Don Bluth animation master class

Don Bluth has been one of my greatest inspirations as an artist since as long as I've been watching his movies.  Last week I had the amazing opportunity of not only meeting him, but learning traditional animation with him as my teacher.  Don was not only a wonderful teacher, but despite being a living legend and a master of his trade, extremely down to earth and excited about sharing his love of animation with us.  I also got to meet some wonderful people who I now call my friends, and I am so extremely thankful for having this opportunity.

Don usually started each day with a lecture, stories about working with the nine old men, or on his own productions post-Disney, or some piece of inspirational message.  Afterwards we would all get to work on our animations, each of us having a different scene with a bird character named Jake that don drew up for us.

Don critiquing my animation in progress!  Quite surreal at first!  Don would take a look at our animations and then do draw overs or make adjustments to our drawings.  He really stressed doing everything the traditional ways, and taught us how to use x-sheets and the importance of timing our character's movements to a beat with a metronome.

I also got to meet Gary Goldman!  Don got a phonecall on the morning of the second to last day of the workshop, and when he answered "Oh hey Gary" the entire class lifted their heads from their animation tables haha.  Shortly afterwards in walks the great Gary Goldman, with a bunch of signed Banjo dvds and Dragon's Lair posters.  Gary was also extremely personable and took the time to talk with each of us individually and critique our animations.  It was slightly overwhelming to be in the presence of two animation giants and have them encourage me so much to pursue my dreams :')

The whole class.  I was surprised to find out that I was the only person from Arizona in the group!  People came from as far as Japan to attend, and one person in the class, Keith, is even a teacher at Ringling!

The whole week we were lucky to have the help of Dave, Don's assistant at our disposal.   Dave has been working for Don since he was sixteen and when Don was still operating in Ireland at Sullivan-Bluth Studios.  Not only did he put up with our endless questions and screw-ups with shooting our animations all week, but he was nice enough to treat the entire group at his bar/restaurant in Phoenix called the Irish Wolfhound after class ended on the last day.  

On the day after the class ended I took out some of my new friends to see a little more of Arizona than just the hotel space.  I took them to the Phoenix Zoo and then to downtown Scottsdale for sushi at Ra and ice cream at the Sugar Bowl.

In short I just had one of the best weeks of my life, and I am sad to say it's now over, but I encourage anybody who can make it to one of the future master classes to go.  It was truly a once in a lifetime experience; I learned so much in one short week and I feel so lucky to have a piece of animation history passed down to me.


Well my first year of Ringling is officially over, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone.  I'm currently chillin in Miami with some good friends, and on Friday I'll be headed home to Arizona.  Thanks to everyone who has made my first year experience at rcad so wonderful.  I am looking forward to working and playing hard all summer and starting fresh again in the fall!


2 weeks to go

I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd throw some stuff up on here from the past couple weeks :) just a random assortment from my classes this semester.

 packaging concepts for a fictional candy company, graphic design class

and something on the side I am working on to keep me sane between school projects, here's a teaser :)



So I saw Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon last friday and immediately fell in love with everything about it.  As soon as I got home from the theater I ordered the Art of Book, which is full of Nico Marlet's gorgeous drawings on every page.  If you haven't seen this movie yet, stop reading my blog and go now :)  It's definitely the best movie Dreamworks has made so far, and one of my favorite animated movies in general already :)  Here's some Toothless and Hiccup sketches I did, most of them copied from the Art of book to get a grasp on the style for something else I have up my sleeve ;)

The rest of these are just pages from my sketchbook.  Some Robert Downey Jr's for portrait practice, random folks at Starbucks, and so on. Enjoy! :)

Thanks for looking!


I was in the mood for ink and watercolor tonight so I did some quick stuff for funsies.

And some quick pen studies I did from the top of a parking garage downtown


my latest illustration, the theme of the assignment was "discussion" so I chose an environment I'm rather too familiar with than I'd like, but it was fun to do something digital for a change :)


The past is a grotesque animal

Fake tour poster for one of my favorite bands, Of Montreal.  Every part of making this was really fun,  I just wish I was actually going to this show!


a little bit of everything

sorry for the horrible horrible picture quality on these, I was being lazy and just shot them from my iphone :)

I'm almost done with this still life from class, and I'm pretty proud of it.   oils are definitely not my medium (I don't enjoy painting with them at all!) but this piece has been one of the most enjoyable so far and I quite like how it's turning out :)  This photograph is horrible, it looks much better in person I promise!

I'm doing an illustration about luwak coffee for one of my classes, (look it up if you're curious) so I did a bunch of sketches of civets for research.  These two are my favorites of the batch, one somewhat realistic and one stylized :)

pen and ink wash figure studies from my sketchbook

and a couple quick doodles of a friend of mine using photo reference, from my sketchbook

Thanks for looking! :)


please remain seated until the aircraft comes to a complete stop

For my graphic design class we had to come up with a personal logo and then implement that into a business card, envelope, and letterhead.  Here's what I came up with!


business card :)

ready for presentation! (click to enlarge)

I've also been working on a couple side projects, some of which I can't reveal just yet, but here's a sneak peak at one of them. 

hmmm I wonder what this could be :)


Oops, I almost forgot I had one of these.  I don't have much to show but here's some stuff from figure class and my sketchbook :)