Life, Art, and Monkeys


Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!

Zipping over to!


Judy Hopps Key

I haven't updated this blog in a while (though the one continues on every Monday morning!) so I figured I'd stop by and post something.


Here's a quick rough of a keyframe of Judy Hopps, inspired by the How-to-Draw video posted by Disney. I enjoyed doing it, even if it isn't quite as well crafted as I'd like! Ah well, that's why you practice.

Filed under: Animation, Drawing No Comments

Past Archives Begin Here

Caution sign
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views. :)


If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!



Ed Hooks (via Animator Island)

While at the FMX last week I had the pleasure of attending Ed Hooks' Acting for Animators class. Two classes, actually, and even then I feel like it could have gone on another 4 or 5 from there. The magic of Mr. Hooks lies in a combination of information (of the most valuable type) and frank, caring humor. Ed's class feels more like hanging out with a friend than a lecture, and it was brilliant.

I learned a great many things about acting in the workshop, some of which can be found here on Animator Island. I think the bigger lesson, though, might have come inadvertently from his teaching style. He was so personal and sincere that you couldn't help but be sucked into the topic. At one point we watched scenes from Chico and Rita, and as he played the end reunion scene he (and many others in the audience) sat sobbing at the beauty of it all. How many speakers do you know who get up in front of an audience and allow themselves to feel to the point of crying?

Another wonderfully surreal aspect was that whenever anyone got up to leave partway through (for the bathroom or to go to another lecture) he would immediately stop whatever he was doing and say "Where are you going?! Are you leaving?! Are you coming back?!" It felt like he really meant it, too. Now, he's an actor by trade (alongside teaching the subject) so it's possible it was just a persona, but I don't think so. I think he really wanted to know if they were coming back. He simply did it in an over-the-top way that made everyone smile. It was fantastic.

Amongst a sea of dry, power-point-filled lectures Ed Hooks' class was a real joy. It made me want to incorporate so much of what he does into my own presentations, to make them more entertaining, alive, and honest. He made me want to go teach others in a similar way, and share with the world a few hours of truth and goofy fun. The bar has been set, and I will judge future presentations I attend at the level of Ed Hooks.


Back from Germany!

Last week, while the blog was auto-updated with Gifs, I was attending the FMX in Stuttgart Germany!

Ferdinand Englander and JK Riki
I was invited to host a panel on "What Makes Good Animation?" at the event, as well as several other things. Well, I should say Animator Island was invited, of which I am part of (alongside Ferdinand, above). It was fantastic. One of the best trips I've ever been on.

After the panel my desire to work increased 100% so that I might be invited back to sit on similar panels and give talks in the future. The feeling was amazing, and after a brief taste I wanted more. I wrote a list immediately after the panel ended of possible workshops I could create for such conferences. I'm seriously fired up now, sitting back at my desk in Pittsburgh. It was a long trip and I'm tired, but in many ways it refueled my Creative Spirit and I'm anxious to get some things done!

I'll probably talk more about the FMX and trip to Germany in the coming days (with more photos) so stay tuned if you're interested.


Animation Masterclass

(A reminder that the above is nothing more than pencil and ink across many pages of paper. Amazing...)

Normal updates resume Monday! See you then!

Filed under: Animation No Comments

Order Up

Normal updates will resume May 11th 2015.

Filed under: Animation No Comments

One of my Favorites

Normal updates will resume May 11th 2015.

Filed under: Animation 1 Comment

Lesson Learned

Normal updates will resume May 11th 2015.

Filed under: Animation No Comments

Scuba Cat

Normal updates will resume May 11th 2015.

Filed under: Animation No Comments