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!


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 Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold.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!


Ink Ink Ink

Well, really only two Inks, but that didn't look right in the subject line.

I finished inking Koala Jenkins in Toon Boom, and here he is:

For now I'll leave it with the ugly tube-like structure of his arms and legs, just to learn the moving process. Eventually I'll go in and try to get it to look seamless and still be animatable. (Apparently animatable isn't a word. PSSH.)

I also did some ink drawings of layout concepts for my 11 Second Entry. And here THOSE are.

Click Image for Full Size

I am extremely happy with Shot E there, because it is the first image I've ever designed using an upward angle. Or at least, the first one that's been SUCCESSFUL. I love it. Sadly it would be really, really tough to animate, so I probably won't go with that. After all, the deadline is under a month away and I don't need difficult cameras to slow me down.

I'd love to hear if anyone has any thoughts on which of the compositions are you favorite (and least favorite) so I can decide which to go with. Even if it is E, I'll at least take it into account. (EDIT: To be clear, I'm only picking one. It isn't like a storyboard where those are all camera cuts. The clip is only 9 seconds long! No time for constant cuts.)

Got a hugely busy weekend ahead of me, so I'm going to get back to work now! Have a terrific weekend everyone.


A Successful Failure


I have "finished" my 11 Second Club entry for April 2012. Here it is.

I consider it overall a terrible failure. I didn't get to go back and put in the secondary action on the cheeks and head bobble, it's relatively ugly, and there wasn't time to fill in the characters so they weren't just lines you could see the background through. Not to mention I didn't even include the camera move and third character that explains the wooden scraping sound at the end of the audio. That said, it was a very successful failure because I continued to learn a lot and improve. Tomorrow I will be glad for those lessons as I start on May's 11 Second Entry. Today I am frustrated and miserable about how it didn't all come together in the end.

I am going to spend the rest of today working on transitioning to Toon Boom Animate so perhaps I can get back to doing some FtM cartoons and enjoying it. First up, taking Koala Jenkins and making him a character model in the program. Then on to animating, but one step at a time.


A Friend of Koala Jenkins is a Friend of Yours

Oh dear. It seems I'm starting to CARE, which is the exact opposite of what I set out to do when creating Koala Jenkins. Sigh... Now I'll have to put in effort and TRY and... What a mess.

Here are some of Big K. Jenkins' friends:

It was fun sketching them, and thinking of names. Now I REALLY must stop caring and get back to just learning this animation program like a robot.

In fully-caring news, I finished the rough in-betweens of my April 11 Second Club entry, which can be seen right here. So far so good. I've been going back in and adding little touches, arcs, and frame changes, and it's shaping up rather nicely. Next up: Adding the wings and gestures. Then probably the face and overlapping head-bobble thing on the top. After that I'll move on to the other characters followed by cleanup. Dreaded cleanup...

Yesterday I went to see a comedy show by Ron Swanson (actor Nick Offerman). It was... very different. You can read more about it here.

Have a great weekend everybody! Koala Jenkins demands it of you. You don't want to disappoint Koala Jenkins.


Learning Toon Boom with Koala Jenkins!

It's 2012; monkeys are SO 2011. 2012 is the Year of the Koala! And with that I introduce Koala Jenkins!

Koala Jenkins (or K.J. as the cool kids are calling him) is a new character starring in the exciting new series called "I am learning Toon Boom and I need a character to practice with that I'm not attached to, so I made this one." It's a working title. I'm hoping to shorten it up a little in the end.

Since I want to dive deeper into my Toon Boom Animate education, I decided to whip up a little fellow who would be easy to animate. I'm going to take K. Diddy Jenkins into Toon Boom and learn how to make him dance. DANCIN' KOALA TIME!

My hope is that I can learn enough about how things work in Toon Boom with Mr. Koala "No Nonsense" Jenkins that when I bring the FredtheMonkey crew over it will be a much smoother transition. I hate redoing character models, so I'm going to try to get most of my inevitable mistakes out of the way with Kay-to-the-O-to-the-Walla Jenkins here.

THINK FAST! Oh, you were not fast enough. Koala Jenkins just took your wallet. He'll give it back though, because he's such a nice guy. He just wanted to teach you a lesson. Lesson is: Don't mess with Koala Jenkins.