Animatior vs Animation

An animator faces his own animation in deadly combat. The battlefield? The Flash interface itself. Click here to watch.

(Thanks to John Barry for the link).


New Napoleon Dynamite Ads

If you liked Napoleon Dynamite, you’ll enjoy these ads for the Utah State Fair. Napoleon and Pedro reprise their roles in humorous fashion. Unlike other efforts to capitalize on the film’s success, these ads stay true to the spirit and humor of the movie. Sweet.

(You may have to scroll down the page a bit to see them. They are posted under a weird video featuring talking food puppets).

Sketchbook Update

Here’s some recent doodles from my sketchbook (click on the image for a larger view). I generally sketch in ink, because not being able to erase forces me to think harder before I put down a line. The drawings don’t turn out as well as they could with the ability to erase, but in the long term using a pen makes me more confident and decisive in my drawing.

VeggieTales is Coming to NBC

Phil Visher, co-creator of VeggieTales, has announced that America’s favorite cartoon vegetables are coming to NBC Saturday mornings this fall. I’m very excited to see such a quality Christian product getting a wider exposure. Unfortunately, NBC wants the show’s religious content be watered down or even removed altogether. In other words, these veggies might be lacking in nutritional value. Vischer is not thrilled with the decision, but it sounds like he didn’t have much choice. Here’s how he describes it:

“At first we were told everything was ‘okay’ except the Bible verse at the end. Frankly, that news really surprised me, because, heck, we’re talking about NBC here. God on Saturday morning? It didn’t seem likely. Since we’ve started actually producing the episodes, though, NBC has gotten a little more restrictive. (I think they actually sat down and started watching a few VeggieTales videos. “Hey wait – these are religious.”) So it’s gotten trickier, and we’re having to do a little more editing. More than I’m comfortable with? Frankly, yes. But I had already committed to helping Big Idea with this, and I really didn’t want to leave them in a tight spot. Plus, the new stuff we’re coming up with is really fun, and at least some new kids will meet Bob and Larry on NBC, and maybe wander into Wal-Mart and buy a video with all the God still in. So it could be better, but overall it’s not a total loss. The new stuff is really cute. You’ll like it.”

Let’s hope the anti-religious editing isn’t too extreme. The first episode is tentatively scheduled to air Saturday, Sept. 9 at 10am EST. Then at 11am EST NBC will air more Big Idea programming, either Larryboy or 3-2-1 Penguins!. Be sure to watch. It might also be a good idea to contact NBC and let them know you support VeggieTales, Bible verses and all.

Tempted Online

Internet pornography is a huge problem. Almost every guy I know has been tempted with it to one degree or another. Internet filters help, but I’ve found they typically have two shortcomings. First, it’s impossible for even the best filters to keep up with all the bad stuff out there. Second, every filter I have tried occasionally blocks “innocent” sites by mistake, making it frustrating to get around the internet.

The best software I’ve found to deal with the problem is called Covenant Eyes. Instead of using filters, it keeps track of your internet surfing and then e-mails a weekly report of your activities to a friend (or friends) of your choosing. I like the accountability it provides. Combine that with a good internet filter and you’ve got a winning combo.

Why am I telling you this? Recently the creator of Covenant Eyes hired me to illustrate a book they are producing for people who struggle with internet pornography. I’ve been burning the midnight oil (and drinking lots of Monster Low-Carb) to finish up the artwork. Here’s a sample illustration from the project.

Long Overdue Art Update

I’ve been super-duper-crazy busy lately with freelance work. I’ve had several large projects on my plate for a while now, and the deadlines are all converging within the next two weeks. With freelancing everything seems to happen at once. Illustrator Tom Richmond put it well on his blog:

“Part of the problem with freelancing is that you never know when the next phone call will be your last for a while. As a result, you tend to take on more work than is good for you, for fear of a possible dry spell just around the corner.”

I’m getting better at dealing with it though. In the last couple of weeks I’ve actually turned down a couple of projects, something I very rarely do.

Here’s a few of the many balls I have in the air…

First, some spot illustrations for a children’s book I am doing for Living Waters Publications:

Some character design concepts for a bumbling pig character:

Turn-around drawings for a rubber pig promotional toy:

Some character design concepts of a smart cow for a dairy company:

And finally, some character designs for the re-design of a hardware store mascot:

In addition, I’ve got three other projects in the works. Two are still in the very early stages and the third has a Non-Disclosure Agreement attached, so I can’t show you anything….yet.