Monday, December 31, 2012

52 Stories

New Year's Resolutions were made to be broken, but I will make this one anyway. I propose to make 52 short stories with an illustration to accompany each one. There will be 52 stories and illustrations for each week of 2013, so if I miss a week, I'll need two for the next, etc. If I fall off the horse the best thing is to get back on, so I will try to keep it going all year long no matter how I am doing as I near the end.

Why do this craziness? Because! I want to work out my storytelling and illustration (as opposed to concept design) muscles. I will try to keep the stories limited to the realm of sci-fi/sci-fantasy since that seems to me to be the broadest palette to paint with creatively. There will surely be a lot of misses, but perhaps there will be a few hits, too.

Phew. Alright. No more thinking, just jump!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Run to the Hills

I needed inspiration and some time outside, so my wife and I trekked up to the Alpine Ridge trail on the Peninsula, always a place to find solace. A few hours usually does the job nicely.

Friday, December 28, 2012

iPad Funhouse

My little brother found my iPad and started playing with the camera. He started laughing up a storm, so I went over to see what he was cracking up about. He was using the funhouse mirror effects on the camera to take wacky pictures (a feature everyone knows about...I'm late to the game). There were some pretty pushed effects as a result, so I sketched them. Caricature artists can do this instinctually and to better effect, but I can see how this sort of tech could expand someone's understanding of what "pushed" can mean in a portrait.

2012 Apocalyptical

The end of 2012 is nigh and there was a lot of this and that about the end of the world. In any case, it was a pretty grim year. May 2013 be a happy one free from the end-of-the-world doom and gloom.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Clone Wars: The Gathering

Here is a little work-related stuff: The Season 5 episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars called "The Gathering" aired Saturday. The episode kicks off a new arc starting with some young jedi hopefuls looking for their lightsaber crystals. I was lucky to get to work on the episode along with the rest of the crew, who did an amazing job. My small contribution was some design work on the younglings Gunji and Katooni. The episode is available online here!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ward Kimball on Mars

Here is a gem from the past. Disney Animator and Genius Ward Kimball directed this exploration of what Mars could be. The curiosity rover has yet to find anything like these imaginative creatures, but I love the pure weirdness of the ideas. Pure inspiration! It's hard to imagine any major studio funding something like this today.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Punch Drunk Moustache

I can finally announce what I have worked on since the beginning of the year. Seven of my co-workers and I have a book called Punch Drunk Moustache: Visual Development for Animation and Beyond coming out next year through DSP. Each artist has a section to showcase work they have that is not related to their day-job. There are a ton of cool images and stories. I'm really excited about the project, and can't wait for everyone to see it. For now it's available for pre-order on Amazon. I don't know when they will show sample images from the interior, but it's a really diverse crew with a different look and approach to every person's section of the book.

Here is the description from the amazon site:

Punch Drunk Moustache is the off-the-clock work of eight animation industry artists with the insatiable need to tell stories. Each artist showcases new ideas infused with unique personal style. Get ready for stunning visual development and never before seen concepts. Giants, androids, strange beasts, brave animals, magic, mystery, and everyday folks collide in these vividly imagined tales. With Punch Drunk Moustache, the gloves are off!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Up Late...

Late night delirium.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hello Out There...

So there hasn't been much activity on the blog this year. I'm cranking away at a project that I'm really excited about, but it doesn't leave much time for posting. Hopefully I can share some of that work soon. In the mean time, this is a little something to keep this blog from crusting over. Space Musketeer means business.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Guardian of Order

I had a dream a while back where a knight made of Lego stood against the "forces of chaos" in an environment of planes and blocks.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


A quick doodle. Playing with shapes and color a la Maurice Noble, albeit more subdued.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Best of All Time

I've had the flu for the last several days, and I spent a lot of time incapacitated in front of the tv. Every other night Phelps was on there making history at the London Olympics (as I'm sure everyone in the whole wild world knows!)

It's tough to ever be the best. It's even tougher to stay the best for any period of time. It's near impossible to be the best-of-all-time. Congratulations to Phelps and his epic Olympic run!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Gaultier at the DeYoung

I recently attended the Jean Paul Gaultier show at the DeYoung museum in San Francisco. JPG has been an inspiration to me since I first noticed his outlandish work in the film The Fifth Element. Through the subsequent years I have followed his runway work. As a character designer/concept designer, and more broadly, as an artist, I found the Gaultier show to be a revelation. Instead of looking at his work as the taste of the season, I could look at his career and see where he took inspiration over the course of decades. I realized that his work is reflective of something I love about the French in general; their ability to mix the old and the new into something fresh and exciting while seeming somehow timeless.

To be sure, some of Gaultier's work has an "of its time" feeling, but a substantial amount still feels very exciting. His work seems to be about hard contrasts. Grotesque vs Elegance, proletariat utilitarianism vs upper-class debauchery, punk vs opulence, etc.

For my money, I think most of the designs I saw at the show were well beyond anything anyone in the concept/entertainment industry is doing in terms of "pushing" forward. There is an intellect and an irreverence to the designs that was simply inspiring. I would highly recommend anyone with any interest in fashion, costume/character design or just interesting art, go see the show!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


He may need a bath.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Monday, July 02, 2012

Ron Solo

This was a doodle for a co-worker. I thought I was pretty clever with the whole Ron Swanson + Han Solo thing, but it turns out that someone beat me to it! Darn you internet!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Paris in June

Here are some photographs I clicked when I was in Paris and the surrounding area a few weeks ago. This was my first trip to Europe. Paris is one of the great cities of the world, so there's most likely no photo that I could take that hasn't been taken. Still, I was very inspired by the sights on the streets, on the farms, and in the countryside.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ray Bradbury: Rest In Peace

It's no secret that I love the work of Ray Bradbury. I was in France when I read that he passed away. Many many blogs and news sites have already done great obituaries and tributes to the late great author, so I will just say how he influenced me.

When I was in middle school, I heard from my grandmother about a book where "firemen" burn books. I loved books, so the notion was strange, dangerous, and exciting to my young imagination. I picked up Fahrenheit 451 at the library and began a journey down the path of science fiction that continues to this day.

Later, I picked up The Martian Chronicles during a silent reading session in High School. I couldn't put it down. The stories were fantastical, but also poetic, lyrical, and echoed earthly concerns about life, death, conquest, love, creativity, destruction, and the nature of humanity. It addressed our best and worst natures. Pretty heady stuff for a bunch of sci-fi short stories. Science fiction in the 1990s was mostly laden with grimacing muscle bound super men and busty bombshells with little or no intelligence, or it was nihilistic characters with one-note concerns about revenge or some other banal angst-ridden motivation. Bradbury's work was literature. It was an inspiration.

Later, I saw a poster from the illustrator David Grove for the movie "Something Wicked This Way Comes." It triggered a memory of seeing the Disney film and finding it scary in a more philosophical way than "scarier" movies of the time. Also, it was an amazing poster. I bought the book, and was thrilled that it contained even more terrifying notions of aging, the transitory nature of life, and generally dark themes that I found very interesting and entertaining.

Finally, one day I was sitting in my truck listening to a short story on the local public radio station in Bakersfield California. The reader was telling a tale about a man who was an astronaut and came home to see his son on leave. His son was thrilled to see his mysterious father, to see his space suit. To be with his Rocket Man dad. Then the father died falling into the sun. The boy and his mother couldn't look at the sun without remembering the Rocket Man's tragic death. I believe I teared up hearing the reading, which was one of the only times a story has done that to me.

Part of my relation to the story was that it was a sad tale told well. The other aspect is that that story contained elements of my own life that I could relate to. When I was young my father was away often, working long hours in a dangerous place. Bradbury's stories contained these real-world parallels. His stories were so much more than spacemen and robots. They toyed with, affirmed, and tested our real-world concerns while giving them a grand setting as free as imagination itself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Video Roundup 4.17.12

Today I was loving these two videos. The first is a video by Niki & The Dove for the song "Tomorrow." The second is the viral video for the David 8 android in the upcoming film Prometheus. There's just way too much awesome happening here.

Angry Mullet

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ralph Tribute

A small watercolor painting of long-haired Yoda and shirtless Luke on Dagobah based on one of Ralph McQuarrie's iconic paintings for Empire Strikes Back. If you happen to be at ILM, you can see this and other tribute works from a variety of artists displayed humbly among a sampling of amazing original work Ralph did for the Star Wars movies over the years.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Digital Domain to Allow Students to Pay to Work on Feature

The VFX community is buzzing about this story regarding students at the Florida Digital Domain subsidy "Tradition Studios" paying to work on a feature animation. The whole idea gets my blood boiling. The thrust of Digital Domain's argument is that students will build their resumes and learn on the job industry training that will help them in the future. The whole idea is troubling for several reasons, but mainly because it is unethical to not only not pay workers their minimum wage as required by law, but also disguise grind work as teaching and ask student to pay for it. John Textor claims that it "looks" like they are taking advantage of students when they are not. I say, if it walks like a duck...

Here are the comments in question from Cartoon Brew

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rest In Peace Moebius

Moebius, the fantastic and gigantically influential artist, has passed away. This article sums up my feelings on the death of one of the best artists science fiction and fantasy have known.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Just found this. Pretty interesting visually and sonically. Good stuff to listen to on a late night art crunch if you want to get spaced out.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Let Us Play With Your Look

Inspired by this Jimmy Fallon sketch. Watercolor 41/2 x 53/4 inches.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rest In Peace Ralph McQuarrie

Legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie passed away today. As concept designers at Lucasfilm working on a Star Wars show, we often say we stand on the shoulders of giants. Ralph easily tops the list of artist we owe a debt to. Ralph leaves behind a body of work that shaped multiple generations of dreamers. He was one of a kind.

Monday, February 13, 2012