Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Words to live by.

I noticed a disturbing trend at Star Wars Celebration last weekend; people carelessly handling lightsabers the wrong way. I feel it's my duty to warn them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Jerry Nelson 1934-2012

Today is a sad day indeed.
We have lost another giant in the Muppet world. Jerry Nelson has died at the age of 78.

"Jerry Nelson imbued all his characters with the same gentle, sweet whimsy and kindness that were a part of his own personality. He joined The Jim Henson Company in the earliest years, and his unique contributions to the worlds of Fraggles, Muppets, Sesame Street and so many others are, and will continue to be, unforgettable. On behalf of the Henson family and everyone at The Jim Henson Company, our deepest sympathies go out to Jerry's family and to his many fans." – Lisa Henson, CEO The Jim Henson Company

It has been said that if Jim Henson was the heart of the Muppets, and Frank Oz the brains, then Jerry Nelson was most certainly the soul.
 Did you watch Sesame Street? Did you learn to count from Count von Count? Did you enjoy the antics of the Two-Headed Monster and Herry? Did you believe in the Snuffleupagus? Then you enjoyed Jerry Nelson's work.
How about the Muppet Show? Did you groove with Floyd Pepper? Or laugh in delight when Crazy Harry blew things up? Did you share a tender moment with Kermit's nephew Robin? You can thank the amazing Jerry Nelson.
Wasn't Fraggle Rock a great show? Did you know Gobo Fraggle, Marjory the Trash Heap, and Pa Gorg were performed by Jerry Nelson?
These few examples among hundreds of characters Jerry performed reveal a complex and talented man, capable of outlandish humor, soulful reflection, and cheerful energy. His characters, and his legacy will live on.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank you. No, I really mean it, THANK YOU!

Voting for the Talenthouse Fraggle Rock art contest is now closed. I am overwhelmed by the amount of votes I received. At the contest's close, I have 151 votes and I am ranked 33rd out of over 500 entries. Throughout the voting period, I never slipped below the top 50 entries.

Thank you to all of the friends, family and fans who showed their support. Thank you for your votes, your tireless campaigns for me, and most of all, for putting up with my constant badgering. This contest means a lot to me. I didn't win the popular vote, but I'm still in the running for:

The Jim Henson Company's Choice

The winning design will be featured and produced in elements of Fraggle Rock's 30th anniversary merchandise line, which will be promoted and sold on their online store. In addition, the winner will receive:
  • A private tour of The Jim Henson Company and attendance to Fraggle Rock's 30th anniversary party (travel and two nights' accommodation in Los Angeles for two provided)
  • A framed copy of their artwork
  • A feature on henson.com and Henson's Facebook page
  • $2,500
Eight runners-up, as selected by The Jim Henson Company, will each receive:
  • A feature on Henson.com and Henson's Facebook page
  • A framed copy of their artwork
  • $500
So now it's the waiting game. The winning entries will be announced September 5th. This contest was a blast to be involved with. I learned a lot and I had fun competing. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for voting for me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Henson/Talenthouse Fraggle Rock art competition: Feedback.

Voting is still open for the Jim Henson Company Fraggle Rock art competition at Talenthouse. Over the past few days, I've shared the process in creating my entry. You can check it out on the posts below.

As of today, Sunday Aug 19th, I have 103 votes and remain as one of the top 50 entries. I have received a ton of positive feedback and there are a few notable fans that I'd like to acknowledge.

First of all, the great Muppet fansite Toughpigs has spotlighted my entry to be among one of their 50 favorite! Joe and the gang over at Toughpigs have always been hugely supportive, and it's my number one place to go for Muppet/Henson news and discussion. Check it out here: http://www.toughpigs.com/fraggle-contest/

I was elated when I saw that The Muppet Mindset (a fantastic Muppet fan blog) chose their top 10 entries in the Fraggle Rock art contest and I made the cut! I love the Muppet Mindset, Ryan's endorsement means the world to me. Here's the link to the blog entry http://themuppetmindset.blogspot.com/2012/08/fraggle-rock-design-contest-voting-now.html

 You have less than 3 days to vote so please show your support for me at:

Don't forget, you can use BOTH your Twitter AND your Facebook accounts to vote. Let's keep me in the top 50!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Talenthouse Fraggle Rock art contest: Layers in Color.

 I'm currently competing in the Fraggle Rock art contest at Talenthouse. The voting closes in a few days. As long as the contest has been open, I've been sharing my process in creating my entry. Yesterday I posted the final inks, today I'll show you the separate layers in color.

I used a program called Vector Magic to "tighten" my line work. It also makes the line work infinitely scalable. For the most part, I was able to paintbucket the characters in Photoshop when it came to the coloring stage. Here's the top layer, the 5 main Fraggles:

Here are the Gorgs in color:

 This is the first half of the middle layer:

...and the second half.

With the characters composited, there was one final step. I needed a background to unify them. I repeated the shapes of each of the individual "rings" in different colors to create a look similar to that seen in a kaleidoscope or on a tie-dyed t-shirt.
Once again, the final piece:
So that's how the artwork was created.

The voting is still open, and of over 500 entries, I'm holding steady in the top 50. I would appreciate any support you can give me, so please vote for me at  http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a511cf9ce89285ee333645df6ef6433a/595  Remember, you can vote with both your Facebook account AND your Twitter account. Thank you!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Talenthouse Fraggle Rock art contest: Inks

 I'm currently competing in the Fraggle Rock art contest at Talenthouse. Yesterday I posted the initial sketches, today I'll show you the final inks. Because of the complexity of the composition and all of the characters, I knew it would be easier to draw each layer separately so I could change the scale and rotate them as needed. This is the final inks for the main 5 Fraggles.
Here are the Gorgs.

 This is one half of the middle ring of characters. I split them in half because I knew they would be covered partially by the top ring (though I wasn't sure where), and I could modify the semi-circles accordingly.

I inked these traditionally, scanned them, vectorized them and continued to the next step, color. Tomorrow I'll show the coloring process on each of the layers.
There are still a few days to vote for my entry. Just visit http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a511cf9ce89285ee333645df6ef6433a/595 . You can vote with BOTH your Facebook account AND your Twitter account. Thanks!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Talenthouse Fraggle Rock art contest: Sketches

I'm currently competing in the Fraggle Rock art contest at Talenthouse. Yesterday I posted the final piece, today I'll begin explaining my process in its creation.

The second I heard about the contest, I knew I wanted to enter. Immediately, my thoughts turned to the design. Fraggle Rock was created to appeal to a global audience. It aired in many countries and languages, so I knew I didn't want to have any text. The overall goal of the show was to promote coexistence; cultures that were vastly different but still able to live together. I wanted a design that conveyed that symbiosis. I thought of holding hands, circles of communities. I thought of the characters, the size, textures and colors.

With all of that in mind, I thought of circles of these colorful characters, overlapping and radiating outward, much like a kaleidoscope. I knew I wanted the 5 main Fraggles in front, a second layer of Doozers, Fraggles and other characters, and a final layer of the giant Gorg family. I knew the only way that I could do this was to draw the characters in layers and then composite them in Photoshop. This is my initial sketch. 
Not bad, but no matter what I did, the Gorgs were being covered up too much. Unless of course, I made them huge. But then the 5 main Fraggles became lost in the design. I wanted them to be the primary focus of the piece. I kept working on it, but I just couldn't make it look right.

If you struggle too long on a design, sometimes you have to come to the realization that the design probably isn't strong enough. I attacked it from a different angle. I kept the characters and the theme, but pushed the Gorgs waaaay back, and made them part of the inner star shape that the main Fraggles made with their arms. This pushed the main 5 to the front and I didn't have to cover up the Gorgs.
With the design in place, I was ready to move on to the next step, which I'll show you tomorrow.

Please go vote for my entry. Just visit http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a511cf9ce89285ee333645df6ef6433a/595 . You can vote with BOTH your Facebook account AND your Twitter account. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Talenthouse Henson Fraggle Rock art contest.

That's right, I'm involved in another Muppety art contest. This time, the Jim Henson Company is holding an art contest celebrating the 30th anniversary of it's acclaimed show Fraggle Rock.
Here's my submission.
I call it, "Fraggleidoscope".
 The inhabitants of Fraggle Rock celebrate 30 joyous years, hand in hand. The Fraggles, Doozers, Gorgs and other creatures are interconnected to create a colorful, kaleidoscopic image of friendship, symbiosis and jubilation.

 Throughout the contest, I will be posting about my process in creating the piece including pics of how the artwork progressed. I will also be debuting a separate brand new blog that will showcase ALL of my Muppet and Henson related artwork and links on how to add some of it to your collection.

 Please visit http://www.talenthouse.com/creativeinvites/preview/a511cf9ce89285ee333645df6ef6433a/595 to vote for my submission. You will need a Facebook or Twitter account to vote.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Today I'm a screever.

 "Today I'm a screever,
and as you can see,
a screever's an artist of highest degree.
 And it's all me own work, from me own memory!"