Thursday, January 3, 2019

Whatever happened to humility? 

"Remember to love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Whatever happened to humility? Being humble used to be a quality that people really admired. I don't think there is anything wrong with having high self-esteem. As a matter of fact, it's something I have ingrained into my children, but I also taught them humility. Humility is the understanding that even though you have strong self-worth you should always remember that you are part of society, which means not always putting your own self-importance above everyone else. Simply, try to remember that it's not always about you. 

My office mate and I have a name for those kinds of selfish, "me first" people, we call them Universers. They think that the universe revolves around them. They think that they shouldn't have to wait in line or sit in traffic. They're so self-absorbed that sometimes they're not even aware of their rude behaviors. Behaviors, such as; talking loudly with their cell phone on speaker mode, next to you, while in a restaurant. They are the people that skip the line in coffee shops, sandwich shops, and bathrooms. They pull into handicap spots even though they don't have a handicap placard. They drive up the medium or the curb to get around traffic. They step in front of you at the grocery store while you are shopping like you are invisible. I can keep on going and going because people are getting more and more selfish. At least in LA, it's getting out of control.

There are a few things that I believe contribute to this problem. First, poor parenting plays a huge role in this "me first" attitude. Parents are telling their kids how special they are and how unique they are and that's all good but they should follow up with, "Remember to love your neighbor as you love yourself". They give their children anything that they demand even placing them above the social surrounds at any given time. Example; A child screaming at the top of their lungs in a restaurant and the parents do nothing to correct the behavior. What has the child just been taught by its parents? I can spend much more time on poor parenting but let's move on. 

Next, is the problem of the lack of accountability. Making excuses for bad behavior or ignoring bad behavior does nothing to fix the problem of people doing bad things. Rude and selfish people are bullies and they work off of the idea that most people don't want to make a scene in a public place or that some people are just too cowardly to say anything at all. Many people are afraid of confrontation but that is part of being an adult. Bullies bank on you not confronting them, and so they skip lines, steal parking spots, and do what they want which is usually taking advantage of situations and people. Remember, self-centered individuals feel little to no conscience;  they don't care who they hurt or offend, it's all about what they want. Most of them will back down in an instant if you confront them, this is probably because they know that they are in the wrong and so they don't have a defense for their rude behavior. Rude people love, "Oh, I'm sorry, I wasn't aware," defense or they will avoid eye contact all together so as not to give you a chance to say something. God has written on everyone's heart the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. They know exactly when and how they are doing something wrong, and if they can get away with it then so be it.

Now, moving on to the most influential problem of them all. The biggest maker of the, ME, ME, ME mentality. Social media! As far as I'm concerned it's also a constant reinforcement of the ME, ME, ME, I'm so important, attitude. It talks about people in entertainment (Singers, Movie and TV stars and Athletes) as though they are nobility. There are no kings and queens anymore, they are just people, people who are no better than you or I. Remember equality, all humans equal. We fought against monarchism hundreds of years ago but now we put people on pedestals and allow them to do and act as they like. What's worse is if someone gets enough views on Facebook or U-tube they become famous. Rich and poor people get reality shows because of their rude and appalling behavior. Rappers, Rich Housewives, Moonshiners, and Pregnant teens, get shows. There are shows like The Maury Povich Show, the Steve Wilkos Show, and The Jerry Springer Show that promote downright awful behavior. Regular people watch these shows and think, "This is how I should act and I'll be treated (like royalty) and rude and selfish behavior is how I can be distinguished from the rest of society." Unfortunately, many people are like puppets, they do what they see.


This is a drawing of Fergus The King, done in blue 
color-erase pencil on vellum. I scanned it and
 tweaked it a bit in Photoshop.


This was the latest film I was working on, it is 
currently on hold because of a major overhaul. 
There is a good chance it may never make it to 
the box office.


Here is a very old marker comp. of the Everglades.
Back in the day of 2D films we didn't have computers.
  So, us layout guys had to do marker comps. on actual paper. 
We used Prisma-color marker, and then detailed them using 
Prisma-color pencils and whiteout pens and anything else
 that got the job done. 

This is a drawing done with a semi dry 
Sharpie marker, grey Prisma-Color marker
and a whiteout pen.



This a before and after. The drawing on top is a
quick Photoshop sketch.  I then used my new 
technique to clean it up and make it more graphic.


This is the first panel from a sequence called
 "I AM HANUMAN". I had to sing my pitch to 
Bill Dameski, who I had never met till that 
morning. Talk about stress!


 I had a pencil sketch of this leprechaun in my sketchbook
 and every time I flipped past it I felt I should do something 
with it. So, I eventually scanned it into Photoshop and 
worked it into an illustration using my new technique.

This Drawing originally had a bear instead of a
deer, but I could never get the composition to work. 
Eventually, I abandoned the bear and tried this and 
low and behold it worked.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

    A little Honesty

Standing by your word, even if it hurts, is integrity.

Honesty is such a great quality to possess but also one of the hardest to maintain. It is a large part of being a person of good character. Unfortunately, it is disappearing in our society. Most people rather tell other people what they think they want to hear instead of the truth. Of course, this is easier, but it may mislead them and cause them more harm than good.  For example, a friend says, “Don't you think I deserve a raise?" 
You say, "Sure," even though you know they have not been a good employee and are on thin ice with the boss. Easier for you to make a nice statement but it's doomsday for your friend.

The problem is, instead of being labeled as a truthful person, when you're being honest to people, you are labeled as a mean person. Most people rather tell the small lie instead of the truth because its nicer, but is it?  

My daughter was asked recently by a boy who was interested in her "Is your dad nice?" she replied, "Um, well he's truthful." He found this to be very intimidating. I don't consider myself to be a mean person but I am told that I can be extremely intimidating, maybe being truthful is the root of this. I would much rather deal with a truthful person than a nice person.

When people are not honest with you because they are uncomfortable with an honest person, it's felt.  Then, when they ask questions that they seem to want an honest opinion about, how does one know how to answer? Do you want the truth or a lie? Why ask at all if you don't want to truth?

"Does this shirt look good on me?"
"Am I good driver?"  
"I always finish what I start, right?" 

I'm sure you have many of your own examples as well. Sometimes, you have to have some conviction and stand by your word even if the truth is not the nicest answer. A little honesty goes a long way and you'll be surprised how many people will turn to you to seek out the real truth because you're the only one in the world strong enough to deliver.


"Monkeys of Mumbai" 



 Ravana was the main villain in the unreleased
DreamWorks film "Monkeys of Mumbia". He
was based on a major demon from the Hindi
Religion. I worked on this project for more than
two years before they decided to cancel it. After two
years on a film you tend to have quite a few drawings.


Raj was the main character in the unreleased 
Dreamworks film "Monkeys Of Mumbai"

This is a draw over of a sketch I did while working 
on the film. I used my new technique on it.

This drawing has been sitting around for about ten
years, I did a draw over and added a background.
It is also done with my new technique. 


These were warm-up drawings, I did one morning
while working at Dreamworks. I usually do a few
warm-up drawings before I start working on actual
production work to loosen up. They generally are
not related to what I'm actually working on in 


Florida, Frogs, Turtles, and Alligators!


The middle child! 

Eden is super creative and very artsy!


The unseen drawings.

Bear exploration with a graphic twist. I never showed
this drawing because it really had no place in the film. 
I primarily drew it for myself.

 This drawing and the two that follow were sketches
I did of Queen Ellinor, the bear, and 
the three boys, who were originally turned into 
swans not bears, eluding Fergus the King. 

This is a draw-over of Merida and her shire horse
using my new technique.


These are sketches I did for bear fight. It's pen on 
a yellow pad. I was working out some ideas for the 
sequence, shot selection.


What can I say I just love drawing alligators!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


                         Never crush another person's dreams no matter how absurd they
                         may sound to you, on the contrary give them your blessing. It is
                        not our place in this world to decide if someone will succeed or fail,
                         they will prove it out themselves one way or other and you will be
                                                          spared looking like a fool. 

 Way back in college I had a professor tell me that maybe I should think about picking a different career besides an artist. Fortunately, being the kind of person that I am (not one to shy away from confrontation) plus at 27 years old I had a much different perspective as a  student. I immediately laid into him for making such a proclamation. I worked really hard to get to college and made enormous sacrifices as well and I'd be damned if I let some frustrated professor shut me down before I had the opportunity to prove my self out. If I was a little younger say 17 or 18 just coming out of high school, probably feeling a little insecure about my abilities as an artist and/or if I had  some unseen self-esteem issues his statement would have been enough to precipitate me quitting school. It was a very ugly confrontation to say the least but in the end it was resolved and eventually that professor and I became friends. Still, I vowed that day that I would never tell anyone that they didn't have the ability or talent to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, he would not be the last person I would deal with in my life that doubted my abilities and not  just in art but in many aspects of my life. 
On the other hand, I have also been blessed with quite a few people that have not prejudged me and have given me the opportunity to prove myself. They have had a great impact in my life and I think of them as my friends so I believe they deserved to be mentioned here: Miss Murrel, Dan Cormany, Bob Walker, Brenda Chapman, Kevin Lima, Penny Cox and Sandy Rabens. It is not an easy thing to trust and believe in another person specifically if their failure reflects negatively upon you. It's even harder if you add production deadlines to the equation. Now, I would be re-missed if I didn't mention my family and friends which were behind me but I'm sure I've overlooked someone so forgive me if I have forgotten you, you know if you are one of the people who believed in me. All of you have gain a life long respect and dedication from me and you are of exceptional character. 
I truly believe that any individual has the ability to achieve their goals given the opportunity to succeed and if they work hard enough. Dedication to what you believe in is a long and hard path, no doubt but, a steadfast loyalty to doing what it takes (hard work, courage and sacrifice) to get to your goals will separate you from those who dream but never achieve. 
Lastly, never give in to the nay Sayers, the dream crushers. the doubters. Most of them are either afraid of you, jealous of you or have some other ulterior motive behind their negativity to keep you down. It's easier for them to make someone else fail versus succeeding themselves. 

 Here are sketches of  Governor Flanders the cat 
and Eden vis a vis constant requests from my
students for character designs of the two main
characters from a script I wrote. I use three sequences
from my story as assignments for them to board.

This one includes a story sketch from the pages.

Sometimes a certain character on a film just resonates
with you.  I didn't get to board a sequence that encompassed
the character Ketcha while working on "TEMBO" but it
  didn't stop me from doing a but load of drawings and
sketches of him anyways (he is fun to draw). "TEMBO"
was going to be the first full length feature animated film
released by Digital Domain. It was being Directed by
Aaro Blaise and Chuck Williams. Unfortunately, the
studio closed before it could be completed.

This is not a new drawing of Ketcha but I'm trying
out a new technique and this drawing was a good
candidate to experiment on.

 These mixed character sketch pages have a little
of everything, to include Gov. Flanders, Raj, Tembo,
Boss Baby and even a Tembo and Ketcha panel.

These are  reboots of  Mom drawings from "BRAVE".
They are reworked old drawing with the new technique
being applied to each to see how it translates.

These three have never been posted as far as I can remember.

This is a small workbook sketch
about two inches in length from
the Avalanche sequence.


To include Toby the dog, Bullet the horse
and a new character named Chance from
a TV show I'm trying to develop called


Gracie is the main character from a childrens
book that me and my wife worked on. It didn't
turn out as well as I would have liked to but
I can say that I learned a lot from working on it.
These drawings are of a character named
Demitri. He is a character from a script I'm
working on called "SINCLAIR"
Well, that's it for this batch but I have another
80 to 85 drawings, illustrations, thumbnails and
sketches coming right be hind it to share with you.
Keep an eye out for my next post.