Monday, May 28, 2007

Dusting down a long forgotten sketchbook...

STILL unpacking.

One thing that has been rather a lot of fun while working my way through a myriad boxes has been unearthing old sketchbooks, none more so than the one whose pages I've scanned below. This particular sketchbook is only a teeny A6 affair, something one can safely stash in the jeans' back pocket. Leafing through it I discovered all the early design work from a number of my projects, published or otherwise. Below is the first design I did for Bobby from DINOSAURS AFTER DARK. Beside him you'll probably recognise my first (and possibly only) colour design of CURIOUS COW. The pages here are particularly pertinent to current work schedule, as this was the sketchbook I conceived FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT in on the train journey from Warrington to London years ago. The two pahes below show the very first Cat drawing as doodled on a bumpety-bump Virgin rail carriage, all wobbly-like and pretty much as he appears on the cover of the book. And the pages that follow show the first couple of paragraphs as I toyed with the idea on the journey, again, pretty much verbatim as they appear in the book. Got off the train and showed it to the editor @ Hodder Headline and it was commissioned off the back of it.

Below are the first designs from the MY DADDY picture book, featuring the three girls from the story. Further down the line as I looked to develop this as an animated film I revisited the look of the characters and design approach, but again these are how they appeared in the original book.
Lastly here's CHEEKY MONKEY in his earliest guise. Still cheeky but slightly different shape to his face. The accompanying words are from POCKET DOG, which I developed with Ian Carney.
So that's what I've been up to. Reminiscing. There are loads of other sketchbooks that I'll pull artwork from too, although time is at a premium at the moment with production work on the CAT taking priority.

Bada Bling!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Annecy - booked it, packed it, fluffed off!

Got the reservations made for Annecy Film Festival last week. Shall be joined there by Niel Bushnell and Gordon Fraser of FARMAGEDDON fame. Am sure they won't hinder my networking attempts... not much! :-D Niel and I have spoken about collaborating together for some time now so hopefully there's a project or two that we can really start to put meat on the bones of.

Am keen to post developments of new projects on here but suspect until I get option deals in place I'll have to sit on them for the forseeable. Ian Culbard and I are currently negotiating an option with Sardine productions in Canada to help develop BITENECK BEATNIKS into an animated show. We already have the support of Northern Film & Media who are helping us to develop a pilot animation, so here's hoping we can forge ahead with those helpcat vamp kids.

Sketchwork continues on the FRANKENSTEIN'S CAT art show - I'll be putting a few thumbnails up of those paintings next as work in progress. The show itself thunders on with a real momentum, and the work being produced at Paris's Quatre21 studio is pretty spectacular. Keep having to pinch myself that it's actually going to be on the telly come September!

Also, if you get the chance check out Gus Hughes blog - he's an animator from Ireland studying in Teesside - I met him at Animex this year and he's not only a bundle of fun but his work looks a bit special. Recommended.

Bada Bling!