Monday, November 24, 2014

Janet in Cartoonland!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of working on a really cool project for one of my favorite musicians and dear friends, Janet Klein. I'm working on the artwork for her upcoming album, so for the inside, in keeping with the style of her music and our mutual love of vintage animation, we decided to create a vintage black and white cartoonland set.

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To give it an authentic 1920s animation feel, I wanted everything to be stark black and white, no grey tones. While I do realize that there were some grey tones in animation in the 1920s, it was used very very sparingly. More detailed and fully rendered backgrounds didn't really start appearing in animation until the 1930s. Also, I wanted everything to be 2D and have a forced perspective feel to it. Here's some detail shots of the set pieces and props. 

The inspiration for the concept came when Janet found this vintage 1920s photo of Alberta Vaughn.

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Additional inspiration for the design of the set came from one of Janet's and my favorite cartoon characters, Felix the Cat. I borrowed heavily from Ottos Messmer's work as well as Walt Disney/Ub Iwerks "Alice" cartoons on this project

Here's a few additional behind the scenes shots.

Stay tuned for cover art and liner note illustrations as we keep moving forward with the project!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Very Angry Indeed!"

Here's my piece for WHEN GOOD TOONS GO BAD: VILLAINS OF ANIMATION A Group Art Show at Van Eaton Galleries

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"Very Angry Indeed!"
acrylic on canvas

I really enjoyed painting these characters. It's always fun to do a take on characters from my hero, Chuck Jones. The background is also a nod to background designer extraordinaire, Maurice Noble. This is based on his designs from "Hare-Way to The Stars" (1958) which I believe featured some of his best design work which ranks right up there with "What's Opera, Doc?" (1957) and "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century" (1953)

The show was great and features a ton of great pieces by some incredible artists. You can see the all of the work online here. The opening reception was a blast as always and I dressed for the occasion.

Now you can own the candy and the fury!

Hey, kids! I'm auctioning off one of the original pencil drawing I used to create the album cover for Candy Coated Fury by Reel Big Fish.

The artwork is signed not only by myself, Thom Foolery, but also the entire band (the line up which recorded Candy Coated Fury, this includes long time member no longer with the group, Dan Reagan) The signatures are: Aaron Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Dan Regan (trombone, vocals), John Christianson (trumpet, vocals), Ryland Steen (drums), Derek Gibbs (bass, vocals), and Matt Appleton (sax, vocals)

100% of the sale will go to benefit Toys for Tots. For more information on how the drawing was used in the production of the artwork, check out my behind the scenes blog post about the cover from 2012.