Monday, March 15, 2010

Life Drawing in Cumberland

A big part of my Elemental Magic philosophy, is to draw as much as possible, regardless of what kind of animation you do. In fact I think that so called 'digital' artists, and CGI artists, should practice this as much as possible. We work in a visual medium, regardless of what technique we use, therefore we need to develop a visual vocabulary, and always practice communicating ideas visually. Without drawing skills, it is almost impossible to communicate a visual idea that could be quickly and easily explained with a simple sketch. And all you animators out there who started out drawing, but now work with CG, or Flash or Harmony, DON'T FORGET TO KEEP DRAWING!! Use it or LOSE it!!

I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and get back into as much life drawing as I can. Here are a few drawings I've done since I started up again. Definitely a little rusty, but it is fun and I can feel myself loosening up and drawing better and better again!

30 minute drawing

15 minute drawing

10 minute drawing

I can't urge you enough to get out there and draw as much as possible! Everything you do creatively will improve, even music, dance, you name it. Drawing from life is the very soul of the creative experience, let's not toss it out and get lost in a digital illusion of creativity!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Workshop at Algonquin College

I am back home after another extremely successful Elemental Magic workshop. Ottawa was snowy and wet, but the welcome I received there was warm and wonderful.

I spoke to a group of over 150 people, mostly students, but there were also a lot of professionals from local Ottawa animation studios who were able to attend. Kudos to the great folks at Algonquin College for getting the word out to the studio community and opening their doors to them!

The lecture ran for about two and a half hours, and afterwards folks lined up to have me sign their books and add a quick special effects sketch in each one. Every single book that Algonquin and I had on hand sold out in a hurry! I'm not sure how many, but in hindsight I wish we'd had quite a few more. The response to the book and my short workshop/lecture presentation, was once again, almost overwhelming.

I'd like to thank Neil Hunter at Algonquin for his assistance in putting the visit together. He was gracious and a wonderful host. Thanks to Derek Bond too, for taking great care of me and shuttling me through the horrendous wet, snowy weather and traffic! I would also like to send a special thank you out there to all the students who attended, and were so enthusiastic about Elemental Magic. It is incredibly rewarding, when I see that I have created something that energizes and excites you all. When a young animation student comes up to me clutching a copy of Elemental Magic and exclaiming how much it has helped them, I feel 100% fulfilled and all is as it should be in the universe! Thank you. You give me back more energy than you can every know, and you make it all worthwhile.

On another note, I was also able to visit with my family while I was in Ottawa, and it was so special to meet my new great nephew Spencer! Congratulations to my beautiful niece Amanda and her husband Nick!