Hullabaloo at CTN Animation Road Trip Burbank and other news…

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This is a unique chance to see the creator and some of the team working on this great project, if you find yourself in Burbank April 11+12.

Ever since we got crowd funded on IndieGogo we have been working very hard on making it all happening. A lot of work went into sorting thru all the pledges and figuring out who gets what and organizing all the prizes and tiers and believe me with almost 11,000 people participating and upgrading their pledges and e-mailing, that is no easy task, especially since IndieGogo does not have an even close to decent way to give you the information you need. Anyway our fantastic Miss Dominique is battling thru that minefield and she is doing an amazing job.

James and I working on production setup

James and I working on production setup

James was busy with Story boarding and getting the Production Blog up and running for some of our supporters with high enough pledges to get the password for it, so they can follow our progress. James also had some animation to get going and dividing scenes out for all the animators to get started, on top of getting the CG department all their stuff for the car racing scenes in the first short. It is amazing how much pre-work it takes for any animated film and we are no different. Especially because we want to get everything just right and we have no money to waist, yes we got a lot of funding, but when you split it all down to each department and all the work 4 shorts of animation need, then there is really not enough and this team is really doing this for the love and passion of 2D animation and because we believe in this. Everyone on this team, James included still has a day job that pays the bills.

Stage 1 of building my own desk hub

Stage 1 of building my own desk hub

I myself helped set up all the tracking and timeline documents, so we can keep an eye on where what shot is and who is working on it and make sure it has all it’s components and all the departments have what they need. Also we need to keep track of time so we can keep our promise to our fans and to ourselves and keep our deadlines.

First bunch of Final Line scenes

First bunch of Final Line scenes

And I am running the organization on the Final Line Team. We’ve only had a few scenes come our way, but we got right on it. I was so thrilled and finally holding those first scenes in my hands made it all the more precious to me. I love drawing and working on something like Hullabaloo is the best job in the world.

Stage 2 of building my own desk hub

Stage 2 of building my own desk hub

I also went as far as to build my own desk hub to my specifications, so I could have a great workspace where I could make magic happen and be completely organized and inspired.

Meanwhile James has started to give the animation classes for some of the supporters that got that tier and it has taken a few good week ends to accommodate everybody.

On top of everything there are a few surprises I can not tell you just jet that we are working on as we get more interest from outside parties for our project and all that is taking James’s time as well. What I can tell you is that he is going to have a Hullabaloo presentation at the Walt Disney Family Museum on June 13th 2015 in San Francisco about 2D Animation, yes the Walt Disney Family supports us, what a scoop, hurray.

So meanwhile come and see us and our lovely ladies of cosplay I wrote about on my last blog, in full regalia at the CTN AnimationRoadTrip in Burbank April 11-12 2015.

Stage 3, final result of building my own desk hub

Stage 3, final result of building my own desk hub

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Angi Viper & Caitlin Postal Cosplay Queens

Veronica and Jules from Hullabaloo

Veronica and Jules from Hullabaloo

These two girls sure know how to Cosplay. Angi Viper and Caitlin Postal have a knack to look just like the characters they portray.

I met both of these wonderful and sweet ladies at the last CTNX as they where the first to bring our Hullabaloo characters to life and they did it down to a tee. Angi makes all the costumes herself and she takes great care to get all the details right. Cosplay is not just a hobby for her but a way of life. Caitlin, her bestie, is right there with her and they are a force to be reckoned with.

With Hullabaloo they contacted James Lopez the Creator and Director for the movie and told him they wanted to be the first to do the two protagonists Veronica and Jules. James was flattered and happily provided drawings and information for Angi to get the dresses absolutely perfect. When they showed up at the booth at CTNX we where all completely mesmerized by how much they got into character and they made our day. The cosplay was a huge success and all the attendees loved and recognized them immediately. Recently they did a new photo shoot in costume and they captured the world of Steampunk Hullabaloo almost eerily perfect.

Hats down to both and keep it coming, you girls are a dream.

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules and Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules and Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Jules from Hullabaloo

Angie Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Angi Viper as Veronica from Hullabaloo

Caitlin Postal as Merida from Brave

Caitlin Postal as Merida from Brave

Caitlin Postal as Lady Sansa and The Hound

Caitlin Postal as Lady Sansa and The Hound

Angie Viper as Elsa from Frozen

Angi Viper as Elsa from Frozen

Angie Viper as Black Widow

Angi Viper as Black Widow

Angie Viper and Wolverine

Angi Viper and Wolverine

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The Youssef Drawing Syllabus – Movement & Form

Please help my friend Samantha reach her goal and get a fantastic anatomy book in the exchange, you won’t regret it.

I can’t wait to get my book, as any artist knows, there are always things to learn and improve and having great advice from the best in the industry is priceless.

So do yourself a favor and check this out and pledge.

 

 

 

 

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The amazing Art of Samantha Youssef

The Cheshire Cat by Samantha Youssef

The Cheshire Cat by Samantha Youssef

Samantha is a fellow artist on team Hullabaloo and we officially met last November at the CTN Expo in Burbank.

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Every time I see one of her drawings I get inspired to do some work of my own, I am not sure how she does it but she is an infinite resource of inspiration and her work really speaks to me.

Samantha is a master in life drawing and no wonder she is artistic director at Studio Technique and has a wonderful book “Movement and Form” coming out that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Not only is she an amazing artist, but she is also the sweetest person I ever met.

We clicked immediately and I hope she will come to L.A. soon so we can hang out a lot more. As we where talking we realized that we both worked at DisneyToonStudios at Sydney around the same time and I can not believe I never ran into her then, this was about 8-9 years ago. Who knows, but I think I worked on one of her Tarzan scenes, or at least it looks like I had one just like hers on my desk that I remember.

Anyway now we are on the Hullabaloo team and I can’t wait to see her work and hopefully be able to collaborate with her on a scene again. For now I let her work do the talking as usual and stay tuned for more.

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Art by Samantha Youssef

Amy, myself and Samantha at CTN

Amy, myself and Samantha at CTN

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The state of the Animation Industry

With DreamWorks closing one of their production pipelines at PDI in Redwood City, George Lucas’s “Strange Magic” flopping at the box office and Disney Publishing “revamping” the look of the Disney Princesses. Well that does not look too solid I’d say.
Fear is what that screams of and failure and lots of wrong choices.
I know everyone and their cats and dogs has analyzed this to boredom, but no matter how we look at it, there is something truly wrong in this industry.
Lets face it, when a movie costs upward of $ 100,000,000.00 and studios rely on people to just go see anything they put out just because it has the Disney or DreamWorks label and expect it to make money… you see where I’m going. So what now?
Well it seems strange to me that decisions always come from money and non artistic people and they expect that to work, really??? A good businessman knows that to make good money you need a good product and good products come from people with vision and talent. We all know there is good talent but it is crippled by would be decision makers that really would not know anything good if you slapped in their faces, and I know that from a fact.
To top it all off, they keep rehashing same old with same old because it worked the first time so it must be a good formula. In which lies the thorn, formulas…how many times can you feed the same story, design, sound until people get tired of it?

New version of Aurora by Disney Publishing

New version of Aurora by Disney Publishing

It was a sad day, when I saw the presentation of the new faces of the Disney Princesses.

So you think that making the dresses more sparkly and slapping some design onto the bodices and redrawing everyone’s face to make it look like a 3D doll you can sell in stores is going to make them more appealing to the new generation of little girls?

Never mind that you destroyed all kind of good design that made them so immortal in the first place. Now they are as insipid and ugly as the rest of the stuff on the market, well done.

Original version of Aurora by Mark Davis

Original version of Aurora by Mark Davis

Really, Mark Davis’s design for Princess Aurora was genius. The way her hair had a specific design and fell just so, look at the animation and you’ll see why she is so unique. The new version is appalling in comparison, no grace no charm… and the rest of the princesses don’t fair any better.

I can only imagine the horror of the artists who where asked to perform these atrocities in the name of marketing needs. Or at least I hope they cringed while defacing true art.

So now the classic Disney Princesses look like a bad copy of an Anime drawn by a five year old who is actually quite good for their age. I bet Walt is loving this…

New version of Cinderella  by Disney Publishing

New version of Cinderella
by Disney Publishing

Original version of Cinderella by Mark Davis

Original version of Cinderella by Mark Davis

Original version of SnowWhite by Mark Davis

Original version of SnowWhite by Mark Davis

New version of SnowWhite  by Disney Publishing

New version of SnowWhite
by Disney Publishing

Last but not least, the failure of “Strange Magic”…

Well I never even heard of it till it was in theaters, so bad marketing could have something to do with that.

Rotten Tomatos said it all:  “Like most modern animated movies, Strange Magic is lovely to look at; unfortunately, there isn’t much going on beneath the surface.”

STRANGE MAGICWell I don’t like the look of it neither, as an artist it hurts my aesthetic sensibility, no style, no class, oh but it moves so its animated…

And this is how the money people think they are going to continue to make money! Good luck with that.

Personally I hope that the renaissance will come from small quarters, artists getting together to make a movie or series or shorts. Investors who support the artists vision without interference.  Oscar season is upon us and 3 of the nominees are from smaller studios and artist driven projects.

The Studio Era may well be at an end and maybe finally projects can be made the way the are supposed to be made.

How better to illustrate the new concept, then with a movie quote:

ALLEYN (roars) Who are you?

FENNYMAN (bleating) I am the money!

ALLEYN Then you may remain so long as you remain silent.

Pay attention and you will see how genius creates a legend.

FENNYMAN (respectfully) Thank you, sir.

from Shakespeare in Love

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We are Charlie Hebdo…the world of illustration responds

Charlie Hebdo by Ruben L. Oppenheimer

Charlie Hebdo by Ruben L. Oppenheimer

What a sad day for free speech, expression and art.

It is staggering to see how ignorance, intolerance and closemindetness can turn into unnecessary violence and acts of such evil.

12 people lost their life today in Paris, for doing their job and doing it well. I am having trouble understanding the reasoning for this massacre. So what was the problem? The satire of a cartoon and the irony of a post that is meant to make you think and lough is pushing these people to kill??? Unbelievable…

charlie Hebdo by David Pope

Charlie Hebdo by David Pope

I was not aware of Charlie Hebdo and their work until today, I am sad to admit, but I am sure I was not the only one. Now the entire world knows about Charlie and though it is a sad occasion, they have been immortalized by this senseless act. The world of illustration responds in mass and carries the torch forward.

Charlie Hebdo by Claire Wendling

Charlie Hebdo by Claire Wendling

They will never be forgotten and instead of scaring artists off satire, they have multiplied overnight.

Je suis Charlie, we are Charlie…

 

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2014 a year that showed support to 2D animation

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Well my new years resolution has certainly brought some memorable moments this year.

Hullabaloo, the traditional animated project I will be working on soon has had an incredible year so far. Fully funded on IndieGogo in only 5 days and then totally blew the mark by 588% thanks to almost 11000 people all around the world who have shown support to 2D. At this years CTNExpo Hullabaloo was welcomed by artists and fans alike as one of the most anticipated new projects to keep an eye on and everyone was trying to be a part of it. So 2015 is shaping up to be quite a year of work in 2D for us to really show what we can do.

Also this year some of my good friends have published some great children’s books: “The Mystery Hat” by Jakob Jensen and Rune Bennike, “Flora and the Penguin” by Molly Idle after she won the Caldecott Award for her previous “Flora and the Flamingo” and she now has another Flora book in the making. Molly also released “Camp Rex”, the second book in this franchise and more to come in that line. As well as my friend Alexandra Boiger and her new book “Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale”. Dark Planet Comics published the new “Silver” comic book series by fellow artist/friend Stephan Franck. To top it all off my good friend and exceptional artist Armand Baltazar has gotten a 3 book deal and movie deal for his “Diego and the SteamPirates” and will be working on getting them out the over the next couple of years.

Glen Keane came out with “Duet” and this new mobile app that features 2D animation.

“The Changeling Chronicles” an APU Student 2D project, is almost complete and we had a great workshop for students featuring 2D animation there, thanks to another good friend for organizing it.

Even on the other side of the pond in London my friends are working on some great projects, Uli Meyer is working on “The Animated Molesworth” another 2D project to keep a look out for.

The only sad note in 2014 was the retirement of animation legend Hayao Miyazaki…

The great Tina Price keeps organizing awesome events at the Center Stage Gallery and the outstanding Creative Talent Network Expo in Burbank. If you have not participated in one of those put it on your to do list, it’s a must if you are an animation artist.

My dad had his first ever art show back home in Italy and it was a success, way to go dad.

I opened my own stores on Etzy and Cafe Press and my T-Shirt Line is available on Sixleggeddog.com, talk about milestones…

So all in all 2015 is going to be full of amazing art and some great projects to be excited about. I can’t wait to see and talk about and share it here with you.

Thank you for following my blog and stay tuned to hear about more art and artists in 2015. Have a Happy New Year…

 

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