Sunday, June 29, 2008

Illustration Friday: Fierce

Fire Ant illustration by Atlanta Illustrator Tony Sarrecchia

Years ago when my daughter was about a year or so new, we moved to Ocala Florida courtesy of Time/Warner (this was the pre-AOL days). Having lived in metro areas most of my life, I was unaware of the dangers that lurked in the grass just outside my door.

On this particular day I was sunning in the back yard, minding my own business when I noticed an ant on the filter of my cigarette (hey, it was 90s, everyone smoked). I crushed the filter and the ant, lit a cigarette and didn’t give it another thought. A short time later the girl child starting fussing about something so I stood up to bring her in the house. In the process of walking towards her, I felt something sting my toe.

When I put her down in the house my toe was throbbing and my face felt like it was swelling. A quick check in the mirror showed that ‘swelling’ was an understatement—I looked like an Italian blowfish. Things happened fast after that--it was painful to move my foot and my eyes were swelling shut. I remembered putting up the child gate so Sara couldn’t get too close—I still didn’t know what was happening—for all I knew, this was some strange Florida disease. I called my wife and suggested she come home from work if she wanted to see me before I blew up.

The doctor in the emergency room said I had a ‘reaction’ to a fire ant bite. A reaction? Seriously, a reaction is the scream you get when you jump out of a closet and shout ‘booga booga’ at someone. I was well beyond reaction and into terminal response. Anyway, I’ve been bitten since then but I’ve never had a ‘reaction’ as severe as that first incident. I’ve also wondered what possible evolutionary purpose could these little bringers of pain serve? I am still waiting for a satisfactory answer.

Based on this experience, I think fire ants are fierce little monsters and therefore qualify for my Illustration Friday entry this week. I realize that the scale in the picture above would make the fire ants the size a small dog or a large rodent—a Fire Chihuahua perhaps—but, if you’ve ever been bitten by one of them, you know that the scale is psychically correct.

I did this piece completely in Illustrator. I used several different reference pieces as models for the ants and drew the body using a standard brush. Then I filled the bodies using the mesh tool, copied them, and created a red transparency (multiply) over the original body. I created the grass using a custom brush generated from 3 pieces (I read about this process in the Illustrator Wow Book). The sun is a yellow circle with a flare placed over it.

Your comments are encouraged.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Less Than Jake in Atlanta

Start at the bottom and work your way up....

Suburban Legends

Bryna and Nick

Posting from Mobile Phone

How freaking cool is this? Who knew you could post directly from a mobile device? Well, ok, I did--but I never really saw a practical reason to do so. I may update from the 'Less than Jake' concert tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Creative Writing Revelations

James Moran, writer of horror flick Severence, several episodes of Doctor Who, as well scripts for the closest thing to the X-Files since Season 7 of the X-Files, Torchwood has published a list of revelations about writing and the writing business that he wished he had known five years ago. Part practical--
Yes, most people/companies will probably only read the first ten pages (of your script) or so. Yes, this is unfair. Tough shit. Get over it. No, "the system" is not trying to keep you out, or crush aspiring writers, or give jobs to the chosen few.
and part inspirational,
They need you more than you need them. Movie and TV companies need writers, they need stories, they need scripts. They can't do anything without you. You generate your own scripts, you create stuff from nothing, out of your head. It all comes from you. Yes, the finished product is a collaboration. But you can't collaborate on a fucking blank page.
this is a highly recommended read for anyone considering a screenwriting/creative writing career. You should go read it here, now.

As an aside--if you've ever been forced to endure an 'off-site' team-building event, you will find Severance a slashing good time.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

OMG: X-Files

How did I not hear about this?

July 27, I am so there. Yeah--I will gladly put on my fanboy hat for this movie.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Classic Animation: Minnie the Moocher

Is it just me, or does it appear that Cab Calloway invented the moonwalk sometime in the 1930s? Thanks to YouTube user GraemeW for posting this gem.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Illustration Friday: Punchline

It would be funnier if it weren't so true. Illustrated in Flash 7 with a background created in Corel PainterX all from a pencil sketch.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Original Animation: Halloween Greeting

I know, Halloween isn't until October, but I was playing around with an old project and decided to make it a regular animation instead of click through type thing. Have your sound on when you watch.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Illustration Friday: Forgotten

Painting: Forgotten by Tony Sarrecchia

A little different from my usual style/tone. "Forgotten" was composed in Corel Painter X.

Here is a link to my usual style.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Retro Sketches

I really like the 'retro' look of The Fairly Odd Parents, Dexter's Lab, and similar, so I picked up Cartoon Cool by Christopher Hart and started practicing. Here are some sketches based on the exercises in the book (except for the water bottle and that first one in the upper left corner :) ).