2010 Highlights & Accomplishments

2010 was another busy year at Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration. Taking a cue from my colleague Todd Hampson at Timbuktoons, here’s a few highlights of what I managed to accomplish over the past year (unfortunately confidentiality agreements forbid me from being too specific about some projects):

Comp Art– Marker comps and storyboards for pitches to Best Buy; in-store signage comps for another major retailer.

Toy Industry Concept art for Disney and Cartoon Network toy brands via DecoPac, Inc.; Packaging illustration, toy concepts, and Flash animation for a classic brand belonging to a major toy company.

Character Design – Created a mascot/logo for a small business in the food industry and designed a puppet character for VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer to use on his website www.jellytelly.com. I also had a lot of fun interviewing legendary Emmy-winning character designer Dan Haskett for my blog.

Illustration – Created artwork for two puzzles for Patch Products and concept art for a t-shirt company.

Flash Animation – I supervised and co-animated a short film for the ministry of Living Waters featuring the voice of Kirk Cameron (to date almost 200,000 views on YouTube and counting). I also animated seven mini-clips to be used in a sales pitch to a large client in the shipping industry, and created cartoon animation assets for a website project and for an interactive game.

Courtroom Sketching – I sketched for three local trials. The biggest was a court hearing for convicted murderer/kidnapper/rapist Ming Shiue, for which I was hired by ABC News for an episode of their TV program “Mind Games”.

Travel –  I attended the Creative Freelancer Conference in Denver, the International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, the local MIMA Summit, and the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank. I also traveled to Omaha for the National Cartoonists Society where I spoke on a panel with Pixar artist Josh Cooley, Hagar the Horrible writer/artist Chris Browne, and cartoonist/storyboard artist Glenn McCoy. Throughout the year I also spoke at two high schools and to an illustration class at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

Goals for 2011 – In addition to another busy year of freelance illustration, I plan to launch a completely re-designed website and overhaul my marketing campaign. I’m also hoping to attend Comic-Con and the National Cartoonists Society Reubens weekend.

Here’s wishing each of you a fun and exciting year in 2011!

Good Disney Documentary at a Great Price

Dream On Silly Dreamer is a low-budget but nicely done documentary made in 2006 by Disney animators chronicling the massive layoffs handed down by Disney management in 2002. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Disney studios following the massive success of The Lion King all the way down to the “official” end of 2D animation at Disney. Animators recall the wild ride from uber-celebrity status and massive paychecks all the way to pink slips. It’s a must-see for any animation fan and not nearly as depressing to watch as you might think. I own a copy on DVD and have watched it twice, enjoying it both times.

While browsing around iTunes I happened to notice the entire film is available for purchase for only $1.99. That’s less than what it costs just to rent most movies. I have no idea how long it will be available at that price so you might want to snatch it up while you can (also available on DVD at Amazon, including extra footage and some good special features but minus the bargain price).

While you are at it you might want to follow it up with Waking Sleeping Beauty, Don Hahn’s new documentary about the Disney “Renaissance” under Michael Eisner. The two films together are a great combo for studying the modern Disney 2D-animation era, one during its rise and the other during its fall. Waking Sleeping Beauty is available on iTunes and Amazon.