My Work in Progress

A sketchblog where I post a few of my scribbles from a variety of works-in-progress, usually from my rather random personal creativity outside of the daily grind. I occasionally, but not always, post the final artwork.


Something New

Here's a quote that I really like -
"I much prefer to work with people who have big enthusiasm, even if they don't have big experience" - Sylvain Chomet, director of the feature animation The Triplets of Belleville.

If only....

New Intern
Yup - we have a new intern who starts work with the toy design department on Monday. Strangely, our creative manager did not forward us any information about the intern until yesterday. Turns out that the intern was emailing the information under a different name or something like that and so my boss was deleting the email...thought it was spam. ha! Curious to see how the new intern does. I totally enjoyed working with the two girls from NYC this summer. This one though, isn't in a toy design program at all, but evidently went to the same school our creative manager did. Guess I'll find out more on Monday. :)

New Showroom
Meanwhile, the showroom buyer/vendor shows have been going on as usual. So far, so good. We all also had the opportunity (finally) to get a walk-through of the showroom with a couple of the product line managers so that we had a better understanding of what they're presenting to the vendors as well as a bit of what the buyers are thinking as they see our new products for 2006. Seems like the costume show we've been putting on every time has really been well received (although all of us performers are rather less than enthusiastic of the little skits we do and the costumes we have to wear). It is really cool to see the samples of projects that I've worked on in the various sets we have in the showroom. Also funny to recall what the original concept was...and the added tweaks or revisions that our creative manager felt necessary to "enhance" the final sample. Have to admit, I frequently don't agree with his decisions as far as that goes, but hey, that's why he's the manager. Those aren't my decisions to make. And I'm really happy for that.

My current toy design projects include a variety of pieces - from animatronic characters to detailed illustration or graphic design for high resolution printing, and then the usual concepts for license and department store specialties (plush or table decor...or something else). As usual, I'm still behind on my production art log, but I'm slowly catching up once again. Hopefully next week will be static (and little or no revisions or "emergencies") so that I can churn out my current concepts and finally start on some new ones. To help get an idea of our daily production quota...while we may work on up to five different rough concepts or drafts per day (more or less), by the end of the day we want to have produced a minimum of two final concepts (concept sketch approved by our creative manager and the product manager, clean line art and turn-arounds created, and gone to color, and provided on forms for factory production (with callouts/comments as needed) and presentation.

It keeps us busy.

Here's a sample of one of my earlier projects on a production form. It includes color callouts and preferred materials as well as comments on animation (it's a simple type of animatronic):

New Movie
I saw the new movie, Corpse Bride by Tim Burton, yesterday evening. I really enjoyed it! In fact, although most reviewers say otherwise, I liked it better than Nightmare Before Christmas. Guess I'm just weird. I had the opportunity to see some of the new toys that McFarlane is creating based on the movie when I was at the San Diego Comic Con back in July. Nice stuff! I'll be using a wee bit of my paycheck for some of the characters next month. They tend to have that interesting manneristic style with a Burtonesque twist. I like it. There's a really good interview given by the Head of the Puppet Department for the movie, Graham G. Maiden, about how they did some of the puppet making for the stop-motion animation.

New Project
And for the rest of my ongoing personal something new going on there that I'm pretty excited about. I've been asked to help out with an animation pitch of a new 3D tv series for a major animation studio (sadly not DNA). I'll help out with the continued visual development of the project as well as some of the modeling. And definitely whatever else I can do to assist. On the plus side, I'll gain some valuable experience and get the chance to be mentored by some creative professionals who have or are currently working in the animation industry in one capacity or another and I don't have to relocate (for the moment). On the negative, I'm not getting paid for any of the work I do. D'oh!

As relates to my portfolio submissions...nothing new. :(

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