Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oz-kin, the Magnificent

preliminary sketch
8.4 x 10.9 in, black ball point pen on ruled paper.

Halloween. All Hallows Eve.

Once again, there is a pumpkin carving contest at the Turner campus of cable networks, Atlanta. It's the fourth annual competition if you believe the signs - that can't be right can it?
Here above is my entry, my first since working at Cartoon Network.

It's Oz the magnificent.

I should have carved it bigger on the pumpkin I think, and I don't think that cranium is properly voluminous.

I had also planned to carve the man behind the curtain on the back or the side, but by 6:00 a.m., I no longer felt like it. But you can see what it may have looked like from my sketch.

Here's the grand gourd four days later.
It will surely to degrade into something truly hideous by Halloween I think.

People vote by placing money in numbered containers. All proceeds go to UNICEF. In previous years, they placed actual orange UNICEF boxes.

The competing Flapjack entry behind the Wiz-kin was done by one of my department's in-house freelance designers, Danny Hong.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

TAGS June 30 & July 1, 1993

6/30: Monster the Id, Brayn (pronounced, "brain.") the Ego.
7/01: A little first-aid demonstration - the bad kind.

June 30, 1993: Brayn's first appearance (his first presence was in 6/18). I like Brayn, or at least the idea of him. He deserves a bit more finessing in his design. He so trusts in his well of knowledge in absolute terms. Whether or not any of it is true, he gladly issues as much of it as he can to Monster.

July 1, 1993: Hans (fox) make his first appearance here (7/01), although off-panel he hits the pop fly that leads to Monster's current state of unconsciousness (6/8). Evan (Welsh Corgi) also makes his first appearance. If you require help with Monster's mumblings, he says, "Where's the restroom," and "Like some fries with that," two common questions of the service industry.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Drawing Conclusions 2001

watercolor over black toner xerographic reproduction of black India ink on paper, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in.)

January 2001, my last re-fresh of my artist biography for the Disneyland Main Street shop. Succumbing to the toll of working five years as an artist both for Walt Disney Consumer Products in Burbank on staff during the week, and weekends in Anaheim for the Original Artist Watch program, I was preparing to leave the Magic Kingdom as a Cast-Member.

I remember it had been a long time since I had introduced a new design to my shop portfolio, even with the new characters from Mulan, Hercules and Tarzan that I had been drawing for Burbank. I can't remember, if there was that "one last thing" I was going to do before leaving. If I dig deep enough, I might find it in my files.

Although a few of the names are illegible within this JPG, the important thing is they are the names of some of the New Century Timepieces Cast-Members with whom I worked during the past five years: (in no particular order) Scott, Denise, Marilyn, Jinny, Eileen, Cat, Laura, Carrie, Don, Lisa, Douglas, Shelly, Shelby, Michelle, Maria, Bonnie and Debbie.

Things to Look for:
a) a blue barreled medium point, Bic® 4-color pen (this appears in the second version too); b) a baby oyster

Drawing Conclusions 1999

watercolor over black toner xerographic reproduction of black India ink on paper, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in.)

At the end of 1999, I finally re-fresh my biography for the Original Art Watch Program for Disneyland, returning to more simply stated prose style.

The title, "Better Than a Poke in Your Eye," is paraphrased from something Bert says in Mary Poppins regarding his own chalk pavement drawings. It has no other connection to the contents.

Again, I fold my BackStage characters into the art, with myself and Monster, my alter ego, in a Wonderland situation. (Clockwise from top-left) Dragon hero (Michael Supancheck), Peguin singer (Dee Polinsky), Seagull globe trotter (Suzanne Palmiter), Box Terrier pilot (Mark Driggers), African Lion space ranger (Leo Rodriguez), Striped skunk computer whiz (Ron Nakada), Bald eagle reporter (David Crane), Cheetah chef and Red squirrel manager (Paul and Diana Okamura).

Things to Look for:
a) a television, a recurring theme; b) a baby oyster; c) a cookie; d) Cri-kee from Disney's Mulan; e) Panel 3: that is more or less what I looked like in the watch shop painting pictures.

Drawing Conclusions 1997

watercolor over black toner xerographic reproduction of black India ink on paper, color xerographic reproduction, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in.)

About two-third through 1997, I created another version of my Disneyland watch shop biography. In it's own way, it does contain with in the lists much of the same information as any of the other version of Drawing Conclusions. However, for it's relative lack of plainly stated information, it is perhaps the worst of the series. Unfortunately, I wouldn't have a new version for more than 2 years.

Things to look for:
a) an upright piano with sheet music; b) a beverage station/fountain; c) a television with rabbit ear antennae; d) Disneyland's openning date; e) the apartment number of Paul and Jamie "Mad About You" Buchman.

Drawing Conclusions 1997

watercolor over black toner xerographic reproduction of black India ink on paper, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in.)

A new year - time for a refresh of my biography for the Disneyland watch shop.

A fantasy featuring me fighting with the eraser end of a No. 2 pencil, against a terrible beast.

The beheaded stuffed bear, which also appears in the first version of Drawing Conclusions, represents the one I received an as infant from my uncle. Although missing his nose, the real one's head remains intact.

The Cast-Members of the New Century Timepieces shop, who were responsible for assembling the watches, had a collected affection for Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Picking up on that vibe, I would start to sneak in baby oysters in some of my art. Here is one as the bullet for the last paragraph.

The monster (blue bear thing, bottom right) in the Art of Walt Disney cover Mickey pose is of the BackStage comic design, my alter ego.

Drawing Conclusions 1996

watercolor over black toner reproduction of black India ink on paper, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in)

Some months into the next year, I decided to update or refresh my biography for the Original Artist Watch program at Disneyland.

The title box, as established in the first version, contains a caricature of my blue monster character, a caricature of a licensed character representing my current employer, and two other things representing personal interests (here, space ships and dinosaurs!).

Due to it's autobiographical nature, I made the point of view of the drawings in such a way as to show what I might be seeing. I tried to hide my face for that reason. This is similar to "first-person" shooter video games.

Panel 6: That's the blue vest and white paper hat of the cast-member costume of the French Market Restaurant, New Orleans Square, Disneyland.

Panel 7: This line up of characters from my comic BackStage made for my Disneyland co-cast-members. I drew animals which represented my friends, crittercatures I called them, which would be the inspiration of those in my TAGS comic strip. (L-R) Bald eagle (David Crane), Dragon (Michael Supancheck), Tabby cat (Wendy Maimbourg), Box Terrier (Mark Driggers), Cheetah and Red squirrel (Paul and Diana Okamura), Penguin (Dee Polinsky), Turtle (Richard Brill), Striped skunk (Ron Nakada), African Lion and Swan (Leo and Barbie Rodriguez), Seagull (Suzanne Palmiter).

Panels 8-10: My work station never looked like this, but it communicates the idea. To my left in the Belle model sheet, 'cause I enjoyed Beauty and the Beast so much. To my far right, "Squash / Stretch" the basic tenants to more lively caricatured drawings in animation. The three others, Mickey, Quizimodo and a dalmatian puppy stuff I've been drawing at work.

Drawing Conclusions 1995

a: Black India ink on paper, 21.59 x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 in.)
b: Water color over black toner xerographic reproduction, color xerographic reproduction, 21.59 x 27.94 cm

This I tell people, my first job as an artist was as a character artist working in the New Century Timepieces shop on Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland, California. This of course, does not include odd and random paid assignments to design tee-shirts for teams, draw caricatures for special occasions or paint signs. It was my first "show up at this time" regular paycheck for drawing.

I started in 1995, which was less than a year after having earned an associates of arts (AA) degree in Art, Advertising Design from Cypress Community College*. The program itself was less than 6 months old when I heard about it from my theme parks connections - at the time I had already quit working in theme park restaurants because, with degree in hand, I was pursuing my career path of art, i.e. doing page layouts with Pagemaker® for a community newspaper. The position at Disneyland required the artist to create original Disney Character art to order, which would then be reproduced for the face of a wrist watch.

Although it wasn't necessary to do so, I re-applied for a job for weekend work at Disneyland, restaurants again (Bengal Barbecue, Adventureland), which was the excuse to spend gas money to continually submit art in hopes that an opening would allow me an artist position in the watch program.

I got hired because the program lost two artist and sumer was approaching.

Now, getting to the point...

Each artist is asked to write her/his biography. These weren't artist's statements describing artistic intents, high-minded or other. These were short biographies displayed to inform guests of whom was sitting within the store's windows. It was also, I'm sure, an additional document adding value to the package of the original art, watch and certificate of authenticity.

Above is my first biography, which for no other reason than to be different and because it interested me to do so, is written as a 12-panel comic strip.

*Yes, I've only a AA degree from a junior college. Everything else is hard work - well, as hard as scribbling can be.