Add a Comment
On Thursday, May 30, the Filmpodium Zurich in Switzerland will present a screening of nine Warner Bros. shorts directed by the legendary Bob Clampett. The show is being presented in honor of his centennial, which was earlier this month. Clampett’s work isn’t well known in Switzerland and the film lineup is a solid primer to his work:
Better yet, each film will be introduced by Swiss animator and historian Oswald Iten, who will discuss different facets of Clampett’s visual style. Iten runs one of my favorite animation blogs Colorful Animation Expressions, where he has recently been writing some fantastically informative posts about Clampett’s art. Ticket and screening details are available on the Filmpodium Zurich website.
Add a Comment
by Victoria, Thurber House Intern
Hello again blog readers! This is a midweek update as to what I – Victoria the Intern – have been up to here at Thurber House.
Three days into my internship and I have learned a lot of things – the life and writings of James Thurber, the importance of organization, and the superiority of Nickles Donut Fair (absolutely true). I’ve also managed to start up my own collection of pens, become an Excel spreadsheet master (which is harder than it looks, let me tell you), test out every single marker/pen/glue stick within a five-mile radius, and do a lot of inventory.
But, mostly I’ve just been helping Thurber prepare for their Summer Camp, which looks like so much fun that I’m contemplating building a time machine and going back in time to when I was a 2nd - 8th grader just to join! Seriously – awesome games, interesting writing prompts, and stories galore – what better way to spend your summer?
For my summer, I plan on reading all the books I’ve been assigned to read for school next year. This should take about the entire summer since I decided to take four different English classes (I know, I’m crazy). Here are a few books not for school that I plan on reading:
On my Want to Read List: In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust), Nine Stories (J.D. Salinger), and The Fault in Our Stars (John Green).
On my Currently Reading List (AKA the books that are collecting dust in my room): Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut) and a truck full of my guilty pleasure – Sarah Dessen novels.
And that was your midweek update! Check in on Friday for the final entry!
There is a party at the Oswalds residence. But an uninvited guest appeared. Good thing he brought exotic tea and crumpets for everyone. What a snapping young fellow.
Here are some other illustrations I’ve been working on for the upcoming UTJT. Make sure to check out my Society6 shop and support me by purchasing some High Quality prints.Add a Comment
Continuing our week of looking at some of the artists behind Blue Skey’s Epic, we focus on storyboard artist Tom LaBaff.
“Print illustration is one of Tom’s passions,” according to the bio on his website. Tom creates editorial and book illustration work in addition to working on animated features.
Tom extends the energetic, rough line often used during the animation process to his illustration work. He works with ink and watercolor washes and sometimes with a digital/analog hybrid technique demonstrated in this time-lapse video:
Tom also has a blog here where you can see large versions of his illustrations.
Add a Comment
|Chapter 5:Dash just had his hand bitten...|
If this image doesn't bring liquid to your eye, then you may not have a soul. And you should probably go to the soul store and get an XL.
I met Tori years ago at one of the first events I put on as Regional Advisor of the New Jersey Chapter of the SCBWI. I got to see the effort that Tori put into her books and making sure her work was seen by editors and agents. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency and was one of their first clients.
Tori’s interest in children’s books began when her daughter was born. She fell in love with picture books after spending countless hours at the library reading to her daughter. By the time her sons were born, she was inspired to write her own stories and quickly became hooked on writing. She also studied picture book illustration at the School of Visual Arts. Tori joined New Jersey SCBWI and attended writing conferences where she learned the ins and outs of the publishing industry. Writing and illustrating children’s books became an unexpected, exciting second career for her. She has expanded her writing for children of all ages and is currently working on a historical fiction novel.
Her debut picture book, What Will It Be, Penelope? hits the book shelves on June 4th.
Wednesday, May 22nd – 6:00 p.m.
RSVP: (212) 831-3554 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a few questions I asked Tori that I thought you might be interested in reading:
Can you tell us about your journey with What Will It Be, Penelope?
Watching children try and decide what flavor ice cream they wanted is what inspired me to write the story. Sometimes my youngest son would hold up the line at the Mr. Softee ice cream truck! Of course there’s a bit of me in the story. I’ve been known to take forever to decide something silly like which soap to buy at Target! Penelope was the first picture book I wrote that wasn’t written in rhyme. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many versions there are!
How long ago did you write What’s Will It Be, Penelope?
It’s hard to say. I wrote the first version about seven years ago but I put it aside and didn’t look at it for years. It was way too long, around 850 words, which is a common mistake for picture book writers who are just learning their craft. It took me a while to figure out how to tell a story in only 500 to 600 words.
Did you do revisions?
Did I do revisions? All I did was revisions! And once I sold the manuscript, I still had to do more revisions!
What did it feel like to sign that first contract?
It was a really special day for me, especially since I’d been envisioning the moment for such a long time.
Can you tell us a little bit about Sky Pony Press?
Sky Pony is a wonderful publisher.(I’m not biased.) Launched in fall of 2011, it’s the children’s book imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Their list includes picture books, middle grade, young adult, educational books and reissues of some well-loved classics. Since their first list in Fall 2011, Sky Pony now has over 100 books in print. I feel so blessed to have Penelope on that list. Next year, I’ll have another picture book called Dixie Wants an Allergy on the list too. What I love about Sky Pony is that they make decisions quickly and are capable of producing their books in record time. I signed my contract in Jan 2012 and I was holding a copy of my book in my hands in May 2013! Amazing.
Did you have any input into choosing the illustrator?
No I didn’t, but I’m glad that Sky Pony chose Danielle Ceccolini to do the illustrations for What Will It Be Penelope? In general, the publisher chooses the illustrator, not the author.
Do you ever think you will try your hand in illustrating one of your books?
Yes! I was an art major at SyracuseUniversity. I love to draw and paint! As a matter of fact, I illustrated the cover for my website. You can probably tell by looking at it that I was a textile designer because of the textures and the prints on my character’s clothing.
I took picture book illustration classes at The School of visual Arts and began working on a book dummy for my picture book called Sometimes I Wake in the Middle of the Night. Hopefully I’ll finish illustrating it someday. And you never know, maybe I’ll write and illustrate a story about the mice on my website! www.toricorn.com
Do you have any other books on the horizon?
I’ve written eight picture books and I’m currently working on a historical fiction novel.
What types of things have you done to help get prepared for your book launch?
Well, for one thing, I had a website developed. I’ve also purchased some cute Penelope giveaways to give to kids after I’ve read my book during school visits. I’m hoping the children will go home and ask their parents to buy my book and these items will help them remember the name of my book!
Do you have any words of wisdom to share that would help unpublished writers?
The most important advice I can give writers is to be thoughtful when deciding who to send their manuscripts to. This cuts down on the amount of (and type of ) reject letters you get. For instance, I only sent my manuscripts to editors and agents that I met at SCBWI conferences and I didn’t send them to everyone, only those whom I felt were seriously interested in my stories. That way, I only received encouraging reject letters! Most of them had excellent editorial comments so instead of feeling bad, I actually felt inspired to work harder to improve my manuscript.
My second piece of advice is for writers to envision their books getting published. That’s really important. Someone once told me to “Stay on the road and keep looking forward” which is what I did. I think it’s also important to join a writing group so you can have your manuscripts critiqued often and learn what other authors are doing right and wrong. And remember, if a few people are saying the same thing, you should listen. That said, always stay true to yourself.
Thank you Tori for sharing your experience with us. Best of luck with the book. Stop by www.toricorn.com to see Tori’s new website.
Cartoon Network has released a seven-and-a-half-minute preview episode of theibr upcoming series Steven Universe. The show was created by Adventure Time artist (and Singles director) Rebecca Sugar. Notably, she is Cartoon Network’s first-ever solo woman series creator.
|Violet Wings - fairy friend|
|Rose Wings - fairy friend|
|Dairy Wings - fairy friend|
|Onslo T. Quagmire- Chef extraodinair in Ogreois Cusine|
|Having Elderberry Tea at the Laughing Tree|
|Willoughby meets the fairy fae|
A couple of weeks ago author/illustrator, Joyce Wan, tagged me to join in "The Next Big Thing", a blog tour about children's books that started in Australia and has spread around the world. (You can see Joyce's post here). Thanks, Joyce!!
I'll be answering questions about my two up-coming books. Here goes!!...
1. What is the working title of your next book?
Cupcakes Cousins by Kate Hannigan and Baby Love by Angela DiTerlizzi.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
The ideas came from Kate and Angela, authors extraordinaire!
3. What genre does your book fall under?
Cupcake Cousins is an illustrated middle grade book. Baby Love is a picture book.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The two main characters in Cupcake Cousins are Willow and Delia. For Willow I think I'd choose a 10 year old Megan Follows, from Anne of Green Gables fame. For Delia I think Amandla Stenberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games, would be a good fit.
Continuing our week of looking at artists who worked on Epic, we focus on Sang Jun Lee.
Sang Jun has designed characters and concepts for many blockbuster movie franchises including Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Men In Black. After a stretch of working in California on these live-action films, he moved to New York to work on Blue Sky features such as Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and most recently, Epic.
Add a Comment
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.In A Big Guy Took My Ball! Piggie is devastated when a big guy takes her ball! Gerald is big, too...but is he big enough to help his best friend? Available your favorite local book store or library today! I hope you enjoy the BIG surprise!Add a Comment
Last week, I flew out from Los Angeles to New York to attend the annual Dusty animation screening at the School of Visual Arts. I watched forty thesis films from this year’s graduating class—a very solid year, I might add—and witnessed many of the students experience pre-show jitters and post-show relief. It was a fun night getting to see a lot of my old classmates, friends and teachers again, but most importantly it made me reflect on my own experiences since my own thesis screening two years ago.
While graduation was a big deal, the thesis screening was really the big night for us. The films we put a year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears into were going to be shown in front of an audience on the big screen, and for most of us, that was a completely new experience. Some of us felt that our thesis films were like big flashy business cards or “HIRE ME” signs, so if there were any industry people in the audience that night, it just might be the ticket to having a job lined up after graduation.
A few days later at the Dusty Awards ceremony, my film ended up winning the Outstanding Traditional Animation award (tied with my friend Zach Bellissimo’s Blenderstein, which was featured here on Cartoon Brew), so in a way I felt validated that I was a decent enough animator to go out and make a living after I left school.
But after college, the excitement of working as a professional animator gradually began to fade. I went through many ups and downs (mostly downs). I had long periods of busy work, and even longer periods of unemployment. And some of the jobs I had, while keeping me busy, barely supported me. There were times that I felt my future was uncertain, and that having a career in this field might not work out for me. I became disenchanted with the medium, felt emasculated by my peers and started falling into a depression. And seeing a lot of my friends and classmates in equally dire straights filled me with even more trepidation about my career path.
After dealing with this for over a year, I finally made a very big decision to pull up stakes, leave New York and move to LA. It was risky because I didn’t have a job lined up for me when I came out here. Luckily I had friends who found a place for me to live and I got a job in the industry almost immediately upon arrival. Even though I’ve been in LA for only three months, I consider it the best decision I’ve ever made. I feel like I’m in an environment where creativity and appreciation for the craft is never-ending, and I’m the happiest I’ve been since I graduated two years ago.
And being back at the SVA Theatre watching these incredibly talented young animators go through the same reactions and emotions filled me with both excitement and concern. These students, as well as the hundreds upon hundreds of other graduates coming out of animation schools all over the country, will be put through the same paces as myself. After graduation, that safety net of college life is gone, and despite what your professors or friends tell you, nothing can really prepare you for what happens after you graduate. But the important thing that I want to express to these soon-to-be professional animators is to be hopeful, hone your craft, push yourself out there, and eventually you will find your place.
Don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING disenchant you. Everybody goes through these motions at one time or another after leaving school. Some of you might have jobs lined up right after school, and some of you might have to wait a little longer. It’s a very scary thing to go through, but it’s all part of the experience. You appreciate things more when you experience the bad alongside the good. It’s something you learn from, and carry with you for the rest of your life. Never wait for opportunities to come along, but instead seek them out. It’s different for everyone. I had to move from one coast to the other to find what I wanted, and I’m glad I did. Keep doing personal work, develop your skills up and surround yourself with people who love and support you and what you do. If you do that, everything will be okay.
With that, I want to congratulate and wish the best of luck to all the recent and soon-to-be graduating animation students. Don’t let employment statistics fool you. The world is chock full of opportunities waiting for you to snatch up. So go out there and keep this industry alive and thriving!Add a Comment