Enter the Dream Factory


Going to Pixar is akin to visiting the land of Oz. You step inside the gate and you are transported to another world. The air is fresher. The sun is shinier. The benches are benchier. You try to contain yourself – to conduct yourself with decorum. Then you see the giant Luxo Jr. and all bets are off. Suddenly you are a little kid like “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.” All the memories of seeing films in the theater with your parents, extended family, friends, significant others, where you were, the time of day, come flooding back into your mind. It’s amazing. Like visiting old friends.

My friend Rhonda and I came to the dream factory to see a special screening of “Brave.” Fantastic movie. I had not had the opportunity to watch it and I genuinely enjoyed the story. I have not seen a film that delved into the mother/daughter dynamic, especially not in animation, which is usually male-centered. It was a privilege watching this film, and I look forward to meeting some of the fine folks at CTN who worked on it, including Brenda Chapman herself.

We took a ridiculous number of pictures. And there were some things that we could only see with our eyes and not capture with the camera, like the “Brave” Exhibit on the second floor of the Atrium. Some truly fabulous art up there. There were areas roped off, where we can only imagine the artistry at work. And we saw a few employees in the wild, no doubt busy on some soon-to-be seen project.

After the screening every milled about – no one was in any hurry to return to the real world. We were able to leave only because we knew that one day we would return. After visiting the studio, and seeing the film, the bar has been set. Onward to glory!

California Academy of Sciences Sketch Journal

Character designs, Life Drawing

My character design class and I went to the California Academy of Sciences on the school’s dime last week. I of course had a tremendous time.
How I love the animals! I opted to visit the aquarium first, as I am a fan of the live versus the stuffed versions of animals (although the stuffed ones, for obvious reasons, are good models.)

Drawing from life though is more fun – you get the personality of the creatures based on how they move.

Character Design: Hirschfeld, de Seve and Marlet

Character designs, Figure Drawing, Life Drawing

Today was a most excellent day in the world of Character Design because I learned more about my new favorite artist – Peter de Seve. The man can DRAW. He is a character designer known for his work on “Finding Nemo,” “Ice Age,” “Robots,” and his numerous New Yorker covers. We also drew in the style of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld and Nico Marlet, best known for his work on “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.” Much fun was had by all.