I finally finished up that Beastie Boys poster over the weekend. Notice how there were 3 comps a few months ago but there's only one final? Well, a few factors kept me from reaching my goal, mainly prior obligations to a Disney book and downright laziness. I also wasn't happy with where the New York and L.A. versions were going. They just didn't seem unique enough so I scrapped them about halfway into the process. After all this time, I still have trouble putting everything that's in my head together on the page successfully. In the end, the "Fly to Tokyo" print, based on the Intergalactic video, became a combination of old TWA/Braniff Airways travel posters and Japanese toy robot packaging. The final size is pretty big (18" x 30") and is printed litho style on some nice textured parchment. They'll be available at the Beastie show at Gallery1988 from January 8th - 29th. Check out their bloggy blog here .
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
My artist friends are able to fill loads and loads of sketchbooks with sketches and caricatures of complete strangers out in public. I have no idea how they accomplish all that work without getting caught staring. I've been drawn (brutally in some cases) many times by these guys so I'm almost immune to the uncomfortable notion at being stared at while I'm minding my own business. I've been in fear to try to do as they do in public because I always have the feeling that if the subject catches me, I'll either be socked, slapped, or be called a pervert or a pedophile (according to subject). Anyways, more power to my artist friends for doing what they do. Here's some sketches that I did get away without being caught. These are a few of my coworkers from the Disney office in London. As you can see, I have a much kinder heart than some of my artist "friends" who either draw me as an alien or butt naked.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Never having left the states (except for a few muy caliente nights in jolly old Tijuana), I really didn't have a clue as to the magnitude of all the surroundings I would see in Europe. Photos don't really do any of them justice. With all the historic architecture around, you really do get a newfound sense of what amazing things people can accomplish. Especially with something massive like the colosseum in Rome, your mind is completely blown just trying to comprehend what the hell went on during that build. With sketchbook in hand, I ventured out to capture everything I saw as I traveled. These are sights I saw during my weekend train journeys in and out of London. I have no idea where the flying objects started, but I had fun carrying them throughout each sketch. Upon reflection, those soaring symbols may have come from my never-ending dreams of flying above the world, with peaceful thoughts of hope sprinkling my panoramic memories just as stars fill the vast night sky...oh wait, judging from the last sketch, them flying objects were completely inspired by beer.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here's a quick sketch in Photoshop. We were given "orange" as a theme for an art wall in our kitchen area. When i thought of artwork hanging in the kitchen, I immediately envisioned cheese. Maybe it's cuz I've been stealing someone's string cheese outta the fridge for like the past 3 weeks. Hey, if no one is complaining, what's all the fuss? Anyway, I always thought that one of the strangest home videos I've seen are the ones filming someone sleepwalking and going into the kitchen. Although they're in a total daze, some of them can open the fridge and even make a sandwich! I don't know if I believe they're really asleep cuz some of those sandwiches look better than the ones I make awake, but it's pretty amazing to watch nonetheless. My mind works in strange ways as you can see. Now I'm hungry! Where's that string cheese??
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Unfortunately, when I moved out to London, I didn't get to take the Cintiq monitor from work with me. Once you get used to that thing, you really do suffer when you have to revert back to a mouse or a tablet. I think it's called being spoiled. For me, I just got really slow at everything. Fortunately, they finally got all these new Macs and a Cintiq at our London office so I was able to jump back on it for this quick little project. We have these informational signs with a blank open space that are going up in each department and I was asked to come up with something for our team. This came from by all my trips on the tube to and from work. You do get an interesting mix of business people, punk rock teenagers, and families on those trains. The kid represents youth and all that Disney magic (I also snuck in an Arsenal scarf). Although the adults are all serious in their dark business attire, they still have hits of red to show that they haven't completely lost what the kid has.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Beastie Boys have been around for almost 25 years. Think about that for a sec. Who in music lasts that long and continue to make music that doesn't completely blow?? Tough one huh? Kool Moe Dee? Nope. JJ Fad?? Na uh! Gerardo??? Think again mi amigo! I've always dug this group and the fact that they can stay relevant and continue to do what they do for the love of it all. It's a great honor to get to create some posters for a tribute show which drops some time in January. My inspiration came from the cover of the License to Ill album. Y'know, the one with the plane? It's gotta be one of the most memorable album covers I've seen and I thought that a series of travel posters featuring that plane would be fun since they've been all over the globe and have influenced so many while doing so. I chose Brooklyn (obviously), Atwater Village, cuz they had a studio there and recorded my favorite album in it (Paul's Boutique), and Tokyo, cuz the visuals and costumes in that Intergalactic video are hilarous and it definitely reminds me of their later years. Each of the posters tie heavily into the music videos they created (which are some of the best videos ever!). Check out that Beastie Anthology DVD if you haven't already. With the option to hear remixes and watch different angles of each video, I think it's one of the only DVD's out there that made full use of all those angle and sound options. A for effort! Only reason it isn't an A+ is cuz them License to Ill tracks ain't on there :( Anyways, I hope that you can get a good idea of where these are going and I'll post updates as soon as I start on the final artwork. Now, what's the time?????
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I'm fortunate enough to be a very bust artist these days. That's the good part. Unfortunately, that means while even on vacation, the work comes with me. One bonus, it sure does beat the view from my office of a Glendale back street. This is off the coast of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Yes, that's my gross-ass foot on the left.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here's the final version of the Duck Hunt trophy plaque for the I am 8-bit show. I'm not the most experienced sculptor in the world but I'm glad I went through the all the challenges that came with this project cuz i learned a whole lot of valuable lessons such as 1) don't forget to wear a mask next time when sanding resin. I'm still coughing up dust. 2) Don't look directly into a clogged airbrush tip when the compressor is plugged in. My left eye is now glittery pink. And 3) Stick to making posters. Those are a walk in the park compared to all the drilling, bending, sculpting, masking, sanding, priming, and painting involved with a 3D piece. My appreciation for sculptors has grown big time. All in all, I'm just glad I got through it and can't wait to do it again...with the help of a C&C machine!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Another year brings another I am 8-bit show. This time around, I chose to pay homage to the first game my brother and I ever played on the Nintendo system, Duck Hunt. Our system also came with ROB the robot and Gyromite. If you ever attempted to get that robot to work, you can see why we popped in Duck Hunt first. I remember that game being such a mindf@#* at the time cuz the gun actually worked when you aimed at the screen and shot. Them graphics also kicked Atari ass! We were in heaven! Almost immediately, all our grades dropped in school and we couldn't wait to be old enough to get our gun licenses. Thanks Nintendo! As you can see, I created a hunting trophy out of it with a dead duck head. I haven't sculpted anything in forever so it's taking me longer than expected to complete. The duck is still missing a few features like eyelids, that nostril band, some extra feathers, and of course, paint. I'm also using a new sculpting compound called MagicSculp which is a resin mixture that hardens in a few hours and is pretty damn strong. I like it a lot thus far. Much thanks to Mike 'The Bike' Eaton who used his mad woodshop skills to craft that duck foot plaque. Now, where'd I put my Tech 9? $10 says I can cap that Pabst Blue Ribbon can off the hood of that Chevy.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Check out Acme Archives for the Wall•e posters.
i09 posted a nice write up on the inspiration behind these pieces. Check it out! Just one clarification: I'm not technically a "Pixar artist." Not sure how that happened but if you can get by the title, you'll be fine.
I was a pretty happy kid. With a spring in my step and a big, fat smile on my face, there was nothing that a 50/50 bar or some Mexican candy couldn't cure. Whether we spent an entire day skateboarding at the school or bodyboarding at the beach, life seemed so damn fun and carefree. Growing up in laid-back, sunny San Diego doesn't hurt either. With all this happiness around every corner, you would think it would be reflected in my artwork from way back when. Maybe paintings of unicorns and happy trees. Haha, not so fast mi amigo! Here's some illustrations I dug up from a children's book I put together when I was a goofy - and very twisted - teenager. From what I remember, it was a little non-fictional doozy about the day our rabbits got massacred by a pack of wild dogs. Yup, that fuzzy little fella's getting his arms ripped off. Where did it all go wrong?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Here's the completed Temple of Doom poster. I ended up adding a bunch of elements that tied it more into the Raiders poster such as the logo, the limited color scheme, the large 'head' in the upper right, the little 'filmed in color' banner, and the action scene at the bottom right. I figured these changes would make a more cohesive series in the end. Throughout the design process, I constantly move things around to find that balance. Short Round and Willie moved from right to left, top to bottom, and I even seperated them where she was on the upper right and he was at the bottom where the mine cars are. After all these years, I still don't get it right the first, or second, or third, or even fourth time. And that is why I'm an alcoholic!
The Temple print should be available soon at Acme Archives.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Man I look really young in that picture! I looked like I was ready to conquer crap! What the hell happened?? Where did it all go wrong?? This was actually taken about 6 years ago when I was still 20 something. That 's Sadao Miyamoto, or Miyasan, as we at Disney called him when he worked with us. He's now happily retired and playing golf out in Granada Hills. Although I only worked with him for a couple of years and we barely could understand each other (he spoke japanese to me and I don't know a lick of japanese), I'd have to say that he pretty much changed the way I look at life and art forever.
When I was a kid, drawing and painting was an amazing escape. I could remember spending hours and hours drawing cartoon characters in my room and never ever getting tired or bored. That changed once I got to art school and was surrounded by people who were ultra-competitive and a curriculum that was ultra-demanding. The schedule we had left little time for a breath of air. It really became work and I somehow lost the passion for being creative and having fun with it. Out of frustration, I tried looking for a job halfway through school and fortunately I landed a freelance gig at Disney Consumer Products.
My first desk at Disney was across from another designer named Yumi (who amazingly - after a bunch of re-org's and building moves - still sits next to me). She was one of the few on our team who spoke fluent Japanese. Every now and then, a gentleman - with a huge grin and a funny laugh - would visit her and they would tell stories in their native language and laugh up a storm. This was Miyasan. I knew he was a character artist on our team who had worked on cool projects like Tarzan and Lion King. She also said he was an animator in Japan. Talk about an understatement! (More on that later) Yumi was kind enough to show him some of my work and he reacted positively to some stylized stuff I had done on Monsters Inc. and Lilo and Stitch. All of the work I had done was digital and he hadn't quite wrapped his head around the computer yet. Every so often he would stop by to watch me trace out a character in Illustrator, taking notes on a pad while doing his best (with Yumi as a translator) to ask questions about the process. "I will learn" and "thank you" were a couple of things Miyasan would always say before he left for the day.
Although the gig at Disney really rejuvenated me in many ways, I was still at school the other half of the day so I can't say that I was totally cured. Seeing someone like Miyasan, who was energetic, happy, and still willing to learn something new, started to give me a new perspective. He was in his 60's and yet he seemed like he was having a blast! How the heck was he still enjoying this 'work' after doing it for so long?? It was beyond me, but then again I was kind of a sleep-deprived, cranky a-hole back then who took everything way too seriously. Somehow I knew that if I wanted to have a career like his, I had to stop looking at everything as work and find in it what I enjoyed so much as a kid.
The defining moment came one day when Miyasan was kind enough to bring in his portfolio of the work he accumulated during his career. I had only known the work he did for us at Disney but I remembered Yumi telling me he was an animator in Japan for some time. I was hoping to see some of this 'animation'. What I saw left me speechless and people ALWAYS tell me the shut up. Growing up, my main influences were Disney animation, comic books, and Japanese anime, namely this show that was called G-Force here in the states. I grew up on all the shows and books that featured this team of heores who flew around in a bitching spaceship dressed in bird costumes. It was the best thing ever! So you can imagine my fanboy freakout when Miyasan opened his portfolio and the 1st few pages featured his drawings of the initial design of all of the main characters. He was the animation director on that!!! I was floored. And that was just the beginning. He was an animator on Astroboy and a director/designer on about 20 other shows I used to watch as a kid. Page after page brought me immediately back to my childhood and those days that I had all the passion in the world for being creative. The guy who created all this stuff that influenced me to want to be creative as a kid sat in an office just down the hall, and I had no clue! It all came full circle. I would later find that he taught animation in Japan and had a bunch of amazing students who are leading the anime industry today. He came to the states to work at Disney and then to eventually retire and play golf.
With Miyasan, I got to see the blueprint of a successful career - make that a legendary one. And he did it all with a smile on his face, just glad to be doing everything he was doing. He has touched so many people with what he has done (me included) and it really makes me feel fortunate to do what I do for a living. I may not reach as far as he did (can anyone?), but I now know that something I do now can have an impact on some kid out there who happens to love drawing and painting. I can safely say that after seeing his portfolio, every day at work has been a breath of fresh air. On his last day at Disney, I passed by his office to say bye one last time. The space was empty except for Miyasan, the drawing table, a piece of paper, and a pencil. Even on the day he retired, he was still drawing away! I thanked him for all he had done for me and he simply smiled and handed me this:
Thanks Miyasan! See ya at the links!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
VisualMente, a South American visual arts site wrote up a neato story on me. I haven't been able to translate it yet, but I hope it's a complimentary one. Peep it! With gas prices so high, and the fact that it F's up my passion for demolition derby, I'm now gonna find the nearest mosh pit and bust ass!
Monday, May 19, 2008
My buddy/coworker Rich Tuzon is part of a group show that opens this week at Gallery 1988 in Hollywood. If you're into fine artistic fun made with acrylic paint, wood panels, and a whole lot of pad thai, be sure to check it out. He ain't bad! In fact, I have a monkey he made hanging on my wall. Go for the paintings and stay for the open bar!
Monday, May 5, 2008
For the upcoming release of Wall•e, Pixar is all decked out with film development art and standees from the film. They were kind enough to use those posters I did way back to line both walls. My first reaction after seeing them up was shock, then I picked myself up off the floor and felt kinda dizzy. Fortunately, they had this bench smack dab in the center where I could get it together. That's me in the middle there with Wall•e & Eve. It's quite the honor to get to work on all these projects. I never thought I'd get close to doing anything this cool. Just as I started to get all sentimental or whatever, I found this fat ball outside and immediately tried to roll into a bike rack on their front lawn. I don't think they're inviting me back anytime soon.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Here's my initial sketch for Temple of Doom. Of the 1st 3 films, it's the one I've seen the least so I had to go back and watch it a bunch of times as a refresher. As a kid, I remembered it as being my least favorite of the series, but It's pretty kick-ass when you're older and haven't seen it for a while. So much is packed into it. At times, it might feel a bit segmented and even rushed once the action gets going in the mines, but it's still better than 98% of the films they make nowadays. Them 80's were a glorious time! Thanks for joining me in "Tanner at the Movies." Steer clear of that popcorn "butter" dispenser. That stuff ain't made from nature.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I finally finished up that Indy piece for Acme Archives. My idea here was to create something that looked as if it came out when the movie took place, circa 1936. I was heavily influenced by Mexican film posters from the 30's & 40's. They had that western/dramatic/action feel nailed down. Check out that Cine Mexicano book if you can. Them dudes sure knew what they were doing way back when. Now that I'm done, I think I'm gonna hitch this port-a-pottie down the street to my truck. It's already on wheels so it should be a pretty simple procedure. I might even cruise the 101 during rush hour and charge a buck and a quarter for pit stops. Adios amigos!
Check out IndianaJonesShop.com for info on the piece.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
It seems like I'm designing poster after poster nowadays. It's not that I'm complaining or anything because they're a ton of fun to do. Guess my problem is the more I do, the harder it is to come up with something new. But I guess if it were always that easy, it probably wouldn't be that satisfying in the end. A great example of that is that Police Academy where they go to Russia (#6, i think). Talk about a letdown. Anyways, here's an Indiana Jones thumbnail of a poster that's due in a week. I'll post the final hopefully soon.