I will say that it depends on the type of film you're doing. If you are doing what's called limited animation, which is what a lot of web animation is based on, the time is relatively short, compared to if you are doing a 3D full length Pixar 2hour feature film. Speed of production also is determined by the size of your team, many hands make fast work, fewer hands make slow work. The great thing is there are a lot of jobs in animation, and you need not get discouraged if you feel you can't draw well enough. We need people who paint backgrounds and scenery, people who know the computer animation programs ,( you'd be surprised that many of them can't draw a straight line), as well as people do do voices, sing songs, or score the music. Hope I not only answered your questions, but encouraged you to start a great career, trust me , YOU CAN BEGUN NIOW!