Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grad School

It's been a while since I've posted! Thanks to my lovely partner for taking over while I buried myself in grad school work.

I was in Dallas/Ft. Worth last week with the Hartford Art School and it was a blast. We met a lot of fantastic illustrators, and it's so nice to immerse yourself in a group that thinks the same way you do. 100% illustration 24/7, man. It's the good life.

We had an assignment where we had to execute an illustration based on our experience in Pasadena (the last contact period we had). Well, let me tell you - that trip was a life-changing experience for me, not in small part due to the trip to the Disney Archives and seeing Mary Blair's concept work for Alice in Wonderland in person. And Eyvind Earle's backgrounds from Sleeping Beauty, just lying on a table. Just right in front of me. People, it was like a religious experience for me. I briefly contemplated making a break for the door with them under my coat, but decided a life of crime was not for me.

I felt like I needed to pay homage to that part of the trip with my piece. I feel sometimes that California is one big movie set, with all kinds of characters. So, I decided to do my own "adventures in Wonderland". I wanted to do something more interactive than just one flat piece, so I made it three-dimensional. I made myself as Alice, my program head as the White Rabbit, and then a couple other characters to interact with each other. I wanted to do something semi-sequential, so I did three panels that become a sort of triangle that stands up and forms a sort of "playset". Each side has an overhang which characters on strings can hang from.

Unfortunately, I shipped the piece back to myself before getting on the plane, and never got a good shot of it set up, so I'll have to wait til the Fed Ex guy shows up to show you the final setup, but I can show you the backgrounds. When it makes its way back to me, I'll take some photos of the finished piece.

This is my first panel, representing Pasadena with the rose gardens. I put in a Kenton Nelson-inspired lady in the background since we visited his studio. And an In-n-Out burger sign. Because they are delicious.

This is my second panel, based on a trip we took to Hollywood (and a ridiculous tequila bar). I love a place with good Mexican food, and Pasadena had it in spades. Yummers.

My third and final image. I think this one is my favorite. I took a little liberty with the Hollywood Hills and put in a beach (the one thing I didn't go to, but wanted to!). I have the castle in the back as a little nod to my Disneyland trip.

I loved the patterns and the repetition in this whole piece, it got very addictive. I had so much fun with this, I can't even tell you. Stay tuned for the whole shebang assembled with characters!

ETA: I uploaded the wrong versions, duh... so, these are the seriously final versions. There's not much difference but there is to me!


  1. Oh holy jaysus.

    And it's the Skeleton Mariachi Band!

    How wonderful it is, to see your development.


    Slithy Tove

  2. Yay, a comment! Glad you like. Just wait til you see it all set up and awesome!

  3. I love this piece - I have photos of it, but there are so many elbows and sleeves to clone out, since EVERYONE was clamoring to look at it!

  4. It was very cool and really fun. Great job.