Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not Enough

In the past couple days, I have had the privilege of hearing advice from some very distinguished personalities at Nickelodeon. First, I met with Eric Robles, the creator of Fanboy & Chum Chum. Eric gave me advice that was hard to hear, but honest and truly helpful. I had waited a month interning at Nickelodeon before making my meeting with Eric. He told me that this was too long. I had waited because I wanted to get the feel of the show first. Basically, Eric told me to not wait on anything. He said I have to not only do what I am told, but get up and ask for more, not just from the production team, but from the artists that I am looking to eventually work among. He was signed on as an intern at 19 years old, and hired within a week and a half. I thought I had been being proactive at work, but I really need to be pushing more. He also reiterated several times that you can sleep when you're 30.

Today, we all had lunch with Mark Taylor, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon, who told his incredible life story. After relating his anecdotes about breaking wild horses in Wyoming (!!!), he told us how to achieve success in the industry. In addition to poise and professionalism, he stressed that we need to be constantly learning and growing and evolving. Avoiding risk will only stall our career ascension. And, you can sleep when you're 30.

In order to get into the animation business, you have to be the best. The only way to be the best is to practice non-stop, and put everything into your work, whatever the sacrifice. This is kind of the boiled-down version of what I keep hearing, and have heard for years. In practice, however, these principles get watered down. Personally, I have been spending my time off of work looking for apartments, applying for part-time jobs, and making a website. I need to be spending this time animating and drawing, though. Everything else can wait, because I need a job in this industry.

I have started pushing myself even further. Now, my free time consists almost entirely of either animating or drawing. Apparently, I'll be able to sleep when I'm 30. So, here is a more polished version of that dog I started on. I still need to do a side view. Joel Fajnor, character designer on the upcoming Kung Fu Panda series at Nickelodeon is teaching the character design class. One of his strongest lessons has been to design every aspect of what you are working on. Take complete creative control over the design. I have been trying to apply this to my work, hope y'all like it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Logo I'm working on for myself as a marketing tool. Still running with the Big Rig theme.

Honk, Honk

New Blog!/Character Designs

Rory! You finally have a blog?
Yeah I does! Alright, these sketches are some thumbnails I was working on for my character design class at Nickelodeon. The premise was a dog or cat who resides either in space or underwater. I decided on a dog in space, inspired by the stray dog that Katie and I found in New Mexico (pictured in background). We had named the puppy Laika, after the Russian dog that was launched into orbit, being officially the first live mammal that humans sent into space. While the original Laika died in space, we were doing our best to save our stray from the same fate, so we brought her to a shelter in Flagstaff, AZ. And she just got adopted!

Back to character design: I tried to develop a character with her same personality, not necessarily physical design. Here is where I'm at now:

The idea is, he floats through space, alone, bumping (literally) into adventure and food. Animated, the legs/arms will be Max Fleischer-esque, virtually boneless. He is timid and physically weak, but curious and enthusiastic.

The problem I am having with the design is the resemblance to Bill Plympton's dog design. Another issue I have is with the legs, right now I feel as if they are too even and uniformly spaced.

HONK HONK, Deuces.