Merry merry!

Merry Christmas everyone! I'm in Singapore and JUST figured out how to get online. So, of course, the first thing I did was to post my Christmas card. Hope everyone is enjoying their time with their families and friends. Hope this Christmas is great and may the new year bring you great joys and mountains of fortunes! Hells yeah!! Cheers everyone!!!

Stringy Oscar

Here's another character from designs I'm doing for Sesame. I haven't been keeping up with my 30's due partly to the holiday season and partly to my laziness. Just getting into that holiday mode. Sitting around and eating. Hells yeah! But, I wanted to keep the art flowing. So, this is something I am working on for my day job.

Its Oscar in my Sesame stringy style. I always like working with Oscar. I like playing with the fine line that Oscar lives on. He's got to be friendly enough for Sesame, but also a grouch. Makes for some nice posing.

Another peek

Here's another peek at a style that I'm working on for Sesame Workshop. I call them "Stringies"... yeah, not the most creative name. But, those names are usually for in house use anyway. So, no comments on the name...

Bert was actually the first one that I did for this series. There's just something about the first one.

30 of week 11-16-09

Here's a little thing I did before I took off to enjoy family and endless foods for Thanksgiving. As usual, this time of year gets crazy with making lists and checking them twice, so there will be less sketches in the coming weeks. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. But, I will still attempt to update weekly. If not with 30s, maybe with some freelance pieces. But, here's my post.

Here's Ernie as Astro Boy. HA!

On the horizon...

Here's a little preview of something I'm working on for Sesame.

If you've been following my posts, this will look familiar. These were originally from my 30s. And, I've just added some soft colors. Let's hope the non-artists that make the calls find if recognizable enough...

Charity case

I've been feeling like a slacker lately on my postings, so I'm going to share a little of what I've been doing outside of my weekly 30s.

I was approached by PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together) for a project. They're a non-profit organization in the UK that supports abducted children and the families of abducted children. The idea was that they wanted a "frame" for celebrity supporters to draw in so they could auction off. Their initial guidelines were that they just wanted some kind of frame in B&W. I took that and ran with it. I was thinking of what children like and about the children in those specific situations. I thought about what represents freedom. And, something that should be accessible to everyone. Nothing you have to buy. So, what was this? This to me was nature. Water, land, trees, clouds, and sky. That's what I did. Stylized it. Submitted it. It was rejected. Something about distracting from the celebrity's art. They came back with another idea. I knocked that out and they're going with that. But, I'm showing this one because its the one that I like and I wanted it to live somewhere.

week of 11-02-09

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted. I was bitten by the virus bug. I think it was food poisoning from this place we ate at lunch. Chirpin Chicken. Pretty sure because I was still sitting at lunch when I got my first stomach cramp. Then, I was out. I was not right for about a week. Damn little virus. Anyway, here are a few images representing how I was feeling on those days.

Never put stubble on Bert before... he is only a kid. I think its pretty funny tho.

Here's disheveled Grover. You know how it is. You're just thinking "why!?"

30s of week 10-19-09

Last week I got myself hitched. Yep, made the jump! So, of course, I had to take a few days off. Therefore, I only made it into the office a couple days, which left me with a week worth of work crammed into a couple of days. Out of the couple of days, I got one sketch done. Yes, slacker. But, here is the one I did get to do.

It's Bert in a somewhat traditional Chinese wedding get up. Yah, I had to. And, that's a flower like thing strapped to Bert's chest. His chest didn't explode...

30s of week 10-12-09

This week we continue with the Electric Company character style exploration. I was only in three days this week and got off two sketches. Check em out.

On this sketch I focused more on the pose and expression.

This Chibi styled one I was more focused on the style itself and how characters pose in that style.

30s of week 10-5-09

Because of my sink nightmares, I was babysitting my sink for a part of the week. So, I was only able to get into the office for three days. But, when I got in, I did a little sketchy sketch. This week I had planned to stay with the same style. But, an order to develop a simple more "primitive" look for Electric Company came through. So, here are the results.

I was able to get Big Bird out before the order came down for Electric Company. Cute, but Big Bird is always hard to get looking good.

I did a bunch of sketches, but this is one of the ones I liked. I think it needs some refining, but the start is there.

30s of week 9-28-09

Here are my sketches from last week. I only got out two. Damn slacker. Staying with the simplified idea and working my way through the characters.

Here's Grover. I feel he still needs work. Something with the mouth...

Abby came out well. She's a bit busy with all her details, but she's cute.

30s of week 9-21-09

Continuing with the same concept, this week I was able to do three sketches. It was a busy week. Work flooded in and an event took place on Friday that took up the whole day. But, I was able to squeeze out these three sketches. Enjoy!

Oscar was my favorite of this week. His pose just worked for me. He's like a grumpy old man with a walker. :)

Zoe came out nicely. Like Elmo, she's pretty simple in terms of detail. So, its actually hard because you can simplify them down so much that they don't have enough detail to work with.

And, here's the Count. He actually has a lot of detail, so he's pretty easy to work with. Yep, I have him a baby goatee. He's not supposed to be younger. Just smaller.

30s of week 9-14-09

This week I was determined to keep it simple. I like sketchy sketching, but that's not the direction I want my designs to go. I want to simplify and still represent the character as they need to be on products. It's one of those things where I'm trying to please my creativity and feel out where the limits are. Yeah, its great to say "screw rules" and design crazy images. But, then, my work won't see the light of day and I'm not doing my job. So, here's to following rules... for now. :)

Bert was my first this week.

Ernie was my favorite of this week. He just has the best feel.

Elmo was my least favorite. I think I still have to work with his proportions to push the cute.

Cookie was the last done for this week. I had to give him a cookie. No carrots and apples here.

30s of week 8-31-09

It's been a couple of weeks. I've been in a rut lately with new ideas. Well, at least for the daily 30s. I'm struggling with them. But, I'm still trucking. So, here's a few that I did a couple of weeks ago.

I usually default with super hero things when I can't think of anything else. Here's Bert in a Wolverine get up.

Elmo with a big water balloon head...

And, the day the news of Disney buying Marvel. It was a dark day. Honestly, I'm a fan of both, but it just didn't seem like they should be under the same hat. You would think after a certain amount of money, owning such classics as Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, X-men, etc. would be worth more than MORE money. I guess not.

30s of recent

So, its been a little while. It's been a busy couple of weeks. Still busy, but it's time to get back to it. Here are a couple sketches I did recently. Went back to the super hero theme. Endless possibilities.

Hulkin Ernie. Made him a little more massive than I did Bert when I made him hulk out.

And, here's Bert with some fantastic ability. I did Grover with this before, but I like this version much better.

That's all for this week. Hope to be back with more sketchy sketches soon. Gots to keep on top of it!

RIP Ahma

Early this week my Grandmom passed away. She was 90 years old. Like anyone that's 90, she's seen a lot. From living in poverty, to living through war, to immigrating to the US. From no TV to video chatting on Skype. She's lived a lot. But, most important for her generation, she's raised and watched many kids, grandkids, and great grandkids grow up happy and healthy. Not bad for someone that couldn't read, write, or drive. It's really quite amazing. So, as the week went on and preparations for our Grandmom's funeral took place, I found myself searching for some release. It took me a minute, but I came to rest on what has given me comfort my whole life. My pencil. It was wonderful to have my wife June with me, but there's just something about pencil to paper that helps me process. Likeness was never my strength when it came to straight on portraits. But, I had to try. Here is my attempt.

My first attempt was a little off. The sketch you see here is after some adjustments were made. It came out better than I expected.

After really struggling with the straight on view, I had to make sure that I wasn't losing it. So, I sketched my Grandmom at three quarter view. Much more accurate and it took less than half the time. I really have to practice my front views.

I wanted to share this picture of my Grandmom. Some may think that its in bad taste to take a picture of her at the hospital. But, this is one of my favorite pictures of her. To me, it really shows how far she's come in her life. Grandmom was video chatting on a laptop! How cool is that? Our Grandmom accomplished a lot in her life. Maybe, not to some people's definition of accomplishments. But, she accomplished what was most important to her generation. A large happy healthy family. We'll miss you Grandmom. Rest in peace.

Japanese product

Finally! I got a design into Japan. It's about friggin time. Can't say its exactly how I'd like to see my designs applied, but its nice to see it applied at all. Sesame is really tough on designs that render their characters "unrecognizable" as they like to call it. This one made it out the doors. Oddly enough, in my opinion, the design is one of my most distorted designs. Simplified to the very least details possible and still resembling the characters. Here are the original designs for the "Sesame Seeds". As you can see they only took the faces of my designs. Why? Who knows. We don't question the Japanese. They produce some of our best toys out there. As for what these things actually are, I can't tell ya. Heads with suction cups... Definitely chocking hazards, but so is most of what Japan develops for us. Woohoo, design in Japan! Maybe, next time I can get them to use the hair too...

30s of week 7-20-09

This week I got inspired by the upcoming GI Joe movie. I had the figures and watched the series. My house and yard served as military base and battle zones. And, as I'm sure everyone else did, I switched up body parts as the figures fell apart. And, that was the wonder of GI Joe. And, the coolest characters of GI Joe were of course Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes. My personal favorite was Storm Shadow. He's a Ninja in all white that could dismantle a tank by kicking and punching it. How much more awesome can you get? So, this week I did two sketches with this inspiration.

Ernie as the awesome Storm Shadow about to kick some Joe ass.

Bert as Snake Eyes. I always thought of Snake Eyes more as a ninja. So, I didn't give him any guns and gave him two swords instead.

30s of week 7-13-09

Finally, moved on from the MJ. I'm oddly uninspired for the 30s these days. It's one of those sluggish times that we all have. But, still got to keep truckin. So, here's what I got this week. Hope you likes!

I went back to the trusted simplified structure I love so much.

My least favorite of the week. I like his weird expression tho. The creepy kid staring in your window look.

I actually liked this one. It's Ernie as a Shmoo.

30s of week 6-29-09

I actually had a different idea for this weeks sketches, but the overwhelming wave of Michael Jackson everything took over. And, it reminded me of how amazing of a performer he was. And, how wonderfully clean his movements were. So, this inspired this week's sketches.

Elmo imitating a classic Michael Jackson pose.

Less recognizable, but still a classic.

Michael Jackson may have had some serious issues, but you can't take away how much influence he had on the entertainment world. And, for me, it was nice to hear and see Jackson's contributions everywhere I went for a little while.

30s - Weremo

There was a lot of talk of vampires and werewolves this week at work. Thought it would be fun to make our characters into classic monsters. Here's Elmo as a werewolf.

30s of week 6-1

I've decided to combine 30s for this image for a more developed image. This is a combination of 3 sessions. I call it Cookie Monster. Haha.....ahem. Enjoy!

Sesame T

Here's a t-shirt my friend Vanessa and I designed for Sesame Workshop. It was made for Sesame's runners in the 09 Corporate Challenge event. It was only a limited run of 125 shirts. Yah, a black shirt is probably not great for running. But, our main idea in designing this shirt was that the shirts could be worn after the event. So, if its sunny out on the day of the run, they'll have to suffer a little for the run. Sorry. Maybe, make more stops at the water stations. BUT, instead of another cleaning rag, they'll have a nice addition to their t-shirt collection afterwards. It'll make the heat stroke worth it... Enjoy the run!

Card me

I got tired of always handing out company cards with my info hand written on it, so I finally made my own. I ran a short run of 250 to see how they came out. I was very pleased. Thanks to Kano, I got my cards made at a very reasonable price with the free rounded corners. Nice!

30s of week 5-18

This week I actually started another idea, but this idea took over. It was an idea continuing from last week.

The thought of Cookie being able to do the complete Vulcan solute was the main idea of the sketch. The Bock(Bert+Spock) in the background was an idea that came about mid sketch. I just thought it would be funny to have him staring on enviously.

Then, this image came about directly after the previous idea. I thought it would be hilarious for Bock to pull out the Vulcan death grip on Cookie in his intensely calm manner.

30s of week 5-11

This week I was asked one question many times. "Have you seen Star Trek yet?" I have not, but do plan to. But, since the question was brought to me so much during the week, it made its way into my 30s. So, here you go, this weeks sketches to Trek.

I started off with playing with his head details. Just couldn't bring myself to adding the hand yet. Just couldn't wrap my mind around the missing finger issue.

And, finally, I did one with the salute. And, Bert Spock just staring at his hand knowing that he couldn't ever fully perform the Vulcan Salute. Eh, but close enough.

30 of week 5-4

I've been feeling a little frustrated not being able to get to a more finished stage with my sketches. So, this week, I've combined my time. I was only able to squeeze out one sketch this week. But, I did use two 30 minute sessions on it.

The swine flu got to me. Oh no no, the flu itself didn't get to me. The constant barrage of news stories got to me. Here's how I pictured Bert reacting. Enjoy!

30s of week 4-27-09

Continuing with my exploration, I played with Ernie, Elmo, and Oscar. I think a forehead "detail" helps a lot in this style.

I had to give Ernie a angle on his forehead. Not so pleased.

Elmo's eyes kind of worked, but not really.

Oscar was my favorite of this week. He worked the best. I spent two sessions of my 30s on him. I liked it. I think I'll do it more.