Monday, December 22, 2008

Now On Deviant Art

I joined Deviant Art today and began to post all manner of cryptidity-goodness. You can check out my profile under Zephyr-Art.
Do post a comment or two and I'll be sure to visit your Deviant Art awesomeness as well.

I'll be adding more Cryptids to this site and also to theirs in the coming weeks.
Been working on something extra special for the past week that I will hopefully have finished by this weekend.

Have a great evening folks!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lucong: Local Artist Extraordinaire

A Moment with Liza
Oil on panel, 18 inches by 24 inches, completed June, 2008

I had the great pleasure of meeting local artist Lucong at ASLD last night. He is a friendly guy with an amazing talent for painting and ink work.

As we spoke I learned that currently some of his work could by seen at Gallery 1261 in downtown Denver, down the street and around the corner from the Denver Art Museum. After meeting him and visiting his phenomenal website I knew I would soon pay the Gallery a visit, and I was not disappointed. His work folks, is quite simply, stunning. The expressions of the faces of his subjects are filled with awe. Subtle, yet startling at the same time. It did not surprise me either to discover that all of them were also sold.

Check out Lucong's amazing website for yourself and make sure to pay Gallery 1261 a visit. It's a beautiful converted auto repair shop with rich colored walls, engaging track lighting and even a gallery cat.
There are other artists featured there as well right now, including Daniel Sprick.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

RMCAD meeting with animator Sam Fleming

I went to the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design today to speak with animation faculty member Sam Fleming. Sam's a pretty cool guy. He's worked on shows like Ren & Stimpy, King of the Hill and Jimmy Newtron, as well as animated features like Anastasia.

I wanted to learn more about the industry and the school as a whole and Sam graciously took time out of his day - an hour and a half in fact - to talk to me about what's up in the animation world.

Here are the top three things I learned from Sam today:

1) You get out of school what you put into it. This may seem obvious, but he said that it's like pulling teeth to get students to produce the amount of work that's gone into Cryptids in a year. Crazy. So rule number one - do the work.

2) It's important to have a solid foundation in drawing, which is why majoring in illustration along with animation may be a good idea. Animation will teach you the technical aspects of the job, but it won't necessarily teach you how to draw.

3) I showed him my 30 Days of Cryptids ]and he recommended that based on that and my life drawing and character turnarounds that I should go ahead apply for school. Woo! That was very encouraging. I told him that one of the reasons why I had not applied was that I did not think my portfolio was on par with some of the work I had seen, particularly the work I saw on this website from a young woman who attended CalArts. He said the portfolio process can be deceptive - it's based on the number of spots they have open true, but art schools are expensive and art schools want your money. So rule number three is: don't second guess yourself. You may be better than you think, so have someone in the arts review your work and go ahead and apply to school!

Thanks Sam for your help. I have lots of schools to contact tomorrow.

Goodnight everybody!

Wednesday's ASLD Life Drawing Class

First off - Life Drawing! Class was quite excellent tonight. Not only was the model fabulous, but I felt totally on mark with my drawings.

The first poses were all for 30 seconds. That's THIRTY SECONDS to get something that resembles a woman.

The next four pages (minus the last drawing) are for one minute. You start to feel that you have all the time in the world after drawing a pose for only 30 seconds.

My favorite pose was this one:

I LOVE the turn of her foot in this pose. It's one of the best feet I've ever drawn.

The next group of images were for 5 minutes, which seems like an eternity of time to draw and is my favorite timing period of the entire class.

These are 10 minute poses:

And the last two are for 20 minutes:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome Monday You Beautiful Day You

I've decided to start each week in a positive fashion. It's good to remain optimistic, especially in this dismal economy, so that you can do all the things you need to do and still enjoy your day. For instance, look at the little things, like the fact that the SUN IS OUT here in Englewood. I'm so glad. Yesterday was pretty hairy. I had planned to go to church, attend the Squidworks monthly meeting then visit the 'rents. I shoveled snow off the car, drove about 45 on the freeway packed with snow to get to church, shoveled snow off the car after church and thought "This is dumb, I'm going home." So instead I went home where it was warm. Time well spent ;D

Today I continue my quest to find full-time employment. I turned down an interview with a marketing company because I found out over the phone that it was for outside sales, which their website had not specified. Here's a tip kids - if you're not sure about the job call before you go in for the interview. You want to make sure you know what you're getting into so that you don't end up selling phone books door-to-door (true story, my friend and a guy I used to work with at the Apple Store were wrangled into selling phone books. Yikes).

I'm not interested in driving all around town trying to convince people to sell something. I'd much rather do inside sales or writing/editing work. You couldn't tell from the website what the job actually was and I was beginning to think it was rather shady. I called today and point blank asked the woman "What would I be doing 9-5 Monday through Friday? Inside sales or outside sales? Who would I be selling to?" and found out I would be driving around town over 40 hours a week giving presentations and not spending much time on the phone at all. No thanks.

Also, if you ever get a funky bill from Verizon - don't accept it! I got a crazy bill for $238 this month. My normal bill is usually $55 so I knew something was wrong. After speaking to two customer reps and a supervisor I discovered that the rep I spoke to back in June when I got my new phone had given me a promotion that didn't exist! HAUGH! I was gracious but serious about the issue and ended up receiving a credit totaling $171.45 as well as 50 bonus minutes. So rule of thumb kids:

1) Never settle
2) Be forceful but polite

I accomplished everything I needed to over the phone without whining, screaming, or expletives.

On a happier, more artful note, more cryptids coming later in the week. I found a great tutorial in a Photoshop CS2 book that I'm going to use for shading in the work. You'll see it later in the week.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Life Drawing Class

You ever have a day when you feel "on" artistically? That was today. I REALLY enjoyed drawing today - the drawings came out very well and I liked the color choices. Our model was the most tired model I've ever seen in the four years that I've taken life drawing classes. She literally looked like she was falling asleep during every pose. And every pose except the first three involved her lounging. Get some sleep, girl!

Friend of the blog Anne asked why all the pictures of naked women. Great question Anne! Life drawing means drawing from life, and art schools encourage prospective students to submit portfolios of 10 - 20 pieces of their best work from life, animals and people. When you draw from life, you train your eye to actually see what's really in front of you, as opposed to drawing something from your own imagination which may or may not be anatomically correct. The reason why all of my life drawings have been of nude women is because women make up the bulk (if not all) of the models at ASLD.

When I was in ASIFA-EAST in NYC we had a wider variety of models - black, white, Asian, younger adults, older adults, men and women. There is less of a variety here in Colorado for reasons unknown to me, at least at the Art Students League. Or maybe the fellas are more shy to show themselves. (Coincidentally my favorite model of all was a woman at Parsons School of Design's life drawing class. She weighed close to 250 lbs. She was great. Skinny people are not as fun to draw - there's not a lot to really work with.)

Looking at the drawings now that I am out of class, I feel better about them. It's hard not to compare yourself to other artists in the room. I watch others paint and draw and think "Wow, they're good." I have not yet reached the level I would like to be at yet. That level is Glen Keane, Walt Disney, John Lasseter, Jim Henson. I look at their work and think "I have so far to go."

My goal is to be in art school by Spring 2010. I would like to go to CalArts, although MCAD and KCAI are also great choices. Some days I draw and think that I am not progressing, but everyone has those days where you feel like no matter how much work you do you're not getting anywhere. It's like you've reached a plateau, and then BAM! You realize that you have improved. I'm waiting for that "BAM" moment. Soon, very soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Animator's Journal: Now fortified with ads!

So if you're a longtime reader you've noticed two new things about the site:

1) New layout

2) Advertising!

The first may or may not stay depending on my mood. I like to change the layout of the site about once a year purely for kicks. Chances are this layout will be gone by Monday due to its overly scribe-like nature. And while I am a scribe, it's a bit too pretentious for the subject matter methinks.

As for number two, as I am one of the 533,000 people without employment, the ads are staying. Do be a dear friend and click on them from time to time. The revenue will greatly help me out in my time of need. And you want my beloved family to receive Christmas gifts this year, right? Right?

Thanks all for your financial help! It is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm on LinkedIn!

I applied to 11 jobs today. Go me!!! I am excited and tired by this.
My heart goes out to my fellow job-seeking readers. We are over 1 million strong, which is quite sad. Bad economy, bad! In an effort to soon be employed I have updated my LinkedIn profile. If any of you are on LinkedIn, drop me a line. Perhaps we can all find job harmony together.

And for those who are about to pull out their hair searching for employment, fear not! I can attest that good times are coming. I've been unemployed before and found that it's a great time to update the old resume, join networks, get in shape and get a hobby. My hobby has been drawing cryptids and hanging out with friends. And soon I will be selling my worldly possessions on ebay. I also learned Illustrator.

I am sure that your hobbies are just as fab. So when you're not applying for jobs, learn a new skill. Your brain will thank you for it!

30 Days of Cryptids Day 18: Loch Ness Monster

Here she is! Nessie, one of my favorite cryptids of all time, deserves special recognition. Legend has it that in the lake of Loch Ness in Scotland exists a creature of terrifying proportions. Is it a plesiosaur from the bygone Mesozoic era? A hoax? A monster all onto its own? No one knows. But she has her own website, so if you are so inclined, check it out.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

30 Days of Cryptids Day 17: The Dragon

When I was a kid, I wanted a pet dragon. I wanted to fly through the air, find my enemies and have my pet burn them to a crisp.

I owe my love of dragons to two sources:
Pete's Dragon ("Pleased to meet you, sir!") and, you guessed it, The Neverending Story. The latter deserves its' own post to be sure, that movie influenced my childhood self more than any other.

I present to you one of my favorite creatures of all time, the fire-breathing dragon. Are there any other types that are so cool? I think not.

Cool Things I Found On the Net This Week: Save You Money Edition

This is an extra special saving-money-during-the-bad-economy edition of Cool Things!

Thanks to a lovely New York Times article that Yahoo! showcased on Sunday I found a number of great coupon sites. Save money on groceries, household products and gifts for the holidays!

This site is great. You can search for deals in your home state at stores near you. I found tons of coupons for food. And I like to eat, so this is a great thing!
Just like couponmom, this site also features nifty grocery and store coupons. It also lists savings codes on websites like
Another great site.
Sign up now and get a $10 gift card from places like Target and iTunes!

PCMag also has their list of their top 10 coupon sites. Check it.


Monday, December 08, 2008

30 Days of Cryptids Day 16: The Aspidochelone

The what now? The Aspidochelone (don't ask me how to pronounce this) is our cryptid for Day 16. This is a creature of the deep that is rumored to resemble an island. Sailors come to it only to discover that it is indeed alive. In many stories, it is often portrayed as a sea turtle (for instance, in The Neverending Story) however, it's not necessarily a turtle, but a monster of some type.

Thanks to all of you for your wellspring of patience. I've been spending the vast majority of my time job hunting. Not fun. My heart goes out to my fellow unemployed, underemployed, and job-seeking readers. I've discovered that Colorado does not have much in way of a publishing industry. In fact, there is next to nothing. There are not too many editorial jobs to be found here. I started looking for account executive positions and public relation jobs as a result. Companies always need sales people, and I like selling things, so hopefully I will find something very soon.

So for all of you like me who are looking for jobs, know that you are not alone in your quest!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Vacation

Hi everyone,

hope you and yours have a great turkey day. Back in a week! Cheers!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

30 Days of Cryptids Day 15: Elf

Here he is! I am glad to present the midpoint of Cryptids, #15, the musically talented elf. Note his mastery of the mandolin. Is it a part of elf culture? I just thought it looked cool.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yes yes, and I know you're wondering "Where are the cryptids?"
I had to put them on the back burner this week as I received a lot of new stuff I had to put away AND I've been applying for jobs. Be happy if you have a job! This economy stinks but I am confident that I will have a full-time gig by Christmas. I hope.
Please pray and think happy thoughts I find something awesome. Thank you!

Art Class...Meh

I had my final fundamentals of drawing class tonight. And I'm glad. I enjoyed the class but I didn't like the teacher. I felt like I was being punished for being competent. I found that my teacher gravitated towards the students who complained the most about the assignments and needed the most hand holding in order to figure out what to do. I on the other hand tend to be pretty quiet in class. My philosophy on art is that what you consider garbage someone else will consider gold, so why complain? You're in class to learn, don't put yourself down. So I would show up, do the assignment and leave. I didn't ask for help most of the time because I had a good sense of what I was doing. I felt like the teacher was unduly critical of my work because I didn't ask questions, so she picked at things to complain about, often choosing aspects of the picture I was not remotely finished with when it was obvious that I hadn't gotten to what she wanted.

I feel like the reason she did this was because I was not your average beginning student, i.e., I had self confidence. Since she didn't know how to react to me not whining, she chose this route. I noticed this even more when I started to listen more closely to how she dealt with the other students. She liked talking to the students who complained more because it allowed her to be the good teacher fairy. And when I would ask a question, sometime she answered it, sometimes she didn't. For instance, I asked how to draw a nose, and she didn't go into any detail. Another woman asked the SAME EXACT THING, and she practically drew the entire nose for her. Eh? And tonight, that same woman and I both didn't bring our first drawing to class, because we didn't know we had to. Woman A said she didn't bring it because it was in her other drawing pad. Teacher let it go. I said the same thing, teacher asks me, "Well, do you have anything from a previous night's session you can show?" Um, no. See previous answer.

Just goes to show that some people are bizarre. I will not be taking another class with her but I will take other classes at the League. I also believe that I acted as graciously as I could, listening to her criticism and asking for advice when I felt like my work warranted it. I would even tell her goodbye even though she often said nothing. Except tonight. Tonight I just left.

We are encouraged to fill out reviews of the class. I put all of this in my review. She needs to know for her own edification so that she treats future students like myself better.

So here's my last drawing for class. I am proud of it and proud to have worked so hard. Nothing's stopping me from doing art. NOTHING.

And here's a close up of my favorite section:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dr. Sketchy's November

I returned to Dr. Sketchy's this month and was pleasantly surprised to see so many people. At least 20 people attended tonight's drawing session, and Vivienne Vavoom was back to host.

We had an excellent model tonight who was tons of fun and had great costumes - including sexy librarian! Yay!

And I won a prize. Again! A crazy book on enchantments. More money from ebay!

For the winning drawing, we drew for one minute, then passed the drawing to the person to our left. We did this for ten minutes. The part I drew is in pink.

Here are my fave drawings of the night:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life Drawing Class

I loved today's model. She was so confident and relaxed. I wish every model was this professional and cool!

I experimented with colors today. My drawings came out rougher due to less practice over the past two weeks, but I felt pretty good about things by the end.

Back from the Dead - HOORAH!

Oh man. It feels good to be back in the fray. I have been so sick the past two weeks. Something was going on in the Colorado air. Glad to no longer subsist on Tylenol. I never want to eat chicken soup or drink OJ again. YUCK.

And all these crazy things happened while I was out of commission. Obama creamed McCain. Yeah! 349 electoral votes! Michael Crichton passed away last week. Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience passed away this week. Scientists photographed extrasolar planets. GAS IS CHEAP AGAIN! Which would be cool, except tons of folks can't go anywhere because of massive layoffs. And the government may bailout GM. And Sun Microsystems will lay off 5,000 - 6,000. And American Express became a bank.

Wow. A lot happens when you spend most of your day asleep. Yikes.

In more pleasant news, now that I am back, I will have life drawings to post. And Cryptids will resume with their cryptidity goodness next week. I've missed drawing them dearly and look forward to completing the final 15.

See y'all soon!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Web Comic Review: Crowfeathers

Found a great webcomic this week,Crowfeathers by Amy Watson, a sort of Bleach meets Inuyasha set in 1800s Arizona. A young Native American boy discovers that he is half human, half nature spirit, and must learn to control his power in order to protect those who are caring for him after the brutal death of his mother. Angels, demons, spirits and crazy townfolk populate this manga that delves into fantasy and intrigue without the requisite elves, fairies and wizards typical of the genre.

The story masterfully uses humor, drama, and death as it chronicles the protagonist's journey and is definitely not for the kiddies but great for teens and adults. Beware it looks like there is a yaoi spin to two of the characters later in the story. Not my cup of tea at all but if you are quesy about that sort of thing you can still enjoy the tale even with that side note. Updates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Dance Party Halloween Pics-O-Fun!

Hey hey kids,

went to a Halloween Swing Dance Party last night that was quite great. There were some awesome costumes and dance fun fun fun.

Here are some of the pics of the evening.

Barbie Michelle

Retro Girl Jessica

Daphne and Scooby (Me and Scooby!)

All three of us

Shaun of the Dead

The King!!!

And fun dancing kids!

Hope all of you had more treats than tricks!