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!