Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Luck Gonzo.

I first met Nelson outside the library on the Ringling campus early in my sophomore year. My roommate Alberto introduced me to him. I don't really know why I remember that. I can't say we were friends in the true sense of the word back in college. We were always friendly to one another but our paths never crossed much in our major classes. I knew he could draw and I knew he could paint. I envied his natural talent in drawing the human form and his mastery of sketching on location. Like me, he was always looking for new ways to express himself and try new things in the classroom. I am sure some of it was being creative due to lack of funds for real supplies! I vividly recall him bringing in a wall to figure painting class in our junior year. A FREAKIN' WALL!!

Right after graduation we were both hired by Funnybone in Connecticut along with another handful of classmates. Something went wrong with his living arrangements so I invited him to crash in my apartment for a time. Things about the job had already began to make my life depressing ( Nelson actually arrived about a week or so after me.) and I was not happy to be back in the northeast. This tainted my actions and my outlook and to this day I am left with regret for how I behaved. I am sure Nelson got the brunt of that. Looking back, I should have known that it was not the end all, be all of my life and career and let myself just enjoy the moments in front of me. But then again, hindsight is always 20/20. Nelson never said a bad word to me. He was a good friend.

I left Connecticut after about two years and headed back down to Florida and lost touch with Nelson. We randomly chatted once or twice due to a mutual friend but that was it. I got married and found new jobs. So did Nelson. We reconnected a few years ago and found out we worked near each other and managed to get together for lunch now and again. We even managed a few dinners so our wives could meet too. Good times all around. After I lost my job, Nelson suggested me to his employer and I was hired based on his recommendation.

Nelson left this past weekend to take a new job at Cartoon Network in Atlanta. It sounds like a great job and he will be in the same city with many people we know from Ringling as well as working with his friend from Orlando. He will be missed. This time we may part but now I truly consider him my friend. I think back to my first day at my current job when he said to me, "School. Funnybone, and now here. We are linked forever you know. Three times is beyond coincidence." You know what the annoying thing about him is? He's usually right!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Go, Go Gadget Drawing!!

I probably should have been too old to watch Inspector Gadget when it was first on TV. But I did watch it, and I had to keep it a guilty pleasure and didn't reveal to anyone that I watched it until my friend Rob told me he watched it. Now I have no qualms about admitting my love of cartoons and toys and anything else geek related. I came out of the geek closet many years ago.

I have not seen Gadget in a long time. I try to forget the live action movies and I have not seen the direct to DVD offerings. I am curious tho. I came across the intrepid Inspector in my iPhone app store! They had a free game and I downloaded it. The next thing I knew I was drawing Gadget! Well,......... sort of.

I was waiting on feedback on a project at work one day and I had been curious to explore an aspect of Illustrator I had not used before. The week before I needed to revise some art that was vector based and instead of making a jpeg and drawing in Photoshop or on a printout, I drew directly in Illustrator. I kinda liked it too! I know people out there use Flash and actually read in someone's blog that they work in Indesign! Don't even know what that program looks like so I can't really comment on that. With Gadget, I wanted to push it a bit more than what I had done before, so not only did I do my sketch, but all my coloring as well. I posted the "outline" mode version so you can see that it really is all vector. Was a fun experiment!

Here is my final with all the bells and whistles. And with Inspector Gadget, I really mean that.

Here is the "vector sketch".

...and here are the view showing the vector paths.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Joe's 7th Birthday card is an 11

Y'know, I just thought, as I finished typing the title of this entry, that it sounds like a reference to Spinal Tap. Alas, it is not. It's the card that Joe wanted for his birthday this year. He wanted himself as the 11th Doctor and he wanted a dalek as well. You can see the dalek as the looming shadow that Joe is horrified at. The entire dalek was only visable on the back of the invite that I am not posting here. Sorry. This was, obviously, really fun for me to do and I got to explore a bit more of the look I gave our last Christmas card as well. I was happy with the result and Mindy and Joe liked it too.

This was the "full" art.

Here is what the front of the card itself looked like.

Here is the mock up of the shirt we printed too!

...and just for fun, here are the reference photos that I took of Joe.


This one is not a photo.