I’m Speaking At The Motion09 Conference

motion09SpeakerBadgeI’ve been invited to give two presentations on character design this fall at the Motion ’09 animation conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 11-14. It’s a real honor.

I attended last year’s Motion ’08 conference and it was one of the most fun and informative conferences I had been to in a while. I attended seminars on TV animation pipelines, character design for Flash, animating to music, surviving in Hollywood, acting for animators, designing ethnic characters, and more. I raved about it after it was all over. I even got to talk a little character design one-on-one with legendary character designer Dan Haskett. He was kind enough to look at my portfolio which was a real thrill. If you work in the animation industry (or want to break in) you’ll get plenty out of this conference.

Assuming the conference follows last year’s schedule there will be multiple seminars that roughly follow two tracks: One for character animation and one for motion design. I’ll be part of a new series of “after hours” seminars that will be offered in the evening. It hasn’t been decided yet whether I’ll be giving the same seminar twice or doing two different presentations. Either way I’ll be sure to pack in as much helpful info as I can. I’ll post more info soon.

In the mean time, be sure to check out the Motion ’09 website. The site is a little sparse at the moment but I’m told they’ll be stuffing it full of content very soon. So be sure to check back and/or sign up for updates.

This and That

Things are really hopping here at the studio. I’ve recently finished up a packaging illustration and a toy design. I’m currently working on another toy design, three packaging illustrations (each for a different client), character designs for an animated feature film, and soon I may also be designing characters for an episode of another animated series. I’ve also been invited to speak at a conference later this year (more on that later) and I’m still working on finalizing the new mobile version of my website.

I’ll be leaving for a much-needed vacation starting tomorrow morning, but here’s a couple of quick links to keep this blog a-hummin’:

How To Get (And Leverage) Glowing Testimonials – another great post from the folks at freelanceswitch.com.

Twitter Toons – This is actually two items for my fellow Twitter users. First, editorial cartoonist Darryl Cagle has posted a collection of editorial cartoons about Twitter. Second, illustrator Bob Ostrom takes part in a neat feature called Twitter Toons. Every day a new topic is posted, and artists are encouraged to post a doodle about that topic and then tweet about it with the label “#Ttoon”. More info here.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: cedrichohnstadt

Sorry for the short post. Gotta get some rest so I can take off nice and early tomorrow morning. Don’t want a minute of my R&R to go to waste. Hopefully I’ll come back with some fun sketches to post. (I’ll be back in the studio on Tuesday, July 21).

Mobile Version of CedricStudio.com (Work In Progress)

Illustrator Dani Jones has posted a great litlte tutorial with instructions on how to optimize your portfolio website for the iPhone. Her article really got me thinking. As more and more people are surfing the web with their smart phones, it seems innevitable that sooner or later a potential client is going to try viewing my website on a tiny 3-inch screen.

I’m a gadget geek so the prospect excites me and terrifies me at the same time. Art buyers can view my work on their phones–how cool is that? But there’s a problem. My website is several years old and when I tried browsing it on my iPhone the experience was more than a little klunky. In fact, it stunk. I’d be very surprised if a busy art-director-on-the-go would spend much time pinching and panning and opening new windows to try and navigate my site with his/her mobile device. More than likely they would just move on to the next prospect.

Granted not very many of my potential cleints are browsing for talent on their smart phones. But it seems likely to me that a few of them are. I do most of my advertising via email blasts so it seems at least plausible, if not probable, that a busy art buyer somewhere might read my latest email and then click through to my site while riding the subway or grabbing a bagel at the coffee shop. When they do I want to make it as easy as possible for them to get excited about my work. The last thing I want is for my website to get in the way.

I’ve been meaning to completely redesign my website for years but the task is so overwhelming I keep putting it off. Thanks to Dani’s tutorial, creating a simple iPhone version of my website seemed much more manageable. So I spent a few hours this evening banging one out. It’s still a rough draft and needs a little visual kick, but it’s a huuuuuuge improvement over what my old website looks like with an iPhone.

mobile-screencap

Now I’d like to ask you, my blog readers, for a little help. If you have a smartphone, would you please take a minute to visit www.cedricstudio.com and let me know what you think? If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch you should be automatically redirected to the mobile version of my site (the one with the aqua-colored background). I’m not sure what happens if you have a Blackberry, a Pre, or some other non-iPhone device, but if that’s you please leave a comment below and let me know what happens. I’d be very grateful.

If the redirecting doesn’t work, you can visit the mobile version directly at mobile.cedricstudio.com.

Also, since this is a “first draft” of the mobile site I’d love to hear any comments/suggestions on how I could make it better. Is the solid color background too plain? Does it need something extra? I pretty much borrowed Dani’s general layout and just tweaked it but will eventually do more to make it my own. Any feedback you can give me (positive or negative) would be very much appreciated.

Sketchbook Update (part 1)

It’s been a while so I thought I’d post some noodles and doodles from my sketchbook. I don’t have a scanner with me at the moment so I thought I’d try snapping pics of the sketches with my spanky new iPhone 3GS. The results aren’t as good as a scanner would have done but after adjusting the levels in Photoshop they didn’t turn out all that bad.

More sketches coming tomorrow.

All artwork copyright © Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

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