Thursday, November 15, 2007

MTVu Woodie Award!

Hey everyone,

I just found out from my buddy and Lead Designer (Federico Saenz-Recio) over at Version2 that we won a "Woodie" award for our Madvillian "Monkey Suite" music video. The category was "The Left Field Woodie" award and can be found on the following page. I am shocked that it won because we made that video in an unheard of amount of time. The video was meant to be live action and some CG (computer graphics) stuff but ended up being all CG. It was basically like 2 1/2 weeks for 2 1/2 minutes of footage. For people who don't do animation...that is insane. Oh yeah and it was like a super small CG team (like 3 of us fulltime and 2 part time). I was CG Lead on the video and it was directed by Daniel Garcia. In the end, I was happy with the results considering the time constraints. If you haven't seen the video, just click the photo above (or the word "video") and it will send you to my website where you can view a small web version of it. I am a big fan of MF DOOM and basically the track is a great one.
Hope you enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"The Best of Mr. Bean"

Before starting on my short, I started to look for good reference for physical comedy. I did a search for Mr. Bean and came across a DVD title "The Best of Mr. Bean". It's a great collection of Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) clips from various the series. The DVD pretty much sat in my collection wrapped for months...until today! I wish I would have seen this before animating.

I think for any aspiring or successful animator this is a must own. Rowan's comedic sense is brilliant. Everything from timing, to expressions, to situations and writing. One of the things that I also noticed is that he really has a great sense of staging and his posing is awesome. I also love that you can clearly see what he is thinking through his anticipations and pauses. Great stuff to study from.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Lil' Girl

This is something I sketched this morning. After talking to Lunchbox, I realized that I haven't been drawing at all! I used to use the subway as my hour or so to draw daily. So this morning I did a quick 10 minute sketch and this is what came out. I've been looking at a couple of artist's sketchbooks (like Lopez's Mariachi Samurai) and saw some really cool kids drawings. Why are drawing kids so fun? I guess it's that they are usually oblivious to society's thoughts of them (which is awesome). Anyway, I might do some slight touch-ups and use this as an digital coloring exercise for myself.

Hope you like it!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The "AWESOMENESS" that is Alberto Ruiz

As I stated in a previous post I would get to writing about my meeting with Alberto here goes. Its lengthy so get ready:

I have been a HUGE fan of Alberto's work for sometime now. I actually found his work by mere chance one day when I was over at Midtown Comics in Manhattan. It was this huge spiral bound signed sketchbook (trying saying that fast 5 times) with a funky female character on the cover. I picked it up not really knowing much...and man was I floored. Those who know my artistic taste (Alfredo)...know that I am a "Line" man. I love someone's ability to create and suggest form with just lines. Proper line variation is like music to my eyes. Not to say I don't appreciate things like value, color, and composition but for me I am drawn to pure line. That being said, I open the sketchbook and it hit me like a brick to the face! KAPOOWWW! His work is simply wonderful. This all happened a few years back (maybe 3 years ago) when I had just started freelancing in nyc.

Fast foward to a few months later. I was at a close friend's bbq where I had met her brother who was working for Apple at the time. We started talking about artist and I mentioned that I had just come across an artist by the name of Alberto Ruiz. He looks at me and says "No way! He lives right by me. I am good friends with him". Right away the skeptic comes in and I start thinking this guy is pulling my leg. He proceeds to say "I can introduce you if you want. Alberto is cool like that". I stood there trying to digest this all. So I pass this info to my wife and she gets so excited. She says she is going to set it all on and so forth. Cool right!?...Wrong! I punked out. I don't like to be that annoying fanboy...even though I may secretly be one (don't tell anyone). I didn't want to bother someone, even if they inspire me.

Time passes. About 2 years. All this time I have been scambling to keep up with Alberto's work. Then, it all becomes easier once he starts Brand Studio Press. Alberto begins an independent book publishing company and gets himself along with most of my favorite artist (like Sean Galloway aka Cheeks) to publish under his company. I immediately started placing orders for books. A few days after placing my order, it's about 7pm and my doorbell rings. Here in nyc apt building you have to buzz people in (which is a nice thing). I ask who it is and the voice says "Delivery". I knew the books were coming but not so soon. So I buzz them in and wait by my door. I see the elevator door open as I am peeking out the hole and I then had to do a double take. It was Alberto! I had seen his photo online and knew it was him. Alberto Ruiz is hand delivering my books! You read that right! Dude came over to my apt. So I yell to my wife "Alberto is here"...she responds "Alberto who?"..."Alberto Ruiz!". I couldn't believe it. Instantly, I start asking questions. What is your process? Have you always been this good? etc. Things continue and he is answering everything and drawing in front of my eyes! Impromptu lesson in my dining room. I tell him about how I met my friend's brother and how I was supposed to meet him. He remembered and asked why I never came over. He said I should have. I then show him my collection and he is shocked I have all this stuff in mint condititon. He ends up leaving after about 3o mins and I was left in awe.

A couple of days pass I order another couple of books off the site ("Chola" being one of them). Sure enough he comes over again. Repeat first encounter. Impromptu lesson again. Other important convo's happen (regarding the book I am secretly working on). He ends up leaving after about 30 mins again. Again I was left in numb. Not only is this guy sooooo good, but he is damn cool. To me the best thing is to meet someone who is humble. I've always wanted to be that artist that lets thier work speak itself. That is Alberto. Filled with thanks for you even buying his work. How cool is that?

To wrap this long posting up...I was reading his blog and read that he was releasing a book with Heavy Metal as a retrospective. In the posting he says that preorders will get an original drawing. I immediately placed a preorder and sent him an email. Today comes and I get an email..."I'm going to your house right now, I'll be there at around 12:30". I'm thinking no way. He's kidding...but no he wasn't. 12:30 and sure enough my doorbell rings. He comes up with a signed copy of his new book "Bocetto". We start talking about it and then he pulls out something spectacular. He says "here is the drawing". He continues to tell me how this is one of his favorites and I have to promise to take care of it. We talk some more and off he goes. So I am sitting here in my house with this stunning drawing in my hands and a new book. I can't say it enough how much Alberto has already influenced and inspired me. I hope to continue to be able to chill with him from time to time.

In conclusion, show the guy some love. I have added him to my friends links on the side and some of the text on this posting will have links to his work. Oh and that drawing at the top of this posting...that is sitting in my living room. ;)

Thanks for reading!